May 20 Calendar Update

The City revises its calendar often. So so do we. For up to date info on notable upcoming action items, times and locations, bookmark our Calendar page (and come back often!)

Some upcoming items we highlighted in last week’s newsletter have shifted on the city calendar:

Discussion of modifications to the Downtown Residential Preferred Parking (RPP) program and a study session on the Ross Road Bike Boulevard project have been removed from the City Council’s tentative upcoming agendas. We’ll keep you posted if they reappear.

In addition, due to lack of time on May 14, the City Council postponed it’s discussion of grade separation options until May 29 (click here for staff report). The Rail Committee cancelled it’s May 22 meeting pending Council’s action.

For convenience, you can find the revised calendar below. In addition, the signature drive to put a citizen initiative about office growth on the ballot is in its final days (deadline is May 21). For more info, check out the Grassroots Spotlight.

Looking Ahead

May 21, 2018

Annual Office Limit: Council will vote on the consent calendar (up or down vote without discussion) for final adoption of an ordinance to revise the Interim Annual Limit on office/R&D development in Downtown, around California Avenue, and in the El Camino Real Corridor. Beginning at 5:40 pm (City Hall). Click here for staff report.

Wireless Cell Antennas: City Council will hold a consolidated hearing on seven appeals of approved Verizon Wireless plans to install cell antennas on neighborhood power poles. Beginning at 5:45 pm (City Hall). Click here for staff report.

Charleston-Arastradero Corridor Project: City Council will vote to approve construction contracts for Phases 1 and 2 of the project. Beginning at 8:00 pm (City Hall). Click here for staff report.

May 23, 2018

Budget: Council Finance Committee Budget wrap-up. Beginning at 9:00 am (Community Meeting Room, City Hall).

May 29, 2018

Grade Separations: City Council to approve Council Rail Committee recommendations regarding grade separation alternatives to be evaluated and VTA Measure B Grade Separation Funding Plan. Beginning at 9:00 pm (City Hall). Click here for staff report.

Avenidas Redevelopment: City Council to designate the Avenidas building (450 Bryant Street) as a “sender site” for the Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program. Beginning at 7:35 pm (City Hall). Staff report will be available May 24.

June 4, 2018 (Tentative)

Workforce Housing Overlay: City Council will vote to adopt a Workforce Housing (WH) overlay ordinance to allow high density housing development on properties zoned for public facilities within 1/2 mile of train stations. Projects would be eligible for reduced development standards (parking, density, FAR, etc) and would be required to include units dedicated to individuals earning up to 150% of area median income. Council will also approve site and design for the first application under the overlay: a 57 unit property on the former VTA parking lot at 2755 El Camino Real. Tentative, TBD.

Ballot Poll Results: City Council will review additional polling results regarding potential tax measures for Palo Alto’s November ballot. Tentative, TBD.

June 11, 2018 (Tentative)

Public Safety Building: City Council to approve Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR), modified development standards and architectural review applications for the new Public Safety Building and Parking Lot. Tentative, TBD.

Utilities Rate Increases: City Council will vote to adopt the following rate increases for Fiscal Year 2019: a 6 percent increase for electric; 4 percent increase for gas; 3 percent increase for water; 11 percent increase for wastewater collection; 2.9 percent increase for both storm drain and dark fiber rates. Tentative, TBD.

Grassroots Spotlight

Final two days of signature drive for office growth initiative.

Led by the citizens group Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning, residents concerned about the impacts of local office growth are collecting signatures for a November ballot measure. They oppose a city policy that allows double the historic rate of office growth, and argue that at such a rate, we’ll never be able to meet the challenges of spiking rents, increasing congestion, and rising taxes.

If they collect sufficient signatures by May 21, Palo Alto voters will get to decide in November whether to reduce the cap on citywide office growth.

Volunteers will be collecting signatures through May 21 at the following locations (those who prefer to have a volunteer come to them can contact Ceci Kettendorf at (650) 493-0804):

  • California Ave. Farmers Market, (next to Bank of the West) on Sunday, 9am to 1pm
  • 3719 Grove Avenue (off East Meadow, near Middlefield) anytime during the day or early evening

Questions about the initiative can be directed to Greg Schmid, former Vice-Mayor, at

Let us know.

This calendar update is a new format for us. Recognizing the limitations of a longer newsletter that only comes out every few weeks, we thought our readers might like an additional, low frills, calendar update. Please let us know what you think via email to

The more people engaged in local matters, the more representative the solutions.