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Building boom fuels Palo Alto's planning budget

Original post made on May 10, 2013

An increase in building around Palo Alto, spurred by large commercial projects, is prompting Palo Alto's Planning and Community Environment Department to request a 23 percent expenditure increase -- $2.5 million -- in its budget in fiscal year 2014, staff told the City Council's Finance Committee on Thursday night.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 10, 2013, 9:59 AM

Comments (9)

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Posted by william morrison
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on May 10, 2013 at 11:07 am

We should NOT spend all the increased revenue. We should save a big % for a rainy day Once
we hire new employees, we have a large debt in the future. There are good times and bad times. In good times you save for the bad times

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Posted by Cheese is Rice
a resident of Midtown
on May 10, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Then why all the plans to cut services? Why all the p,eas of poverty from City Hall?

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 10, 2013 at 5:32 pm

"It looks like the city is paying for things associated with a PC (Planned Community zoning) project," Berman said. But staff said that type of expenditure is normal for public outreach on large projects.

Hm. A modest proposal:

- All projects must follow zoning laws and the Comp Plan, and have parking.
- With no more PC's to spend months negotiating (badly)over, the Planning Staff can be cut in half.

Without having to pay for Public Outreach welfare to mega-wealthy developers, plus a giant staff to go out to lunch with them, maybe we could actually afford some infrastructure and services.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 10, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Sorry. Just had to put this one up again.

"It looks like the city is paying for things associated with a PC (Planned Community zoning) project," Berman said. But staff said that type of expenditure is normal for public outreach on large projects.

It is the perfect expression, the quintessence, of this City Staff, and how they feel about us, our money, our town, whom they work for, the trouble we residents cause them, all of it.

Everything you could possibly want to know about this City Staff is captured in those two sentences.

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Posted by robit noops
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 10, 2013 at 6:26 pm

Fix the roads.

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Posted by debacle
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 10, 2013 at 7:24 pm

Traffic congestion gets worse and worse, with huge projects in
the pipeline, and the priority of the City is to streamline the
approval process in a City which is at the center of market forces
and waives zoning restrictions for the largest projects which
have no conformance to a General Plan. The neighborhoods and the
unique character, ambiance, and qualities of Palo Alto are being destroyed. Look at what is happening to this place! Even if you are willing to sacrifice all this for the sake of more development, the infrastructure of the City simply cannot handle the massive over-development. A huge debacle is unfolding here. But for the Council and the staff it's "full steam ahead" even spending public money to subsidize PC projects. Most of the Council and the City staff are completely disconnected from the values associated with Palo Alto. Now after a problem more than a decade in the making,with waivers of parking requirements for developers, the City is going to assign an engineer to look into the neighborhood overflow parking situation fearing that this issue could slow down the drive toward further development after all the current projects in the pipleine are completed and the neighborhoods are a shambles even all the way to
Bayshore from cut-through traffic.

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Posted by oy
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on May 10, 2013 at 10:18 pm

....too funny! So tell us again how eliminating 5 fulltime positions and increasing the Development Services department budget by $2.5 million will improve permit services? So how does the $2.5 million figure into better service if there is no accounting for increased service requiring an increased budget? Does the $2.5 million cover the pay increase for management personnel (the Development Dept. now has 3 managers for every 1FTE staff position) that Keene is pushing through the city council? What a dysfunctional mess. The Development Center has become the laughing stock of the Peninsula and South Bay.

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Posted by jerry99
a resident of Barron Park
on May 11, 2013 at 6:52 am

The new (unnecessary) constuction will be done in a couple of years. If they have to hire temporary staff. We don't want to be weighed down by the endless number of ciy workers and their golden plated benefits, especially pubic pensions.
Palo Alto does not need more buildings, especially apartments or condominiums that cause even more congestion. Evidently the city council members do not use El Camino between 4PM and 7PM, as it is already a parking lot.
And to top that off, some lunatic has proposed using two lanes of El Camino for high capacity buses, which can move from Mtn. View to Menlo Park or further as empty as they are today.
What does the city council not understand about Palo Alto already being crowded and ther residents don't want new projects or more people. Get more parking downtown, not more buildings.
Just lunacy

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Posted by long-time resident
a resident of Green Acres
on May 11, 2013 at 1:03 pm

@ debacle and jerry 99,
I'm with you, but the trouble is, what you and I see is not what the council and city planners see, because they don't live over here -- they're powerful NIMBY's maintaining the quiet of Old Palo Alto and Professorville, while shoving more and more traffic problems and density onto the south of town, where our safety and quiet enjoyment of our homes doesn't count. (Bring it up and they'll mention downtown development, as if downtown development equates!)

Historically, the majority of city council comes from the north side of town, even though 50% of us live south of Oregon. Today, only 2 members live south of Oregon, and none of those are directly affected by the high density projects they are foisting on us over here. The noise, pollution, congestion, quality of life and traffic in my neighborhood has dramatically worsened in the last 5 years, yet the city is trying to railroad through high-density rezoning into the neighborhood. An opportunity for parkland that could enhance the community for the future is not even spoken of as a possibility, because high-density development is the only thing that counts. But it's not in their backyards, so who cares, right?

Please tune into efforts to curb the excess of PC development ...

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

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