In Crescent Park, a push to end traffic gridlock

Palo Alto Weekly – by Sue Dremann / December 1, 2017

Residents to seek solutions for the daily line of cars on neighborhood streets

Fed up with the daily traffic gridlock on their neighborhood’s streets, Crescent Park residents are banding together to get the city of Palo Alto’s attention.

For hours each day, Crescent Park residents are plagued by the hundreds of vehicles that jam the streets within blocks of University Avenue, from Middlefield Road to East Crescent Drive. They say they battle just to get in and out of their driveways on weekday afternoons.

Palo Alto council splits over roof decks

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

For some members, decks are a sign of vitality; for others, a waste of staff time

The council didn’t take any votes on the proposal, which is still in a conceptual phase and which has not yet been the subject of a formal application. The pre-screening session was a chance for the council to either nip the project in the bud and avoid unnecessary expenditures or signal its support and suggest ways to improve the project.

The council did both of these things and, in doing so, sent a mixed message to the prospective applicant, building owner Thoits Brothers Inc. But given that the more pro-growth faction enjoys a narrow council majority, the Monday discussion means the application is likely to move ahead.

Board: Stanford growth could require new school

Palo Alto Weekly – by Elena Kadvany / November 14, 2017

School trustees to discuss response to university’s proposed general use permit

Stanford University’s proposal to build hundreds of new housing units for graduate students, faculty and staff over the next 17 years represents a level of growth that a majority of Palo Alto school board members said will likely require a new school in the future.

‘Behind the Headlines’: Palo Alto’s pension problem

Palo Alto Weekly – by Palo Alto Weekly staff / October 13, 2017

Transcript of City Councilman Eric Filseth’s conversation with Weekly journalists

Ever wonder what the real deal is with Palo Alto’s unfunded pension and retiree medical liabilities (from $550 million to maybe even $1 billion)? How is the city going to pay for it?

This interview with City Council Finance Committee Chair Eric Filseth breaks down the problem in a refreshingly clear way. Hear his conversation with Palo Alto Weekly Editor Jocelyn Dong and city hall reporter Gennady Sheyner in this “Behind the Headlines” podcast, or click on the headline to read the transcription.

Commission pans parking meter plan

Palo Alto Weekly – by Gennady Sheyner / October 12, 2017

Proposal to overhaul downtown’s parking scheme criticized as premature

Downtown Palo Alto’s move toward parking meters hit an unexpected turn Wednesday night when the city’s Planning and Transportation Commission voted against implementation.

By a unanimous vote, the commission rejected all four options that were presented by transportation staff for overhauling downtown’s parking system. Citing uncertainty about the impacts of parking meters on downtown retail, the commission recommended that the council hold off on approving any plans, pending more outreach to area businesses.

accountability cartoon

What’s all the fuss about code enforcement?

Palo Alto Matters – October 10, 2017

Public trust and damaged community life.

Ask a typical Palo Altan what code enforcement is all about and odds are the first thing they’ll mention is gas-powered leaf blowers. But it also encompasses zoning and building compliance, Use and Occupancy permits, parking, signage, construction noise and more – complex, wonky, and sometimes seemingly nitpicky, issues that have both immediate and cumulative impacts on land use and quality of life. While most residents may not know a specific code violation when they see one, they experience the impacts of noncompliance and it feels unfair.

Immediate neighbors suffer from unabated violations. Worse, Palo Altans city-wide endure a double loss: they suffer lasting changes in the character of their neighborhoods and they feel abandoned, or even duped, by their city government. Supposedly protected retail converts to other uses; burdens on public parking increase unnecessarily; traffic safety in neighborhoods deteriorates; and businesses freely flout rules designed to protect residential quality of life. Rumblings rise about city bias favoring non-resident interests.

FAA considering making Surf Air flight path over Bay official

The Almanac – by Barbara Wood / September 29, 2017

Residents living near Sunnyvale have organized to fight the route

The Federal Aviation Administration is considering making the route Surf Air has used to avoid homes on the Midpeninsula – by flying over the Bay – an official fair-weather route. But an organized group of residents from Sunnyvale has turned out in force against the route saying it transfers the noise to their neighborhood.

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.

Appeals Court nixes FAA flight-path changes in early court test

Palo Alto Weekly – by Sue Dremann / August 30, 2017

‘NextGen’ procedures and routes overturned in Phoenix, Arizona; locals studying implications for Palo Alto

A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday overturned the Federal Aviation Administration’s controversial rerouting of flight paths in Phoenix, Arizona, calling the agency’s approval of its NextGen flight-procedures program at Sky Harbor International Airport “arbitrary and capricious.”

In south Palo Alto, a battle is brewing

Palo Alto Weekly – by Jocelyn Dong / August 20, 2017

Plan for hotel on El Camino Real encounters vocal opposition from neighbors

The 51,600-square-foot project would be shaped like a U with a row of three-story townhomes on the north side stretching from El Camino back toward the rear of the property, the hotel lobby fronting El Camino, and a 50-foot-tall hotel wing to the south reaching from El Camino to the rear.