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Palo Alto banks on backyard dwellings to meet housing targets

Original post made on Oct 7, 2020

Eager to see more accessory dwelling units throughout Palo Alto, city leaders agreed on Monday to revise the city's zoning code to make it easier for homeowners to turn portions of their backyards into living spaces.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, October 7, 2020, 10:33 AM

Comments (31)

51 people like this
Posted by iSez
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 7, 2020 at 11:36 am

iSez is a registered user.

There will be so many cars parked on the streets! If every house had an ADU, there would still be a lack of housing! Way to ruin our city, City Council!


23 people like this
Posted by Old Fashioned
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 7, 2020 at 11:55 am

Old Fashioned is a registered user.

ADU makes sense for new constructions and significant remodel projects.

Otherwise the property tax assessment will be a huge trap for home owners, because ADU is assessed at current market value, per squarefoot.


26 people like this
Posted by marc665
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 7, 2020 at 2:58 pm

marc665 is a registered user.

Once again lots of hearsay. If 84 ADU's have received their final permits then why doesn't the city know who they are being rented to? Why don't they ask and know whether they are rented as "affordable" housing, Air BNB or used for playrooms/offices.

On nextdoor someone in Crescent Park is renting a "cottage" on their property for over $3K per month. So much for affordable housing.

/marc


17 people like this
Posted by RPopp
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 7, 2020 at 9:04 pm

RPopp is a registered user.

Many misunderstand this but there is NO OPTION for the Council when it comes to adopting the general language of these rules. ADU development is now mandated by the State and the ability to build up to an additional 800 sf, 16' tall and 4' from side or rear property lines is a right any residential property owner can exercise. City and staff are attempting to create a framework to control the aspects of ADU construction that are not restricted by the government code sections relating to this, and you really should be thankful for that. Take a moment and read the ordinance before you direct any anger toward staff or Council as they have done a generally good job of managing this set of regulations.


25 people like this
Posted by Consider this comprehensively
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 8, 2020 at 11:24 am

Consider this comprehensively is a registered user.

What Mr. Popp says is mostly correct. What he misses is that SB35 will have huge impact on our schools, streets, libraries, community centers. All of the additional new residents will need additional services. Consider this when Council Members Cormack, Fine, Kniss, and now Templeton) push slapping housing on top of the Cubberley plans.

The community preserved Cubberley as public facility land (specifically zoned it for this purpose) to grow schools and city services as the city increases population. Now that we are increasing population, these Council Members want to also put private housing use on this publicly owned land.

Consider cumulative impacts. Consider that housing on top of a high school (with outdoor late night sports, cheerleading, concerts and loud student activities--think Night Rally), and community center operated by two separate government agencies is an incompatible land use.

Cubberley is not the Campus for Jewish Life (a private non-profit, run by a single board that controls the entire site). They are nothing alike. The high school will be the dominant facility on the site, and that is not compatible with housing.

If we are going to increase the number of residents, we must increase our capacity for schools and community services. Cubberley is the last, large publicly owned parcel we have to do that. We are going to need it because of SB35. Save it for its intended use.





37 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 8, 2020 at 12:02 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

"What Mr. Popp says is mostly correct. What he misses is that SB35 will have huge impact on our schools, streets, libraries, community centers. All of the additional new residents will need additional services. Consider this when Council Members Cormack, Fine, Kniss, and now Templeton) push slapping housing on top of the Cubberley plans. "

Let's not forget about utilities. We already have high rates and rolling blackouts courtesy of Palo Alto utilities and its supplier PGE. We've got droughts so we're are told to conserve water and to drink recycled sewage. Then we're told we conserved too much so rates have to rise again.

No matter how "green" Ms. Templeton claims to be in her answers to whatever question is asked, remember that she's a member of the YIMBY party pushing for the highest possible density and that the Sierra Club endorsed her opponents Burt, Stone, Kuo and Lauing for good reason.


22 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 8, 2020 at 12:53 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

I understand the "between a rock and a hard spot" position that CC is faced with. All because of a progressive Democrat Party controlled legislature. Let's not put the blame on our local hard working CC members, but instead on those supposedly serving us at the state level, including Marc Berman.

I was opposed to the ADU relaxations that were proposed and eventually given years ago, strictly at CC's discretion. Then they had the audacity to approve adding 300 housing units a year...a goal that any sane person would have challenged and one that hasn't even come close to being met. And now we hear how ADU's could have a big impact on our housing shortage needs. Let's parse that a little bit. Key words from Lait, "meeting regional targets for market rate housing". Well of course, let's pick the low hanging fruit, market rate housing. How about dealing with the affordable housing issue (a term often misused and never clearly defined). And let that definition include low income and very low income workers in our city. The lips of many of our local politicians must be getting tired and sore from too much lip service.

And about the highly acclaimed, but still paltry progress on housing, due to ADU's...84 approved final permits in 4-5 years. That yields a range of 17-21 per year. How many of them will actually be built? And of course we heard at the CC meeting that there will be no enforcement of the usage. Go for it AirBnB! And homeowners to get help to pay off your mortgage loan and keep you above water. Sorry granny, you might have to go live in a nursing home.


9 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 8, 2020 at 4:13 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

A lot of assumptions in the comments above. The PACC members mentioned will not be here in 2021 and some mentioned have not been voted in. But Cubberely is mentioned and that is a major issue. Despite what some singular PACC members would like Cubberely is publicly owned land under control of the School District in part and is not going to be turned into private housing. It is a school and it will be needed as we do increase the housing overall in the city. No one is going to roll over on that so be careful on what assumptions you are putting out there because those assumptions are not going to reach reality. Count on that - it is a legal issue.


5 people like this
Posted by RPopp
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 8, 2020 at 5:38 pm

RPopp is a registered user.

Gale Johnson: "All because of a progressive Democrat Party controlled legislature."

My only thought is the leadership we have was voted into office by the MAJORITY. I happen to support what our State Representatives are doing and am so glad Marc Berman is representing me. I'm in favor of the ADU regulations and although I believe there are some flaws in our City Ordinance, I'm very happy we are finally seeing growth in our housing. Honestly, what I am most concerned about is the prospect of Burt and those like him coming back to Council. The mess we have now relative to sub-standard transportation systems, pension issues, infrastructure deficiencies, etc are all due to the lack of action on the part of the Council he was leading. More of that is not what I believe we need and I'm prepared to support adding more school capacity, better managing our utilities, and not hesitating to send a complaint if I see an ADU used for an AirBNB. Our City has thrived because we embraced the change from farm to town to city and no, I don't see any scenario where we become like Manhattan - a gross exaggeration that makes me chuckle when I hear it.

What we are seeing is some good momentum being gained in ADU permitting and I am glad to be part of the process. These small units, scattered around, have nowhere near the impact of the larger, more dense housing projects and as Mr. Lait mentioned, the only thing that has saved us from the SB35 rules has been the uptick in ADU development. Were it not for that, we would have fallen below the threshold and been forced into the SB35 regulations already.


17 people like this
Posted by mjc
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 8, 2020 at 10:03 pm

mjc is a registered user.

@RPopp "The mess we have now relative to sub-standard transportation systems, pension issues, infrastructure deficiencies, etc are all due to the lack of action on the part of the Council he was leading."

To imply these problems can be laid at the feet of one council member is a bit of a stretch. The origins of the problems you describe go back many many decades, when Palo Alto office building were constructed using an office occupancy calculation of 250 sq ft per employee. Current office density has increased to 3, 4, or even 5 times that original calculation. Within the last decade and a half the number of employees now commuting in and out of Palo Alto has exploded. Add in all the software development employees now cramed cheek-by-jowl into what were once retail spaces on the side streets around University Avenue and Cambridge Avenue.

Encouraged by decades of previous developer-friendly councils without creating additional city funds to address the financial and housing problems this huge and relatively sudden job and commuter expansion was creating.

Palo Alto is almost the only, if not the only, city on the peninsula without a business tax to support their commercial growth. Unfortunately, previous attempts to introduce even the most modest business tax on larger companies, to address the problems of rapid jobs expansion have been continually opposed by a long line of developer-friendly majority councils. Including the previous city manager and possibly the current one. During his last term on council, Pat Burt was working on a proposal for a business tax on larger companies to address the problems their employees have created, but at the time there was a lack of a council majority support to move forward. This is now one of his goals if elected to council.

Interestingly, some years ago I heard our previous city manager, when specifically questioned, admit to the council that Palo Alto's commercial segment no longer covers its costs to the city. That such a pro-development city manager should state this in public and in city chambers, came as quite a surprise. I believe he was referring to the fact that Palo Alto's property tax revenue from commercial property owners has dropped from approximately 50% in 1975 to their current share of 24%. A steady downward trajectory year on year because of loopholes for commercial property owners in Prop 13. These allow commercial property to change hands without triggering a new property tax reassessment based on the sale value, as with residential properties. In other words they keep the old property tax assessment. Conversely, residents now pay approximately 75% of Palo Alto's property taxes, steadily increasing year on year.


27 people like this
Posted by Lee Forrest
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 10, 2020 at 8:43 am

Lee Forrest is a registered user.

Does an abandoned (albeit well designed & constructed) child's treehouse also count as a potential ADU?

With a 'no cooking' provision, installation of an adjascent porta-potty & a hose outlet for washing-up (along with free Wi-Fi), I imagine someone would be willing to rent it.


10 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 12, 2020 at 1:40 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

@mjc,

Thanks for pointing out that Pat Burt was only one voice at the time and the real blame falls on the very liberal progressive CC members then. The thing I liked about Burt is that he was an effective swing voter (as well as mayor) depending on the issues, and he kept everyone on their toes.

@RPopp

Well, well, well...please support your argument about how much better it is to have ADU's than dense housing in areas that are ideally situated for it...transportation hubs...where daytime workers could live close to where they work and wouldn't need to own cars. Micro units were proposed. All the proposals I heard back then were directed mainly at and for singles, or at most a married couple with no kids. Families were shut out and most of the elderly also. And price alone ruled out any of our domestic day workers, earning minimum wage, ever being able to live in PA. The proposed housing was meant mainly for the highly paid tech workers in the downtown and CalAve areas. Let's see how that Work Force project under construction at the corner of Page Mill Rd and El Camino pans out.

And don't brag about the ADU numbers. How many of those units will actually be used as living quarters for granny, other family members, or long term renters? And what will be the average number of people living in those units? If it's 1 1/2, then at the current rate of 17-21 units a year that wouldn't even come close to closing the gap on our goal of adding 300 units a year, and I'm assuming there was an unwritten assumption made then that the average number in each living unit would be about 1 1/2.

And to all...the hope and promise by many candidates that someone else will pay for affordable housing is a pipe-dream, a fallacy, and you shouldn't fall for the con. Successful businesses are run by smart people and they have investors to report to. Any costs they incur will just flow down to us consumers in the way of price increases.

There might be an exception tho, due to COVID-19. If what we see happening now becomes the norm...people working from home offices...that could send the real estate market into a topsy turvy situation...pressure on both office space rents and residential/apartment rents and ownership. That alone could make living in PA more affordable.

What's happening? Surely someone must like your comment.




11 people like this
Posted by council watcher
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 12, 2020 at 4:35 pm

council watcher is a registered user.

The numbers we are assigned by ABAG reflect their backing by the construction industry. Their interest is build build, build.

ABAG numbers don't take into account units lost when a developer tears down three or four units on a lot and replaces them with one big mega-mansion. As has been happening in Palo Alto for years. They only count "new builds" not those saved.

In addition, more affordable homes and apartments are the older buildings. Take one of our Planning Commissioners who bought a $2.5 million house, tore it down, and built a new one that sold over over $8 million. Not that $2.5 million is exactly affordable, but so many older Palo Alto homes that sell in the $2-3 million range are torn down and replaced with $6 million plus homes that attract overseas buyers. As with the deLeon reality that has offices in China and India, and all the other international real estate companies that market overseas.


28 people like this
Posted by Lee Forrest
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 13, 2020 at 8:30 am

Lee Forrest is a registered user.

> "And don't brag about the ADU numbers. How many of those units will actually be used as living quarters for granny, other family members, or long term renters?"

^ 'Granny Units' is a misnomer as 'granny' is generally tossed into an RCFE (retirement community for elders) by self-serving offspring who cannot be bothered with the care & feeding of their parents/grandparents.

And 'ADU' is simply an opportunity for people with a loft above their garage, a spare bedroom or an outdoor extension to become small-time landlords.

A $2K to $3K additional monthly income
via rent is mighty appealing to some BUT will only add to the excessive gridlock that Palo Alto is already experiencing.

There are ENOUGH apartments, duplexes & smaller 'student' rental units in this town as the city is now trying to overcompensate for the rash of new housing demands to accommodate the overdevelopment of office complexes & high/low tech in the area.

If the PACC and Planning Commission is going to continually destroy the 'quality of life' in Palo Alto then they should consider charging EXHORBITANT fees (in the millions of dollars per square foot) for new commercial/residential development & prospective ADU landlords and then REBATE existing Palo Alto residents (both current renters & homeowners) for having to endure the inconveniences.


17 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 13, 2020 at 11:15 am

Annette is a registered user.

For far too long, decision makers failed to tackle the jobs:housing imbalance from the jobs side of the equation. Unfortunately, COVID forced that issue. I think it would be smart to not act on any plan until we've got a solid idea what the post-pandemic jobs and transportation/circulation situation looks like. I am seeing multiples more "For Rent" signs than I did pre-Covid, employers are embracing work from home, there's talk of legislating work from home, and we are hearing more and more about an exodus from urban areas. We're also experiencing electricity shortages and water is forever an issue in California. This is not scientific, but I'm guessing market forces are going to change our reality and thus our housing needs; might be prudent to give things time to shake out and settle down.


2 people like this
Posted by RPopp
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 13, 2020 at 11:38 am

RPopp is a registered user.

I got drawn in (my fault) but frankly, I'm not willing to engage in all the exaggeration and false facts presented here by others. Not worth my time. I only commented initially to share some information that seemed to have been missed - Again, what you are all ignoring is the fact that the ADU regulations directed and clarified under AB68 and others is a State mandate. Like it or not, ADU's now are ministerially allowed on any single-family lot. Even if a lot has already maxed out the floor area for the site, you can now build an 800sf ADU, that is up to 16 feet tall, 4 feet from any rear or side yard property line. There is no argument or discussion about this. Too many people have resisted housing growth for too long and now the State has stepped in to regulate it (and SB35 will be next unless we embrace more progressive regulations). The fact is we all benefit from the growth that occurred before we got here and most of us now live in post-war housing that was built on what was previously open space and farm land. Complain all you like but there is nothing you can say that will restrict ADU construction in California under the current regulations.


11 people like this
Posted by council watcher
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 13, 2020 at 12:17 pm

council watcher is a registered user.

When Palo Alto decided how much land should be zoned commercial and how much for residential, the calculation was 250 sq ft per employee.

Now that we've doubled and tripled the number of employees per square foot it's time to role back some of the commercial zoning to residential to bring the ratio of jobs to housing into closer balance.

The real benefit for Palo Alto's commercial zoning is when companies occupying that land produce a product for which sales tax can be charged. The original purpose of the then Stanford Business Park. Since we don't need the jobs.


12 people like this
Posted by Lee Forrest
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 13, 2020 at 4:22 pm

Lee Forrest is a registered user.

>"Again, what you are all ignoring is the fact that the ADU regulations directed and clarified under AB68 and others is a State mandate...Complain all you like but there is nothing you can say that will restrict ADU construction in California under the current regulations."

^ Unless one is entertaining the thought of becoming a landlord...one can circumvent AB 68 by (1) not erecting or offering ADU housing accommodations on one's own property, (2) not selling their property to developers, polling neighborhood resources to prevent the sale of residential properties to developers, and (3) continually raising a ruckus at PACC...despite the fact that most of them are absolutely USELESS & hard of hearing.


2 people like this
Posted by RPopp
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 13, 2020 at 4:31 pm

RPopp is a registered user.

@Lee Forrest

Out of all the ADUs I am aware of, or have been involved in, not one has been constructed by a developer.


8 people like this
Posted by Lee Forrest
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 13, 2020 at 5:07 pm

Lee Forrest is a registered user.

>"Out of all the ADUs I am aware of, or have been involved in, not one has been constructed by a developer."

^ Very reassuring but somewhat curious...were 'all of the ADUs' that you were personally 'involved in' go to house actual elders (aka 'grannys') OR were they merely an effort to generate some lucrative PA rental income..."not that there's anything wrong with that" as Jerry Seinfeld used to say.

Granny now sequestered in a rest home eating Sysco Systems institutionalized food sends her blessings to all ADU 68 advocates as well as her former home as kids (her adult kids) will be kids.


5 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 13, 2020 at 5:56 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

"Out of all the ADUs I am aware of, or have been involved in, not one has been constructed by a developer."

Not yet. Having 2-story 4-unit buildings in one's back yard hasn't yet been approved. Much will depend on how many YIMBY's are elected to the City Council.

"If the PACC and Planning Commission is going to continually destroy the 'quality of life' in Palo Alto then they should consider charging EXHORBITANT fees (in the millions of dollars per square foot) for new commercial/residential development & prospective ADU landlords and then REBATE existing Palo Alto residents (both current renters & homeowners) for having to endure the inconveniences."

Don't forget the neighbors who will have to deal with the daily horror of those 2d-story windows looking into their homes and yards and THEIR expenses in trying to block those views. They deserve compensation, too!


2 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 13, 2020 at 5:59 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

An ADU is going up in back of a house facing on Louis. Unfortunately we can see it from various backyards. I am going to have my fence rebuilt higher so I do not have to see it. It looks about the size of a bedroom. Think it is just an additional extension of the house - can't imagine someone not in the family living there. If someone else then you have to have a bathroom and kitchen. It may have a second story in the works.


2 people like this
Posted by RPopp
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 15, 2020 at 10:49 am

RPopp is a registered user.

@Online Name

There is no legislation in place or proposed that would allow a 2-story 4-unit building on either a single family or multi-family lot. I cannot see that as even a remote possibility, even with a "YIMBY Council".

In regard to 2nd level windows, PAMC 18.09.040 Sections (J)Design (ii)Privacy (B)Window sill height and (J)(ii)(C)Window placement, address your valid concerns directly. These rules are put in place to minimize the privacy issues to limit any mitigation a neighbor might consider necessary. I encourage my clients to have open discussion with their neighbors about these issues and often, some additional planting occurs as a result.


Like this comment
Posted by mjh
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 15, 2020 at 12:28 pm

mjh is a registered user.

"some additional planting occurs as a result."

It always strikes me that this advice is very convenient but facetious.

It can take years for new plantings, even bamboo, to form a proper privacy screen. And if the privacy screen has to be planted along the side yard this may mean 6-7' from your windows. Which begins to shade your rooms, blocking the light and sunlight from your previous light and sunny rooms. Completely changing your rooms on that side of your house from the light, even sunny, rooms you loved to dark and a bit gloomy. The shade from this "privacy" screen may also kill your established and much loved sun-loving plants now in the shade.

Or the privacy screen may die. Or new neighbors don't want their windows being shaded and remove them. Back to square one. Your rooms are lovely and light again, even sunny in winter, but once again there goes your privacy inside your home.


1 person likes this
Posted by mjh
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 15, 2020 at 12:30 pm

mjh is a registered user.

"some additional planting occurs as a result."

It always strikes me that this advice is very convenient but facetious.

It can take years for new plantings, even bamboo, to form a proper privacy screen. If the privacy screen has to be planted along the side yard this may mean 6-7' from your windows. Which begins to shade your rooms, blocking the light and maybe sunlight, eventually changing your rooms on that side of your house from the light, even sunny, rooms you loved to dark and a bit gloomy? This "privacy" screen may also kill your established and much loved sun-loving plants now in the shade.

Or the privacy screen may die. Or new neighbors don't want their windows being shaded and remove them. Back to square one. Your rooms are lovely and light again, even sunny in winter, but once again there goes your privacy inside your home.


2 people like this
Posted by RPopp
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 15, 2020 at 12:52 pm

RPopp is a registered user.

"It always strikes me that this advice is very convenient but facetious"


...or it can work well, provide some beautiful landscaping, and increase our canopy. Frankly, you have no control over what your neighbor plants and they need no permission or permit to do it - could easily be a 50' wall of redwoods at the property line. A 16' ADU at 4' is far less impactful.


2 people like this
Posted by mjh
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 15, 2020 at 2:22 pm

mjh is a registered user.

But what about when it doesn't! And I'd rather not have either. However, I do have a lovely redwood in my neighbor's yard which I love, but it's not on the property line. How about requiring skylights, tube lighting, or windows high enough not to invade a neighbor's privacy. Windows could look out onto their own garden or house.


2 people like this
Posted by RPopp
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 15, 2020 at 2:47 pm

RPopp is a registered user.

I'm spending too much time explaining what is in the record (Web Link) and feel like I am shouting into the wind here...

Quoting the ordinance as accepted by City Council on 10/5/2020. This language seeks to achieve a level of consistency with the IR regulations for 2nd story construction for primary residences:

18.09.040
(j) Design
ii. Privacy

A. Second story doors and decks shall not face a neighboring dwelling unit. Second story decks and balconies shall utilize screening barriers to prevent views into adjacent properties. These barriers shall provide a minimum five foot, six-inch, screen wall from the floor level of the deck or balcony and shall not include perforations that would allow visibility between properties.

B. Second story windows, excluding those required for egress, shall have a five-foot sill height as measured from the second-floor level, or utilize obscured glazing on the entirety of the window when facing adjacent properties. Second story egress windows shall utilize obscured glazing on the entirety of the windows which face adjacent properties.

C. Second story windows shall be offset from neighbor’s windows to maximize privacy.


2 people like this
Posted by RPopp
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 15, 2020 at 2:53 pm

RPopp is a registered user.

Sorry - this is the updated web link - Web Link


5 people like this
Posted by ADU Collective
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 15, 2020 at 6:25 pm

ADU Collective is a registered user.

ADU Collective was officially started in 2019 and we design and permit ADUs. Our mission is to bring flexibility to people's lives.

It's very disheartening to see some of the posts here. As a small, women owned business, I also live in Palo Alto and am raising two young kids in this town. This is a tough, cut throat town and it breaks my heart to see such negativity.

In just 150 short years, Palo Alto has developed from a small farm town to the brilliance it is today through visionary and forward thinking leaders. We had Leland Stanford who proposed a tiny unconventional university attracting ambitious, but poor students into this town. We had Charles Marx and Charles Benjamin Wing proposing the City develop its own utility service boosting the city's financial health for decades. Lucie Stern proposed to build a library exclusively devoted to children ...something no other city in the United States had. And it was only 68 years ago that Joseph Eichler sold a home to Franklin Williams; his first Black buyer. Despite the obstacles, our history is rich with leaders who embrace a rapidly evolving landscape of the city we know and love today from farmland to a bustling epicenter of the world. The rapid change is palpable and sometime difficult to digest.

People are moved so deeply by this town that it’s tempting to cling to physical elements, not wanting them to change, but the core-value of this city is not a frozen physical feature. Palo Alto cannot be frozen in time. Palo Alto instead, is the people constantly answering the call of their moment in history. Palo Alto is defined by people rising to the needs of their day. Palo Alto is defined by its leaders, those who are bold enough, time and time again to take that leap of faith to lead the way.

I want to thank our leaders everywhere for all their effort as they shepherd us into the future. It's a thankless and tireless job. My only hope is that my children may also be able to make a life for themselves here in Palo Alto one day. I'm sure it will look different than it does for me, for Leland Stanford, for Lucie Stern or for Joseph Eichler...but I hope it maintains the visionary spirit that makes it the place we all know and love.


8 people like this
Posted by Lee Forrest
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 15, 2020 at 8:12 pm

Lee Forrest is a registered user.

>"People are moved so deeply by this town that it’s tempting to cling to physical elements, not wanting them to change,"

^ Can't rightly blame them given the ubiquitous and unsightly Lego-Land mixed-use condos now permeating Palo Alto...like a bad rash.

Maybe the architects are to blame as the majority of them are obviously not adherents of Frank Lloyd Wright who believed residences should 'fuse' with their surroundings.

This is obviously not happening in Palo Alto as the many of the newer residential construction sites are of the 'overpriced & tacky' school of architectural design and the same can be said of ADU eyesores that don't even blend in with the existing homes.

Perhaps the pervasive myopia can be attributed to the folks who issue the building permits in this city.


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