Housing, traffic woes stoke urge to flee Bay Area, new poll shows

The Mercury News – by George Avalos, Bay Area News Group / March 30, 2017 

“It turns out that we were wrong about millennial preferences, the stories were wrong that millennials wanted to live in a hyper-urban environment and that it would be OK to raise families in a condo,” said Micah Weinberg, president of the Bay Area Council’s Economic Institute. “Millennials are putting off family formation, but when they have a family, they want what their parents had: a house on a nice lot pretty close to work.”

 

City Council changes course on housing fees

Palo Alto Weekly – by Gennady Sheyner / March 28, 2017

Council members spar over best way to fund affordable housing

In an unusual move that reflected Palo Alto’s shifting political dynamics, the City Council reversed on Monday night its December decision to significantly raise the fees that office developers must contribute to support affordable housing.

Complaint prompts state probe of Tanaka’s campaign

Palo Alto Weekly – by Gennady Sheyner / March 17, 2017

Fair Political Practices Commission launches investigation into whether Palo Alto council member inaccurately reported contributions

The agency that oversees California’s campaign-finance laws has launched an investigation into the campaign finances of Palo Alto City Councilman Greg Tanaka, who reported an influx of cash from developers after winning the election last November and who accepted and later returned $5,000 from a property owner whose project he was set to review.

Amid backlash, city to reconsider decision on Comp Plan

Palo Alto Weekly – by Gennady Sheyner / March 17, 2017

Citizens committee blasts City Council’s vote to remove programs from land-use guide

Palo Alto officials will revisit on Monday their controversial January decision to strip all programs from the city’s guiding land-use document, the Comprehensive Plan — a move that some characterized as a “formatting” change and others decried as a betrayal of public trust.

State probing Kniss’ campaign contributions

Palo Alto Weekly – by Gennady Sheyner / March 16, 2017

FPPC launches investigation into whether Palo Alto vice mayor improperly reported her contributions

Prompted by a citizen complaint, the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has launched an investigation into the campaign of Palo Alto Vice Mayor Liz Kniss, whose re-election bid was boosted by a flurry of late contributions from developers and who did not disclose most of these contributions until well after the election.

Palo Alto council members spar over land-use vision

A series of close votes on Comprehensive Plan highlights divisions on council

Faced with growing concerns about too much traffic and not enough housing, Palo Alto officials agreed on Monday to retain their annual limit on office growth and to explore new sites for residential development — including Stanford Research Park.

Yet in a radical departure from their prior discussions on the Comprehensive Plan, the City Council voted 5-4 to exclude from the land-use document every single program that has been proposed for achieving these goals.