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Zone defense: Palo Alto tries to tackle unruly planning problem

Original post made on Apr 12, 2013

A flood of development applications and ongoing disputes about "public benefits" have prompted Palo Alto officials to consider major changes to the city's most controversial zoning process.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 12, 2013, 9:38 AM

Comments (39)

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Posted by End-PC-Zoning
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 12, 2013 at 10:14 am

The solution is simple--just terminate PC Zoning. Set up a variance process, and negotiate any variances in accordance with the published variance procedures.

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Posted by Mike Sabina
a resident of University South
on Apr 12, 2013 at 10:24 am

I agree with Mr. Williams that the spaces designated for the benefit of the public need to be designed that way from the beginning. We are happy to be able to use the patio outside of St. Michael's Alley while we are open, as allowed by the original building ordinance. However, if we were to remove the tables while closed, the "plaza" would be completely useless. In fact for three years before we opened the restaurant, I did not see a single person use it for anything. Now, at least, we often see folks in the mornings drinking coffee, and on the weekends with laptops, or just sitting at the tables and talking. We are always happy to see that people are taking advantage of this. Furthermore, it is actually the "public" who can't wait to eat out there on warm summer and fall nights. Yes, we benefit from it as well, but it is certainly being enjoyed by the public. Mike Sabina, St. Michael's Alley

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Posted by Bob
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 12, 2013 at 10:54 am

Mr. Sabina, where does one park to enjoy this park-public benefit? If I want to work on my laptop or read a book, will I get booted in favor of one of your customers if by a miracle I can find a place to park? Will I have to buy something to stay?

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Posted by Howard
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 12, 2013 at 11:12 am

To Bob: I don't get your point about parking. Whether the restaurant uses the space or not, if you need to drive to that location, then you need to park. I would think that the public benefit aspect of that space is targeted for those who live close enough so they can walk to it.

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Posted by Judith
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Apr 12, 2013 at 11:42 am

There is public parking under the building that was also part of the public benefit. The idea was that you could get to the parking under the low-income housing on Alma by going under 800 High.

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Posted by End-PC-Zoning
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 12, 2013 at 11:49 am

> The idea was that you could get to the parking under the
> low-income housing on Alma by going under 800 High.

While technically true, how well documented was this public parking that was associated with the PC zoning variances? People who are not local would have no idea about these spots being available to the public, would they?

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Posted by Bum Deal
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 12, 2013 at 12:27 pm

PC Zoning is a failure because the City does not have the personnel to Police it. One example the JCC was allowed to build over the 50 ft height limit by an additional 12 ft which allowed them to add an additional story onto their buildings.

In exchange for this PC zoning the JCC agreed to provide jitney buses for the seniors living there. They have never provided the buses and they got away with it because there is no one at City Hall policing what developers promise for a PC.

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Posted by Noah
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 12, 2013 at 4:06 pm

The Jewish Community Center is another example of the disasterous building "process" in Palo Alto. The JCC pulled a fast one on our ineffectual city leaders. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

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Posted by Jane
a resident of Southgate
on Apr 12, 2013 at 4:12 pm

I'd be affraid to sit inside the Starbucks at Alma Plaza. It's practically on the street. I'm just waiting or a car to drive through the establishment and kill someone.

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Posted by a planning student
a resident of another community
on Apr 12, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Dellenbach for Council and Sheyner for a Pulitzer. How insulting that Larry Klein would believe that the development itself, done well is the public benefit! What else should the residents expect, a mediocre development. If only the Menlo Park Council had understood the concept of horse trading with developers, the Menlo Park council would not be faced with the task of revising their $1.5 million dollar specific plan. There's so much to learn and this article is instructive. Thanks

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Posted by City Can't be Trusted with PCs
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Gennady Sheyner's comprehensive history of PCs here, punctuated by Pat Burt's ludicrous comment that the PC process is are unfair to developers, is just depressing.

End-PC-Zoning above has it exactly right: no council can be trusted to use PC zoning wisely. They (and we) get taken by the developers every time. We have to get rid of PC.

Barring an unheard-of growth of spine on the council's part, such a thing will take a ballot measure: say a ten-year requirement that all PC's and other zoning-law end-runs pass a public referendum.

I am willing to finance it. Who out there knows how to draft it?

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Posted by homeless
a resident of another community
on Apr 12, 2013 at 6:40 pm

PC; Planned Community and public benefits benefit everyone. Locals and visitors regardless of race, sex, gender, age , national origin, familiar status or economic status. I need to be welcomed as well without having to look at signs: no loitering ; private property etc. simple solution: eliminate those terrible signs, so I can be there as well regardless of how many bags or shopping carts I'm hauling around. I should feel welcomed. Maybe I need to rest for a while? Feel safe? PC welcomes everyone regardless of whoever is setting the benchmark for the community in question. City should simply eliminate postings of the signs . There should also be a designated corner for smokers in PC with ash trays and enough garbage as well as an acces to public bathrooms without having to pay for natural needs. The most important public benefit would be to be able to sit down, read a news paper with a cup of coffee and to take a nap in safe PC for us senior citizens, many who are homeless or just about to become homeless . Don't forget us.

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Posted by Long tern resident of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 12, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Palo Alto is being ruined by developers! Please stop the approval process NOW including those in the works. Step back, if Palo Alto needs something it can afford to obtain it. Let's plan and spend on just what we need. There is no free lunch.

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Posted by homeless
a resident of another community
on Apr 12, 2013 at 7:41 pm

@ Long term resident of Palo Alto

Good point! Yet t why you say is Palo Alto is being ruined by developers?

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Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 12, 2013 at 10:54 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

800 High "plaza" : it was predicted from the very beginning that it would not be used by the public, both because of its location and configuration. What happened was also predicted: That it would be co-opted with the "excuse" that it wasn't being used. The Caffe Riace example was cited repeatedly. However, Council debate showed that the majority wasn't actually interested in public benefits, but an excuse to give the developer what he wanted.

My favorite is 195 Page Mill (Hohbach): He, with staff support, proposed that the City DONATE to him land adjacent to his property for parking for his tenants, and on a small portion of his he would create a basketball court (for his tenants) and this would be a public benefit justifying his overbuilding of the property.

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Posted by Henry
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 12, 2013 at 11:05 pm

I think the City should just simply insist projects to comply with our planning guidelines. It seems all the big projects always exceed these guidelines and offer some benefits to the City in exchange. These benefits are too subjective and too often benefit to just a handfull of people. It seems the developers always get what they wanted in the expanse of the vast majority of the residents. Let's stop giving the big developers exemptions at the expanse of the residents.

The developers always say they need to exceed our planning guidelines to make the project profitable. Why does the City always give in to these developers and make their projects profitable? If a project is not doable within our established guidelines, then I think the project should be scraped. Let's not let the developers run our city.

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Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 12, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

> "Who can argue that the Palo Alto Housing Corporation, the nonprofit seeking PC zoning for the Maybell development for seniors, should be forced to commission sculptures or construct bike lanes?"

This furthers the misconception that the PC zoning is about offsets that are in essence the developer "bribing" the City for exceptions by funding work that doesn't have to go through the normal budget, thus allowing various interests to get their causes and hobbies funded off-budget.

In this case, the PC process is being used to put density in a highly controversial location: Maybell Avenue is a designated "Safe Route to Schools" (Gunn, Terman, Juana Briones) and had serious safety problems before the Arastradero Restriping pushed even more traffic onto it (how much more is controversial). The project is not just housing for lower-income seniors, but market-rate single-family houses whose sale is intended to help finance the senior housing.

The primary controversy on this PC is shaping up to be how to balance the benefit of senior housing against the cost of decreased safety for school children: both how to quantify and prioritize the two.

As difficult as this choice is likely to be, this is an example of one of the legitimate uses of the PC process (deciding whether the benefits to the community outweigh the costs).

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Posted by But wait, there's more
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 13, 2013 at 12:59 am

Excellent article on a complex subject. Good historic context.
Just some additional factors. The staff manipulations with the developer. For example Arrillaga said he originally proposed a much smaller project for 27 University but the staff (Steve Emslie?) encouraged him to make it bigger.
Developer Jim Baer knows how to play the staff like an expert. He is involved in many of these PCs, including Alma Plaza, Lytton Gateway, Edgewood Plaza, even 800 High. Part of his style is to overwhelm his audience with facts and documents and detail so they eventually give up and say ok.

Campaign donations and other less visible favors of course play a role too.

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Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 13, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Gennady Sheyner is to be congratulated for another excellent piece of work. “Balancing benefits” aka “Zone defense” is extremely well-researched, well-thought-out and well-written.

This article is a much-needed summation of the many problems inherent in PC zoning and so-called public benefits.

It’s good to know serious journalism is alive and well in Palo Alto.

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Posted by It's our land
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 13, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Mike Sabina took over the public plaza at 800 High St. and thinks he has done us a favor. Having converted the public's land to his restaurant use, he says the public enjoys it. Mr. Sabina, we were supposed to enjoy it without having to buy your food.
The city could have put out a few chairs and small tables and that would have been just as pleasant. Anyone who wanted to buy your coffee could have done so. But you stole the public land and put concrete planters around it to keep the private ambiance.
Was that a deal you made with the developer or with the city, or did you just do a land grab?
Please give us back OUR land.

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Posted by longtime resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 14, 2013 at 12:20 am

In the Maybell project, the city loaned the PAHC millions to buy the property, on the proviso that they pay it back through the sale of high-density homes on Maybell and Clemo, which the developer couldn't currently build to that density under the current zoning. The city created a conflict of interest, and gives the impression that the rezoning and the project will once again be for the sake of the developer no matter what problems it causes for existing neighbors, even safety problems.

And why would it be a good idea to put a senior apartment there? it's not going to be a senior CENTER, there won't be any walkable services, residents will have to drive for medical care, groceries, entertainment, everything, and those visiting and helping them will bring cars in. It will be low-income, so even if places open up for people in the neighborhood, anyone who owns a home and sells it will be instantly ineligible -- in other words, it's going to be for people from outside the area, it's not going to be for neighbors here, who pretty much choose to stay in their homes until they die. Instead, it's going to attract people from elsewhere to break up their families so they can pay less to bring grandkids with them to Gunn HS. Anyone who thinks that isn't going to happen doesn't know this area. And that's not even dealing with the significant safety issues of putting density right at that location in this neighborhood.

Designating that as senior housing just comes across as another smokescreen for density, regardless of how inappropriate. It would make so much more sense for senior housing to go nearer to Stanford and downtown, where medical, Avenidas, etc., are walkable.

If we were thinking about quality of life, we should be using the opportunity to turn that lot into a playing field for this side of town, instead of planning to put fields way out by the Baylands where the kids will have to be driven, let's face it. A field at the Maybell location would be right across from the existing park and allow kids from several school areas as well as those who could take the bike path that runs behind Green Acres to walk and bike there -- just the advantage of giving kids that independence would be such a boon to quality of life here for families. But no, there is no money for things like open space, families, quality of life, the only thing the city cares about is packing in more units anywhere they can, even if they have to rezone/carve away single family residential areas out of small, cohesive neighbors.

I agree with the above, rezoning willy nilly has got to stop. The whole point of zoning is so that people who invest a million, two million dollars to live in single-family shoe boxes at least know what to expect around them in the future. (location, location, and location goes out the window if city lack of respect for zoning means the location could become high density no matter what it's zoned for when people buy)

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Posted by Fred Balin
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 14, 2013 at 10:34 am

Fred Balin is a registered user.

Another important and well-researched piece by the Weekly on Palo Alto's "over-development" in general and abuse of the PC process specifically.

Time is short to halt the cascade of zone-busting projects that have already degraded quality of life and portend much worse.

While a number of potential course corrections are under way within city hall (e.g., Planning Commission hearings on what is a proper public benefit; city manager's commitment to PC public benefit analysis, etc), I am far from confident that they will break the structural nature of the problem.

That answer, however, can come from the public via a citizens' initiative.

Bob Moss and his successful private streets initiative is the model here. Within 6 months of the January 2009 Alma Plaza approval -- yet another large housing development with very narrow internal streets -- he had collected sufficient signatures on an initiative that would stop that loophole in future developments. The council then had the choice of approving this new zoning or placing it on the ballot. They choose the former.

It's time for another initiative, to either change zoning, or better yet, to amend the city charter.

Here's why:

1.) To Ensure that Zoning in Palo Alto is Consistent with the Comprehensive Plan

80% of California cities are referred to as "General Law" cities and are required by law to have their zoning ordinances be consistent with their General Plan (referred to as the Comprehensive Plan in Palo Alto).

Palo Alto, however, is among the 20% of the cities in California that has its own charter, i.e., it is a "Charter City." Zoning ordinances in charter cities are not required to be consistent with the General Plan.

While it is perfectly logical and correct for our zoning code to be consistent with the Comp Plan, the lack of legal requirement is often cited by city planners and city attorneys and helps grease the skids for PC approvals.

But citizens do not have to let matters remain this way. The city of San Marcos, a charter city of 80,000 strong in San Diego Country, successfully amended their charter at the ballot box in 2000 to require consistency. Web Link

2.) To Ensure that PCs Are Consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.
If it is desirable to keep the PC option on the zoning books, then it is best to clearly state in the charter that they must also be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

Such an initiative process puts the power and direction on this crucial issue in the hands of the citizenry.

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Posted by observer
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 14, 2013 at 10:03 pm

The effects of the permissive development policies in Palo Alto are
the resulting traffic and then the response of the City staff to plaster signs, yellow paint, ugly barriers all over the streets and neighborhoods to deal with the reality and fear of more traffic in
ways which have nothing to do with safety or traffic mitigation with the result that Palo Alto is becoming a very ugly, conjested and unsafe city and more is on the way folks unless there is a complete redirection of what we are doing.We are heading fast toward the bottom.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2013 at 10:48 am

PC needs to go away.

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Posted by Zone for what you want.
a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 15, 2013 at 11:41 am

Zone for what you want. The PC needs to go. It creates too much uncertainty, dissension, and conflict--and ends up delivering too many impacts on the community and too many goodies to developers who have now mastered the art of using PCs.

I am furious about a number of projects in south PA where developers have been given all kids of goodies on top of EXPERIMENTAL practises like tandem parking at the former Hyatt--what a mess.

The pocket park at the Alma Plaza is an embarassment. It is a postage stamp with fake grass which actually radiates heat so it is uncomfortable to be there on a hot day. Really, it could double as a miniature golf hole (all we need is a mini-windmill). Sidewalk access to the Alma Plaza stores and coffee shop is awful. The project is not friendly to ANY mode of transport. Sidewalks within the housing complex are so narrow as to be uncomfortable. The limited space for landscaping has been cheaply filled with few trees--workmanship of the buildings is shoddy. It is one of the worst projects Palo Alto has ever approved--even in south PA--which is saying something.

Every Council member should take a walk through the following projects and consider how this junk housing and pocket park differ from SOFA--East Meadow Circles (all three projects) former Hyatt (aka Arbor Real), hideous Summerhill townhouses behind the Elks facility. There has been a constant onslaught of these horrible projects for so long I can't remember when a time when there were no high density housing projects proposed. They keep getting approved. It's just awful. Particularly at East Meadow Circles and Alma Plaza, take a look at the amount of asphalt and cement and limited landscaping. Look at the poor workmanship of the buildings.

Infill requires disciplined application of all the principles of smart design. That is not evident in these sloppy developments.

We can do better.

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Posted by But wait, theres more
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 15, 2013 at 12:16 pm

The city simply does not enforce the rules. They say they "monitor" PCs but they do not ENFORCE. They see violations and say tsk, tsk. Why isn't the blatantly visible violation on Homer and High getting FINED?
Who gave the secret OK? Then Planning Director Emslie? The developer, Doug Ross? the developer's lawyer McCown? the city manager?
This did not just happen. Someone asked for permission and someone gave permission. City staff pretended it didn't see what was right in front of them.

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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Been thinking about this PC zoning. It should just be given our, maybe certain guidelines on how and where.

Public benefits needs to be more public and enforce the rules.

Make developers work to get PC, then make them work to get their projects approved.

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Posted by homeless
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Why all rules are needed and then posted on signs?If I may ask. Who is ruling who with following signs; no parking, no tresspassing, no loitering , no smoking, private property,
no squating, no public bathrooms, no littering, no stopping, etc. How about signs: no buildings and no hunting and no fishing? People should be in charge and not the government !

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Posted by homeless
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2013 at 5:03 pm

This is all about investors in real estate and how developers can 'milk out' cash flow from residents and business owners in a long haul on expense of the end users. Whoever controls the $$$ controls the signs posted up! As long as those sigms are not posted, im ok about moving forward; improvement of living space. I just dont like to face security guards on public benefit land with my bags or have police to be called if Im simply sitting or sleeping there with no place to go ! To me there is little public benefit on this kind of planning. That's is why we have homeless . Someone needs to step in and do some changes and education about ' more is not always good,' in a long term.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Trying to persuade the City planning staff is a noble but wasted effort. Those folks simply don't care about residents -- we're an annoyance to them. They just fundamentally want to build Lots Of Big Stuff.

The best hope for change is 2014, when 5 seats of the Council itself, which oversees the city staff, come up: Holman, Price, Shepherd, Klein and Scharff, none of whom is termed out.

The best case is that Scharff and especially Holman return, and Shepherd and Price -- who basically carry water for the developers and public employee unions -- get voted out and replaced with people who care about residents.

Unfortunately there's no guarantee that will happen. And in any case, the current City staff and council can still do a lot more damage between then and now.

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Posted by disillusioned
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Special interests, political influence dictate the outcomes.The staff does not care about the residents or even understand or relate
to long-term values and is very limited in their experience and outlook so there is no counter weight to this. In fact the staff largely pursues it's own interests. This City is in free fall. Resident is right - only a drastic change in the City Council balance can change things, but it is probably too late.

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Posted by homeless
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2013 at 9:51 pm

im going to study the gang: Holman, Price, Shepard, Klein and Scharff. What is their true identity? Where they come from. What generation and how they got to the position of ruining residents and make decisions about how tax payers money is spent. Based on constitution collecting taxes is illegal . Why the gang invest people's money on fixing the foundation; sewer lines, get rid of rats in Palo Alto? Building more on shaky foundation will leave in long term to disaster . Gotta take care of foundation first to see if zoning changes and building more can handle more crap: like AOL headquarters in down town. Who is AOL?

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Posted by homeless
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2013 at 10:11 pm

when I was living in my vehicle, behind Cuberley Community center , I witnessed rats running around in day light!!!!! That tells me Palo Alto has rats! Sewer problem already. Focus should be on fixing the problem of rodents. Cubberly also have chipping paints all over , could be lead? Who knows ? Maybe the gang in charge can install better lights; how about mercury light bulbs? The gang has a ride off from the iinvestors? If so, that must be disclosed.

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Posted by litebug
a resident of another community
on Apr 16, 2013 at 11:40 am

former resident 1970-2008

Glad to see so many others share the opinion that developers run rampant in Palo Alto. It seems they always win and the public always loses. When I moved to P.A., and for the first 15-20 years what a wonderful place it was. Unfortunately, it started going "wrong" at least a couple of decades ago, if not earlier. The "wrong" was the downgrading of quality of life and convenience of the citizens in favor of seemingly unbridled development, increasingly high density, increasingly UGLY and intrusive projects, no place to shop unless one is wealthy, so much destruction of ambience. 800 High was a big step in the wrong direction. The massively ugly JCC was just being finished when I left. OMG! I lived near Edgewood Plaza and what a fiasco that has been for many years now. It's like Detroit in reverse, in a way, the difference being P.A. has been ruined by success and hubris. Based on what it was like when I left, and what has happened since, I have no desire to even return for a visit as it would be just too upsetting to see how much worse it's gotten the past 5 years. It is really so sad. P.A. has gone from a model of how to be to a model for how not to be.

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Posted by observer
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2013 at 10:45 pm

The former resident has it exactly right- but even he would be shocked by the traffic congestion, over-building and decline and growing ugliness since he left- he cannot even imagine it. Nobody
could. If there was one event which was a warning signal to those
who cared about the City and its future but went unheeded, it was the approval by the ARB and staff of The Cheesecake Factory- a massive mall design prototype jammed unfettered on to University Ave ten years ago. All the underlying problems, which showed up in PC's, etc and a dysfunctional and unresponsive regulatory process were evident back then in that project.

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Posted by disillusioned 2
a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 15, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Interesting that the Councilmembers say such enlightened thing about PC zoning here, then vote in lock step with the developer on the Maybell project in exchange for the cash.

After it was revealed last Thursday that the City had loaned $7.3million to PAHC to purchase the property before rezoning it to a much higher density, half of the property for the benefit of PAHC's project, and half for the benefit of a market-rate developer, PAHC accounted for the $1.5million by saying it was from in lieu fees from the developer (as was most of the $5.8million the City had disclosed to the public).

It suddenly became clear why PAHC had been unwilling to consider less dense market-rate homes, or to auction the lots to high-end developers (the original proposal would have put in more than two homes for every one ranch home there now, the current provides for two tall skinny houses where currently there is one): When developers build more than 5 units, they have to contribute 15% to the BMR program. For 12-15 units, the builder has to put in two BMR units. So apparently, the builder is buying off one of them and paying PAHC $1.5million in lieu fees to avoid having to provide it for the BMR program, which PAHC in turn is borrowing from the City for its financing.

The City had to upzone the property for the market-rate developer to do this, so he could put in denser homes than could be built under the existing zoning or in the surrounding R-1 neighborhood. The City is basically creating cash for itself by using the PC zoning to upzone residential neighborhoods, using the affordable housing as the frontman. Neither PC zoning nor the BMR program were supposed to be used that way.

Alienation among voters in Greenacres and Barron Park, at least among those near the property, is extremely high.

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Posted by why can the City loan devlopers $$
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 15, 2013 at 2:05 pm

It seems like loaning money to a developer - non-profit or not - should not be something that the City is allowed to do.

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Posted by midtown resident
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 24, 2014 at 7:27 pm

To see a prime example of Zoning abuse, and a clear reason to put an initiative on the ballot to remove all exceptions, take a look at Alma Plaza. The developer promised a "park" and a "community center" in return for densely packed housing. Go take a look at what he actually provided. The "park" is the strip of green between the grocery store and the housing. I've seen bigger carpets. The "community center" is a small room on top of the grocery store which I believe is still not open.

To boot, parking for the grocery store is woefully inadequate so customers park on Ramona, a residential street so it looks like a parking lot. residents are unable to park their cars on the street due to this.

How did we let this happen? By not paying attention. If you don't believe developers are just crooked and are aided and abetted by the city, I would like you to wire me $5000 so I can provide proof.

of course the developer of Alma Plaza would never live anywhere near it. He sticks the monstrosity in our face and uses the money he made at our expsnse to buy a nice house in leafy Atherton where tall buildings would never ever be allowed.

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Posted by Community Bulletin Board
a resident of Mayfield
on Jun 26, 2014 at 3:37 pm

How about the supposed public benefit "community bulletin board" outside U Threads clothing store at Town and Country that was put in many years ago? I have never seen a single bulletin posted on it and word on the street is that if you try to post something on it it is promptly removed by shopping center staff who are seemingly unaware of its intended purpose?

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

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