Commission creates hurdle for hotel conversion | February 1, 2019 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |


https://paloaltoonline.com/print/story/print/2019/02/01/commission-creates-hurdle-for-hotel-conversion


Palo Alto Weekly

News - February 1, 2019

Commission creates hurdle for hotel conversion

Recommendation: 'Grandfathered' residential downtown buildings must stay residential

by Gennady Sheyner

In a bid to correct a zoning error, Palo Alto's planning commissioners endorsed an ordinance on Wednesday that will restore the right of owners of downtown buildings that are out of compliance with city code to use the building for different purposes.

This story contains 1274 words.

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Comments

54 people like this
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 31, 2019 at 11:13 am

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

Aren’t WE your client, assistant city attorney Albert Yang?


36 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 31, 2019 at 11:43 am

Anon is a registered user.

How could the wording of the new proposed (defeated) waiver have been recommended by the city council when the proposal was switched out at the last minute just before the PTC meeting last night? That it was sprung on the Commissioners and public without notice was bad practice and the City Attorney who must have drafted it and whoever else was involved should go to the woodshed.

That said, thank you Commissioners for unanimously passing the prohibition to conversion, and not passing the waiver. And for fixing the infamous typo.

Commissioner Alcheck hired the same attorney, Dave Lanferman, to fix his garage scandal, that AJ Capital hired for the President Hotel. Did that not present a conflict for Alcheck for which he should have recused himself last night? I say yes.

Now we know there are 13 residential buildings protected if the City Council agrees with the PTC. It better - that’s a lot of housing to lose and tenants displaced otherwise. If Council re-attaches the ill advised waiver, it will be open seaaon on housing downtown.


24 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 31, 2019 at 11:48 am

Annette is a registered user.

@Mark Weiss: BINGO!

Last night's PTC meeting was replete with oddness, but not because of any of the Commissioners. The City Attorney's responses were faltering and confusing. I think the Commission made the correct decision about the waiver and applaud them for that.


1 person likes this
Posted by Louise Emerson
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jan 31, 2019 at 12:00 pm

[Post removed; off topic.]


Like this comment
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 31, 2019 at 12:16 pm

[Post removed; off topic.]


21 people like this
Posted by eileen
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 31, 2019 at 1:28 pm

eileen is a registered user.

I totally agree with Mark Weiss, I thought assistant city attorney Albert Yang represented the residents of Palo Alto
not outside property owners who want their way with the city!


6 people like this
Posted by Turn Back the Clock
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 31, 2019 at 2:43 pm

Those who yearn for the 'Palo Alto of old' should simply disregard the Planning Commission as their policies are often questionable.

Let's go back to true 'mixed usage'in PA...with various businesses interspersed in residential areas, downtown auto dealerships and garages + additional grocery stores, bars, full functioning dry cleaners and gas stations.

Reopen Cubberley as a high school and reduce the student population at Gunn and Paly.

The list goes on...


15 people like this
Posted by Scrutiny
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 31, 2019 at 3:23 pm

@ Turn back

"Disregard" the planning and transportation commission? Not so fast

Disregarding them is probably the reason why we have all the controversies which aren't really about the "Palo Alto of old." This commission should be scrutinized because they are (in theory) working on issues about the Palo Alto of the future. I would like to see "planning" for the future about

Safe streets and neighborhoods
Clean air and not sucking up fumes from the lack of planning to address traffic problems

Isn't that what every City wants?

Mixing offices with residential is an obvious mess. Corporate campuses should move to places where they need jobs and have giant space to build and build. These companies can still keep a satellite and vanity address in Palo Alto but they need to grow up somewhere else.

How about some leadership from this commission to plan on how to fix the office housing imbalance by discouraging offices?


18 people like this
Posted by About Alcheck
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 31, 2019 at 10:42 pm

>Commissioner Alcheck hired the same attorney, Dave Lanferman, to fix his garage scandal, that AJ Capital hired for the President Hotel. Did that not present a conflict for Alcheck for which he should have recused himself last night?
Alcheck's disregard for ethical behavior has been pointed out several times but the City attorney, or someone, doesn't do anything about it. Of course he should have recused himself,
Now he wants the city to hire an outside lawyer, presumably like himself, to study relevant law (Ellis Act?).
He also used his seat on the dais to chastise a member of the public who said something he didn't like. Unprofessional and bizarre behavior.


8 people like this
Posted by Exhausted
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 1, 2019 at 12:04 am

For goodness sake, the appetite for scandal among this crowd is so ridiculous. Alcheck’s comments last night were exceptional. He came out early in support of changes that would stop AJ Capital. He clearly appreciated the legal issues and his motion that council get some legal guidance here seemed entirely appropriate considering the fact that the city attorney present was unwilling to provide any legal analysis for the commission to rely on. Which I think is the only thing remotely unethical that took place last night. You can’t have it both ways you know: criticizing the city attorney for not doing his job and criticizing Alcheck for suggesting that a proper legal review be completed and presented before the Council sticks their neck on the line. Puhlese take a break from the hypocrisy.