645Palo Alto says "Yes" (rather emphatically: 8-0) to new, mixed-use rentals near Cal' Av Caltrain
- Jun 26, 2012Links to two articles follow from Palo Alto on-line and Palo Alto Patch followed by my letter to council last night......Also appears on front page of PA Daily Post.82 rental units with 20% BMR approved (above R&D commercial space) on Page Mill/Park Blvd - does anyone recall the last time that market-rate rentals were built in the city?Harold Hohbach's 'Park Plaza' project wins approval
After years of litigation, appeals, revisions and public hearings, developer Harold Hohbach finally ... (Monday, 10:23 PM)
June 26, 2012
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Irvin Dawid <irvindawid@...>
Date: Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 2:39 PM
Subject: Agenda Item 4, June 25: Public Hearing, 195 Page Mill
To: Palo Alto City Council <city.council@...>
re: Agenda #4: Public Hearing, 195 Page Mill Rd.Dear Mayor Yeh and City Council:Saying “yes” to new housing:
When it comes to new residential development, Palo Alto has become very good at saying “no”, at least that’s the impression it gives to some based on recent actions.
First there was Lytton Gateway - the entire fifth floor - 14 apartments, just tossed. Never mind that the site is opposite the Caltrain station and would be a great showcase of mixed use; it made more sense to council members to ask the developer to subsidize additional parking rather than providing affordable and market rate rentals above commercial space.
Next, a letter to the Association of Bay Are Governments advising them that Palo Alto would limit the areas designated as “Priority Development Areas” beyond what what is indicated in the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority's “Cores, Corridors and Station Areas” - their effort to “to better integrate transportation systems and land use.
Then the city council committee dealing with housing requirements decided that nothing over 50-feet should be considered, driving up the price of the few residences that do, potentially, make it through the approval process.
Now all these exclusionary decisions on their own could be viewed as political decisions that any city council makes in evaluating new housing, but Palo Alto finds itself in the unenviable position as being the only city in Santa Clara County yet to submit their housing element. (http://www.hcd.ca.gov/hpd/hrc/plan/he/status.pdf)
The term, “picky eater” comes to mind. Is it healthy for the city to continue to say ‘no’ when it comes to new housing?
The item before you tonight is a great opportunity for you to show the public that you can say ‘yes’. Already the developer deleted two units to please the council based on your architectural recommendations - notwithstanding the approval of the architectural review board. It’s apparent that continuing to be “picky” will result in zero housing units as that would be the simplest course for the developer to take as the site is zoned for general manufacturing
I hope you say ‘yes’ tonight.
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