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City struggles to reach consensus on office cap

Original post made on Jun 16, 2015

The goal may be be clear, but the details continue to bedevil the Palo Alto City Council, which struggled on Monday night to reach a consensus about a proposed cap on new office development.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 3:06 AM

Comments (4)

1 person likes this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 16, 2015 at 4:21 am

> With Councilman Tom DuBois recusing himself from the discussion

Why did DuBois recuse himself?

The voters put him in office to deal with the hard problems facing Palo Alto--not hide from them.

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Posted by Mila Z
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 16, 2015 at 5:24 am

Thanks to the Council for putting the time into thinking about how we can substantively address our preexisting jobs/housing imbalance. We have a housing shortage for the number of jobs. Our city is not alone in this - the entire peninsula is struggling with how to keep our economy healthy & growing while addressing decades of pent up demand for supply. I think it is important to reiterate:
- Comments observed at the Summit were favorable to offsets over increasing cap IF we as a community can collaborate w property owners about what kinds of buildings we would like to see.
- Wouldn't we want projects that address the impacts we are concerned about (lack of avail housing, address transportation demand)? I do.
- Let's encourage those kinds of projects through a Specific or Area Plan like what happened at the South of Forest Area to create Heritage park. I think a lot of people would agree that that project is a successful example of quality design that the community helped shape.

1 person likes this
Posted by Leadership
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 16, 2015 at 6:44 am

It is surprising but encouraging that Mr. Wolbach is emerging as the most thoughtful of the council members. His proposal is rational and mature; not a knee jerk reaction. He is helping to break through some of the ideological ossification that has gripped this council.

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Posted by Downtown Worker
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 16, 2015 at 8:04 am

While I think Councilmember Burt ultimately crafted a reasonable compromise with the yearly office cap, it's based on the idea that we need to space out office growth so we can address the impacts. Area plans are already a tool to carefully design growth so that impacts are addressed.

For example, the SOFA plan got community input around housing and ultimately requires additional affordable housing and the creation of Heritage Park as a benefit in exchange for building there. This was already addressing the impact of the additional housing on park space in University South.

Area plans are an ideal way to plan growth - once you've done one, the rationale for metering that growth no longer applies. It should be dictated by the Area Plan, not by a central plan that isn't sensitive to community input or the context of the site.

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