For a one-stop overview of what’s going on and what’s coming up, check out our Newsletters. In each issue, you’ll find commentary detailing what the latest fuss is about and a quick wrap-up of recent news and developments.

December 8, 2018 Newsletter

Controversial housing issues dominate the public agenda in an end-of-year push by policy-makers — from new state housing mandates that could target every residential and mixed-use property in Palo Alto, to a seemingly trivial zoning provision with big implications for the President Hotel Apartments, to a city-wide overhaul of local development standards.

November 19 Newsletter

After a fairly quiet election season on the city policy front, the final month of the legislative year is packed with council action and community meetings. City Council will dive into the lame duck session with two huge land use decisions. In addition, council will consider a 5-year operating and revenue sharing agreement to outsource management of the Rinconada pool and a final agreement and approval of facility funding for Pets in Need to take over the Animal Shelter.

October 21, 2018 Newsletter – Election Issue

Palo Alto Matters pays attention to local policy debates and scuttlebutt and, as you know, we think the facts and details matter. We urge you to resist basing your vote on campaign rhetoric and instead look critically at the actual record. We’ve pulled it together for you! In addition, we’re including links to a wealth of other election resources available to the community – covering the City Council, School Board, and Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (Ward 5) races as well as local and state ballot measures.

September 10, 2018 Newsletter

The largely neglected third leg of the housing policy stool, protection from displacement, is now taking center stage – stimulated by the upcoming eviction of every resident in the 75-unit Hotel President Apartments on University Avenue.

August 27, 2018 Newsletter

Widespread community concern about the loss of 75 rental units at the downtown President Hotel Apartments is broadening the housing discussion (beyond how we can build more housing faster) to include long-overdue debate about what the city can do to prevent the loss of existing housing stock and an appropriate city role in protecting renters from displacement and unfair evictions.

July 25, 2018 Newsletter

Summer is blissfully upon us, but somehow newsworthy stuff keeps happening. In the final days of July you have a chance to weigh in on retaining the downtown development cap law, the Stanford GUP, and the city’s response to citizens’ initiative to control office growth. Take a break from the beach and speak up.

July 8 Newsletter

Should Stanford meet the housing demand it creates? Hint: the answer isn’t simple. Find out how it would impact Palo Alto and get up to speed on how the city is handling other complicated challenges related to the downtown permit parking program and railway grade separations.

June 10, 2018 Newsletter

Citizen initiatives force Council action; hotel tax moves forward; reductions sought for FY2019 Budget; workforce housing “pilot” approved; and more.

May 12, 2018 Newsletter

Despite a growing budget, housing, infrastructure and transportation needs outpace resources. With resident satisfaction on the decline, City eyes hotel and sugary drink taxes and residents launch ballot initiative to constrain citywide office growth.

April 8, 2018 Newsletter

April 9 promises impassioned public comment as affordable housing and airplane noise take center stage at City Council. On other fronts, community voices recently prompted city response on traffic patrol, controversial bike boulevard design elements, and employee parking permits in the downtown RPP. Get up to speed on what the city is up to and make sure your opinion is part of the mix.

March 20, 2018 Newsletter

Train tunnel deemed “practically unworkable.” Affordable housing ordinance delayed; City supports transparency in labor negotiations; Eichler design guidelines move forward; and controversy brews over Cool Blocks, Ross Road and PTC ethics.

SB-827 height overlay map

February 15, 2018 Newsletter

Multi-family housing near transit: Sounds good, right? Well here it comes. Is this what you expected? Get the run-down on a newly proposed state-mandate, SB-827. And stay up to speed with local action on traffic and parking, housing and more.

January 21, 2018 Newsletter

It’s easy to say yes, I’m pro-housing, or anti-traffic. But as with all public policy, the devil is in the details. How will the City advance its priorities and how it will impact our daily lives? Will residents have an influential voice? Get a heads up on the hard questions ahead for Palo Alto.

December 13, 2017

At the close of this action packed and tumultuous year, Palo Alto ends up right back where it started – debating ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units) policies. Though City Council has finished its work for the year, the Planning and Transportation Commission (PTC) will get a first look at possible revisions to the 2017 ADU ordinance tonight.

December 4, 2017 Newsletter

Residents bristle at a lack of timely City leadership and communication regarding Stanford’s growth plans, grade separations, and new State housing laws, and they are again disappointed by a lack of transparency, productive civic engagement, and public deliberation. 


November 3, 2017

As Comprehensive Plan Update approaches final vote, worrisome Stanford expansion impacts come to light and Fine/Kniss/Wolbach advocate parking reductions and zoning changes for new housing.

October 21, 2017 Newsletter

Monday, October 23 offers the last best chance for resident input to influence the Comp Plan Update that will set city land use policy for the next 15 years. This newsletter issue offers a quick primer on what’s at stake.

accountability cartoon

October 10, 2017 Newsletter

What’s sexy about code enforcement? Public trust … Get up to speed on renter protection proposal, campaign finance violations, office cap and PAUSD controversies, and climb aboard for rail planning.

September 1, 2017 Newsletter

Two new housing projects and 8th hotel on South El Camino Real enter the review pipeline. Council to adopt rail corridor design process and moves to preserve animal shelter. PTC gets first look at Environmental Impact Analysis for Stanford expansion. 

June 25, 2017 Newsletter

Seeing the forest through the trees – big picture questions about where we’re headed, bottom line numbers, and specific issues of concern in the alignment of values and strategies.

June 11, 2017 Newsletter

Comp plan wraps up; rail, code enforcement, sustainability, and parks and rec on deck for City Council. Residents air worries about hotels, Castilleja’s expansion and proposed micro-housing project.

April 9, 2017 Newsletter

Council’s First 100 Days: New City Council charges ahead on housing, retail, parking and more amid community unease and campaign finance investigations.