Community meeting on proposed public safety building on Nov. 18 | News | Palo Alto Online |


Community meeting on proposed public safety building on Nov. 18

Public meeting will evaluate California Avenue area site for police, emergency services

Plans for Palo Alto's proposed new public safety building will take another step forward on Nov. 18 when the city holds a community meeting to evaluate the site on two public parking lots at 250 Sherman Ave.

The existing public safety building, which is located in downtown at 275 Forest Ave., opened in 1970. Housing police and emergency services, the existing building no longer meets current seismic and code requirements applicable for an essential services building, city officials noted.

The new public safety building will house the police department, 911 Emergency Dispatch Center, the Emergency Operations Center, the Office of Emergency Services and the Fire Department's administration. A draft of the Nov, 18 presentation can be found here.

The City Council identified three potential sites for a new building during a May study session. The 250 Sherman Ave. location at California Avenue parking lots C-6 and -7 were preferred sites. In July 2015, the City entered into a contract with RossDrulisCusenberry Architecture, Inc., to study the sites' suitability for a new building and a new public parking structure that would replace the existing parking while adding about 150 additional public spaces.

Options under consideration include: a three story, 50-foot-high-maximum public safety building above an operational basement with below- and above-grade parking; or a two-story, 35-foot-high public safety building above two basement levels with associated below- and above-grade parking.

Parking structure options would include: a stand-alone public parking structure with no ground-level commercial space or underground levels; or a stand-alone public parking structure over two floors of underground parking with no ground-level commercial space; or a stand-alone public parking structure over two floors of underground parking and ground-floor commercial spaces.

The Nov. 18 meeting will allow officials to hear public input on the site evaluation before a presentation to the City Council in December. The meeting will take place from 7-9 p.m. at Escondido Elementary School Multipurpose Room, 890 Escondido Road, Stanford.

To read the extended story, click here.

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3 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 8, 2015 at 12:52 am

Okay,I guess a bland windowless building saves us from buying curtains. Yeah! But, maybe the folks proposing this concept can address three obvious problems.

1. Is that little stick on the top of the building supposed to represent the radio communications tower? Are we really going to replace the radio communications facilities currently mounted on top of the eight story building at City Hall, linking the city to county, state and federal agencies with a 10 foot stick? The Los Altos monopole next to their dispatch center is 140 feet high. Or are we just not supposed to notice when the facility sprouts a 150' tower after the concept gets approved?

2. Housing the police, fire and emergency services as well as the public service call center means that everything has to work when there's no power. So, there's going to be big noisy power generators. Where are they going to be located? How are the noise and emissions from the generators going to be handled?

3. This part of the City has one of the worst records for reliable electrical power. (See for example: Web Link) Is the City planning to fix the electrical infrastructure in this part of town BEFORE they commit to this concept, or is it going to be an expensive add-on?

2 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 8, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Excellent comments above. The city needs to map out how they plan on implementing the technical aspects of their services.

3 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 8, 2015 at 1:19 pm

Looks like the old mercifully gone Sears Tire and Auto Center to me. Can't we afford a real architect somewhere in all those million$$?

2 people like this
Posted by have some sense
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 15, 2015 at 7:35 pm

What a terrible idea. Just think what will happen in the late afternoon when the emergency vehicles can't go anywhere because of the traffic on Oregon. Lights and siren are useless when there's no physical space available - just look what happened on 101 a few weeks ago. Considering that most of Palo Alto's population, and 101, are on the NW side of Alma, it means response times will go up for most of Palo Alto, probably with tragic results.

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