News

Condo development eyed for Country Inn Motel site in south Palo Alto

Toll Brothers project also includes townhomes and accessory dwelling units

The Toll Brothers' proposal for 4345 El Camino Real in Palo Alto would include 67 new dwellings. Rendering courtesy Van Meter Williams Pollack.

A new housing development with 55 condominiums, six townhomes and six accessory dwelling units could go up on the southern tip of Palo Alto under a proposal being pitched by developer Toll Brothers.

Like several other recent developers, including the plan to replace Creekside Inn in the Barron Park neighborhood, the proposal for 4345 El Camino Real is banking on a conversion of the commercial site to "planned home zoning," a designation that allows home builders to exceed local development standards. Palo Alto introduced the new zoning designation in 2020 but has yet to see any projects get built through the highly discretionary process.

If approved, the Toll Brothers project would span two El Camino Real properties on either side of Cesano Court, according to project plans. The condominium building would replace Country Inn Motel on a parcel immediately next to the city's borders with Mountain View and Los Altos.

The other El Camino Real parcel would feature six, three-story townhomes, each with an attached accessory dwelling unit. The residences would stand on a commercial site currently occupied by Massage Envy. The townhomes would feature roof terraces, front stoops, balconies and ground-level green space for landscape and gardens, according to the application.

"This project will provide unique high-quality buildings and spaces consistent with the highest building standards of Toll Brothers," the plans state.

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Like other "planned home zoning" projects, this one would exceed the city's typical zoning rules. The condominium building would be about 60 feet tall, exceeding the city's 50-foot height limit. And the residential density would be 56 dwellings per acre, which is higher than Palo Alto's typical standard of 40 dwellings for high-density multifamily districts.

While far less ambitious than the Creekside Inn proposal, which consists of 382 apartments, the Toll Brothers project similarly represents a litmus test for the City Council as it considers exemptions to the city's height limit, which has been around since early 1970s.

A proposed housing development would replace Country Inn Motel in Palo Alto on a parcel that borders Mountain View and Los Altos. Photo by Aliana Mediratta.

Country Inn Motel would make way for a condominium development under a proposal from Toll Brothers. Photo by Aliana Mediratta.

To make the case for its proposed height, Toll Brothers is pointing to similar projects in Mountain View and Los Altos, next to the project site. These include a 65-foot-tall residential development just south of the proposed condominium building, on the Mountain View portion of El Camino Real, and a planned 63-foot-tall housing project across El Camino Real, in Los Altos' jurisdiction.

"Toll Brothers is also arguing that flexibility with density regulation is "necessary and suggested by staff with the goal of providing more housing in Palo Alto." The 67 dwellings that the developer plans to build will "help to address the City's housing needs and improve the City's jobs-housing balance," the application states.

Because the sites are currently zoned for commercial use, Toll Brothers would require a zone change, which gives the council broad discretion to deny the project or require revisions. At the same time, it is consistent with the city's effort to rezone commercial and industrial sites for residential use, a key strategy as Palo Alto strives to meet a regional mandate for 6,086 new dwellings by 2031.

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The proposed dwellings would be targeted toward families. The six townhomes would each have three bedrooms and an average size of 2,559 square feet, according to project plans. The six accessory dwelling units would have an average size of 420 square feet. The five-story condominium building would have 12 one-bedroom units, 35 two-bedroom units and eight three-bedroom units, according to project plans.

As a "planned home zoning" project, the proposal would be subject to a pre-screening hearing in front of the council. The hearing will allow council members to offer initial comments before the developer decides whether to file a formal application.

Gennady Sheyner
 
Gennady Sheyner covers the City Hall beat in Palo Alto as well as regional politics, with a special focus on housing and transportation. Before joining the Palo Alto Weekly/PaloAltoOnline.com in 2008, he covered breaking news and local politics for the Waterbury Republican-American, a daily newspaper in Connecticut. Read more >>

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Condo development eyed for Country Inn Motel site in south Palo Alto

Toll Brothers project also includes townhomes and accessory dwelling units

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Jul 19, 2022, 9:28 am

A new housing development with 55 condominiums, six townhomes and six accessory dwelling units could go up on the southern tip of Palo Alto under a proposal being pitched by developer Toll Brothers.

Like several other recent developers, including the plan to replace Creekside Inn in the Barron Park neighborhood, the proposal for 4345 El Camino Real is banking on a conversion of the commercial site to "planned home zoning," a designation that allows home builders to exceed local development standards. Palo Alto introduced the new zoning designation in 2020 but has yet to see any projects get built through the highly discretionary process.

If approved, the Toll Brothers project would span two El Camino Real properties on either side of Cesano Court, according to project plans. The condominium building would replace Country Inn Motel on a parcel immediately next to the city's borders with Mountain View and Los Altos.

The other El Camino Real parcel would feature six, three-story townhomes, each with an attached accessory dwelling unit. The residences would stand on a commercial site currently occupied by Massage Envy. The townhomes would feature roof terraces, front stoops, balconies and ground-level green space for landscape and gardens, according to the application.

"This project will provide unique high-quality buildings and spaces consistent with the highest building standards of Toll Brothers," the plans state.

Like other "planned home zoning" projects, this one would exceed the city's typical zoning rules. The condominium building would be about 60 feet tall, exceeding the city's 50-foot height limit. And the residential density would be 56 dwellings per acre, which is higher than Palo Alto's typical standard of 40 dwellings for high-density multifamily districts.

While far less ambitious than the Creekside Inn proposal, which consists of 382 apartments, the Toll Brothers project similarly represents a litmus test for the City Council as it considers exemptions to the city's height limit, which has been around since early 1970s.

To make the case for its proposed height, Toll Brothers is pointing to similar projects in Mountain View and Los Altos, next to the project site. These include a 65-foot-tall residential development just south of the proposed condominium building, on the Mountain View portion of El Camino Real, and a planned 63-foot-tall housing project across El Camino Real, in Los Altos' jurisdiction.

"Toll Brothers is also arguing that flexibility with density regulation is "necessary and suggested by staff with the goal of providing more housing in Palo Alto." The 67 dwellings that the developer plans to build will "help to address the City's housing needs and improve the City's jobs-housing balance," the application states.

Because the sites are currently zoned for commercial use, Toll Brothers would require a zone change, which gives the council broad discretion to deny the project or require revisions. At the same time, it is consistent with the city's effort to rezone commercial and industrial sites for residential use, a key strategy as Palo Alto strives to meet a regional mandate for 6,086 new dwellings by 2031.

The proposed dwellings would be targeted toward families. The six townhomes would each have three bedrooms and an average size of 2,559 square feet, according to project plans. The six accessory dwelling units would have an average size of 420 square feet. The five-story condominium building would have 12 one-bedroom units, 35 two-bedroom units and eight three-bedroom units, according to project plans.

As a "planned home zoning" project, the proposal would be subject to a pre-screening hearing in front of the council. The hearing will allow council members to offer initial comments before the developer decides whether to file a formal application.

Comments

Marie
Registered user
South of Midtown
on Jul 19, 2022 at 11:16 am
Marie, South of Midtown
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2022 at 11:16 am

How many of the apartments would be below market? Do not let any development avoid its responsibilities for below market units by "building them elsewhere" or contributing money.


Ryan Joost
Registered user
Downtown North
on Jul 19, 2022 at 11:27 am
Ryan Joost, Downtown North
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2022 at 11:27 am

Good move. Most of those non-descript motels along ECR in Barron Park should be demolished to make way for mixed-use, high-rise dwellings.

Most importantly is to have a sizable number of these new dwellings applicable to Section 8 vouchers which will ease the housing shortage in PA for low-income inhabitants.

Palo Alto is no longer a community reserved for the wealthy


eileen
Registered user
College Terrace
on Jul 19, 2022 at 3:11 pm
eileen , College Terrace
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2022 at 3:11 pm

Marie, the article clearly states this housing will be Condominiums. These are for Families and will be purchased.
This is great new as home buyers can begins to gain wealth instead of poring money down the rental market.


Mick Buford
Registered user
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jul 19, 2022 at 3:55 pm
Mick Buford, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2022 at 3:55 pm

The Country Inn is one of the lower-tiered Barron Park motels and will not be missed.

A condo complex on its soon-to-former site is a good idea and will help ease the Palo Alto housing shortage.

"Most of those non-descript motels along ECR in Barron Park should be demolished to make way for mixed-use, high-rise dwellings."

Concurring.

Except for accommodating outside visitors attending Stanford football games and graduation ceremonies, or occasional business travelers, they serve no real purpose.

The ECR section in Barron Park is well-suited for a number of San Antonio Road type mixed-use complexes.

All that needs to be preserved is a gas station and maybe some fast food outlets.


Palo Alto Res
Registered user
Downtown North
on Jul 19, 2022 at 6:28 pm
Palo Alto Res, Downtown North
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2022 at 6:28 pm

I think anyone who sits on the City's Planning and Transportation Commission should recuse themselves when voting on issues related to their own personal neighborhoods where they own property or their immediate family owns property (son/daughter/mother/father/sister/brother/husband/wife).

For instance, Bryna Chang is on the City Planning and Transportation Commission an she lives in the South of Midtown neighborhood. People have likely noticed how there is a lot of traffic calming improvements all along Charleston Road and Louis Road. One assumes it's because Hoover elementary and Ohlone schools are there. But if one takes a closer look, Stanford Avenue which has several preschools and 2 elementary schools (Escondido and Nixon) do not have half the traffic calming road changes Charleston (with it's tiny elementary school) has.

They took a 4 lane road that comes off of 101 and changed it to a single lane road going North and South. Meanwhile Stanford Ave that has a university campus and a Palo Alto neighborhood (College terrace) with multiple schools and preschools has negligible speed bumps and traffic speeds along Stanford ave at break neck speed.

I think each of the planning commissioner's motives an votes and decisions for their own personal neighborhood should be scrutinized. Move all the high density condos to where they don't live and own homes, and add more and more roundabout circles, speed bumps, and remove traffic lanes anywhere near their homes.

Planning commissioners should not vote or have a say anywhere near where they live or own property.


localmom46
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Jul 19, 2022 at 9:37 pm
localmom46, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2022 at 9:37 pm

Palo Alto Res- I’m not sure why you mention Bryna Chang in your comment, as she was not yet part of the Planning and Transportation Commission when those traffic calming projects were decided upon. In addition, Charleston is a major commute route for many Palo Alto students. It’s factually incorrect to state that Charleston only has one “tiny elementary school.” In fact, Charleston-Arastradero serves eleven public and private K-12 schools.


Claudette
Registered user
Woodside
on Jul 19, 2022 at 10:20 pm
Claudette, Woodside
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2022 at 10:20 pm

Under the guise of building “ much needed housing”, cities change the zoning and permit prices much to the delight of developers who have NO interest in the communities( other than money) ...but where is the water going to come from? We are all told to cut back our water usage yet the huge developments use plenty of water BEFORE any tenants move in. Where is the water for all those people?


Mondoman
Registered user
Green Acres
on Jul 19, 2022 at 10:41 pm
Mondoman, Green Acres
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2022 at 10:41 pm

@Mick The area discussed in this article is not in Barron Park, but rather in the Monroe Park neighborhood, in the corner by Mountain View and Los Altos.

@Palo Alto Res
As someone who often drives on Charleston and Arastradero, I can say that the recent "improvements" are actually confusing road hazards which show the evidence of frequent hits by cars and force frequent lane changes. The latter are especially prone to causing collisions. Removing most of the changes on Charleston and implementing them instead on Stanford Ave would be a win-win situation, I think. Fortunately, the brains behind this scheme left City employment a few years ago from what I've heard.


Mondoman
Registered user
Green Acres
on Jul 19, 2022 at 10:44 pm
Mondoman, Green Acres
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2022 at 10:44 pm

"The townhomes would feature roof terraces, front stoops, balconies and ground-level green space for landscape and gardens".
As the front stoops, balconies, and ground-level green space for at least half the townhouses would look out at busy El Camino perhaps a dozen feet away, they may not be big selling points here.

I do agree that the proposed height for this development does seem appropriate given the neighboring buildings.


Douglas Moran
Registered user
Barron Park
on Jul 20, 2022 at 2:30 pm
Douglas Moran, Barron Park
Registered user
on Jul 20, 2022 at 2:30 pm

Commenter "Mondoman" is correct.
For those trying to visualize the location, the proposed condos are not part of the Barron Park segment of El Camino -- as some commenters misleadingly stated. That segment ends 0.5 miles away.
Map: Web Link
- As the article stated, the condos would be on the border of Mountain View.
- They would be 0.18 miles beyond the Palo Alto border with Los Altos (Adobe Creek) on the west side of El Camino.
- The condos would be outside the Palo Alto Unified School District. Between Alma and Foothill Expressway, the PAUSD boundary runs along Adobe Creek (PAUSD map: Web Link )


Palo Alto Res
Registered user
Downtown North
on Jul 20, 2022 at 3:16 pm
Palo Alto Res, Downtown North
Registered user
on Jul 20, 2022 at 3:16 pm

@localmom46
I was speaking specifically about the traffic calming measures taken on Charleston right in front of Hoover Elementary (just immediately south of Middlefield) and much north of Alma. The incredible amount of traffic calming measures that occurs over perhaps right around Carlson Court and and just north of it Carlson Court is the odd part. They have reduced a 4 lane road into 1 lane going North and 1 lane going South. Amount of $$$ spent over a few short blocks with minimal impact makes no sense.

I am not talking about the entire Charleston -Arastradero corridor, which is an incredibly long street.

Still say that Palo Alto Planning Commissioners should recuse themselves and not vote when it comes to measures near where they own property or live.


Dirk Lewellen
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 20, 2022 at 3:57 pm
Dirk Lewellen, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jul 20, 2022 at 3:57 pm

"As the front stoops, balconies, and ground-level green space for at least half the townhouses would look out at busy El Camino perhaps a dozen feet away, they may not be big selling points here."

Most active lifestyle Millennials will not be entertaining balcony guests en.large so this observation is somewhat moot.

With most COVID restrictions essentially gone, young people are out dining and clubbing.

Only an older 'stay at home' resident would be troubled or overly concerned about an El Camino Real balcony view.

In which case, they can reside elsewhere.


Jackie Brown
Registered user
Barron Park
on Jul 21, 2022 at 9:34 am
Jackie Brown, Barron Park
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2022 at 9:34 am

As a resident of Barron Park, I can think of no business or motel worth saving along the ECR corridor.

If more housing is needed, ECR from Barron Park to Monroe Park is the best place to start.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 21, 2022 at 10:00 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2022 at 10:00 am

@Dirk Lewellen, I guess we see what we want. A lot of millennials are home with their kids -- as all the ads for meal delivery services indicate -- while many of the restaurant patrons are older.


localmom46
Registered user
Greenmeadow
on Jul 21, 2022 at 3:45 pm
localmom46, Greenmeadow
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2022 at 3:45 pm

@Palo Alto Res- again, those traffic calming measures were all part of a long term project approved for Charleston years ago, and any traffic calming around Hoover benefits students traveling to Fairmeadow, JLS, and Gunn as well. Whether you agree or disagree with the changes, it's problematic that you chose to mention the name of a planning commissioner as involved in these decisions when they were made well before her time. Please do your homework next time.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 21, 2022 at 5:27 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2022 at 5:27 pm

Great idea. The one place that we can add housing is El Camino and the planned buildings are consistent with the new growth in that area. All new buildings are going up so these additions will be consistent with the overall city view of that highway.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 21, 2022 at 5:35 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2022 at 5:35 pm

Many of the newly constructed high rises in Redwood City have commercial offices on the gound floors so the residential section in not on the street - but above it. That provides privacy.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 21, 2022 at 7:55 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2022 at 7:55 pm

Just a comment about this hotel (and others), many of them are used by Stanford families coming for tours or for games or for graduations, as well as by Palo Alto families who have out of town visitors and their homes are too small to accommodate them.

Just because these hotels have been here for a long time and that there are big, new, fancy hotels, it doesn't mean that the older ones don't fill a need. Not everyone visiting Palo Alto or Stanford can afford to stay in the big hotels on business expenses.


Mondoman
Registered user
Green Acres
on Jul 22, 2022 at 7:21 am
Mondoman, Green Acres
Registered user
on Jul 22, 2022 at 7:21 am

@Jackie Brown
Re: "I can think of no business or motel worth saving along the ECR corridor."

I'll nominate So Gong Dong Tofu House as worth saving.


Jason Tarlick
Registered user
Stanford
on Jul 22, 2022 at 7:49 am
Jason Tarlick, Stanford
Registered user
on Jul 22, 2022 at 7:49 am

"As a resident of Barron Park, I can think of no business or motel worth saving along the ECR corridor."

^ My parents mentioned that at one time the ECR section in Barron Park offered some enjoyable dining venues with restaurants like Ming's, Rickey's, Rudolpho's, Big Al's Gashouse Pizza and a few others.

They are all gone now as the only remaining noteworthy restaurant on ECR is Fuki Sushi.

And so in many ways, it doesn't really matter if this corridor is eventually paved over with high-rise/mixed-use condos and apartments.

There is no longer any reason to patronize this area unless one is seeking a late night donut or some fast food tacos.


Beatrice Baker
Registered user
Community Center
on Jul 22, 2022 at 9:18 am
Beatrice Baker, Community Center
Registered user
on Jul 22, 2022 at 9:18 am

"My parents mentioned that at one time the ECR section in Barron Park offered some enjoyable dining venues with restaurants like Ming's, Rickey's, Rudolpho's, Big Al's Gashouse Pizza and a few others."

And let's not forget Rick's Swiss Chalet and Horky's Mexican Restaurant on El Camino Way.

Dinah's Shack with those cute stable boy lanterns lining the driveway entrance was also a popular dining venue. The poolside cafe is still around.

There's absolutely no reason for us to venture into Barron Park/ECR anymore.


mjh
Registered user
College Terrace
on Jul 22, 2022 at 3:21 pm
mjh, College Terrace
Registered user
on Jul 22, 2022 at 3:21 pm

Anyone remember long time favorite L’ommies, or the interior
patio dining at the Iron Works?


Nelson Bouchette
Registered user
another community
on Jul 23, 2022 at 7:33 am
Nelson Bouchette, another community
Registered user
on Jul 23, 2022 at 7:33 am

Good additions mjh...The Iron Works/Compadres outdoor patio was a very popular hangout as was the bar at L'Omelette.

As Beatrice mentioned earlier, there is absolutely no reason to venture into Barron Park for anything anymore.

The Barron Park/ECR corridor has become a commercial and congested wasteland.


Marcus Jansen
Registered user
Barron Park
on Jul 23, 2022 at 8:00 am
Marcus Jansen, Barron Park
Registered user
on Jul 23, 2022 at 8:00 am

As long as these proposed high-rise developments do not infringe upon the inner Barron Park neighborhood, I have no problem with it.

The El Camino Real portion of Barron Park leaves much to be desired in terms of productive land usage and asthetics.

It is the armpit of Palo Alto.


Eric Cohan
Registered user
Community Center
on Jul 23, 2022 at 10:54 am
Eric Cohan, Community Center
Registered user
on Jul 23, 2022 at 10:54 am

According to Yelp, the Country Inn is one of the worst ranked motels in Palo Alto...no loss.

Now do something about that hideous Glass Slipper Motel in Barron Park.


ALB
Registered user
College Terrace
on Jul 23, 2022 at 1:03 pm
ALB, College Terrace
Registered user
on Jul 23, 2022 at 1:03 pm

Yes Dinah’s is still there. Sadly, L’Omelette is now Walgreens. Sakura Garden was fabulous. We always went to Kirk’s on the El.


Mavis Reed
Registered user
Barron Park
on Jul 23, 2022 at 1:36 pm
Mavis Reed, Barron Park
Registered user
on Jul 23, 2022 at 1:36 pm

@ALB...
Sakura Garden was in Mountain View on ECR near Rengstorff.

Glad you added Kirk's to the list. We used to go there all the time. I think it became the eventual site of Lutz Ford.

Celia's might be the only noteworthy restaurant left in the area.


resident17
Registered user
Monroe Park
on Jul 23, 2022 at 4:16 pm
resident17, Monroe Park
Registered user
on Jul 23, 2022 at 4:16 pm

Not sure what Yelp Eric Cohan is referring to.

Yelp shows the Country Inn with a 4.5 star rating, complete with 81 reviews, #1 after the sponsored results.

Web Link

Particularly notable are reviews like this one ..

"This review goes out especially to any families/couples going through hospital related stays. My husband and I started staying here almost 2 years ago. This is "OUR HOME AWAY FROM HOME". It feels good to come back at the end of a long day at the hospital to a place I feel safe at when I have to leave my husband in the hospital. It is hard enough to do that
and face the night alone without him.

We have a long road ahead of us and coming home to the "THE COUNTRY INN MOTEL" makes it a little easier and comforting. The grounds are well monitored and the motel is Very Well kept. The staff truly care about you and your stay with them. We stay Very often and every stay has been a wonderful and safe. The staff are ALL AWESOME!

Thank you COUNTRY INN MOTEL STAFF!"


Trip Advisor gives it 4 stars, with 178 reviews, booking.com rates it 9.3 out of 10 with 228 reviews, Google gives it 4.4 stars with 149 reviews ...

The Country Inn includes a well maintained garden and pool area, has reasonable - for this area - prices, and is once more most often displaying "no vacancy" signs after recovering from the dip in COVID travel. It has welcomed many others besides those few attending football games.

The property owners may want to cash in on the need for more housing, as is their right, but there is no need for housing advocates to trash the reputation of a business that has served travelers well for decades, be they folks visiting family members, worried supporters of those seeking care at Stanford, students visiting local schools, business nomads… whoever has been in need of a safe, clean, comfortable space to rest their head at night.


Cecilia Vargas
Registered user
Mountain View
on Jul 23, 2022 at 4:52 pm
Cecilia Vargas, Mountain View
Registered user
on Jul 23, 2022 at 4:52 pm

Motel and restaurant reviews are oftentimes misleading.

Some are gripefests while others are over-embellishments or paid endorsements.

Like in Mountain View, there are no true four-star restaurants or motels in Palo Alto.

Nowadays many of the local motels are mostly occupied by tradesmen from out of the area.


Native to the BAY
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 24, 2022 at 6:46 pm
Native to the BAY, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jul 24, 2022 at 6:46 pm

@Marie and @RyanJoot. Right on to both of your posts. No mention in this article about BMR homes at this location. As the PAHousing Element Working Group prepares to send forth the Sate mandates for our Pa housing hole, I don’t feel taking away current “affordable” or “ home key” motels for our most vulnerable is sound idea (Ref. President’s Hotel debacle), unless of course there is a plan in place to rehouse most vulnerable our unman residents getting kicked again to curbside outside. The Glass Slipper has been home to many including a former Stanford Grad and Olympic athlete who fell on hard times. Sadly they passed away far too soon. As well how many low-paying services jobs will cease, housekeepers etc., Money talks and our less fortunate sleep in RV’s or on sidewalks and in back of empty parking lots. Rather than boosting the depleted rental market or loosen the noose of slum lording from demanding out of this Pandemic world credit checks and bank statements. FYI: An average renter in PA must prove $100 thousand a year wage to even be considered for a substandard 2B/1B 800 sqft 1970’s outdated apartment on Alma. Shame. Our community is like the sand along our Bayshore, moist, loose and dirty. GIT . The poverty rate in PA is actually around 12 percent. Yet the city has not published any Census data as far as I know. Please do send a link if you have one. Yet if Alta Housing is the only game in town for poor folk, that ship is so tight the waitlists for any of their family properties have been closed up for years. Council recuse itself? Haha. No one would be able to show up to vote except for maybe, Stone the only renter on the Dias.


Gale Johnson
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 25, 2022 at 1:25 pm
Gale Johnson, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jul 25, 2022 at 1:25 pm

Thanks, eileen, for your clarifying comment that these will not be rentals, but rather, owned units. I think you're right. From most of the other comments, however, there seems to be some confusion whether they will be rental or owned units (BMR, Section 8, minimum income for Alma Street apartments, etc., were mentioned in them). I notice that these kinds of proposals are pushing the limit and are always testing PA's CC members to see if they'll cave and grant all the requests to exceed the typical zoning rules. They generally get cover under the guise of "planned home zoning". They never say what the expected sale prices will be for the various units they offer, and this project gets PA no closer to meeting the State's mandated goals for housing. Unless I missed it, nowhere in the article was the word "affordable" mentioned and no reference made to any other of the layered incomes that the mandate spells out...starting out with "very low income". In PA?, 'fuggedaboudit'!
Sadly, if developers don't get their way, they just won't build. Their business model won't allow it.


Gale Johnson
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 25, 2022 at 1:51 pm
Gale Johnson, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jul 25, 2022 at 1:51 pm

I'm back...to say how much I appreciated all the comments about the good times on ECR, the good restaurants, nightlife, sports bar, ethnic food offerings, etc. I could add to the list by mentioning the 'Red Pepper' Mexican restaurant on East Meadow Way, and there was a Togo's down there also. I'm happy to know there are still a few people alive, obviously old people like me, that remember Rick's Swiss Chalet (Tyrolean Trio), Lommies (Roger Cowdger at the piano in the lounge), and Kirk's, Mings, Big Al's Gashouse, the Cameo Club, Shakey's Pizza Parlor, and The Island dive bar. From the words of the song from Archie Bunker's show..."Those were the good old days"!


Julia Sutter
Registered user
Professorville
on Jul 25, 2022 at 2:06 pm
Julia Sutter, Professorville
Registered user
on Jul 25, 2022 at 2:06 pm

Since all of those terrific Barron Park dining venues and bars are now gone, it really doesn't matter what happens to the ECR corridor now.

Build more housing and reach for the sky.


Skylar Johnson
Registered user
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jul 25, 2022 at 4:14 pm
Skylar Johnson, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
Registered user
on Jul 25, 2022 at 4:14 pm

Barron Park along ECR was once the 'go to' place for an enjoyable dining experience.

Not anymore and all of those terrific restaurants are never coming back.

Nothing worthwhile remaining so why not redevelop the entire section of ECR from Barron to Monroe Park?

"If you build it (high-rise dwellings), he ( as in new PA residents) will come."


Henrietta Walsh
Registered user
Barron Park
on Jul 26, 2022 at 8:01 am
Henrietta Walsh, Barron Park
Registered user
on Jul 26, 2022 at 8:01 am

As empty-nesters, we will be listing our Barron Park home soon and could care less about what happens to Barron Park along El Camino Real as this section of PA leaves much to be desired.

Except for maybe Celia’s and Fuki Sushi, there’s not a whole lot of reasons to venture out that way.


chris
Registered user
University South
on Jul 26, 2022 at 10:59 pm
chris, University South
Registered user
on Jul 26, 2022 at 10:59 pm

The reason for all those restaurants in the Barron Park section of El Camino in the old days is that they could serve liquor well before it was allowed in much of Palo Alto.
Once Palo Alto / Stanford allowed liquor in the proximity of the campus, the location advantage that these restaurants had suddenly disappeared.


Carlyle Coulter
Registered user
another community
on Jul 28, 2022 at 8:03 am
Carlyle Coulter, another community
Registered user
on Jul 28, 2022 at 8:03 am

"The reason for all those restaurants in the Barron Park section of El Camino in the old days is that they could serve liquor well before it was allowed in much of Palo Alto."

Good point as Barron Park was once an unincorporated area.

And when it came to liquor stores, respectable patrons went to Mormon owned Ernie's Liquors while the derelicts frequented the adjacent (and now defunct) A-1 Liquors because it stocked fortified wines such as Thunderbird, Ripple, Boones Farm, and a host of malt liquors like Colt 45, Schlitz Malt Liquor, and Mickey's Big Mouth.

Except for its exceptional dining options, Barron Park in those days was not a very classy section of Palo Alto.

And it still isn't.


Marcella Marquez
Registered user
Mountain View
on Jul 28, 2022 at 11:33 am
Marcella Marquez, Mountain View
Registered user
on Jul 28, 2022 at 11:33 am

Mountain View along ECR from Grant Road to San Antonio Road could also use a major facelift.

Building high-rise dwellings from Grant Road and all the way to South Palo Alto would be a step in the right direction as it would ease the housing shortage.

El Camino Real will never win a beauty contest so why not use the entire strip to provide housing for those who need it?

And get rid of ALL of those tacky-looking motels!


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