Council: North Bayshore development must support schools

Mountain View Voice – by Kevin Forestieri / September 28, 2017

Proposed housing boom would require plans to house thousands of new students

Council members unanimously agreed to add language to the North Bayshore Precise Plan that would require the region’s two major landowners, Google and Sobrato, to submit a “local school district strategy” as part of any dense residential project, showing precisely how the developers would assist in building local, neighborhood-oriented schools in the area. The strategy is fairly broad, and could include land dedication, funding, transferring development rights or other “innovative strategies.”

Google demands more office space, threatens to block North Bayshore housing

The Mercury News – by Ethan Baron / September 27, 2017

MOUNTAIN VIEW — In a standoff with city officials, Google is demanding more office space for its futuristic new “Charleston East” campus and is threatening to block nearly 10,000 units of critically needed housing if it doesn’t get its way.

The company’s move could derail a plan — given preliminary approval by the Mountain View City Council early Wednesday morning and which Google says it still supports — for construction of 9,850 homes in the North Bayshore development anchored by Charleston East. The Mountain View search giant had earlier told the city it would work with partners to have 9,600 housing units built on its property, said Vice-Mayor Lenny Siegel.

Tanaka fined for campaign violations

Palo Alto Weekly – by Gennady Sheyner / September 11, 2017

Palo Alto councilman settles with FPPC after agency finds three violations

Palo Alto City Councilman Greg Tanaka has agreed to pay $733 in fines after the California Fair Political Practices Commission found inaccuracies in the financial forms his campaign filed during last year’s council race.

The agency, which enforces the state’s Political Reform Act, found that Tanaka’s campaign had committed three violations in reporting contributions made during last fall’s campaign season. In two cases, it had failed to disclose contributions of more than $1,000 within 24 hours, as the law requires.

Big changes coming to El Camino Real

Palo Alto Daily Post – Opinion by Editor, Dave Price / September 12, 2017

In Palo Alto, 2018 will be the year of El Camino Real.

City Councilwoman Lydia Kou recently rattled off a list of 11 projects that are in the works for the King’s Highway.

Most of these projects would result in more housing stacked up against the street, 50 feet tall (the city’s height limit). If Palo Alto isn’t careful, El Camino will become a canyon with a street on the bottom and 50-foot walls on either side.

School enrollment may double due to home-building boom

Palo Alto Daily Post – by Allison Levitsky / September 9, 2017

Mountain View Whisman School District is projected to double its enrollment in the next five to 10 years, Superintendent Ayinde Rudolph told the Post yesterday (Sept. 6).

A report last year suggested the 5,200-student district would see about 800 new students in the next five or six years. Then, Mountain View City Council began work on the North Bayshore housing project, which could bring in thousands of homes near Google’s headquarters, bringing the number of new students up to 4,000.

Editorial: The shriveling office cap

Palo Alto Weekly – by the Palo Alto Weekly editorial board / September 8, 2017

Council’s split over office cap will surely return as an election issue next year

The irony and hypocrisy of this is that the same majority that voted Tuesday to make more commercial development easier has been advocating repeatedly for more housing. If there is one documentable result of the current office-cap restrictions, it is that it has led to more housing projects where office development would have otherwise been likely.

It is not hard to imagine voters becoming cynical about candidates who say their focus is on increasing the supply of housing while voting to make new commercial development, the major driver in demand for housing, easier.

Palo Alto relaxes limit on office development

Palo Alto Weekly – by Gennady Sheyner / September 6, 2017

Split council votes to give developers more flexibility, scraps ‘beauty contest’

After two years of sluggish commercial growth, the Palo Alto City Council moved Tuesday to loosen the city’s cap on office development so as to give builders more flexibility.

The City Council largely agreed that the city’s cap on office and research-and-development projects has been largely successful — for some, a little too much so. Adopted in October 2015, the cap applied to three prominent commercial areas — downtown, the California Avenue business district and along El Camino Real — and limited new development in these areas to 50,000 square feet per year.

El Camino plan offers hope to Palo Alto’s housing advocates

Palo Alto Weekly – by Gennady Sheyner / August 29, 2017

City Council lauds development plan from Palo Alto Housing; considers rule changes to stimulate more housing

Palo Alto’s elected leaders found plenty to like on Monday in a new proposal to bring 61 units of desperately needed affordable housing to a transit-friendly site in the Ventura neighborhood.

There’s just one serious problem: it would violate the zoning code in more ways than they can count.

Proposed cafe for seniors means longtime lunch program will need new home

Palo Alto Weekly – by Jocelyn Dong / August 16, 2017

Palo Alto nonprofit Avenidas won’t house La Comida after renovation of senior center is complete

Avenidas, the downtown Palo Alto nonprofit that provides services to seniors, plans to open a cafe in its center at 450 Bryant St. — ending speculation that it might continue to host longtime lunch program La Comida.