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Palo Alto's top projects of 2012

Original post made on Dec 30, 2012

Palo Alto's effort to reinvigorate the charming but neglected commercial strip of California Avenue sped ahead this year despite speed bumps of opposition from area merchants.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, December 30, 2012, 1:56 PM

Comments (8)

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Posted by randy albin
a resident of Mountain View
on Dec 30, 2012 at 2:10 pm

how about projects to become a down-to-earth city? philanthropy to help the down and outers and less fortunate. palo alto is not what it once was. get off of your high horse and address the downcast and regular people. palo alto is not shangri-la. it's just a place that is somewhere and it is somehow. wake up everyone

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Posted by What?
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 31, 2012 at 7:32 am

That Mitchell Park Library is an abomination.

It has absolutely NO connection to the park or surrounding residential neighborhood. The massing and materials of construction are totally inappropriate and should be a loud embarrassment for the Architectural Review Board.

While I can appreciate that the ARB is a volunteer board...they need to go. Let's count the community disappointments that this ARB has hoisted upon:

1. Mitchell Park Library - Disaster
2. Alma Plaza - TOTAL Disaster
3. JCC - Massive Disaster
4. "Gateway" - Horror on Alama (only second to Alma Plaza)
5. Housing at Alma/Homer

Please!Thank you for your time and effort,now please just move on.

This insane urbanization theory the ARB is enamored with is an unmitigated disaster for the City. We DON'T WANT BUILDINGS PUSHED TO THE CURB...we like our set-backs. We don't want towering slabs of stucco hanging over the street.

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Posted by Love the JCC
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 31, 2012 at 7:47 am

More whining about the JCC. Thank god it was built, otherwise the chronic malcontents in the city would have nothing to whine about!

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Posted by What?
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 31, 2012 at 8:00 am

Love the JCC...

Please don't confuse my love and admiration for the programs and facilities housed within the project for my criticism of the ARB's roll in the project design. The JCC is a wonderful addition to our neighborhood that I regularly enjoy.

My assignment of fault is with the architecture which has created a fortress against the neighborhood. This is a direct result of this ARB insisting that he projects be pushed to the absolute edge of the property and that public space be located within the center of site.

For the JCC site this philosophy resulted in those god awful interior concrete deserts and a buildings that feel like they will fall onto Charleston or San Antonio. Its an urban fortress as uninviting and intimidating to a pedestrian as can be conceived. Epic architectural fail. Made more so by the absolutely wonderful programs and facilities it houses.

Alama Plaza stinks too. Who asked for this slab sided monstrosity to be placed right at the property line along Alma. NOT THE DEVELOPER! It is a huge insult to our pedestrian scale neighborhood and directly the result of this ARB's misguided urbanization philosophy that builds forts against the street and insists on minimal public space on the interior.

This ARB needs to retire. Please...Save Our Sidewalks!

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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Dec 31, 2012 at 10:51 am

Couldn't agree more about these new "Urban" designs -- people don't live in Palo Alto to be urban. We're a small-town suburb, with people who, for the most part, value the small town feel and a sense of neighborhood. Excessive high-density housing and lack of set-back decrease both. The large, at-the-curb projects are a fad some planners describe as "progress". They are anything but.

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Posted by resident
a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 31, 2012 at 11:18 am

Regarding San Fransquito Creek the flood control effort needs to focus on cleaning out the excess vegetation from 101 West. I observed banks of dead vegetation, broken tree limbs, and in general a vegetation mess within the creek boundaries. Adobe Creek was cleaned out in autumn to improve flood control. San Fransquito Creek has a different set of problems but the creek can be cleaned up to remove excess dead vegetation. What is happening is dead vegetation is moving down from Stanford and compacting the ability to clear water. This needs to be a joint venture with Stanford since the creek is part of the border to Stanford property. Both entities have the manpower and equipment to do this job - and the city has $90K for consultants to apply to this effort. If the city is claiming that is has no budget for creek maintenance then it has no budget for consultants.

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Posted by Social Butterfly
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 2, 2013 at 10:47 am

The damage of our town has and is being done as you read this............

How about a few suggestions instead of insults! Ideas, anyone???!!
Who knows the name of the person who has a placq at the end of California Ave, right by the fountain in front of the bench??? That dedicated item was decorated at Christmas time for a local man...who loved California Avenue...........

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Posted by Local roots
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 3, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Totally with you about the setbacks and urbanization of our town. You forgot to add the school construction choices, which not only make for more urban, impersonal, larger schools, but cost a lot more for what we get.

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