Palo Alto to get community's input on downtown site | June 7, 2013 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - June 7, 2013

Palo Alto to get community's input on downtown site

City plans outreach meetings, stakeholder group to help set vision for 27 University Ave.

by Gennady Sheyner

After crashing into a wall of community opposition last year, Palo Alto officials on Monday formally hit the restart button on their planned transformation of a prominent downtown site commonly known as 27 University Ave.

This story contains 1360 words.

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Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be emailed at


Like this comment
Posted by homeless
a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2013 at 11:15 pm


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Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 3, 2013 at 11:40 pm

This site should be considered for BMR Senior housing. Curtis Williams previously said they had difficulty identifying sites for housing as a replacement for the Maybell site being proposed for dense senior housing & market rate homes. Well I can't think of a better site then 27 University Ave. Oh and throw in enough parking garages for 1500 cars - that's the amount of parking that is lacking in downtown.

Like this comment
Posted by Rational
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 4, 2013 at 1:26 am

Please put the Caltrain tracks in a trench as part of this! University and Lytton both take an overpass above tracks, perhaps even Homer. There should be a parking structure on top of the tracks ... for Caltrain and future HSR (yes I have hope). The transit Center could be part of that structure too. This will solve parking, traffic and train noise problems! It will make more space (currently surface parking) available for either a third track or retail for the station. The Arrillaga business park (other side of tracks) will be more connected to downtown.

But I think it's just too bold for America.

Like this comment
Posted by henry
a resident of Monroe Park
on Jun 4, 2013 at 1:57 pm

cannot believe in peoples lies. your country cannot function without lies. what were all those people in lytton plaza. hundreds. no reporting. paloaltoonlie is a disgrace to honest journalism. tell amy goodman abourt paloalto racist hatred opf the poor online.

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Posted by dan
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 4, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Money apparently can buy anything if enough "important" people want the project. Arrillaga's proposal (27 University) for a huge development which is way beyond the scope of the City's Comprehensive Plan is outrageous. And a bribe is offered for a theater shell building which would cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars to complete.

City staff worked behind the scenes for almost a year with no community input to develop this plan. Who authorized spending our money for a rich man's project? Unconscionable.

Council members Schmid and Holman seem to be the only ones who recognize the need for more time and thought on this proposal. The rest apparently see dollar signs and leaving a legacy to justify their positions. Respect for the community is a must.

Like this comment
Posted by Julia
a resident of University South
on Jun 4, 2013 at 8:59 pm

How could the proposal even have been considered by staff and some others. . .???

The building being built on Lytton and Alma is so out of keeping with our community - it's size and proximity to the sidewalk is stunningly awful. And the proposal for 27 Univ. was far, far worse.

And I also wonder why TheatreWorks would want a building right next to the noise and vibration of trains?

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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 4, 2013 at 9:06 pm

In 1967, people got fed up with the overdevelopment and recalled nearly the entire City Council.

South Palo Altans: Do you realize the new Housing Element targets South Palo Alto for dense development? The vote for the Housing Element is June 17.

At least this is downtown, and no one is trying to put those things in your neighborhood, like they are over here on the south side of town!

Like this comment
Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 4, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Aren't most of the buildings in downtown in close proximity to the sidewalk?

Like this comment
Posted by getting weirder
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 4, 2013 at 9:24 pm

I just posted the following on the thread about our esteemed Council proposing to throw out term limits (maybe we should throw them out first?).

It's related to the "process" for 27 University.

RE Council throwing out term limits

Can this get any weirder?

so power hungry and it would not be so bad if they were at least capable.

Who allowed 27 University to get so out of hand? Council.

Post reported that 27 University will undergo a process where Council will "appoint" the stakeholders involved in the public planning for this site?

The "appointed" public will now have a voice, gee thanks

PA Weekly,

Please investigate what "APPOINTED" Stakeholders means?

Would an "appointed" stakeholder be Theaterworks? or the former (appointed) planning commissioner/ turned architect of 27 University, also on the board of Theaterworks?

Like this comment
Posted by Here we go again
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 5, 2013 at 12:10 am

Last year the City Manager appointed people to the Rail Corridor Study committee they were almost all housing and development advocates. Even the liaison from the PTC and ARB were an outspoken housing-development advocates (Wasserman and Lippert). And manipulative pro-housing consultants ran the charade.
Only after loud complaints from the public did the Manager appoint a couple of residents.
Corrupt staff activity doesn't get enough sunlight.

Like this comment
Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 5, 2013 at 3:54 pm

"The "appointed" public will now have a voice, gee thanks"

They only THINK they'll have a voice. Sure, they get to strut and fret their hour on the stage, but their real role is to be a front for whatever "vision" city hall wants to push through in their name.

Like this comment
Posted by Marie
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 7, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Marie is a registered user.

I also was unhappy with both the consultants and members of the Rail Corridor Study. Only meaningful public input at council meetings made this a useful study.

The members should be appointed by the council. The consultants should be experienced with small liveable cities and not with pre-conceived notions that 10 story buildings and paid parking are good while free parking lots are bad (and yes, that was clearly the opinion of one of the rail corridor study consultants).

Finally, there should be alternative plans developed as requested by the council originally, which can be voted on. And why is there no consideration of the dream plan created in the 90's? Given the effort put into it, shouldn't it be one of the alternatives? What about that plan is so bad that the administration ignored it?

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