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New plan reflects changing vision for prominent El Camino site

Developer's proposal calls for a four-story building with 60 small housing units on former VTA lot

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One year after Palo Alto swiftly shut down a plan to construct an office building at the busy intersection of El Camino Real and Page Mill Road, officials are preparing to weigh in on a new concept for the central site: a 60-unit housing complex aimed at young professionals.

The new proposal for 2755 El Camino Real in many ways reflects the city's new push to promote more housing near transit corridors, particularly when it includes "microunits" and other types of apartments aimed at addressing the growing need for affordable housing.

Yet at the same time, the project also contains many of the characteristics that the City Council and residents have been fighting in recent years: It does not fit in with any existing zoning designation; it bumps up right up against the city's 50-foot height limit; and its density goes well beyond what would normally be allowed for a multi-family building.

In addition, the building comes nowhere close to providing the parking that would normally be required under city code. While a 60-unit project would typically be required to provide between 92 and 100 parking spaces, the new proposal from Windy Hill Property Ventures calls for 45 spaces, 26 of which would be provided through a mechanical lift system.

The plan also represents a radical departure from prior projects that had been considered for the site. In 2013, the council shelved an application for a 45,000-square-foot office building, which would have required "planned community" (PC) zoning. The controversial PC designation, which allows developers to exceed zoning regulations in exchange for negotiated "public benefits," itself has since been shelved and is now being revised.

The next proposal, for a four-story building with ground-floor retail, four residential units and office space, fared hardly better. On Sept. 15, 2015, the council soundly rejected this vision and indicated that it would prefer to see housing at the central site. Councilman Marc Berman was one of several council members who alluded at the time to what he called the city's "acute housing crisis."

The former Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority parking lot, he said, is "an area where it makes a lot of sense to address that."

The new proposal responds to this feedback by proposing 30 studios and 30 one-bedroom apartments, with sizes ranging from 502 to 710 square feet (the average unit is 573 square feet). At the same time, it also threatens to further exacerbate neighborhood anxieties about traffic and parking problems in this part of the city, which is undergoing a construction boom. Stanford University is completing a housing project across the street; the College Terrace Centre development is nearing the finish line on the 2100 block of El Camino; and the Brutalist building at 2600 El Camino is being eyed for demolition and redevelopment.

In explaining its decisions to provide fewer parking spots than are legally required, Windy Hill pointed to the difficulty of "establishing easily accessible vehicular access to this challenging isolated location."

"This urban in-fill housing project will allow for walking and bicycle trips for Palo Alto employees to and from the Stanford Research Park," Tod Spieker and Jamie D'Alessandro, speaking on behalf of the project team, wrote in a letter. "Additionally, this is not California or University Avenue where one would expect contiguous retail or restaurant-type business."

The developer is also banking on its "traffic-demand management" program to reduce the building residents who commute by car. Amenities will include high-speed Internet so residents can work at home, extensive bicycle parking and sharing, car sharing and an on-site transportation coordinator, according to Spieker and D'Alessandro. In addition, Caltrain and VTA passes would be provided to residents to discourage their use of cars.

Regarding the apartments themselves, Spieker and D'Alessandro wrote that the units would be "carefully designed and sound-insulated to create a comfortable living environment."

"Windy Hill believes that studio and one-bedroom housing units provide a valuable mix of housing types in an area of jobs-housing imbalance," the letter states.

Development of this property will almost certainly require a zone change (the lot is currently zoned as "public facility"), which the council may withhold if it has concerns about the present proposal. Thus, unlike with other commercial and residential projects in this area, the City Council has full discretion to deny this project or demand further modifications.

Because the Monday discussion is a prescreening, the council will not be taking any formal votes. Its feedback is, however, expected to dictate whether or not the project will move forward.


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28 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 9, 2016 at 7:48 am

Housing near this intersection is a great, great idea for many reasons. Khey among them being that it doesn't harm the core residential neighborhoods (a political nonstarter) but still helps with the housing crisis. Palo Alto has NOT done its share to build new housing, for decades, even while it increases office and industrial space and thus creates the heinous parking and congestion everyone natters about. Look at root causes, folks: WE created the jobs/housing imbalance.

EVen more core to me personally: As a longtime (55 years) Palo Alto and now Mountain View resident, my wife and I are appalled that we can make super efforts to help our children grow up here only to find resistance to building housing so they can LIVE here after graduation!

Wake up folks, we are in a housing crisis and decades of NIMBYism has created it...

36 people like this
Posted by Needs parking
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 9, 2016 at 8:05 am

Needs parking is a registered user.

Wonderful plan, but it needs at least 60 parking spots. as walkable as that spot is, people will have ca s even if they don't use them daily.

73 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 9, 2016 at 9:07 am

Zoning says 92 - 100 parking spaces, yet they propose only 45 parking spaces. The developer needs to revise their plan to meet code. Parking in that area is severely impacted. Council needs to enforce the code, not grant exceptions.

39 people like this
Posted by WilliamR
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2016 at 9:26 am

WilliamR is a registered user.

Maybe they could skip the 'micro-apartments' and just build a 3- or 4-story parking garage there. It's hard to imagine people wanting to live on that corner.

83 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 9, 2016 at 9:52 am

I am not even going to bother with the details that make this a bad project parking, traffic etc....

Seriously.....have we as a community stooped to the depths so low that a developer thinks he can come into city hall and demand that the council create a "NEW" zone just for them to pack their pockets with $$$.

40 units per acre (R-40) is the zone that allows the most density in PA this would be the 134 UNITS PER ACRE!!! R-134

I don't think staff should even waste the City Councils time with such an absurd demand! If I approached staff with a desire to change the zoning on my little residential lot to allow a Meat Processing Factory would it be on the agenda for
the City Councils review??? of course not. The Mayor should reject outright this review or make a motion to not allow the review and ask his colleagues to vote!

We need to stop this kind of developer overreach now!

Vote Keller, Kou, Carl and Stone for City Council!

13 people like this
Posted by Observer
a resident of University South
on Sep 9, 2016 at 9:54 am

This is a chance for Palo Alto to make a positive statement about the kind of development we want to see. There are two few places for single people to live in Palo Alto. This is an opportunity for Council to not just say no to office projects but say yes to a development that will draw few cars while providing opportunities for seniors and young professionals to live within walking distance of California Avenue shopping and Research Park jobs.

Let's stop fighting housing projects and start allowing developers to build homes for people who need them.

It's easy to remove concerns about parking: make the developer pay for an RPP for the surrounding neighborhood. Neilson Buchanan deserves credit for pushing through this simple solution to parking problems, which is already delivering benefits in Downtown North and University South. (Although it still needs work to be complete, it is nonetheless a major achievement for quality of life in our neighborhood.) Now we can restrict the number of cars brought in by new buildings simply by not granting access to RPP permits to new developments.

4 people like this
Posted by Observer
a resident of University South
on Sep 9, 2016 at 9:55 am

@WilliamR - the corner across the street is a successful senior housing community. We can make this corner just as successful.

74 people like this
Posted by Too Awful
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 9, 2016 at 9:58 am

Too Awful is a registered user.

This is one of the worst, busiest, slowest, most smoggy and congested intersections on the Mid-Peninsula!

Who in their right mind would want to live here, in a stack and pack, and pay an exorbitant rate to be unable to even get out of the lot?

Don't forget, there's a Superfund Site under that soccer field across the street!

27 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 9, 2016 at 10:06 am


I have nothing against a housing proposal for the site that conforms with our zoning and is parked adequately.

I also do not object to small units....Of course there is nothing that prohibits smaller units in Palo Alto, developers and property owners just haven't chosen to build them because they would like to maximize profits which is understandable.

If there is to be a new Multi family zone designation it should go through the proper government process, not show up as "spot zoning" demand on the Councils agenda.

20 people like this
Posted by commonsense
a resident of Green Acres
on Sep 9, 2016 at 10:31 am

The area around there is all two hour parking. Very few, if any, of these residents who don't get a parking space will own a car. They simply don't need it - uber, car share, bike, train, etc. Too much parking for new developments only encourages people to drive. This looks like a great project/opportunity...that this city council will probably blow.

47 people like this
Posted by Barbara
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 9, 2016 at 10:57 am

Palo Alto should dump this project before it gets started. Why do we need more living space, more residents, more cars? Enough already!!

59 people like this
Posted by Marie
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 9, 2016 at 11:10 am

Marie is a registered user.

There needs to be adequate parking period. They need to design a project with one parking place per unit plus visitor parking. Otherwise, it should not be approved. Also, a mechanical lift should not be approved. It takes much longer to park using them on one of the most congested corners in PA.

61 people like this
Posted by Vote the bums outt
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2016 at 11:26 am

Vote the bums outt is a registered user.

This is a ridiculous proposal.

The people that think it is logical to build more density near high transit locations forget that we are not increasing capacity for transportation as well.

it is a myth to think you can save the tranquility of your residential neighborhood while giving in to zoning exceptions in other areas.

Facts prove that residents will still own cars and commute to work across town and outside of Palo Alto. No rezoning or additional housing without investments in transportation infrastructure first.

27 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2016 at 11:27 am

What I don't understand and would like to see clarified is if there are less than 1 parking space per apartment how will they be allotted? Will they be an additional rent? Will they be on a lottery basis?

I do not approve of having less parking spaces than apartments, but the nuts and bolts need to be clarified.

18 people like this
Posted by Alison W -another oldster
a resident of Ventura
on Sep 9, 2016 at 11:36 am

Oh this sounds the perfect building for me to move to as an senior owner of a little Palo Alto house, walkably close to shops, parks, transport & Uber or share cars, good wifi, it's an excellent plan.

52 people like this
Posted by mixed use?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2016 at 12:00 pm

What about ground floor retail plus 45 units with 45 parking spots? I'd also like to see more studios and fewer 1-BR units if the purpose is to house Millenial tech workers.

46 people like this
Posted by ChrisC
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 9, 2016 at 12:00 pm

This seems like another incidence of what has been the philosophy in the Valley for a couple of decades now: Lets make it really difficult for people to own and drive cars so they will give up their cars for bikes and public transportation. Ha Ha. It hasn't really worked. The infrastructure needs to be in place first. This area is better than Los Angeles, but its not a New York, a Boston, or a Paris.

55 people like this
Posted by Norman Beamer
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 9, 2016 at 12:41 pm

Absolute non-starter. Very cynical ploy to try to exploit the housing shortage to get approval.

49 people like this
Posted by Sunshine
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 9, 2016 at 1:16 pm

Forget about building this project anywhere, especially here.
First, this intersection is impossible now. This project would put it into catastrophic.
Second, no builder should be allowed to build any project with inadequate parking. Each apartment needs at least 2 spaces for parking plus sufficient spots for visitors. Stop this project now!
Third, the place for this type of housing is near the downtown transit hub. There it would have a less negative impact on traffic and residents would have easy access to three bus lines and Caltrain.
Stop this project now. It is a no starter.

18 people like this
Posted by muttiallen
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 9, 2016 at 1:43 pm

muttiallen is a registered user.

How will the parking be allocated? We lived in Hamburg Germany for 2 years 10 years ago and waited 10 months to get a parking space in our building, and then had to pay 40 Euros/month for it. Before that we parked on the street, or wherever. This was a building of 600 sq ft apartments within easy walk of subway and bus. But even in cities with great public transportation, people still want cars. 60 Apts should have at least 60 parking spaces.
On-site transportation manager?? Resident who gets reduced rent to do this? Does this person automatically get a parking space? :o)
Entrance should be from Page Mill WB only and Exit should be to El Camino NB only. Go around the block if you need to go the other way. There won't be much traffic impact.
We definitely need the housing units!!

31 people like this
Posted by Parking
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 9, 2016 at 3:32 pm

Not without adequate and easy to access and use PARKING!

6 people like this
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 9, 2016 at 4:18 pm

The project should be refined.
I object to 502 square foot sized units. I don't think those are appropriate for this area - especially if aimed at "young professionals." 700 square foot is fine. Or is the intention, really, for SRO to attract deprived persons from the Tenderloin neighborhood in San Franciscco? What exactly are the realistic intentions of this project - please clarify.
Young professionals own some "stuff." They should be able to have a decadent space and standard of living. I am not speaking of luxury. I am speaking of realistic functionality and a nice lifestyle. Why NOT?
The development must offer reasonable parking opportunities. I mean, residents will have people over. You expect everyone to just walk there down El Camino Real? I would install PLENTY of parking. What's wrong with a nicely landscaped parking lot? We DO need capacity for housing for young professionals, I agree with this principal concept, but let's make it an attractive, appealing project. Why NOT?
We need more "there there" on El Camino Real, and I don't object about developing major street corners, and I don't object to some height and bulk. While there is some transit, in reality it is a car-oriented major intersection and pretending otherwise doesn't do anyone a service.
I do think 502 square foot units will get ghetto-fied. Educated people are a bit more discerning than that, sorry.

9 people like this
Posted by Mona
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 9, 2016 at 4:19 pm

San Jose is full of projects as aesthetically offensive as this one. I would be ok with the density if it was old-palo-alto style and not so unpleasant to look at

Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 9, 2016 at 4:20 pm

* decent space (not "decadent" - sorry: idiotic spellcheck)
* San Francisco

15 people like this
Posted by Works near by
a resident of Mayfield
on Sep 9, 2016 at 5:41 pm

Even if this building comes with adequate parking, it will be almost impossible to exit onto either El Camino or Page Mill at this intersection, especially if you have to come up a steep ramp to exit onto the street. That location has a continual and often backed up stream of traffic passing by on both sides, even in the middle of the day. There is not much street parking available due to the overflow of cars without permits from California Avenue and surrounding businesses and the new buildings going up on Sherman at the Olive Garden site and another new development at Ash and Sherman which also have inadequate parking. This would be a nightmare!

25 people like this
Posted by Vote the bums out
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2016 at 7:28 pm

Vote the bums out is a registered user.

It took 2 1/2 light sequences to traverse the Page Mill & ECR intersection tonight at 6pm. How many will it take after they build this monstrosity?

1, 2, 3 ...........

5 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 9, 2016 at 7:42 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

Just let it move forward and be approved. Let this be a test case for all the high density housing that the proponents of it have been talking about. It shouldn't take long to see if it was a good idea or a really bad one...unit size, parking, ingress/egress, et al. Let's see how this works out before we do really strange things with much bigger projects downtown. This project could be converted to something else in the future. No harm, no foul. What will the rent prices be and how many BMR's? None? Only Marc would elevate a housing problem to the 'acute' word level. Our PA vacancy rates are very many people can afford them.

25 people like this
Posted by Amos
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 9, 2016 at 8:37 pm

It's a rabbit hutch, but for people.

5 people like this
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 10, 2016 at 1:59 am

SEA_SEELAM REDDY is a registered user.

It is a great thing to have more housing.
500-700 square feet is not bad.

Parking spaces we can live without.

We are near a train station, El Camino Real and a central area near Stanford Business Park; all make it a worthwhile project.

Please pursue it.


17 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 10, 2016 at 3:27 am

This was county land meant for access to the county expressway (Oregon/Page Mill); should be an off-ramp there similar to what's diagonally opposite across El Camino. In selling this property the county again took the money and ran, just like they do with all our tax dollars. All the new development nearby along El Camino will already be raising demand on this intersection. Wait for the anticipated closure of Meadow and Churchill grade crossings and see what happens here. I was disappointed when the up-to-the-sidewalk AT&T store and adjacent development took precedence over a right-turn lane off northbound El Camino. At least there's still undeveloped room for transportation expansion on the other side of El Camino. If we ever want better bus service, we need room for bus stops. Mountain View is currently wrestling with this for a new bus lane and bus stops on Shoreline.

36 people like this
Posted by My Palo Alto
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 10, 2016 at 8:59 am

Just one more reason for me to leave Palo Alto.
Keep packing 'em in.Our foolish city is just racing towards a cliff like a bunch of Lemmings. The pro-development forces, panicky millennials, and greedy businesses leaders are creating a false panic with their false chants of "Crisis! crisis !.
and our city managers are following their usual pattern:
" When in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout ".... Palo Alto CC.

There is NO housing crisis.
There IS an excessive development crisis.
We are selling out our town to the wants of greedy business leaders and their millennial (so plugged in, so worldly, and know everything) employees.

Its really too bad that the leadership in this town wasn't here to see how this town used to be, and how it could be today. The Millennials' vision of a town full of under-parked and over-crowded buildings like the proposal in this article is just a tragedy [portion removed].

Why are we listening to Millenials anyway? [Portion removed.]

Wake up Lemmings. The promoters of development to solve an imagined crisis are lying to you!

10 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 10, 2016 at 10:15 am

I am very familiar with that location as relatives ended up in the retirement home in that section. What I don't get is that there was a big deal about the locations further down El Camino that never came to fruition and had less obstacles concerning a main thorough fare intersection. What has happened to all of those other projects that would have less impact on a severely stressed intersection? I would say no to the location but yes to the goal - assuming that the goal is also refined to add sufficient parking. Can the city please get straight here and put out a message to the city in total of what it is trying to achieve so that Developers and a segment of city staff and CC members are not just gaming the system. We are continually assaulted with poorly conceived ideas that further confound the cities goals. So you check a box that said "added housing for techies" - but failed to mention that the housing provided was inadequate and poorly executed.

15 people like this
Posted by PhotoOp
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 10, 2016 at 2:46 pm

PhotoOp is a registered user.

We have guidelines for developments like this, they should be followed.

6 people like this
Posted by voice in the wilderness
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 10, 2016 at 4:09 pm

Has anyone thought about housing discriminations laws? Yes, ALL PEOPLE WHO WORK IN PALO ALTO need housing. You really can't target age w/o Rrunning up against the laws. They're there for a reason.

3 people like this
Posted by cars
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 10, 2016 at 8:26 pm

Would it be possible to design the building so cars enter and exit onto Pepper or Ash, rather than El Camino Real or Page Mill Road? Otherwise the location doesn't seem very feasible IMO

5 people like this
Posted by Needs parking
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 10, 2016 at 8:54 pm

Needs parking is a registered user.

@cars, the lot is on page mill and embarcadero, no other streets

Like this comment
Posted by to needs parking
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 10, 2016 at 10:24 pm

I'm assuming you mean Page Mill, not Embarcadero

Like this comment
Posted by To needs parking
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 10, 2016 at 10:25 pm

Sorry, meant El Camino Real, not Embarcadero (or Page Mill)

2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 11, 2016 at 2:05 am

Pepper and Ash is the de facto right turn lane from northbound El Camino to eastbound Page Mill.

31 people like this
Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 11, 2016 at 6:07 am

The developer should be forced to meet the zoning code for parking; instead, their proposal is use some of the parking to create more living units. If the developer were to meet the zoning code for parking requirements, instead of 60 units, they would only be able to build 48 units (assuming that the space for the 12 units were devoted to parking). This represents about $8 million in value (recent sale of a condo of similar size was for $650,000; but these condos are 30 - 50 years old, so the $8 million in value is on the low side).

9 people like this
Posted by Bike commuter
a resident of Ventura
on Sep 11, 2016 at 9:51 am

I like the proposed small units for affordability and they could be perfect for seniors who aren't driving. They'll need adequate visitor parking. They should have a car share in the garage.

As a neighbor I am concerned about the increased traffic given all of the new development in the area: 195 Page Mill "Park Plaza" (82 apartments plus 50k SF office), 2747 Park (3 story, 33k SF office), Olive Garden (3 story, 40k SF building with retail, 13 condominiums and 10k SF office), 2555 Park (3 story 23,000 SF office)and the Stanford housing on ECR.

This map shows recent and pending developments:Web Link

20 people like this
Posted by NoMoPa
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2016 at 5:28 pm

I'd like to see the land repurposed as a dedicated right turn lane - that would offer the most benefit to the community. And maybe you could put in some bike racks to appease the anti-car crowd.

27 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 11, 2016 at 10:53 pm

This layout is an easy stealth office conversion. Just cut some doors through the right walls and--voila--office suites. The planned parking garage is severely underparked for residential use, but about right for a few dozen office suites. City hall would never check or care.

So: push it through the process with great fanfare as a trendy bike and pedestrian-oriented microdwelling project, then quietly reform it to its intended use after the major construction is done. City staff would never check or care.

20 people like this
Posted by PAF
a resident of Mayfield
on Sep 12, 2016 at 10:36 am

PAF just emailed members urging them to sign an online petition supporting this project, which they claim is just what Palo Alto needs. I anticipate there will soon be a PAO article about how there's strong community support for the project.

2 people like this
Posted by FYI
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 12, 2016 at 2:03 pm

These are the Windy Hill officers Web Link

34 people like this
Posted by Vote the bums out
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2016 at 3:33 pm

Vote the bums out is a registered user.

Let's start a petition to increase the density of Kate Downing's neighborhood in Santa Cruz. Now that she has purchased a $1.5M home pushing up the average cost of home ownership, there is too much inequality and gentrification in that quaint little eclectic beach town.

We can call the movement Payback Forward.

3 people like this
Posted by Observer
a resident of University South
on Sep 12, 2016 at 7:10 pm

@Vote the bums out: I suspect Kate Downing would be the first to sign.

She has said locals have asked her to start a Santa Cruz Forward and she's talking to them about how to do it.

Density done well can be very nice. Look at University South!

15 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2016 at 7:48 pm

What I would like to know is how many of Palo Alto Forward who sign these petitions or are on their mailing list are actually Palo Alto residents? I am sure there are half Silicon Valley willing to sign a petition offering them some stack and pack housing in Palo Alto. It doesn't mean that they have to be heard and it doesn't mean that every wannabee should live here.

This idea of a petition being sent out annoys me. Unless they can put a verifiable Palo Alto address from say voting records or drivers license. Otherwise, their support should be ignored.

18 people like this
Posted by Vote the bums outt
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2016 at 8:08 pm

Vote the bums outt is a registered user.

After they have lived here and paid taxes for twenty years then they have earned it. Until then, maybe they should consider not trying to change the entire nature of the community until they have.

18 people like this
Posted by Eileen
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 12, 2016 at 9:32 pm

Eileen is a registered user.

I noticed that none of the Windy Hill officers listed on their website live in Palo Alto. Two live in Menlo Park and one lives in Los Altos. How about building some high density micro units in those cities too!

9 people like this
Posted by CCW
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Sep 13, 2016 at 4:42 pm

Not enough parking! Even in small apartments chances are that two people will live there and each have a car. The city needs to stop allowing these exceptions.

8 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto Native
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 13, 2016 at 8:43 pm

Horrible design. So Soviet ugly of the 1950s era. No dense housing units. No additional firms to Palo Alto. What does it take to get through to the City Council and the ever demanding developers (who don't live here - they hid out in Woodside, Portola Valley, and other model towns that properly limit overbuilding) that we are done!? Move on people. And take your work imbalance with you. No more traffic, parking hassles, high prices, pollution, strain on services, and too many people. Spread out...take your techie business to so many other areas that need the development. We do not.

13 people like this
Posted by No, No, No
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 13, 2016 at 11:34 pm

We do not have a job-housing imbalance - there is no such thing as a "city by city" job-housing imbalance when this area is one big metropolis. As has been stated probably upwards of a 100 times now, people these days change jobs frequently (every 2.5 years on average for tech workers) so it makes ZERO sense to demand housing in Palo Alto for every person who works here.

We kept building offices, and now we have an over-crowded city and residents cannot enjoy their own downtown because it has been over-taken by workers. This bizarre idea that we now need to build housing where we don't have room just adds to the over-crowding. You think people with kids won't fill the new spaces for the Pal Alto schools?

We don't need or want the added crowding of more housing, more school over-crowding, and a worsening of our quality of life.

And, low-income housing should only be available to people who work in Palo Alto. Period!

14 people like this
Posted by Local Yokel
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2016 at 7:14 am

Well said. I'm afraid you need to keep saying it, because PAF is on a mission to densify Palo Alto and will keep up the misinformation.

3 people like this
Posted by Sunshine
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 14, 2016 at 5:32 pm

This is an extremely ill conceived proposal for any site, especially this one.
First the developer does not intend to put in the required parking. Do not plan on people not owning cars; they will. Perhaps some will be able to walk to their work or choose to commute by public transportation, however very few will want to stay in those apartments all weekend, then they will need a car.
Second, there are too many units for any site in Palo Alto. This intersection is a nightmare. Adding housing or businesses here will make it worse. It should be kept as VTA parking. Part of the site would be far better used to provide a good right turn lane off Oregon. Similarly there should be another dedicated right turn only lane on El Camino northbound onto Oregon.
Someone thinks the apartments would be good for seniors. Will someone be able to maneuver a wheelchair in the small apartments? Would the resident even be able to get around inside with a walker?
This proposal is too dense and lacks even a hint of adequate parking. Seniors will have visitors who will drive even if they no longer own a car.
Bad idea--time to vote out any City Council member who likes it unless he/she wants to live there without a car.

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The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by April 10, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category. Sponsored by Kepler's Books, Linden Tree Books and Bell's Books.

Contest Details