Editorial: Using his bully pulpit | March 8, 2019 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - March 8, 2019

Editorial: Using his bully pulpit

Filseth blasts state housing proposal and urges focus on growing tech firms

Palo Alto Mayor Eric Filseth this week chose to use his biggest bully pulpit opportunity — his "State of the City" address — to sound a loud public warning over pending state legislation that seeks to pre-empt local zoning laws and reshape current single-family neighborhoods by allowing the development of high-density housing.

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Comments

87 people like this
Posted by Time For A Housing Moratorium
a resident of Atherton
on Mar 8, 2019 at 7:54 am

The State of California should not be forcing cities & towns to increase housing. Any increases should be at the discretion of the residents, city council & planning departments working in conjunction to ensure a mutually agreed upon quality of life environment.

If some cities & towns want to build more high-rise residential complexes so be it...that should be their choice.

Is Atherton going to be forced to build a bunch of these crappy-looking Lego apartments along the Caltrain RR tracks? Chances are the residents & town council will fight it tooth & nail.

Tell Scott Wiener to propose incentives for companies to either relocate or build elsewhere. Then we won't have this issue/problem to the extent it is today.


26 people like this
Posted by See no evil hear no evil
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 8, 2019 at 9:59 am

What a pathetic newspaper. To anyone under 40, these arguments ring hollow and smack of blatant nimbyism.


26 people like this
Posted by Single Family Zoning is Racism
a resident of University South
on Mar 8, 2019 at 10:59 am

Single family neighborhoods desperately need reshaping and I’m excited that this legislation could move us in that direction. Single family zoning shouldn’t exist anywhere. Single family zoning is structural racism.

Anyone with their head out of the sand will recognize that by enshrining neighborhoods for single families only means only the wealthy people can move in. This serves to maintain our ugly legacy of redlining and racially restrictive covenants. A goal of keeping things the same functions to exclude groups who have historically been prevented from acquiring wealth (i.e. black and brown people), restricting their access to opportunities in the form of our excellent schools and jobs. Dismantling structural racism means undoing our racist policies of exclusion and inviting more diversity of housing types to EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD.

People who purport to care about social justice should welcome the opportunity to be enable greater diversity in our housing stock. Unfortunately the weekly’s liberal values do not apply when it requires your neighborhood to look a little different. Enough of the weekly’s fake liberalism. Regardless of your intent, the politicies you advocate for are racist. Be honest with yourselves.


97 people like this
Posted by Profiles in Cowardice
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 8, 2019 at 11:18 am

It is absolutely insulting for the post above to label single family neighborhoods as being racist. Not only is this broad label egregious name calling, but it is also historically, and factually inaccurate.

There are several studies emerging across the United States showing a direct link to upzoning (increasing the building density allowed in a zoned area) and increased home prices. When land is rezoned to allow for greater density, the value of that land increases, and home prices and rents increase a result. This makes sense. If an acre of land can only support 10 units, and then you increase the density to allow for 40 units, of the course the value of that land will increase, because now a developer can quadruple their profits on that land. Real estate 101. This has been supported by recent studies performed in Chicago and New York City. Both cities have seen mass displacement in areas of their cities where upzoning occurred. New housing being built is high income housing, and low income communities, and communities of color are displaced at higher rates.

A new study out of UC Berkeley show that increase housing prices across the Bay Area has lead to new segregation in the Bay. Communities of color are being displaced, and moving to pockets of the community that are more affordable.

The Weekly got it right. Allowing a one-size-fits-all solution from Sacramento will not help our housing crisis, it will only harm housing affordability. This will further displace our communities of color. Single Family zoning is not racist, and I don't believe that upzoning is purposefully racist. However, the unintended consequences of increasing density does have a disproportionate impact on communities of color. If you care about racial inclusion in our communities, you should be against SB50.


11 people like this
Posted by Old Joe
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 8, 2019 at 11:33 am

All this, while home prices in PA continue to tumble.


51 people like this
Posted by Anne
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 8, 2019 at 11:44 am

Where is our per head business tax for large corporations?

Why can't we place an additional tax on foreign buyers a la Vancouver?

Take the funds from those taxes to fund affordable housing.


67 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Mar 8, 2019 at 11:48 am

Historically it is well documented that redevelopment causes displacement and historically it has been the less advantaged and minorities that suffer the blows of displacement.

The backers of SB50 appear to be oblivious to the devastating impacts of their bill if it is passed.
Housing prices will soar, our neighbors regardless of their race or ethnicity will have to move destroying communities, there will be a reduction in the amenities we currently enjoy in Palo Alto that create a healthy community;
including schools, parks, open space sunlight, clean air and basic democratic principals of self governance.

Say no to undemocratic unamerican power grabs by the minority at every level of government!


18 people like this
Posted by JCP
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 8, 2019 at 11:48 am

JCP is a registered user.

Single family home has already changed in Palo Alto with ADUs. Many R1 residents have rental units. The culprit is short-term occupancy. AirBnB encourages super hosts, etc. No need to pave the path with gold for developers to find a sense of altruism.

There is a lack of creativity on CC and especially city staff. How can Fine say he isn’t pro developer?


14 people like this
Posted by Single Family Zoning is Racism
a resident of University South
on Mar 8, 2019 at 11:53 am

Thanks for the real estate 101 lesson @profilesincowardice (I’m the one who is name calling?). Upzoning making homes more expensive must explain why all the rich people in Palo Alto live in apartments and all the poor people live in single family homes on large lots.

I certainly didn’t call any individual a racist and I’m sorry if you felt insulted. I don’t know what’s in your heart and mind and you are likely well intentioned and want equal opportunity for all people. You and most of the regular commenters are not my target audience for my comment. It seems like you’ve found the evidence that supports your worldview and I don’t believe anything I’m going to say will sway you. People tend to be unwilling to look at the ways in which they experience privilege.

For those with less entrenched land use positions, I hope you will consider how single family zoning might function to benefit the holders of land and harm groups who have historically been prevented from acquiring wealth and accessing opportunity through land ownership in Palo Alto.

Peace.


63 people like this
Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 8, 2019 at 12:10 pm

Novelera is a registered user.

Thanks so much, Editorial Staff of the Palo Alto Weekly, for this excellent editorial describing Mayor Filseth's terrific State of the City presentation.


87 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 8, 2019 at 12:22 pm

Annette is a registered user.

Apparently there's no end to the negative impact of the unmitigated commercial development that was approved - and even encouraged - by some on CC. It's important that matters not be made worse, as SB50 most surely will do. If you aren't sure about this, take housing out of the discussion and ask a more generic question: when is State control ever better than local control?

Never.


18 people like this
Posted by Housing, homelessness, privilege
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Mar 8, 2019 at 12:55 pm

Medieval Diseases Are Infecting California’s Homeless: Web Link

AND MOST OF YOU ARE OPPOSING NEW HOUSING. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?


31 people like this
Posted by Keep it local
a resident of another community
on Mar 8, 2019 at 1:09 pm

Mayor Filseth is a smart guy. He and two other mayors talked about housing and some of the state legislation on YouTube as well.

Web Link


62 people like this
Posted by Keep it local
a resident of another community
on Mar 8, 2019 at 1:45 pm

I don't understand what YIMBYs are thinking. If you get NYC density you get NYC prices. 5th Ave. in Manhattan is the most expensive real estate in the world. Hong Kong has lots of tall buildings - anyone think HK is cheap?

The entire SF Bay area has been growing for years - adding housing and businesses and all the while it keeps getting more expensive. DO YIMBYs think if they add even more apts. "this time is different" and things will suddenly get cheaper?

"Repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity." Albert Einstein

This entire 3.5 million unit "housing shortage" is myth. it is a complete misunderstanding of what the CA Legislative Analyst Office said back in 2015. For details go here:

Web Link


61 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 8, 2019 at 2:31 pm

Annette is a registered user.

Opposing SB350 is not equivalent to opposing housing. Rather, it is opposing giving control over local development to the State and/or developers. Affordable housing is more likely to be built if local control is maintained. Relaxing requirements primarily benefits the developers and since developers understandably want at least a decent ROI, the units that will be built are not likely to bring relief to those who need it most.

The Pied Pipers of Housing are advocating for housing. The adjective "affordable" is conspicuously missing. Worse, there's a good chance that the most ardent promoters of SB50 are in it for political gain. They will of course reject that suggestion, but I think it likely all the same. We have a good example of this on our own City Council. Fine claims to be for housing, yet he voted to remove the downtown cap. That opens the door for more commercial development, and that makes the housing problem worse. And that makes the homeless problem worse. But he curries favor with Weiner. Circles.

It's not "YOU PEOPLE" with whom something is wrong. To get on a corrective path we need to take big money and political party support out of local politics. SB50 is not the answer.


35 people like this
Posted by @annette
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 8, 2019 at 2:41 pm

Couldn’t agree more.

Let’s think about some of the state’s responsibilties right now
1. Educating students
2. Issuing licenses (DMV)
3 providing public transportation
4. Managing Welfare
5. Managing public employee Pensions

It’s hard to imagine anyone in their right mind would want such an inept branch of government to take on land use.


60 people like this
Posted by Seriously
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 8, 2019 at 2:48 pm

It’s pretty humorous to see what weak arguments the YIMBYs and developers’ shills are now resorting to. Racism? Seriously?


34 people like this
Posted by @housing, homelessness
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 8, 2019 at 2:51 pm

Sb-50 ain’t gonna fix homelessness.

On the other hand Filseth is talking about organizing services and a decent location for the RV community. That’s what it means to look after your own.

Sb-50 is just going to make it more expensive for everyone. It’s a no one wins scenario, and ‘you guys’ would do well to look at the recent recent research and the trends
Sb-50 is all about providing housing for white male techies


32 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2019 at 4:02 pm

Posted by @housing, homelessness, a resident of Adobe-Meadow

>> Sb-50 ain’t gonna fix homelessness.

Agreed.

>> Sb-50 is just going to make it more expensive for everyone.

Agreed.

>> It’s a no one wins scenario,

Disagree on that one. Developers will win. Speculators will win. The rest of us will lose, including the white male techies who will be sleeping in expensive, high-rise 250 square foot micro-units, while working in highly dense environments by day.


19 people like this
Posted by Elephant in the room
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 8, 2019 at 4:22 pm

Most of the real estate in Palo Alto is bought by Asians, often all cash. Millions of dollars in cash. Building more and more won't stop it.
No one is proposing a solution. The YIMBYs should speak up about this, unless that is what they want, more foreign money taking over the real estate market,


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2019 at 4:42 pm

I really think a headline that talks about a mayor using his state of the city address as a bully pulpit.

Inflammatory language is unnecessary. I feel sure that if someone commenting here on Town Square called someone else with whom they disagreed an example of bully pulpit or bullying tactics, it would be removed by the moderators!


9 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2019 at 5:02 pm

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
>> bully pulpit. Inflammatory language

You are apparently not familiar with the term "bully pulpit". It does not mean what you think.

Bully pulpit: Web Link


3 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2019 at 7:32 pm

My apologies. I had never heard that expression before and it is interesting to learn something new. I like to keep old expressions alive and kicking.

I was so put off by the headline that I didn't read the article. I shall do so now.


4 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 9, 2019 at 1:01 am

^ Yes, another common word hijacked from our regular vocabulary.


11 people like this
Posted by Jacob Lee
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 9, 2019 at 8:54 am

> Most of the real estate in Palo Alto is bought by Asians, often all cash. Millions of dollars in cash. Building more and more won't stop it.

Not most of it but much of it. It takes time as Palo Alto is only 40% Asian...primarily those who have recently arrived from overseas.

They come here for the outstanding public school system, relatively safe community and proximity to high-end shopping.

Living the American Dream is a universal goal of many & for those who can fulfill this dream, more power to them.

As far as housing density and new home building...in time many of the older homes in PA including those mundane Eichlers will be torn down to accommodate the preferred style of dwelling among the Chinese which is large multi-story residential dwellings with minimal front/rear yards. This design preference is to accommodate the extended family concept.

Given the financial resources to both purchase & renovate, housing in Palo Alto will eventually become more modern, more upscale & more expensive.

Though few Asians reside in Danville, the town's residential layout is what most prefer with the exception of any large yards to maintain.


24 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 9, 2019 at 10:34 am

mauricio is a registered user.

There is no such thing as affordable housing in ultra expensive towns like Palo Alto. The term itself is nonsensical when it comes to Palo Alto. It's really about developing thousands(expensive)s of micro units for highly paid young techies. Only developers would profit from it, and of course the politicians who carry water for them. That massive development will forever eliminate the suburban character of Palo Alto and turn it into an Asian style town, dense, compact, noisy and polluted. It might be a good thing for those craving that life style, but I doubt that those who actually scarified mightily to buy in Palo Alto, not asking, or rather demanding outside help, would appreciate it.


28 people like this
Posted by Anne
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 9, 2019 at 10:45 am

Elephant in the room has it right. Of my close neighbors, the last 7 of 8 properties have been purchased by Chinese Communists. We need a big tax on foreigners buying properties here, a la Vancouver.

I find it ironic that these folks are spending so much to live here since quality of life has gotten so bad with traffic, noise, crime, bad and inconsiderate drivers, pollution, urbanization, etc. I suppose that's because its still exponentially better here than where they are from.

[Portion removed.]


7 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 9, 2019 at 11:50 am

While Asians move in perhaps the best and brightest native members of the Peninsula are moving out. Computers labs are everywhere, the internet is everywhere. Asians do get birth right citizenship. How long will that last?
And yes, global warming is a huge game changer. Clue: Whisky is for drinking but water is for fighting in the west. Harsh decisions are upon us. Our mayor is bucking the trend of rotten leadership in California the demographically challenged state. Question: How manly immigrants (on the internet) actually cover their expenses in California's welfare state?

George Drysdale land economist and initiator


19 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 9, 2019 at 11:55 am

Annette is a registered user.

I can see how one might know that a purchaser is Chinese, but have to ask how it is that one can know that a purchaser is "Chinese Communist". Or what difference that really makes. The ghost house phenomenon is detrimental to community regardless of who has purchased and left vacant a house.

DeLeon seems to have a lock on the China/Palo Alto real estate pipeline. So I guess he's not exactly a candidate for the Tall Tree Award. But he might become a candidate for that recognition by working with his clients and encouraging them to at least rent out the Palo Alto homes they own but do not occupy as a way to put a small dent in the housing shortage problem.


24 people like this
Posted by Xuan Q.
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 9, 2019 at 12:56 pm

> If current trends continue only Chinese Communists will be living here.

No such thing...most wealthy Chinese are Capitalist-Socialist as per Deng regime.

> While Asians move in perhaps the best and brightest native members of the Peninsula are moving out.

Like hermit crab. Old Palo Altans move on & new crab take their shell.

> I can see how one might know that a purchaser is Chinese, but have to ask how it is that one can know that a purchaser is "Chinese Communist". Or what difference that really makes.

Paranoid minds like to use term Communist as scare tactic...like John Birch Society of old. No one pay attention to those lunatics anymore.


2 people like this
Posted by Formerly OF PA Hills
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Mar 9, 2019 at 6:28 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names.]


4 people like this
Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Mar 9, 2019 at 6:52 pm

The Palo Alto Weekly is joining Eric Filseth and the Daily Post is promoting outlandish scare tactics.
“SB50 will add 46,000 housing units and 30,000 students to Palo Alto.”

Come again. Palo Alto can’t even build 300 units/year now.

Liz Kniss was right in seriously ripping Filseth’s speech as irresponsible. If Palo Alto can say something besides NO to housing, it would have more credibility in modifying SB50 to something more practical. At this point, the response of state legislators to Filseth will be to laugh in his face.


7 people like this
Posted by Give me money they say
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 9, 2019 at 9:08 pm

Chris- this is just par for the course for the “weakly”. [Portion removed.]

Note how one sided the comments are and how borderline racist comments , like Anne’s above, is not edited or deleted.


27 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Mar 11, 2019 at 10:13 am

Chris-
The Weekly and the mayor spoke the truth.
When are we going to hear the truth about Liz Kniss campaign Finance violations from FPPC????
Liz Kniss is getting seaway with this being kept secret for way to long!!!!
Maybe she thinks we have forgotten but we have not!


16 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2019 at 11:14 am

Posted by chris, a resident of University South

>> If Palo Alto can say something besides NO to housing, it would have more credibility in modifying SB50 to something more practical. At this point, the response of state legislators to Filseth will be to laugh in his face.

Confusing the issue once again. Palo Alto needs to say NO to more -office space-. "Housing" has been a red herring for the last 20+ years, and, apparently continues to be.

Chris-- can -you- say NO to more office space?


15 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 11, 2019 at 11:34 am

We have had three years now of people trying to bully the system by calling out racism. And every other ISM out there. Sorry - overplayed your hand. My neighborhood has Indian and oriental - no one is excluded if they can meet the price of the home. And these people have good jobs and resources and can do that to get their children in the school system. An ISM is no longer an argument because there are too many people on the bay area who are successful - they have gone to school and mastered their work endeavors. What qualifies as success is the same as ever - get good grades in school, focus on a career path, and go to additional training to improve throughout. Sorry - you cannot avoid the obvious by using an ISM. And that is not going to buy you any votes coming up.


7 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 11, 2019 at 12:38 pm

Obviously Trump is a political genius. His recent approval is above 50% even with Hispanics. Schumer and Pelosi have only one way out in the ancient Roman fashion: suicide. Now you see why rent control in San Jose is destined to be the number one lesson plan in economics. The San Jose Property Rights initiative on the internet unless the city council of San Jose is concealing the document. The god of economics via Palo Alto gave the world the Buena Vista trailer park. A $500,000,000.00 boondoggle economic opportunity loss (Simitianville) for the sake of the Hispanic vote. Thank you city council before our present mayor.


7 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2019 at 1:39 pm

Posted by george drysdale, a resident of Professorville

>> Obviously Trump is a political genius. His recent approval is above 50% even with Hispanics.

Alternative facts? Not a single major poll is showing Trump above 50%, including the Republican-favoring Rasmussen poll:

Web Link

Not to mention that Trump has been net-negative (disapproval exceeding approval) every single day since around day 13 after his inauguration. Not that popularity is a particularly good measure of how good a president is... Let's stick to the facts.

Presumably, Trump won in part because the US economy has not been doing that well since 2007, except here. It still isn't:

Web Link

I'm sure you have your own ideas about what to do regarding "secular stagnation". Chances are, I agree more with Paul Krugman: Web Link


39 people like this
Posted by Another anon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 11, 2019 at 1:43 pm

NO to more office space in Palo Alto.

YES to housing within current ZONING rules.


ENCOURAGE economic growth in other areas that could really use a share - Modesto, Gilroy, Chico. Even, gasp! other states than California. Spread the good-paying, high tech businesses to other locals to support other areas' economies.

YES to a per head business tax on giant employers.

NO to state level control of local zoning.


12 people like this
Posted by Another anon
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 11, 2019 at 1:46 pm

IGNORE posts about racism, trump, etc. Off-topic rants by trolls simply intended to muddy the discussion and raise blood-pressure.


1 person likes this
Posted by sophie
a resident of another community
on Mar 11, 2019 at 4:50 pm

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by bg
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Mar 11, 2019 at 9:39 pm

[Post removed.]


9 people like this
Posted by bg
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Mar 11, 2019 at 9:45 pm

high density housing is bad for your mental and physical well-being. PA is built out - no more housing or offices.

We do need more retail - previous city councils (eg, john barton) have foolishly allowed conversion of retail to housing driving up the cost of retail space, over-inflating our population and compounding the problem.


6 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 12, 2019 at 9:14 am

Yeah, Anon I used to be a be a pollster, you have to read between the lines with your polls. Take the 2016 polls before Trump got elected. Otherwise your comments are excellent. The future of Palo Alto the carbon free city in Toronto? With global warming we must look to the future. Meanwhile considering economics (resources are scare) and demography California is in trouble.


5 people like this
Posted by Build upwards
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 12, 2019 at 11:21 am

Apt title. Filseth and PASZ are bullies, pushing their no housing agenda to protect their little fiefdoms.
BG- Palo,also is hardly built out. There is plenty of room to build upwards. Palo Alto has contributed little to no housing in this region, thanks to PASZ and former no to everything council members like kishimoto, Holman and kuo.


2 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 12, 2019 at 5:27 pm

The ECR is the place for new buildings. Oregon Expressway going south. Buildings on West and East Bayshore that are empty half the time. If they have no commercial value then they should be rebuilt as apartments. There are so many obvious holes here that can be rebuilt. Comment above about no new building - sorry you are wrong - lots of new apartments locations throughout the city.
However arguments in San Jose regarding the height and the airport proximity. The FAA has some limitations when in proximity to airports and airplane routes. Possibly there is some limitations in PA relative to height and the airports. Someone needs to report on that. We are under the main SFO plane lanes.


17 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 12, 2019 at 8:18 pm

Annette is a registered user.

The primary justification for mandating that we add substantially to our housing inventory is that we are transit rich. I'd like SB50 proponents to clarify that b/c simple observations suggests otherwise.

I know the very word Trump causes us to get the shingles, but if we are looking at a bill that has the potential to kick the "sub" out of suburban, we need to at least ask if Weiner and Fine et al have taken a page out of Trump's playbook: say something often enough and people will begin to believe it. Even if they are stuck in traffic every day. Even if they have to strategize trips across town. Even if they spend an inordinate amount of time trying to park. Even if they know better. I think Palo Alto is not transit rich no matter how many times *they* say it is. We might be able to become transit rich but we aren't that way now. Not by a long shot.

I think our mayor has initiated the right discussion. We cannot afford another planning failure. Imagine how bad things would be if we added the problems inherent to a built environment:infrastructure imbalance to the problems we already have with the jobs:housing imbalance.


7 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 12, 2019 at 10:43 pm

The problem we have in PA and CA existed before Trump ran for office. I think Brown was getting too old to keep it together but his subalterns were stirring the pot. Alluding to Trump for these errors is a distraction and non-essential to what we are trying to accomplish here. Our problem is in San Francisco locally, and Sacramento. If people are trying to make a point and be believable then forget Trump - this is strictly a CA problem that was created years ago. Becerra is running around suing the federal government every day - he is like some gangster element we would expect to see in Mexico - known for corruption. And Newsome is caught in his own negligence for the last couple of years. The LA papers are starting to poke at the nonsense going on. And Weiner and Chiu who think this type of stuff up are busy trying to figure out how to promote their political goals.


7 people like this
Posted by Bg
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Mar 12, 2019 at 11:56 pm

Increased density along ecr is foolish, and reflects a lack of understanding about traffic flows.
Hundreds of teenagers have to cross ecr everyday on their bikes to get to school.
Higher density only serves to make that commute more dangerous.


8 people like this
Posted by Bg
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Mar 13, 2019 at 12:13 am

Higher density degrades our quality of life on many levels - from our health to our environment to our quality of life.
Adding more high density housing in this area is foolish, and primarily promulgated by people who don't understand the benefits of having safe streets where you can walk to local retail and schools.
Higher density will only exacerbate regional traffic jams.
It is sponsored by a collusion of developers, trade unions, and high tech businesses who want to pay lower wages.
Instead of paying higher salaries to entice workers to live nearby, they want us to subsidize their profits by providing lower priced housing for their employees.


3 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 13, 2019 at 10:46 am

Notice that this opinion piece has no name attached - just the editorial board. If you are suppose to be "journalism" then own up to the opinion piece by name of authorship. But assume that this was written by the sponsor/funder for the paper then printed. The title of "Bully Pulpit" says it all - please refrain from trying to tar and feather what is in fact the most favored opinion of the majority of residents in this city. And where is Mr. Berman's input here? Time to go and interview him so we know what he is up to regarding the CA legislative activity he is involved in. He does have a vote here and his vote is expected to represent the residents of this city.


18 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2019 at 11:01 am

Posted by Annette, a resident of College Terrace

>> The primary justification for mandating that we add substantially to our housing inventory is that we are transit rich. I'd like SB50 proponents to clarify that b/c simple observations suggests otherwise.

Caltrain is -transit-. Whenever I'm going to/from SF, I take Caltrain, and that even has included a number of business trips via SFO, although the connection is not as good as it was pre-BART. ;-) Hotel 22 on ECR moves at less than the general speed of traffic. At rush hour, that is 6 MPH by my personal measurement. Take your bike up Park if you can-- twice as fast the 22 or 522 in heavy traffic. IOW-- it is disingenuous -at best- to refer to ECR as "transit rich".

But, we all know what the real agenda is anyway, and, it has nothing to do with housing. They just want to use housing to break any height barrier, and then start building office towers. Just say no.


7 people like this
Posted by @Bg
a resident of another community
on Mar 13, 2019 at 11:12 am

"Higher density degrades our quality of life on many levels - from our health to our environment to our quality of life."

High density residential is far more environmentally friendly than suburban sprawl. And not building more housing is degrading the quality of life of everyone else around here born too late to get property before Boomers started pulling the ladder up and blocking new housing construction.

Here's the facts: The housing will be built. Millennials aren't going to stuff themselves into crowded single-family homes converted into dorms just so you can keep a suburban neighborhood character in the middle of silicon valley while getting rich off your increasing property values. You've refused to work in good faith to help solve this problem, and now we outnumber you and we're going to solve this problem. SB50 today, and more to come.


7 people like this
Posted by Politics?
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 13, 2019 at 12:29 pm

What ladder? I didn't see a ladder when I moved here. But you're right, mob mentality get-what-I-want-the-heck-with-everyone-else will win, that's how it is now. There's no appreciation, no respect.


8 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2019 at 12:40 pm

Posted by @Bg, a resident of another community

>> Millennials aren't going to stuff themselves into crowded single-family homes converted into dorms just so you can keep a suburban neighborhood character

In all seriousness-- since high-rises seem to be looming large in your imagination-- in all seriousness, how much can you afford to pay per month, and, how many square feet do you think you are going to get in your imaginary high-rise?

Do the arithmetic-- the most cost-effective construction overall including infrastructure, per square foot, is 4 stories < 50' height. You can get 35 units/acre with such row houses/townhouses.

>> in the middle of silicon valley while getting rich off your increasing property values. You've refused to work in good faith to help solve this problem, and now we outnumber you and we're going to solve this problem. SB50 today, and more to come.

Why do you hate peninsula cities so much?


7 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 13, 2019 at 1:23 pm

BG is a resident of another community. Why does he pose a threat to this community? If he has a place to stay then why does he need to stay in this particular city? I don't get what ever point he is threatening us with? If he is already in an apartment then all he is proposing is more apartments. What is wrong with millennials that they need to threaten people with whatever. So BG if you are already living in an apartment then why are you threatening us with more apartments? Mountain View and Redwood City have a ton of new apartments - why are you threatening us?


25 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 13, 2019 at 1:27 pm

Annette is a registered user.

@Bg wrote: "You've refused to work in good faith to help solve this problem, and now we outnumber you and we're going to solve this problem. SB50 today, and more to come."

I'm guessing you are decades younger than I am. What you have written comes across to me as a substantial amount of generalizing and assuming regarding PA and SV homeowners. Please keep in mind that long term residents did not cause this problem. If you wish to place blame, look no further than local City Councils that approved more commercial space than Palo Alto and other cities could possibly accommodate housing-wise.

Please also keep in mind that those of us who are older have lived with and observed government longer than younger people have. There are good reasons why we are saying NO to forfeiting local control. Be careful what you ask for. SB50 may suit your purposes now and get you closer to getting something you think you deserve to have, but the principle and precedent of relinquishing control to the State is one that is not good. It's generally harder to get something back than it is to keep it in the first place.

I also think it worth considering if proponents of SB50 are selling younger people a bill of goods and getting their support for something that isn't likely to benefit them in any meaningful way in this area, excepting for those with very healthy incomes. Politicians, and those who support them financially, will benefit from passing this legislation.

We need workforce housing, with our highest need being for affordable workforce housing. Even if the current height restriction is relaxed, "building up" is more of a sound-bite of a solution than a practical one given associated infrastructure issues. Also, since space is limited by geography and the already-built environment, getting enough of what is being demanded is highly unlikely.

Encouraging companies to look beyond mecca may be an unpopular option for those wanting to live here, but it arguably makes the most sense. We need to create new meccas.


12 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 13, 2019 at 6:56 pm

Why does anyone want to live her? Redwood City is jumping. If you are a millennial then that is where you can have a great time. Mountain View is building away and has a young crowd. I am trying to figure out why millennials want to live here when the peninsula has so many great places to be for that age group. PA is an old city.


4 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 14, 2019 at 10:25 am

Coming from rent controlled San Francisco a known disaster (Paul Krugman) Wiener and Newsome should be ashamed of themselves. Palo Alto is best served by free market principles and let more affordable housing be built in the east side of Silicon Valley. Get all those mobile home parks into development of muti-storied apartments. Palo Alto, where you can, should go into two million dollar condos. Build on the tax base rather than allow dishonorable politicians to search for votes. Newsome (from moon beam to no beam) is going to be humiliated with his lawsuit against Huntington Beach whose mayor is a social scientist.

George Drysale of the San Jose Property Rights Initiative and money maker for the city of Palo Alto


2 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2019 at 10:35 am

Posted by resident, a resident of Adobe-Meadow

>> Why does anyone want to live her? Redwood City is jumping. If you are a millennial then that is where you can have a great time.

Agree with that. Redwood City and San Carlos are both a lot more fun than Palo Alto is.


Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 14, 2019 at 10:29 pm

> The State of California should not be forcing cities & towns to increase housing.

Where are people supposed to live, and work?

This "free market" BS is not working. The most brainpower in the country is all going
into how to short circuit the free market, and somehow that counts are being the free
market.

The upper class people in America are no longer civilized people and they no longer
have any real attachment to the country other than how to manipulate its institutions
with money and influence. We can't really call that democracy or the free market
any more.

Bottom line is people need solutions. Because people regularly are abused and
exploited in other countries is no reason we should instantiate that kind of system
here. If you are here and agree with that - go live somewhere else, I for one would
rather have immigrants who believe in hard work and the American way.


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

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