I want to wish you Happy New Year, and at the same time, I apologize for the late wishes. The holidays turned out to be a forced rest for us – our family had a family cold. We’re all recovered and rested. I hope you are all well.
Please put this date on your calendar and help inform City Council what you would consider a priority or priorities for 2018.
City of Palo Alto City Council Retreat
Saturday, February 3, 2019
9:00 am – 3:00 pm
El Palo Alto Room, Mitchell Park Community Center, 3700 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto
This year, there is much to be aware of and for you to determine whether this is YOUR vision for YOUR city…a place that you decided to call home for your family, a place that you could feel safe in all aspects, a place that you thought you could find peace and quiet enjoyment.
There is an aggressive plan/priority to build housing by deregulating and providing flexibility by changing zoning and relaxing the City’s building codes. Much of the negative cumulative impacts are deflected by the rationale that it is a regional matter. Here is a link to the draft Housing Work Plan https://www.cityofpaloalto.org/civicax/filebank/documents/63027. Page 27 will show all the deregulation. How will this impact your neighborhood and quality of life? The City is big on talking about “sustainability”, is this kind of growth sustainable? How will the City address parking? How will the City address the cut through traffic into our neighborhoods? How will the City fund all City services and infrastructure needs? The growth plan below is for the years 2018 – 2035.
Many of you already know of Stanford University’s aggressive growth plan, today is the last day to provide your comments on the draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). Stanford is proposing the following:
- 2,275,000 net new square feet of academic and academic support facilities;
- 3,150 net new housing units/beds which amounts to approximately 4 million square feet
- 40,000 square feet of childcare and childcare related facilities; and
- Stanford University proposes that the 2018 General Use Permit include an option to
allow Stanford to construct a 2,000-space parking supply reserve, subject to Planning Commission review and approval, if any one of the following conditions apply: 1) Stanford is achieving its No Net New Commute Trip goal; 2) such parking would not result in a substantial increase in peak-hour commute trips; or 3) unforeseen circumstances occur due to changes in background conditions would require provision of additional parking.
If you haven’t already done so, it is due today by 5:00pm. Send your comments to David.Rader@pln.sccgov.org
The City of Palo Alto has also passed its Comprehensive Plan which will increase traffic congestion and decrease air quality which are identified as “significant unavoidable” impacts. This is what has been adopted in spite of the “significant unavoidable impacts:
- Three million square feet of new employment workspace (1.3 million square feet is the new Stanford University Medical Center which is not opened yet and we don’t know what traffic impacts it will bring yet)
- 10,240 to 11,890 new employees
- 11,240 to 13,260 new population
- 4,710 to 5,580 new housing units (no square footage has been provided)
The City’s finances are supposedly in good shape, yet there is going to be dips in the coming years starting next fiscal year. The General Fund, your tax dollars is funding the growth mitigation. You have to ask why are we mitigating so much and at the same time, having to physically change our lifestyle in order to accommodate all the negative cumulative impacts.
A friend said they were looking to move to Nevada and their friends in Nevada said that there are many from California moving to Nevada, but the Nevada residents do not want to openly welcome Californians because 1) the real estate prices will escalate, and 2) Californians who have identified the area to be suburban, quiet and peaceful, no traffic congestions and parking issues will then try to change the area to become urban and metropolitan. This is what happened in Colorado and Washington State.
Is this what you want for Palo Alto? Is this why you moved to Palo Alto?