Another Godzilla development is speeding our way.

Unfortunately, this development was spot-zoned approved by City Council.   We leave this page up as a record of an illegally approved development.  When the Architectural Review Board, the Planning and Transportation Commission and the City Council do not adhere to the Zoning Code, citizens can not know what to expect.  We believe it is not fair to the citizens to allow zoning exceptions.  However, large developers seem to hold sway over the interests of the residents.

2515-2585 El Camino
On May 23rd, the proposed redevelopment of the 2515-2585 El Camino/Olive Garden property is on the agenda of City Council. Take a look at this titanic proposal:

Title: 2515-2585 El Camino Real [14PLN- 00321]: Request by the Hayes Group Architects on Behalf of ECRPA, LLC for Site and Design Review to Allow a New 39,858 Square Foot, 3-Story Mixed Use Building Including Retail, Office, 13 Residential Condominium Units and One Level of Underground Parking on a 39,638 Square Foot Lot to Replace a 9,694 Square Foot Existing Restaurant (Olive Garden). The Project Includes a Request for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to Exceed the 5,000 Square Foot Office for the Site by Approximately 4,835 Square Feet. Environmental Assessment: An Initial Study was drafted and a Mitigated Negative Declaration was circulated on January 19, 2016. Zoning Districts: CC (2) and CN.

This development is a concern to those of us who want to preserve our residential quality of life. Please take a look at these concerns:

The owners are going for a Conditional Use Permit, which means they want to upzone (get some exceptions to current zoning rules) because they can demonstrate that the CUP will have no detrimental effects to “public health, safety, general welfare or convenience” – Municipal Code Section18.76/010(c). This is a patently false claim, please read on.

The new development will result in the loss of 4,835 square feet of community serving retail space and instead redirect the allocation to office space and condominiums.

The Olive Garden was 9,694 square feet and the new building is 39,858 square feet. This is another behemoth building proposed without consideration of impacts on adjoining neighborhoods.

Remember it’s not just one development it’s the collective impact of many developments in the pipeline. Each one is treated in isolation. But the net result is a canyon-ization of our beloved streets and more traffic gridlock, noise and air pollution.

The new office space will worsen the current jobs/housing imbalance which everyone knows is in crisis, so why are we adding even more office space? This exacerbates an already stressful situation.

Everyone knows that an increase in office space, adds commuter trips.

Everyone knows that eliminating retail space, means that the community will drive further for its retail needs.

The current proposed development as it is, in any case, is under parked.

The current proposed development requires a loading zone entrance on Sherman Avenue which is a narrow residential street. And the loading zone itself is under parked and does not meet the minimum space required by law for safety and convenience.

The current proposal double counts parking and loading zone spaces in order to meet the requirements.

The current proposal reduces current on street parking, which serves residents and businesses.

The current proposal exceeds the allowable FAR (Floor Area Ratio).

Finally, Architectural Review Board member Lew voted against this development because “the frontage along El Camino Real was too long and not consistent with the pattern of development in the area or the desired pedestrian-oriented nature of the street.” – This translate as massing. That means more bulky buildings that block the sun for the rest of us.

If this is an issue that concerns you please make your voice and opinion heard:

Actions you can take:

Email city.council@cityofpaloalto.org and tell them to vote against it. Remember they work of us not the developers.
Come to the meeting if you have time and speak, or hold a sign or stand up and gesture a thumbs up when someone is speaking against the project.

Or if you are in favor of this, you are invited to make your voice heard as well.

Here is the link to the agenda which has this item beginning at 6:40 pm.

godzilla