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Plan to build homes at Cubberley gets pushback

Attendees of Thursday meeting call presenting new housing proposals at final community meeting a 'bait and switch'

As Palo Alto gets closer to the finish line in its collaborative effort to redesign and rebuild Cubberley Community Center, one glaring question continues to divide residents and city leaders: What to do about housing?

The question surfaced Thursday at the final community meeting on the Cubberley Master Plan, a document that will serve as the blueprint for the redevelopment of the 35-acre campus. Led by the consulting firm Concordia, the "co-design" process was marked by extensive collaboration, with hundreds of residents attending the prior hearings to offer ideas about Cubberley's future uses, building heights, density of development, campus design and traffic circulation.

But while city officials and residents have lauded Concordia for its ability to engage the community and ensure that the new Cubberley plan has something for everyone, the goodwill began to strain at Thursday's meeting, where residents were presented for the first time four different options for housing at Cubberley.

The most modest alternative, and the one that came out of the third community meeting, includes 32 units for Palo Alto Unified District staff. Known as Option 1, the proposal calls for building these units at 525 San Antonio Road, a site that is adjacent to Cubberley, owned by the school district and is already zoned for housing.

The other three call for between 64 and 164 housing units and entail building housing at the Cubberley campus. Option 2 would have 64 units for school district faculty, with half of these located at 525 San Antonio Road and the other 32 in a new building near a site that is being reserved for a future school campus.

Option 3 and Option 4 would add more housing in other parts of Cubberley, either by constructing new apartment buildings, adding levels to proposed recreational structures or both. Option 3 includes 112 units: 64 units for school district staff (much like Option 2) along with another 48 units not affiliated with schools. These would be placed across campus from the proposed school site, near tennis courts and other recreational amenities.

The most ambitious option, Option 4, includes 164 units, with 100 units constructed on top of Cubberley's Community Center itself, taking it from two stories to four.

The proposals elicited a strong reaction from meeting attendees, some of whom complained that presenting the new housing proposals in the final meeting represents a "bait and switch" by the city and its consultants. When given cards and asked which of the four options they prefer, many in attendance wrote "no housing" in the comment section.

City officials and consultants repeatedly assured residents that the four options are just concepts to be discussed. Not everyone was mollified by this explanation. Some complained that the city is basically disregarding residents' opinions from prior meetings.

"We're starting a new process on housing, which is not as far along as the rest," Community Services Director Kristen O'Kane told the crowd. "We have not made any decisions on housing."

Some said that while they support having more housing in the city, Cubberley is not the right place for it. Midtown resident Sheri Furman, co-chair of Palo Alto Neighborhoods, an umbrella group of neighborhood associations, said building housing in the midst of Cubberley's recreational facilities would create new safety, traffic and parking concerns.

"It's the wrong place for housing. It's a public facility. ... It should benefit the whole community," Furman said.

Bobbie Hill, a consultant with Concordia, told the crowd at the beginning of the meeting that the new housing options were added at the behest of city and school officials. After the third community meeting in January, Concordia presented its studies to various board and commissions. At its Feb. 11 meeting, some members of the City Council asked Concordia to come up with some options that have housing. Councilwoman Alison Cormack, who has participated in all of the Cubberley community meetings, said at that meeting that at least one option should have affordable senior housing, though she also indicated that she would be open to market-rate senior housing.

"I believe it's important for us to see what that looks like," Cormack said at the meeting.

In adding the new options, Concordia assured the crowd that it is responding to that feedback.

Concordia plans to use the input from the Thursday meeting in completing its final report on Cubberley, which would then be vetted by various city commissions, the Palo Alto Unified School District Board of Education and the City Council.

So far, both bodies have lauded Concordia's highly interactive process, which resulted in a "shared village" concept for the sprawling campus at 4000 Middlefield Road, which is jointly owned by the school district and the city. Under this concept, district facilities (including a new district headquarters and a new school) would occupy the side of the campus closest to Greendell school, while a new Health and Wellness Center would be on the opposite side, closer to Charleston Shopping Center.

Between these sites, Cubberley would have classrooms, art studios, performance spaces and other community amenities, which would be shared by the district and the city.

The plan would also increase green space at the 35-acre campus by 60 percent, largely by eliminating parking lots and creating underground parking.

In concluding the final meeting Thursday, Hill thanked the participants and noted that while one chapter of the process has concluded the next one is about to begin.

"We know some things are challenging. That's OK, we're used to that. There's plenty more to do to make this a reality," Hill said.

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Comments

24 people like this
Posted by Carbon Tax the Rich
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on May 10, 2019 at 5:45 pm

Housing in Palo Alto is beyond a crisis and has grown into an emergency for average wage earners. I am extremely concerned that those against housing are pushing back poor people into ghetto like living situations. We are also in a climate crisis as well. Shoving normal wage earning people to the outer limits of Calirfornia central valley and saying, If you can't afford to live here, leave" is beyond pale in in hegemonic elitist attitude.

The JCC is a great example of mixed use housing, theatre, recreation. That seems to be working well on a heavily used four way intersection.

Another soloution: Make all city recreation activities free to anyone earning 250,000 or less a year. Provide free transit passes and bikes to offset the cost of housing here. Once more ask: provide everyone earning $100,000 or less with a universal basic income UBI paid for by Google, Apple, Amazon, Cs.


45 people like this
Posted by Housing instead of public services, parks, and retail?
a resident of Fairmeadow
on May 10, 2019 at 6:24 pm

Housing instead of public services, parks, and retail? is a registered user.

We should find a way to create more affordable housing in Palo Alto. I don't want to live in an enclave just for the wealthy. We need more socioeconomic diversity. But I am not supportive of using our public facility space to build housing, or using our park space to build housing, or using our retail space to build housing. These are all necessary to support an increasing number of residents. I would expect that residents living in denser housing will particularly value these open spaces. We must respect this rare type of zoning to maintain this city as a welcoming and desirable place for all to live. Let's build dense, affordable apartments on an accessible corridor, or in downtown when companies finally move out, or rezone an office property. Those are all much better places for housing.

The JCC was not a public facility, and it is not one now.


63 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 10, 2019 at 6:52 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Cubberley is set up to be a school. We are going to need that capability in the future as we add more apartments and people. Our current schools are struggling with the number of students that are expected to arrive with more dense housing. It is a community resource with a lot of uses, as well as the fields that are used for children and adult sports. Using a community resource for housing is a breach of public trust. This should be put up to a vote as opposed to a small number of people making that decision. A lot of organizations use those facilities which is as it should be. It is very suspicious when a small number of people are looking to convert a community resource into housing.


30 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 10, 2019 at 7:03 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

DO not use the JCC as an example of a multi-use property. Yes - it has all type of community elements. However it puts many of it's employees parking on residential streets because they did not plan enough or correctly. When that facility was in the planning stages it was said that there would be no impact on the residential streets. Not true. We have the same cars and same people parking on the streets every day.

It is time that the city looks at buildings that are forever empty and for lease for additional housing. The city does not want to take on large corporations that own those empty buildings so it is going for the path of least resistance. Think again.


34 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 10, 2019 at 7:47 pm

The biggest problem with the JCC is lack of parking. This is evident by all the businesses nearby putting up signs saying no JCC event parking. As to whether there is even enough for residents, their guests and daily JCC users, there is definitely not enough parking for even modest events.

When this JCC was first proposed, bus routes were promised. These have failed to materialize. So the JCC was built with insufficient parking for its purpose and no public transit.

PACC must learn from this.


20 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 11, 2019 at 10:33 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

I was unable to find Concordia on the Google search. What do we know about this consulting firm? Location where corporate office is and how are they being paid? What are they being paid? We have a history in this county of arranging legal contracts with companies that are not local. Note the Alum Rock School District in which bond money was allocated for repair and maintenance with money paid out but no results. Much in papers about that quagmire of money laundering.

I am concerned that housing appears to be a given with all of the manipulations to create a politically correct argument. So the rationale is being prepared with no vote by the citizens? We have seen a number of schools eliminated and replaced by housing in this city. The Mitchell Park is highly successful and is full up all of the time. Reducing the locations that are already in a beneficial tax situation which support children and adult community efforts is questionable. Where are the financials on this effort? And if approved who is the company that will effect the changes? Must be a local company. No contracts signed with out of location companies that have no accountability within the area.


30 people like this
Posted by @Resident
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on May 11, 2019 at 10:53 am

Their website is at concordia.com

Based on my interactions and conversations with people at the meetings, I am pretty confident that it is a combination of Councilwoman Cormack and PAF who are behind this last-minute push to add housing. It is disappointing that these political games are being whitewashed as "community input".


12 people like this
Posted by Member 2
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 11, 2019 at 11:16 am

Other articles have indicated that both Cormack and the school board asked for additional options, the schools to facilitate their discussion of teacher housing. The school's interest in housing isn't driven by community preference; it's based on their interest in recruiting teachers. Ultimately the council and the board are the clients here, with the community process as an input to their thinking.


14 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 11, 2019 at 11:19 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

If you are aware the Alum Rock School District used bond funds to hire Del Terra Company, who is located in SOCAL - City of Industry - to upgrade the school. Why choice of Del Terra? Push by CA legislative staff that has point person in that locale on San Jose city political structure. Many law suits but no actual work performed. Money paid out in big dollars. Law Suits in process.

There are companies that tailor their selling points on school and state bond funds because there is less scrutiny in results and payments. That is changing. So we move on to Cubberley that is owned by the school system and the funding for any upgrades is coming from where? A bond fund that is already in place or waiting to be voted on? Time to pencil out the choices here - who is doing that? And who is the contractor that would be doing the work? You all do not get to make decisions until all of the facts are in and credentials of contracting companies identified. Besides the PACC council person who identified housing at Cubberley during the election process who in the city management team is the point person? This is not a one person show - who is the Palo Alto City point person? Do we have a county point person also since housing is being proposed? Provide details on Concordia - if they are not local then their estimates could be faulty.


26 people like this
Posted by @Resident
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on May 11, 2019 at 11:48 am

My understanding from people I talked with at the community meetings is that the school district is more interested in putting their administrative offices at Cubberley than teacher housing. (I admit these conversations may not be the whole picture.) Cormack and PAF have been bullish about putting housing at Cubberley from the start. They obviously decided the best time to make their push was at the end of the community process. Four options presented, all with housing, in their hopes they will be able to claim a "middle one" was the community preference. For shame.


5 people like this
Posted by Webster Street
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on May 11, 2019 at 12:16 pm

Re JCC - what am I missing? I go to the JCC gym daily and have yet to see parking overflowing onto the street. And, I never have trouble finding a parking space in the very large basement parking garage. I do see trainers walking across Fabian from the parking spaces behind a building, but not from their cars parked on the street. We attend evening events frequently, and there are always a number of empty parking spaces. Tomorrow, May 12, is a BIG event and I don't intend to use the gym b/c there will be a traffic issue. I do think that the biggest events are an issue, but they are not held daily or even weekly or monthly. Yes, Meissner a few others put up a sign and I don't blame them. The JCC is a a special part of Palo Alto. It's totally inclusive for everyone- old, young, very young, whatever ethnic, religious, or any other, description. No, that's not the point of this thread. But, don't generalize by invoking the JCC in the greater parking mess. Frankly, they're a good example of parking ratio to users.


26 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 11, 2019 at 12:47 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

A small suburban college town suddenly decided to become a major job center, although it is singularly unsuited to be one has housing and parking issues. What a shock!


9 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 11, 2019 at 12:50 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Two points -
- there is a Concordia Consulting on Google - it is located in New Orleans. Please tell me that we are not using an out-of-state consulting firm when we have local firms that have provided service to Palo Alto on previous projects. Location and creds need to be identified. Imagine the cost being billed for travel and lodging if that is the case. Someone's relative?
- JCC Employees park in the residential area on a daily basis. I actually went over and talked to their management and they confirmed that they direct their employees to park off campus so there is room for the visitors. The complaint is concerning the days for street cleaning since we have heavy leaf fall in winter and drains at the end of the street. Clean streets are good streets in flood zones. As to the garage I have been to events and noted that a portion is used to store equipment - that is the part under the stage area. So you are a visitor and I am a resident on a street used by employees. Good for you. Their management is well aware of the situation and does not care.

That is a cautionary lesson here if the Cubberley site is over burdened with varying uses. Residential brings support services on a daily basis so additional cars for many support activities. Those cars will be in the residential area next to the site.


4 people like this
Posted by Sheri
a resident of Midtown
on May 11, 2019 at 6:16 pm

Sheri is a registered user.

Actually, Concordia has done an outstanding job. One of the best consultants I've seen over the years. The housing request was a last minute surprise and thus a scramble for them.


9 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 11, 2019 at 8:40 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Sheri - the question on the table is where the corporate office is for Concordia. They do not appear to be a local company. So what is their location of operation? Why important - we have companies that have consulted on Mitchell Park and other PA locations and they are fully conversant on the city, county, and state laws. And those companies are located in PA and general area. And they do a very fine job. We need local companies for all work performed. We help our local companies by giving them good jobs.


23 people like this
Posted by Dishonest
a resident of Downtown North
on May 12, 2019 at 12:55 pm

This is all about the teacher's union getting additional compensation off the books through housing. The average Pausd teacher makes more per day than the average silicon valley tech worker. If no one is offering to give the average tech worker subsidized housing, why to members of the teacher's union - with our public school facilities and tax dollars?


28 people like this
Posted by Dishonest
a resident of Downtown North
on May 12, 2019 at 1:11 pm

Avg PAUSD teacher makes more than the average tech worker per day per Train Fan.

Posted by Train Fan
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2019 at 6:16 pm
PAUSD teachers make...easily...more than the average Silicon Valley tech worker.

Proof:

PAUSD teachers:
* Average PAUSD income: $109,894 (source: Web Link)
* PAUSD teacher service days: 187 (source: Web Link)

* Income per work-day: $109,894/187= $587.67

Tech workers:
* Average tech income: $122,242 (source: Web Link)

Average tech worker pay for the Bay Area, includes Facebook, Google, etc.:
Web Link

note: that was the HIGHEST average income for tech workers in the area. All other areas of the bay area are LOWER).

* Tech worker work days. Eliminate these days to make a comparable comparison with teacher 'service days':
- Saturdays: 52
- Sundays: 52
- Holidays: 10
- vacation: 10

* Income per work-day: $122,242/(365-52-52-10-10) = $507.23

So the average PAUSD school teacher makes over $80/day more per-workday than the average tech worker (using the highest average for a tech worker in the bay area, no less!!!)

PAUSD teacher income per work-day: $109,894/187= $587.67
* Tech worker income per work-day, plus alleged 'meals': ($122,242+5000)/(365-52-52-10-10)= 527.98

"lavish workplace perks"

Really...you want to argue perks between tech workers and PAUSD teachers???? Wow, OK, let's do that. We'll put aside the income and look at perks.

PAUSD teachers have perks that no tech worker comes close to matching. A few examples:

* Pensions:
- tech workers: 401k + Social Security. Funded by workers, taxpayers (and in some cases, employers offering some matching).

- PAUSD teachers: CALSTRS, with a government-backed guaranteed rate of return (regardless how the fund performs). Funded by taxpayers and teachers.

WINNER: teachers, by a landslide.

* Job protection:
- tech workers: at-will employment (for employees; not even that for contractors).
- teachers: union-protected, and for those with tenure, even more protection.

WINNER: teachers, by a landslide.

* Work|life:
- tech workers: periodically oncall nights and/or weekends (people expect websites to work on the weekends, tech workers make that possible).
- teachers: no weekend or nighttime oncall (how often does a teacher get paged at 3am because little Jimmy didn't do his homework? Answer: never).

And the above doesn't even include the 13+ weeks/year of downtime teachers get (which I factored in as part of those income comparisons earlier, so I won't factor it in here).


15 people like this
Posted by Cover-up Culture
a resident of Community Center
on May 12, 2019 at 1:26 pm

Palo Alto Forward is a front for unions.


10 people like this
Posted by PAF
a resident of Triple El
on May 12, 2019 at 9:12 pm

I thought it was a front for tech companies like Palantir. It certainly seems to be advocating for housing for their employees and its members seem young and techy.


18 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 12, 2019 at 10:20 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Palantir is a recognized company. It does not need a "front". I think PAF is a political action group pushing for more housing overall. So they would be a front for the developers who need an inside person or political action group to push their agenda. They are supporters of Mr. Weiner and his housing bill. The vice-mayor is a member so listen to what he is pushing and that would be PAF. They are also pushing ABAG which comes up with an algorithm as to how much commercial you have has to be matched with housing. ABAG got in trouble when one of their top people used tax payer money to buy personal homes for himself. So much for ABAG. I am not surprised by anything they all come up with. The end justifies the means in their thinking.

Also very strange stuff comes up with the school system. If they do not want to use Cubberley for an additional school and make a fast buck off of it think again.
It is a community asset used by many organizations as a location for their activities. Many non-profits use space there.


11 people like this
Posted by Barbara
a resident of Downtown North
on May 13, 2019 at 12:04 pm

NO MORE HOUSING! Palo Alto is already overcrowded with far too much housing and automobiles.


15 people like this
Posted by plantfruittrees
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on May 13, 2019 at 12:17 pm

plantfruittrees is a registered user.

We in the Greendell neighborhood in particular spent three years fighting off Summerhill's takeover of the old day care site, formerly part of Greendell Elementary School, on San Antonio Avenue; they wanted to put in dense housing. Our argument was that once school grounds are gone they're gone and this city's population is growing. Our kids need the soccer fields, they need the playground space, they need the school space. Summerhill presented as progress their building a high-rise on top of the playground at an elementary in New York, thus giving that school $x (on a one-time basis.) Wasn't that great? They showed a slide of it: zero green space for the kids. Zero playground. Let them do calisthenics at their desks.

Not a future we want for one of the top two school districts in the state!

The school district had originally passed on buying back that property from the retiring daycare owner. We were right, they knew it, and they ended up buying it from Summerhill instead. I've always wondered how much that delay and markup cost us and would love it if some reporter could tell us.

Here the school district is again, doing an end run around community input and saying let's put in housing (look at all the $ they could get!) and destroy the playing field, only instead of the 32 units we had argued Summerhill down to they're talking up to 164. In that space? And just where would all those kids go outside to play?

Shall we eminent domain the city council members' houses to create soccer fields for our kids?

Yes we need housing. But where we have public lands for the public good it must be preserved for the public good.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 13, 2019 at 12:24 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Article today in SJM 05/13/19 - "Plans for Ohlone College property scrapped." Plan to put some residential and commercial building on college property. Same situation trying to balance community wants vs income. The plan was to lease land to developer for up to 99 years in exchange for rent. However developer did not agree with requirements for type housing. Does this all sound familiar? Is this a trend throughout the valley for land use? Property owned by school systems reside in a special tax bracket. Is there a group of people who are capitalizing on educational properties? We know that to be the case in the Alum Rock School District which is now mired in law suits. Since our new city manager is from San Jose I am assuming that he is totally familiar with the Alum Rock situation and now the Mission College situation. Leasing property from a state/federal owned organization has to be a specialty. The Cubberley property is not that big so any residential/commercial allocation on that property would eliminate most of the other functions that we expect to have available. Not a good idea giving any developer leverage over the use of the property.


19 people like this
Posted by No Housing on top of Public Facilities Land
a resident of Midtown
on May 13, 2019 at 12:45 pm

No Housing on top of Public Facilities Land is a registered user.

The idea to add housing, dishonestly introduced at the "final" public meeting, is ludicrous, irresponsible, and short sited. PAUSD School Board member Todd Collins stated that the housing won't replace current public facilities, it will just sit on top of it as a "mixed use facility". As though adding housing won't have any impact on the Cubberley public facilties site!!! Does PAUSD really think that 64-164 housing units can just be plopped on top of public facilities with zero impact? Building housing in the midst of Cubberley's recreational facilities would create new safety, traffic and parking concerns - at the least. And Traffic has already been identified as one of Palo Alto's biggest issues! Not to mention, Cubberly is zoned as a PF (Public Facility) not Mixed Use. Citizens saved Cubberly 35 years ago from development, the Winter Lodge 35 years ago from development, and the Little League Ball Park 70 years ago from development -- all intended to be turned into condos. These public facilities are considered public space treasures now. Yes, cities like Palo Alto need housing and PAUSD can use the area slated off San Antonio already zoned for housing. But Palo Alto also needs public spaces to remain viable! Ironically, adding housing to Cubberley would increase the need for MORE public facilities! But once housing is built on top of Cubberley, it will never be fully available for public use or as a school again.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 13, 2019 at 7:51 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Correct to point out that the tax base of the facility is specified on the use by a school system and community support. Add housing and you have now changed the tax base of this facility and it will have a giant cost impact. Who is advising these people? Will you all please use the same people who we have used in the past who understand the tax law associated with these type efforts. And please stop colluding with all of the other "educational" institutions who are busy getting themselves into financial messes.


9 people like this
Posted by stephen levy
a resident of University South
on May 13, 2019 at 9:16 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

I read that Palo Alto Forward (I am the treasurer) a 501 c non profit is at the same time accused of being a PAC (a 501 c 4 organization like PASZ), a front for unions, a front for Palantir and a front for developers.

None of that is true but it does make one wonder about the accusers.

Our events are open to the public (we had a great event on PA housing last week) and our positions are on our website. If you are interested in learning more take a look at the website, sign up for our newsletter and come to an event.

As to Cubberley my understanding is the PAUSD has surveyed teachers and staff and is interested in exploring housing on the site. Many districts in the region are supporting housing on or near their school sites. Having teachers commute long distances takes time away from working with students and parents in addition to the toll on their families.

For me I am appreciative of council member Cormack bringing the issue of housing on the site into public discussion.




6 people like this
Posted by Housing on school property
a resident of University South
on May 13, 2019 at 11:13 pm

@stephen -- I would be interested in reading more about the nearby districts that approved teacher housing on school sites with an active school. It seems so much more prudent to just give a housing stipend to teachers. I'm curious what circumstances and reasoning can possibly have led to this outcome. Do you have a pointer?


2 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 13, 2019 at 11:48 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Teachers and staff are not in the business of concerning themselves with the tax consequences of improvements on school properties. You are lifting an assigned tax status and flipping it into a different tax status. That is not the job of the teachers or staff. And it is not the job of a PACC member. That is the business of the city manager and the city lawyer and finance person. I understand we have had turnover in those jobs which is unfortunate but who ever is in that job now is the appointed person to coordinate with the state tax assessor to determine what the impact is. We are not going to have people making major decisions which regard the tax base of the location which have no background in the topic or a job description which allows them to interface with the county and state agencies on the topic.

As to other school districts exploring the topic yes that is obvious. So they are all have a group grope. But they have no background or authority to make decisions concerning the topic at hand. If you want housing for teachers then consider an apartment building that is in the vicinity- many over at the Mountain View border in back of the car wash. Buy the apartment building - or lease it - and you now have teacher housing in the city which is already in a designated residential area for a r-2 facility. That answer is easy but you don't want to do it - or it would have been done already.
So if that has not yet been done then what is the road block to making that happen?


1 person likes this
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on May 14, 2019 at 8:04 am

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

Let’s make the entire campus the county’s largest Whole Foods with underground parking and 10 stories of housing above. I’ve seen this in Chicago, St Louis and Denver (South Park). But change the name from “Cubberley” who was a racist to “Radicchio” which is a leafy vegetable.
Put a ping pong table next to a free soft serve ice cream station to appease residents asking for amenities.
Did I mention I’m running for City Council, and backed by the New Orleans music mafia and Cosimo Matassa (inside yolk).


2 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 16, 2019 at 10:35 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Editorial comment today in SJM - Dan Walters on Assembly Bill 626. Examples provided which include getting bond funding to add construction / housing on school campuses on a lease - lease-back funding scheme which appears to be very popular right now. Think that is what sunk housing on Mission college campus - contention over what the contractor vs school system ended up with. Suspect that is what is happening in Alum Rock School District - San Jose. Our new city manager is from San Jose so he should be conversant on this questionable business practice regarding bond funding schemes for educational institutions.

Translation to Cubberley repair we were moving along on a good path until up pops a housing/commercial element. I think everyone assumed that the end result would be a site for community elements similar to Mitchell Park which is overloaded with use. Sudden proposal for housing / commercial element sounds like the developers are making the rounds here. As to Alum Rock that involved participation with Sacramento and San Jose City Council - co-joined parents in that scheme running the show. Yes - that is on Wikipedia. Translation is a fiscal mess for everyone involved. Lots of finger pointing. Once you introduce a contractor who has a track record of working bond fund construction projects then look out. Bottom line is no housing or commercial carve outs which would change the tax code designation for this property. Right now we are in the sweet spot regarding the tax code - do not undo that.


2 people like this
Posted by HerbF
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 17, 2019 at 6:01 pm

HerbF is a registered user.

I attended each of the Cubberley community meetings. When I read the above comments, I see a lot of red herrings. The consultant is a facilitator; irrelevant where they are from. Housing was discussed from the first meeting. Granted it had strong opinions on both sides. The housing element was added at the end without reducing the community and school allocations previously planned. The site is big enough to handle it all. We are talking about change that's many years away before anything happens. I have lived in PA for almost 50 years. I like the small town atmosphere but that bus left a long time ago.


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 17, 2019 at 8:22 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Herb - did they discuss how the housing would be paid for? That is a whole different ball game than a building set up for classrooms. Someone has to differentiate the cost differential if housing is added - that means adding kitchens, bathrooms, electrical, all on individual rooms. That is a total blow up of costs.
From where I am sitting they should consider subsidizing teachers in apartments in R-2 neighborhoods. There are a lot of older apartments in back of the car wash on the border of the city. They should look for something that is already built, subsidize it - and leave Cubberely as a community resource.


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Posted by HerbF
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 18, 2019 at 6:48 pm

HerbF is a registered user.

As for the cost of building housing at Cubberley.
Costs were not included in the discussions for any of the project: the new school, the city facilities or the housing. There are many years of project development before we see any change to the aging campus. Cost will obviously be an important factor as plans become more detailed. It will be an important factor it what actually happens.


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 20, 2019 at 6:31 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Good planning and good cost development has all of the elements that will be included in the project development. That should be a local company that has a proven track record of understanding how to develop cost projections, and we have worked with in the past. Otherwise we are wasting money. Can we please dispense with wasting money pursuing plans that will not be approved?
I noted that Herb F. is all for building tunnels on another blog. Herb must be betting on the come when it comes to funding major projects.


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Posted by Chiquita
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 20, 2019 at 6:34 pm

Thank goodness the banana republics and US fruit conglomerates are not having a major impact on this Cubberley issue.


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 21, 2019 at 7:29 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Yeah Chiquita - your headquarters are in Cleveland. As to the impact why are these people coming in such large numbers? Because the conglomerates are having to move their growing to Mexico and Ecuador and other locations? And Walmart is pushing them to lower their prices - Walmart is one of the biggest buyers. Walmart is also "the bank" - it is the place people go to send money back to relatives. Relatives sending money home is home is the biggest cash crops for some of these countries.

You can always check United Fruit Company on Wikipedia. They go way back to the late 1800's - busy buying up land everywhere. They were based in Boston. Then there was the American Fruit Company - they were the Italian take on sugar Cane and coffee. Check out C&H Sugar and Dole - Hawaii. Major ports, including San Francisco had whole docks assigned to these companies specific to products that need refrigeration. Baltimore used to be the second biggest port on the east coast. So how is Baltimore doing now? Trying to rebuild with companies like Under Armor. How is the SF port doing? Moved to Oakland. C&H no longer brings in ships to Benicia/Crocket.

The bottom line is that the huge migration of people is coming from the central American Countries that were bought and paid for by US Conglomerates. And now they are pulling out. Trouble with Cuba? Used to be a sugar cane farm for UFCO. Castro was brought up on a sugar cane field and then confiscated that land after the Bay of Pigs - he won that war.

The people coming now are directly coming from those locations. So you know who the presidents are of Mexico and Venezuela. Do you know who the presidents are of the three countries? - No the press never discusses that. There is a reason for that. But Chiquita did get in trouble for bringing drugs in. It is all on Wikipedia - The history of these countries and the companies that are still growing those bananas, pineapples, coffee beans. Trader Joe, Safeway, etc are big buyers. And who are major land owners in Hawaii? Check out your local tech bros - Mr. Oracle owns Lanai, Zuk is buying up Kauai, the Pelosi's go way back to Baltimore and forward to Hawaii. Under Armor is buying up hotels on the Baltimore port.
Palo Alto is a tiny city with a limited band width of companies. But is surrounded by major cities and ports, including Long Beach and Los Angeles. The tax base affects the total state. The SF Chronicle just had a history story on the SF ports. Everyone was there with assigned docks.


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 21, 2019 at 12:01 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

We are living in a bubble here. If everyone is thinking about adding housing to school properties then why not us? If you are reading now they are all running into problems mixing residential and city owned properties. Two different tax types. Problem with any institutional upgrade is funding which is driven by the current rates. Those rates are derived from the financial status of the organization - in this case the city, county, and state. The total economy of the state produces the applicable rates for any loans or lease-backs. So a budget is assembled at the beginning of the year but it does not take into consideration wild anomalies like towns being burned downs and a wave of immigrants looking for amenities being off-loaded onto the American tax payers by the companies who are not subsidizing those amenities within country. Yeah taxpayer it all adds up.


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