Push to redesign rail corridor tests ‘Palo Alto process’

Palo Alto Weekly – by Gennady Sheyner / August 9, 2017

Some planning commissioners fear new stakeholder group could slow city down in race for cash

As Palo Alto moves ahead with plans to transform the rail corridor, city officials are struggling to reconcile two seemingly competing goals: catching up to other communities in a race for Santa Clara County funds and engaging in the type of prolonged deliberative process that has long been synonymous with City Hall culture.

Facebook’s “Village” plan raises questions

Palo Alto Daily Post – by Emily Mibach / July 12, 2017

Facebook’s proposal to develop a 59-acre business park on Willow Road in Menlo Park into a “Village” with homes, stores and 1.75 million square feet of office space doesn’t answer some major questions about housing and traffic.

Editorial: Facebook’s proposed ‘village’

Palo Alto Weekly – by Palo Alto Weekly editorial board / July 14, 2017

Massive development proposal will only worsen housing, transportation problems

It’s hard to imagine a better example of how messed up our region’s planning processes and development policies are than Facebook’s latest proposal to build nine new office buildings totaling 1.75 million square feet, likely to be occupied by up to 10,000 new employees, while eventually constructing 1,500 rental apartment units.

Facebook unveils plans for giant new development in Menlo Park

The Almanac – by Kate Bradshaw / July 10. 2017

Company plans to build 3.45 million square feet of housing, office and retail space

Facebook, which hit 2 billion users June 27, has announced plans for a major new office, residential and retail development near its headquarters at Willow Road and Bayfront Expressway in Menlo Park.

New budget signals city’s shift on transportation

Palo Alto Weekly – by Gennady Sheyner / June 27, 2017

City Council supports sharp hikes to parking rates, more investment in car-less alternatives

Palo Alto fired a salvo Tuesday night in its war against traffic congestion when it approved a budget that dramatically increases the cost of parking in downtown and around California Avenue and invests nearly $500,000 in a new nonprofit charged with shifting drivers to other modes of transportation.

Marriott hotels approved in south Palo Alto

Palo Alto Weekly – by Gennady Sheyner / June 13, 2017

Plan to bring 294 hotel rooms to San Antonio Road scores a victory

Palo Alto rolled out the welcome mat on Monday night to two new Marriott hotels, which won the City Council’s approval despite heated opposition from the surrounding neighborhood.

By an 8-1 vote, with Councilwoman Lydia Kou dissenting, the council approved a proposal by T2 development for two hotels — a sleek and urban AC Hotels by Marriott and the more traditional Courtyard by Marriott — for a site at 744 and 748 San Antonio Road, near the Mountain View city border.

Five-story hotels approved on San Antonio Road over neighbors’ objections

Palo Alto Daily Post – by Jen Nowell / June 13, 2017

Palo Alto City Council approved a proposal last night (June 12) to build two new five-story hotels, despite stringent opposition from neighbors over fears that they would aggravate traffic problems.

Residents told council last night that the traffic on San Antonio Road is already a nightmare. Warren Storkman said his 90th birthday is next month, and he pleaded with council to give him a present by not approving the hotels planned for 744-748 San Antonio Road.

But council voted 8-1, with Councilwoman Lydia Kou dissenting, to approve the project.

“Young guns” out of step with community – Editorial

Palo Alto Matters – May 13, 2017

Councilmembers Wolbach, Tanaka and Fine have stretched their wings as part of the new Council majority with policy proposals that would worsen the city’s jobs/housing imbalance and shift parking and traffic burdens to residents. Along the way, they have employed tactics that sidestep City staff, exclude public input and forego opportunities for compromise, undermining public trust and repeatedly raising widespread and vocal community concern.

At Castilleja meeting, a call to ‘reset’ the project

Palo Alto Weekly – by Sue Dremann / May 9, 2017

But school officials, residents who oppose expansion, disagree on the definition of ‘reset’

Residents who oppose Castilleja School’s proposed expansion and even some who support the school told Castilleja officials during a Tuesday night neighborhood meeting to hit the reset button on their plans. But in an email to the Weekly on Wednesday, school officials said they won’t go back to the drawing board.

Palo Alto backs away from business tax

Palo Alto Weekly – by Gennady Sheyner/ May 9, 2017

City Council agrees to revisit proposal in the fall

From expanded shuttles and transit subsidies to new garages and improved grade crossings at the rail tracks, Palo Alto has no shortage of projects on its transportation wish list.

But on Monday night, the City Council abruptly backed away from one proposal that would have paid for some of these projects: a business license tax that the council has been contemplating for well over a year.