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ABAG numbers 'abnormally high'

Original post made on Jul 19, 2007

Palo Alto must build 3,505 new housing units over the next seven years, according to the latest housing allocations released by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG).

Read the full story here Web Link

Comments (17)

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Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 19, 2007 at 6:31 pm

That must mean new schools will have to be built also.

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Posted by Not so fast
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 20, 2007 at 8:45 am

What a surprise--Palo Alto objecting to having to meet their latest housing allocations and then trying to pass it on to Stanford.
I am sure we will here our mayor, Yoriko, whining that having to build more housing will create too much traffic.

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Posted by Bill
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 20, 2007 at 9:59 am

It is too bad that Not so fast feels compelled to describe the City Mayor as was done in the
prior post.

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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 20, 2007 at 10:05 am

What is the Association of Bay Area Governments? Why can they define how many housing units must be built in Palo Alto? What would be the consequence for not doing this?

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Posted by Not so fast
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 20, 2007 at 10:11 am

Bill--It is too bad that you have not yet caught on to Yoriko's modus operendi--any time anything is proposed as far as development, business, housing etc, the first thing that we hear from yoriko is concerns about traffic.
Let's not forget her plan, years ago, to turn one of the main arteries in Palo Alto, where she happens to have her home, into a one-lane in each direction street with roundabouts!!! Or remember when Stanford was renovating the stadium she was concerned about too much traffic on Embarcadero 5 saturdays a year!!!
Unfortunately our mayor has myopic vision and cannot looj at long term benefits to anything.

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Posted by Saarinen
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 20, 2007 at 11:07 am

More homes = more people = more diversity = more intra-community multipliers = more challenge to look at growth as a positive thing = opportunities to INNOVATE in order to accommodate growth = a community that continues to thrive, and maiintain dynamism (instead of saying ("no").

It's time to wake up and walk away from the very short-sighted kinds of automatic thinking that accompany fears about development.

I'm waiting to see what happens when the rubber of INNOVATION hits the road, instead of hangingn out talking about itself.

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Posted by Realist
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 20, 2007 at 1:34 pm

I am astonished at the lack of people expressing concern about the traffic situation in Palo Alto. Adding 3,505 more units will do nothing but worsen already grave commuting and road conditions. The units being built on the corner of El Camino and Arastradero are bad enough but another 3,505 seems absurd.

In response to Saarinen, I do not think it is fear of development that plagues our community but blinding optimism. More homes= more diversity? Do you think about how wonderfully diverse our town is when you are stuck in traffic?

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Posted by Periwinkle
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 20, 2007 at 3:46 pm

Realist, I think about getting our policy-makers - at the regional level (including our own) to INSIST on EFFEICIENT, AFFORDABLE, and ACCESSIBLE mass transit.

Does anyone imagine, for even a moment, that this city will not continue to be under enormous development pressure - as will the rest of Silicon Valley? Anyone imagining that is living in too small a room.

Instead of bemoaning the guaranteed future - i.e. more people, and more houses - how about insisting on ways to meet that future in a way that doesn't cram the results of poor planning that results from LACK of transport infrastructure and other innovation down our throats? btw, educational and other innovations will be needed to deal with new population loads.

We keep hearing about innovation. Where's the beef?

Where are the new ideas for dealing with increased populations, instead of ducking our head in the sand as we repeat the mantra "no new housing".

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 20, 2007 at 3:56 pm

Yes of course we can build more homes here in Palo Alto.

What we need to do is look at the big picture, not just the homes.

We will need to put in the types of homes that will be adjacent to amenities. The homes will need to have underground parking, walk ways to facilities like restaurants, train station, convenience stores, etc. They will need parks and entertainment areas. They will need buses to downtown and other areas like the high schools, library and post office. They will need day care centers, schools, and community centers. They will need offices for doctors, dentists, hair salons, delis, nail shops, coffee houses, in fact all the things we use daily.

These things do not happen overnight. They need to be planned. Please do not start building somewhere without getting the infrastructure.

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Posted by Williamr
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 20, 2007 at 7:20 pm

Discussions like this seem to assume that additional housing will be built in big new developments, like the one at El Camino and Charleston. How many housing units could be added if zoning could permit one duplex unit per block of current single-family homes? If the new units were spread out enough throughout the city, the local impact of each one should be minimal.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 20, 2007 at 7:43 pm


Whereas your idea holds merit, where tell me would there be room for one duplex on each current block. From what I see around town, the monster homes being built are in fact small homes bought by someone with more money than sense (my opinion) which are bulldozed to make way for their mcmansion. Usually, this is private individuals although I expect some are developers.

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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 20, 2007 at 9:05 pm

Yoriko lives on Embarcadero, doesn't she? Of course she's concerned about any increase of traffic on that street.

In her defense, I'll say that the traffic load on Embarcadero does come with particular problems--it's a main artery from the freeway to Stanford and the downtown, but it's almost entirely residential, can't be widened and has three schools on it.

Where would you put 3,000 more housing units? The city's pretty built out.

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Posted by Not so fast
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 21, 2007 at 6:48 am

Ohlone Par--if PA is indeed built out, then where does the city council want Stanford to build the housing that it claims will be needed to handle all the "new workers" from the hospital expansion????

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Posted by Beg A Bag
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 21, 2007 at 12:33 pm

Dear ABAG,

Palo Alto is a city that is already built out - I guess you missed that point completely in your reports.

Please do not consider building Palo Alto any further.


- About to Bag Abag.

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Posted by HL
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 21, 2007 at 3:09 pm

Prediction: those homes (and more) are going to be built - near long term. Much of it is going to be infill housing, near mass transport. This IS going to happen, and all the whining in the world is not going to stop it. So, settle down, and find another cause (like makingi sure we demand that regional policy makers provide the mass transport that we deserve, instead of keepingi us in our cars)

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Posted by Betsy Allyn
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 21, 2007 at 10:01 pm

ABAG is the Association of Bay Area Gov'ts. It is an appointed
and advisory group which supposedly studies current growth
patterns and reports to the state. Then it sends out criteria to
cities as to what their numbers of additional housing units should be to meet the demand. It is advisory only and has little
power. I imagine it listens to the Builders & Developers State
Assocs. also.

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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 22, 2007 at 11:47 am

Palo Alto's pretty built out--Stanford is not. Though any large building projects at Stanford will create all sorts of sturm und drang.

Re: infill--yeah, I thought of that, but Palo Alto already has a lot of infill. I just don't see 3,000 new housing units arising out of infill. I mean, I take it these numbers don't include the south Paly projects already approved and underway.

You would need to replace a chunk of single-residency with high-density housing. Where? As for the alternative, can the city really afford to convert more commercial real estate to residential? Yeah, Fry's could be turned into a large apt. complex, but Fry's is a big revenue generator.

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

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