News

President Hotel evictions revive talk of renter protections

Palo Alto council members propose exploring new laws on relocation assistance, better enforcement of annual-lease requirement

As residents of downtown's historic President Hotel brace for eviction, Palo Alto's elected officials are preparing new measures that would assist local renters at a time of escalating rents.

The new proposals will likely come too late to help the residents of the Birge Clark-designed building at 488 University Ave., who were ordered by the building's new owner, AJ Capital, to vacate their apartments by Nov. 12. But if adopted, the ordinances could offer some relief to renters who find themselves facing a similar plight in the future.

A proposal that Councilman Cory Wolbach told the Weekly he would like to see is a focus on greater "displacement protection" for residents facing steep rent increases. New rules would require property owners to provide relocation assistance to evicted residents — a provision similar to the one the city has for mobile home parks, Wolbach told the Weekly.

He also said the city could consider more diligently enforcing its requirement for one-year leases, a rule that he said is not often followed. In cases of "exorbitant rent increases" or evictions without just cause, the council could require more extensive relocation assistance, he said. This, he said, is different from "traditional rent control," in which rent increases beyond a certain threshold are prohibited by law.

"The idea is that there would be a financial disincentive against exorbitant rent increases," Wolbach said. "If the landlord decided to pursue an exorbitant rent increase, they would have to provide relocation assistance of substantial amount."

The approach is a marked departure from the proposal the council considered — and rejected — last October, when council members Tom DuBois, Karen Holman and Lydia Kou suggested exploring renter-protection measures. A memo from the trio focused on limits to rent increases and rules for protecting tenants from evictions without just cause.

Palo Alto's rent has soared by 50 percent since 2011, the council members stated in their memo, a rate that they said is unsustainable given that the median income in Santa Clara County has risen at less than one-tenth of that rate.

While the growth in the regional tech economy has been a "boon to many," the memo states, "that growth has been accompanied by negative disruptions, including a steep increase in demand (for housing) that has severely degraded our housing affordability and resulted in many long-term renters being forced out or having to spend inordinate amounts of their incomes on housing."

The idea of exploring rental protections did not advance, with some council members framing it as "rent control," a characterization that DuBois disputed. Wolbach was among those who voted against the memo. Though he said that he generally favors the thrust of the memo, he questioned the sincerity of DuBois, Holman and Kou (all of whom favor slower city growth) and said he opposed the proposed process for exploring the topic, which did not include reviews by the council's advisory commissions. At the council's February retreat, Wolbach proposed including rental protection as a potential priority for 2018, though that idea did not win support from his colleagues. Now, he believes it's time to revisit the idea.

"We had a couple of false attempts," Wolbach told the Weekly this week. "I think that now, there is a lot of attention in the community and on the staff and council about why we need to have these conversations."

DuBois, who like Wolbach and Vice Mayor Eric Filseth is running for re-election in November, said he still hopes the council will consider some proposals from the memo. One other possibility, he said, is to provide legal assistance for residents facing eviction, a program that San Francisco voters approved in June when they passed Measure F.

DuBois also said that he favors exploring policies that, while not actually freezing rents, would limit how much they can be raised.

"I do think some caps on the amount of rent increases would be something that we should consider," DuBois told the Weekly. "Saying that a landlord can't raise rent by 50 percent in a year — I'd say that's not rent control. It's just limiting how quickly you can change it."

DuBois also expressed frustrations that Wolbach voted against exploring renter-protection policies just a few months ago but is now raising the issue.

"It's unfortunate, particularly because of the (President Hotel) situation, that we weren't having that discussion already," DuBois said.

DuBois wrote on the Palo Alto Weekly online forum, Town Square, that he would welcome Wolbach to work with him on renter protections, an issue that he wrote is "too important to make it a political football to be supported only when your 'team' agrees with you."

"I listen and vote based on the quality of a proposal before us on council and am happy to collaborate with any of my colleagues," DuBois wrote Wednesday.

That collaboration became a reality on Thursday, when Wolbach joined DuBois, Holman and Kou in submitting a new version on renter protections.

While the new memo borrows heavily from the prior proposal when it lays out the problem, it has a few significant differences: it no longer calls for rent-stabilization measures.

It does, however, call for stronger enforcement of the city's requirement for annual leases and "reasonable eviction mitigations such as relocation provisions for tenants facing displacement.

In the long-term, the memo states, the council should review the city's renter-ordinances, as well as those in other Bay Area cities, consider "reasonable relocation assistance" to be provided to tenants with five or more units; and consider other updates to existing laws.

"Neighboring communities have recognized that the issue has reached a near crisis level and are considering similar measures," the memo states. "Current and future economic forces have made additional renter protections necessary for well-being of our community, its valuable diversity, and a viable economy."

While council members consider new laws, residents of President Hotel are looking for new homes. On July 20, they received what initially appeared to be hopeful news: Palo Alto's city planners had determined that AJ Capital cannot proceed with its plan to convert the building to a hotel because of the zoning code, which — while allowing renovations of grandfathered buildings (those that went up before the zoning code was written) — specifies that these buildings would need to retain "the same use" (in this case, residential). Though the city's determination has placed AJ Capital's plan in jeopardy, some residents have already "cut their losses and left," resident Pemo Theodore told the Weekly.

It is very sad, she added, to go to the mail room and see their names removed.

"It has been a huge cost to all of us and we still do not know what the future holds for The President Hotel and our apartments," Theodore told the Weekly in a July 20 email.

On Monday, the company confirmed that despite the city's determination — which it is disputing — residents are still required to move out by Nov. 12.

"We did not want there to be any confusion due to questions raised in recent articles as to what, if any, effect our discussions with the City have on the time you have remaining in the building," Timothy Franzen, president of AJ Capital, wrote in the letter. "You should continue with your efforts to find new housing, and we encourage you to take advantage of the expert relocation-services firm that we have engaged to assist in your efforts."

Franzen wrote that the company "fully appreciate(s) the burdens and difficulties of finding and moving to new homes, which is why we have offered the additional time and financial support."

A group of tenants attended the meeting of the Planning and Transportation Commission on Wednesday night to thank city officials for their efforts to preserve the President Hotel as housing. Diane Boxill, a piano teacher who has lived in the building for 30 years, said it will take continued participation from the city to protect residents from the "massive monolith that can dispense with us in its wake."

"The (President Hotel) community is diverse in age, ethnicity and professions but united in a kind of neighborliness that is fast becoming a memory of the past," Boxill said.

Though the commission was not scheduled to discuss the President Hotel, several members acknowledged that the topic of renter protections is becoming increasingly urgent and indicated that they are eager to tackle it. Commissioner Asher Waldfogel asked the city's legal counsel what tools the commission has to address rent protection, evictions and rent increases.

"We heard clearly that these are issues," Waldfogel said. "What can we do?"

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Comments

9 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 27, 2018 at 9:08 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Here's a link to the petition to halt the President Hotel evictions:
Web Link


43 people like this
Posted by Hmm
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 27, 2018 at 9:23 am

Hmm is a registered user.



Funny that Wolbach is profiled as the renter protection man.

And he "questions the sincerity" of the council people that actually brought up the issue to protect renters before it was popular?

Oh please this is going to be hard to watch.




29 people like this
Posted by No Tenants Protection in Palo Alto?
a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2018 at 9:28 am

Glad to see this discussed but the timing seems highly political; paying non-committal lip service just long enough to get elected?

If Wolbach and other council members/candidates are genuinely in favor of some form of tenants protections, here are two things they could push for right now:

- endorse Proposition 10 (repealing Costa Hawkins would give Cities more options should they decide to stabilize rents)
- pass a 3-6 months moratorium on no-cause evictions and excessive rent increases; so that no harm is done while Palo Alto studies that topic.


3 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto Democrat
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 27, 2018 at 10:35 am

Great to see Cory’s work on this! The last “attempt” by the staunchly conservative PASZ folks was too transparent. Glad to see actual action being taken.


4 people like this
Posted by stephen levy
a resident of University South
on Jul 27, 2018 at 10:51 am

stephen levy is a registered user.

Thanks Cory.

This deal was here at the start but some council members and posters wanted a campaign issue not renter protection.

If rent control was removed as it is now in the colleagues' memo, there was always a compromise.

[Portion removed.]

So let's pass the renter protections in the colleagues's memo and move on.

Thanks for making this happen, Cory.


40 people like this
Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 27, 2018 at 11:20 am

Novelera is a registered user.

Wow, suddenly Cory has changed his tune. Big surprise.


26 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 27, 2018 at 11:34 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Cory was at the meeting Weds. and heard the concerns expressed by the President Hotel tenants and others about the way the city failed to consider the grandfathering clause protecting them.

Maybe he can lead the charge into probing which CC members met with the prospective buyers of the President Hotel and why the city didn't do their homework before the purchase was approved.


34 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 27, 2018 at 12:05 pm

Annette is a registered user.

I attended the CC meeting at which the proposal to STUDY (not enact) rent protection was rejected. Somehow those opposed to the colleagues memo managed to frame the issue as Rent Control, which it was not. Councilmember Wolbach voted against the proposal. Now he is favoring protections. I guess this is the upside of elections. My thanks on this go not so much to him as to those who sounded the drum in the first place: DuBois, Holman, and Kou.

I think the Hotel President issue has the potential for enormous impact - unfortunately negative on the existing residents, but potentially positive on our housing policies. Below is the sentence from the article that resonated most with me b/c of its simple, yet profound, clarity:

"The (President Hotel) community is diverse in age, ethnicity and professions but united in a kind of neighborliness that is fast becoming a memory of the past," Boxill said.


8 people like this
Posted by Clueless in palo alto
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 27, 2018 at 12:38 pm

Online name- the city had no say in approving the purchase. It was between two private entities. The city did give out wrong information on whether the place could be converted to a hotel.


14 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 27, 2018 at 12:57 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Do you think the buyers would have bought if the city had told them they couldn't convert it to a hotel?


4 people like this
Posted by Goodbye to PA
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 27, 2018 at 1:34 pm

We have been paying $1600.00 per month for our 3BR/2B house near Louis and Amarillo. We first moved there in 1988 and the landlord never increased the rent. As a result, we opted against buying a home and spent our disposable income traveling around the world and buying several vintage-era automobiles.

The landlord recently passed away at 98 & her children are have decided to sell the property so they can line their greedy pockets at her post-mortem expense.

In 1990, houses in the immediate area were being listed at around $300K. I imagine they cost a lot more now but it's hard to imagine paying these larger sums after one has been living in the same poorly-built home for so many years/decades.

We will now have to relocate & purchase (or rent) a home after selling off 2-3 of our collectible cars. Fortunately we bought highly desirable ones that fetch big bucks from the nouveau-riche high-tech crowd.

Life in Palo Alto (for us) is no longer a viable option but it was OK for while it lasted.

Getting back to the cars...I imagine/suspect that they will eventually be purchased by some nerdy computer/app geeks who will end-up totaling them.

Oh well...


6 people like this
Posted by More housing!
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jul 27, 2018 at 3:05 pm

We can fight about things like renter protectalls and keeping everyone who is already here, here - but it's simply chomping at the margins when the BIG problem is that we are totally out of whack and have failed for decades to build housing for a growing society! Tom DuBois is CERTAINLY not looking to build more housing, he just wants to pull up the drawbridge!


28 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 27, 2018 at 3:21 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Tom DuBois CERTAINLY spearheaded renter protection long before Cory jumped on the political bandwagon without resorting to mischaracterizations. Please support your claim that Tom opposes more housing.

If one truly supports housing, one has to support reducing office growth that fuels the jobs / housing imbalance and increases competition and thus prices for each and every housing unit. We still don't know where Cory stands on that.


47 people like this
Posted by Clueless in palo alto
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 27, 2018 at 4:12 pm

Goodbye to PA- so you have paid the same rent for 30 years. The new owners have decided to sell the house. And what do you do? Insult them with the overused term " greedy". Do you know what they're circumstances are? I doubt it. Not sure why you have such a sense of entitlement if this story is true at all.


32 people like this
Posted by Marc
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 27, 2018 at 4:41 pm

Re: Goodbye to PA

I think this clearly represents all that is wrong with the discussion about affordable housing. For 30 years you have paid the same rent and somehow you are "owed" the right to live in Palo Alto for the rest of your life for the same rent?

Why are you not made to pay the landlords decedents all the lost income that they should have gotten over the years if they owner had kept the rent at market value.

/marc


28 people like this
Posted by Sheri
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 27, 2018 at 5:26 pm

Sheri is a registered user.

This sudden flip to supporting renters is reminiscent of promises made to be a "residentialist" during the 2014 election. We all know how that turned out. Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing...


20 people like this
Posted by Sheri
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 27, 2018 at 5:27 pm

Sheri is a registered user.

Remember who supporter renter protection in the first place and how others wouldn't even allow it to be discussed.


20 people like this
Posted by m2grs
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 27, 2018 at 5:40 pm

Goodbye to PA is a case study that why we should *not* have rent control.


3 people like this
Posted by Goodbye to Times Past
a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2018 at 6:43 pm

In regards to the Goodbye to PA post...I didn't perceive the poster as having a sense of entitlement but rather a wistful reflection of a time long gone in Palo Alto.

During the 1990s, I rented a 3BR/2B house in Midtown which I co-shared with two others. The rent was $1500.00 per month & it remained at that rate until 2002 when the owner died. The landlord owned three rental properties in Midtown & as soon as he passed away, his middle-aged son immediately sold all three for around $800K apiece & retired somewhere in the boonies where $2.4M makes you a Warren Buffet.

Those same houses now go for around $2M & to me, still look kind of crappy & poorly constructed. Anyone who pays that kind of money nowadays + around $20K in property taxes needs to have their head examined. So much for value-added even if it does come with a PA zip code.

Older landlords are the best. They respect your privacy & rarely raise the rent because they remember how much they originally paid for these houses.

Unfortunately, many of them have passed on leaving only GREEDY property management companies/developers & parasitic real estate agents to run the show.



14 people like this
Posted by Jill
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 27, 2018 at 7:01 pm

As soon as you hear the word "greedy", you know you're dealing with some entitled whiner.


4 people like this
Posted by Danville Expatriate
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 27, 2018 at 7:19 pm

....many of them have passed on leaving only GREEDY property management companies/developers & parasitic real estate agents to run the show.

Add a few GREEDY lawyers into the mix & you've got Danville.

We're not entitled...just new here in town & ever so grateful to have a simple home (albeit an older one) in Palo Alto. When you've escaped from a blistering, 87% white conservative-leaning community, you really begin to appreciate residing near a more open-minded university environment.



2 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 27, 2018 at 9:30 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

I'm anxious to hear details of the new memo. I think it will be difficult to draft an ordinance that will be effective if "it no longer calls for rent stabilization measures".

I also wonder how problematic one year lease agreements are now, or will be, to landlords. With no limits on rent increases landlords can certainly increase them enough each year so that one year lease agreements won't be a problem. And I am also skeptical about enforcement.

It will be interesting to see how the ordinance wording unfolds. Definitions will have to be included, including "exorbitant increases", "reasonable eviction mitigation". Those will need numbers to go along with them.

And let's do a little data gathering before we launch off based on anecdotal input. I want to know how big a problem evictions are currently. Numbers please...good numbers based on available data...no guessing allowed. Except I will guess now that there aren't that many.

It's good to see collaboration on this new effort, as much as we can be skeptical about the timing of it. It will play well before the upcoming election, especially with registered voting renters. There will be barely any movement on it before the election, just promises, so the candidates don't need to worry about it getting derailed. Then "the rubber hits the road".


3 people like this
Posted by m2grs
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 27, 2018 at 9:49 pm

Let's not forget the Supreme Court will likely tilt towards the rights of property owners. Trump, being a real estate developer, must be far more interested in this stuff when selecting a judge than any lofty philosophical arguments such as Roe. I'd not be surprised that there are some relevant lawsuits already in the pipeline to be put forward to reduce or invalidate rent control ordinances.


1 person likes this
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 28, 2018 at 7:55 am

Lip service.
If you change your mind you can say it in a letter to me.
Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 29, 2018 at 10:34 am

The price of new construction is the price where builders will build apartments - the new high price. Thwart that price and you have various constructs like renter protection, fair rate of return, rent stabilization and other price fixing mechanisms. If you were to ask people living out of California what's gong on in Palo Alto you'd have to say it's a "college town" where costs don't really matter. The price of rents is what the tenants are willing to pay for living in town in an increasingly urbanized world.
George Drysdale land economist


27 people like this
Posted by Pat Burt
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 29, 2018 at 3:11 pm

It is welcome that Cory is now willing to consider greater renter protections. Unfortunately, his proposals are probably too little and too late to help the President Hotel residents avoid eviction.
Last year he opposed any consideration of additional renter protections when DuBois, Holman and Kou had a colleagues memo before the city council. Their proposals or other options would have likely prevented the evictions that are now happening.
At the time, the authors of the memo asked him to propose any amendments on process or substance that would gain his support for moving the discussion forward. He refused. Instead, as he has often done, he impugned the motivations of his colleagues, violating city council protocols and the mantra of civility that he campaigned on in 2014.
I am glad that DuBois is reaching out to Wolbach to work together on the issue.


2 people like this
Posted by Steve
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 29, 2018 at 4:58 pm

It would be tantamount to wholesale reckless abandon to pursue this folly without further exploration of the alternatives.


13 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 30, 2018 at 12:20 pm

@Goodbye to PA

Your post serves as a look inside the mind of someone who believes they are entitled. Do you realize that your kindly landlord by virtue of not charging you market rental rates for years subsidized your lifestyle as you have so clearly illustrated for us in your post- including extensive travel and accumulating collector cars? Do you really believe someone else should be paying for a lifestyle few in the rest of this country enjoy?

You mention you will be selling a couple of those collector cars. Will you be selling them at the price you paid or today’s market value? Isn’t doing the latter what you have labeled as indicative as greed?

Is this what all the rest of us funding renter protection through our taxes and ever higher future home prices should be supporting?


2 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 30, 2018 at 12:29 pm

QUOTE: Do you realize that your kindly landlord by virtue of not charging you market rental rates for years subsidized your lifestyle as you have so clearly illustrated for us in your post- including extensive travel and accumulating collector cars?

QUOTE: You mention you will be selling a couple of those collector cars. Will you be selling them at the price you paid or today’s market value? Isn’t doing the latter what you have labeled as indicative as greed?

Both very good points. Goodbye2PA was simply milking the cow until it ran dry.
Then again...without a 'greedy' landlord jacking up the rent every 18 months, many of us would have explored/enjoyed other outside possibilities as well.


9 people like this
Posted by Steve
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 30, 2018 at 1:41 pm

^So paying less than market rate is not greedy, but charging market rate is greedy.
Paying less than market rate and buying possessions with gotten gains and selling these by market rate is not greedy ?
You will be finding this is greedy nonetheless.
Who among us will selling things at lower than market rates ?
Hyposcracy is hidden within the log in our eyes.


Like this comment
Posted by Why Be Greedy?
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 30, 2018 at 3:02 pm

>>> Why are you not made to pay the landlords decedents all the lost income that they should have gotten over the years if they owner had kept the rent at market value.

Thinking. Maybe because the decedents will make a killing by selling that house for $3M+. A house that their parent's probably paid $25K for 'back in he day'.

Can't feel sorry for the inheritors. The got the spoils for FREE. Home price inflation more than makes up for any 'lost rent' money. The Goodbye to PA folks were fortunate to have an older landlord who wasn't into gouging tenants.


2 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 30, 2018 at 4:06 pm

"So paying less than market rate is not greedy, but charging market rate is greedy."

"Market rate" is greed stymied by penury.


2 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 30, 2018 at 5:23 pm

QUOTE: "So paying less than market rate is not greedy, but charging market rate is greedy."

Depends on the 'agreed upon' terms. Paying the stipulated rent to a landlord (regardless of whether it is below market rate) is not greedy...if the landlord has agreed to those terms.

Jacking up rents (based on the 'going rates') can sometimes border on greedy or opportunism.

We're seeing more of this when it comes to hotels & ball games. At one time, there was a 'set price'. Now the prices are based on lodging availability or which teams are coming to town.


4 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 30, 2018 at 8:44 pm

R. Davis, what you are talking about is an basic Econ 101 concept called price discrimination. It's not new at all.

As for this whining about jacking up rents. If the landlord jacks rent up too high, they have an empty unit. If someone is willing to pay the higher rent, then that's how it goes.

Of course this upheaval is all caused by the lack of housing in this area. I find it ironic that the residentalists that don't want any new housing are the ones who are calling for renter "protections." After all, they're the reasons why housing and rent prices are so high to begin with.

This call for renter protections is the kind of populism would make Trump proud.


4 people like this
Posted by mom
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 30, 2018 at 9:05 pm

give me a break here... I hope the council is NOT going to do something like the Buena Vista MobileHome park ...I kinda smell that in the pipeline .. This is killing investor to do any business in Palo Alto. Let the market do the adjustment itself even though we try to be helpful.


16 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 30, 2018 at 9:29 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Mom, you do know that Santa Clara County housing prices are increasing faster than anywhere else in the entire country, up 25% last QUARTER, twice the rate of San Mateo County and San Francisco. We've got the highest jobs/housing imbalance in the area, twice Mountain View's and Menlo Park which keeps pushing housing prices up by increasing competition for each housing unit.

When is enough too much?

I'm a homeowner who's also disgusted by what's happening in Palo Alto. In tge case of the President it shouldn't have been sold as a hotel without an honest legal review. More broadly, we are diminished every time people are forced out, forced to live in RVs with all the resultant problems.

Tonight at the CC meeting I was dumbfounded and appalled to hear Mayor Kniss deny we even have a traffic problem, laying the groundwork for all the hotel guests whose cars will spillover and to defeat the initiative to curb office growth.

Incredible.


5 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 30, 2018 at 10:09 pm

QUOTE: I find it ironic that the residentalists that don't want any new housing are the ones who are calling for renter "protections." After all, they're the reasons why housing and rent prices are so high to begin with.

I'd like to believe that most 'residentialists' are against plastering every inch of this city with extreme residential densities.

As far as the escalating housing prices...(1) RE agent hyperbole & cash-laden foreign buyers must shoulder some of the blame for these over-inflated/over-valued asking prices. (2) The excessive rental prices are the result of (1).

People have to live somewhere...some in PA opt for RVs but it's probably not a personal preference.

QUOTE: Tonight at the CC meeting I was dumbfounded and appalled to hear Mayor Kniss deny we even have a traffic problem,

Hmmm...sounds like a mayor who's deeply out of touch with Palo Alto.


17 people like this
Posted by Madias
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 31, 2018 at 12:02 pm

There are thousands of towns (Beverly Hills, Newport Beach, Rancho Palos Verdes, Laguna Beach, Atherton, etc. etc. )that get by just fine without rent control or any panic whatsoever about this made up thing called a "housing crisis". Thse towns are getting along just fine, and so would Palo Alto if it dropped all this socialist nonesense. Let the markets do their job. It works just fine.



18 people like this
Posted by hysteria
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 31, 2018 at 1:44 pm

"housing crisis" is indicative of the hysteria surrounding everything these days. There is no "housing crisis".
There is PLENTY of housing, all over the United States.

The only crisis is that if you don't have enough money you can't afford to live here. How is that a "crisis"? Beware of "rental protections" Palo Alto.....it all sounds good, so charitable, so progressive. But you talk it up all you like, just look at what is happening real time in Mountain View.

Rent control, rent protections.....all sounds good but you can only put so much lipstick on a pig.


Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto

on Jul 31, 2018 at 6:16 pm


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4 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 31, 2018 at 6:18 pm

"There are thousands of towns (Beverly Hills, Newport Beach, Rancho Palos Verdes, Laguna Beach, Atherton, etc. etc. )that get by just fine without rent control or any panic whatsoever about this made up thing called a "housing crisis". Thse towns are getting along just fine, and so would Palo Alto if it dropped all this socialist nonesense. Let the markets do their job. It works just fine."

Finally, someone who owns up to wanting to have rich neighbors and driving out the working and middle class. Kudos to Madias, who finally speaks the unspoken.


3 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 31, 2018 at 8:55 pm

QUOTE: Finally, someone who owns up to wanting to have rich neighbors and driving out the working and middle class. Kudos to Madias, who finally speaks the unspoken.

Most of the extremely wealthy folks I have encountered tend to be out of touch with the everyday world.

Guess it comes with the territory...or rather property.


3 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Aug 1, 2018 at 11:07 am

It has everything to do with the numbers and human behavior. People think there is affordable housing to be built. Where are you gong to get the money? Some people then feel entitled to "housing" a "human right." Housing in the most expensive area in the USA where most college educated students have to leave where their parents live because they aren't able to win the "affodable housing" lottery. Good grief, the Buena Vista. Silicon Valley is a point of destination for those who want jobs, but you had better have a good job to afford the rent or the free loaders in rent controlled San Francisco and San Jose and now the end: Mountain View
George Drysdale social studies teacher


2 people like this
Posted by Dick Tracy
a resident of another community
on Aug 1, 2018 at 1:48 pm

Meanwhile concerned and outraged residents in Palo Alto and its surrounding communities wonder why there is such a proliferation of ramshackle RVs parked along their city streets.

Gee...I wonder why.


2 people like this
Posted by @Tracy
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 1, 2018 at 2:29 pm

@Tracy
Um...I don’t know. Why ?
Greed?
Envy?
Opportunism?
Lax laws?
Sloth?
Good economics?
Bad economics?
Taking advantage of community?
Lack of funds?
Socking away funds?
Access to schools without paying for them?
Hiding from the law?
Pirating utilities?
Bad luck?
Good planning?
Bad planning?
Freedom?
Sticking it to the man?

You tell us.


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Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 1, 2018 at 6:49 pm

In regards to the RVs...

Times have changed & so have certain attitudes & applications.

In the 60s, rambling about & bedding down in a VW micro bus seemed kind of cool.

During the 70s, owning a Dodge Tradesman or Ford Econoline complete with shag carpeting & a waterbed appealed to some.

RVs in the 80s-90s were pretty much relegated to retirees traveling about the country & seeing America.

Fast forward to 2018...old RVs = alternative suburban housing.


2 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 2, 2018 at 12:19 pm

Palo Alto's lack of concern for renters would be legendary if it wasn't so similar to many other local cities. But the difference is that Palo Alto pretends to care, which is even worse than simply not caring, like Menlo Park. This misleads poorly informed or misinformed tenants into thinking they have reasonable recourse if they have a problem with the landlord. What would it take for Palo Alto residents to organize and demand some renter protections?


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 2, 2018 at 12:25 pm

Madias is laughably ignorant about rent control - Beverly Hills has had rent control for decades.


5 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 2, 2018 at 12:36 pm

QUOTE: But the difference is that Palo Alto pretends to care, which is even worse than simply not caring, like Menlo Park.

Interesting observation...A Tale of Two Cities.



6 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 3, 2018 at 12:44 pm

Sanctimonious City is a registered user.

RV stands for reliable voter.

Democrat politicians love them. The next step in their plan is to legalize them, grant them residency and then allow them to vote in city elections. The only limiting factor being the amount of linear curb feet on the streets and neighborhoods.

Better than accessory dwelling units (ADU's) that don't require included parking spaces, the new RVDU's combine the unit with the parking spaces. Problem solved.

Best of all, the tactic creates a permanent, government dependent and highly scalable constituency that will overwhelm the votes of traditional residents in elections. Nobody will be able to object due to the perceived downtrodden nature of the tenants without being pilloried with the usual labels of -ists and -ics.

Of course, industrious spouses, parents and siblings of the politicians will secretly start companies offering fleets of these environment destroying firetraps. Otherwise known as fleet lords.

Really no different than the open borders strategy played out nationally but at a local level. It is time to apply what we have learned in national and state politics to Palo Alto.


4 people like this
Posted by @Sanctimonious Poster
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 3, 2018 at 12:53 pm

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 3, 2018 at 1:44 pm

Sanctimonious City is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by A View From Abroad
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 3, 2018 at 1:53 pm

>>> it has to do with the fact that your side of the political divide is on its way out. Simply put, your ideology is toxic.

This is a good line. One that the 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate should use in his/her debate with the POTUS.


Like this comment
Posted by @Sanctimonious Poster
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 3, 2018 at 1:54 pm

[Post removed.]


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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