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Senior-housing project wins early praise

Original post made on Sep 19, 2012

A proposal by the Palo Alto Housing Corporation to build a senior-housing development and 15 homes on an old orchard site earned early kudos from city officials Tuesday evening, though some members of the City Council urged the developer to pay extra attention to the traffic impacts of the new project. ==B Related story:==
• [Web Link Senior housing planned for old orchard property]

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, September 19, 2012, 8:57 AM

Comments (5)

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Posted by We need senior hosing!
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 19, 2012 at 10:52 am

The proposal looks very good. This town really needs more senior housing, and I would rather see this land have affordable senior housing than all market rate homes. Our seniors deserve a clean, well run, affordable place to live.

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Posted by Thank you to Council
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2012 at 11:00 am

Thanks to City Council for paying attention to how this project will address the street at this early phase of design concept development. Maybell and Arastradero are both major school commute routes to multiple school sites. Lots of kids on foot and on bikes on those streets. It's important that the design is safe and pedestrian/bike friendly. Really, pedestrian and bike activity is important throughout the day because of park proximity as well. Future senior residents will appreciate a safe, welcoming pedestrian environment, too.

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Posted by Not ready yet-
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm

I love the idea of housing for seniors, there are hardly any condos built on one story. Many seniors downsizing would still like to have 2 or 3 bedrooms. It would be nice if some of the new buildings would also be senior perfect- 1 story, 2 or 3 bedrooms.

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Posted by Floyd
a resident of Green Acres
on Sep 19, 2012 at 4:04 pm

What will be the timeline and is it sal or rent for the market units?

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Posted by UNSAFE, DON'T DO IT!
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 25, 2013 at 7:23 pm

This is like the high speed rail vote -- it sounds great until you realize what it's going to do to your own community.

I like the idea of low-income senior housing. And I'm not even opposing the larger high density rezoning (from high density to higher density) in my neighborhood at another location that is going on right now, but this Maybell site is currently zoned for single family residential/duplex for a reason. This is a small neighborhood with no egress at all to the South and to the West. It's a terrible idea to put any kind of high density anything in that spot, which is right at the crux of those two routes in and out of the neighborhood. Putting a development there of any kind would really hurt the quality of life of existing residents, and more importantly, it would hurt our safety.

It would also compromise the safety of the children at Juana Briones elementary and Terman. At certain times of the day, the two main routes into the neighborhood -- Maybell and Arastradero between El Camino and Foothill, are blocked and at a crawl. Today I saw an emergency vehicle actually go up on the sidewalk to reach the railroad tracks on East Meadow. There is no such wiggle room on Maybell, which is also a safe route to school and already worrisome safety-wise between the traffic on that narrow road and the kids.

People talk about this development like the seniors are going to live there and never need cars. There are no walkable services from this location. Of course seniors are going to need cars! They will have cars, the people they hire to bring them grocery shopping or clean their apartments or provide medical services will have cars -- and believe it or not, seniors will have visitors. A low-income senior development would be better off near Stanford, where seniors could walk to medical care, restaurants, groceries, Avenidas services and low-cost or free enrichment/entertainment at Stanford. (Or even in Crescent Park, since they can take the underpass to California Avenue -- when's the last time Crescent Park took any of this high density housing? We've taking far more than our share on this side of town already!) Or, if planners don't care how many cars the residents need to live, they should put these units at the trailer park development -- which is in the neighborhood, it's just at a much more reasonable location in regards to traffic and safety, as it outlets onto El Camino.

Putting a low-income high-density highrise in that location, a few blocks from Gunn High School and Terman Middle School, would only be a temptation for low-income families to split up so that granny could live there and junior can attend Gunn or Terman. This already happens here, I know families who lived in other parts of the Bay Area, but the grandparents get a nearby apartment so their kids could live here during the week and attend the local schools, including Juana Briones.

All surveys of existing elderly neighbors show that they pretty much choose to live in their homes until they die. They don't want to move into low-income apartments, so it's not going to be serving anyone in the neighborhood already.

This project is a bad idea, with people talking themselves into it the same way they talked themselves into that ill-conceived development at Mickeys. The public benefit was supposed to be the grocery store, remember that? The design was so poor and the retail such an afterthought, it's already going out of business. It was just a pretense for putting those chimney like high-density homes there, something that is just not appropriate right at the only entry and exit points to this neighborhood.

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