Neighbors present + some of their interests:
Rebecca Sanders
Susan Kemp
David Adams – development, wants to get involved
Magdalena – BCP and generally good neighbors
Gary Mahany – keep an eye on City govt, esp. planning, and grade separation
Raudel Rubio – Park Blvd, seen many changes,
Neera – since 2011, issues associated with small children, Boulware Pk. BCP
Ken Joye – NPC for our neighborhood, on Park, Ped and Bike advisory committee
Following thread re Ross Road.
Jack Cackler– Parking
Karolyn
Angela Dellaporta

Emergency Prep
Blocks that are missing BPCs are listed on the website.
If you are interested in becoming a BPC please sign up for a training.
Upcoming training: January 13, 2018, 1 – 4 pm, Mitchell Park Community Center, Adobe Room
Sign up by emailing: epvolunteers@paneighborhoods.org.  Contact Ken Joye for more information to get involved in our neighborhood.

Also, on January 18 there will be a City Emergency Prep Team Kick off Event at City Hall – 6:30-8:30 pm:

Annual Recognition Event : “Calamities Happen: What You Need to Know”

Speakers:

  • Brandon Bond: Stanford Health Care
  • Tom Brocher, USGS
  • Jeff Norris, OES San Mateo County

Thursday January 18, 2018
Reception at 6:30; event 7:00 PM
Palo Alto City Hall Council Chambers

NVCAP – Angela – Hilary Gitelman’s office has promised to have applications ready for the NVCAP Working Group (regarding the development of the Fry’s site and environs) by late February. Let me know if you’d like me to contact you when I hear from them.

Raudel – What exactly are the boundaries of the development? Could changes come to Lambert? This will affect my answers to the questions in your questionnaire.

Answers – The boundaries are described in the documents regarding the grants the city has received to plan the development. Those documents are available here.  Scroll down to the 17th page of the report. However, the city council has indicated that the planning group is very likely to make decisions regarding a wider area than just the Fry’s site. Angela sees it as a good thing that the city council is taking into account that the development will affect the surrounding areas, and that the planners will work with context in mind.

Angela – I very much appreciate the thoughtful answers that people have given to me in response to the questionnaire. However, I realize that a complex printed set of questions is perhaps not the best way to gather information from all people, so I’d like to ask BCPs (through Ken) to organize events for just their block, which I can attend. I will share with each group a powerpoint, with some visuals that will help the attendees understand the options. This will allow people to give me better feedback. What do you all think?

Answer – General approval – and Jack will provide a small projector for the powerpoint.

Angela – There are already so many different opinions that of course no one will get exactly what they want in this development. Some people want no buildings at all; some people want as many units as possible. It will be somewhere in the middle.

Becky. We have to be careful about not demonizing those who have different interests and different opinions from our own. People who want single family homes should not demonize those who want high density and vice versa. In San Jose, someone has suggested taxes (Cap and Trade) for those cities who do not “pull their weight” for high density housing. [See: Cap and Trade for low density housing: https://marinpost.org/blog/2017/12/21/cap-trade-taxes-proposed-on-cities-with-single-family-home-zoning]

Neera: At these neighborhood meetings, we don’t get to hear the voices of renters.

Karolyn: This neighborhood, which is one of the few in Palo Alto to provide entry-level homes, should not be lost – not turned into an apartment haven.

Becky: If there’s a topic you are passionate about, you are encouraged to go out on your own, to become informed and active, and to bring back information and suggestions to our group.

Ken: We want to hear everyone’s thoughts. Very important for us to hear everyone’s opinions and to listen to a variety of voices.

Stanford General Use Permit – County has jurisdiction over development at Stanford. City Council and PAUSD have written some critical comments regarding Stanford’s GUP and draft EIR.

[Some information about Stanford’s GUP from: https://stanfordpolitics.org/
Stanford’s plan outlines that there will be an estimated increase of 7,500 students, researchers, faculty and staff, 1,074 “casual, temporary and contract daily workers,” as well as an estimated 2,100 dependents of faculty, staff, and students.

This will create a need for an additional 2,425 apartments and houses off campus, according to a review of the plan by Santa Clara County.]

David – Stanford does proactively implement a variety of initiatives to prevent people from driving to campus. They encourage working from home and they have set up remote workplaces; they also make relocation possible for some workers. Housing must be addressed on the demand side as well as the supply side. If more employers would implement some of these mitigation efforts, it could affect traffic and housing positively.

The Draft EIR and referenced documents are available for review at the following locations:
* https://gup.stanford.edu/the-project/reference-documents
• County website: www.sccgov.org/sites/dpd/
• Mitchell Park Library, 3700 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto;
• Rinconada Library, 1213 Newell Rd, Palo Alto
You are encouraged to submit comments on the GUP and its draft EIR by email to Santa Clara County Senior Planner David Rader at david.rader@pln.sccgov.org before Feb. 2, 2018

Comments from the city of Palo Alto on Stanford’s GUP are in Attachment B of the following document: https://www.cityofpaloalto.org/civicax/filebank/documents/61402

Becky: There will be a breakfast meeting about housing you might be interested in: Housing: a Crisis for Businesses – Ticket price a steep $55 – breakfast meeting – Tuesday January 23 – 7:30-9:30 am
https://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/event/161684/2018/housing-in-silicon-valley-a-crisis-in-the-making?ana=e_me_events&s=newsletter&ed=2018-01-05&u=FWZRoQ%2FPmRJPNFzbcSPlsQ0887b495&t=1515171311&j=79452121

Transportation
There is a new Stop Sign on Park at Page Mill – Ken spoke with Raphael, construction manager of the project on Park. Stop sign is only for the duration for the construction. Plans for a stoplight in the future. We all seem to like the stop sign, though it doesn’t go far enough.

Karolyn – We need a left turn lane from Park onto the onramp to PMR.

Ken – There is a Bike and Pedestrian Plan for the city – They focused on Ross Road first and then will look at our neighborhood. From Palo Alto High School to Wilkie bike bridge. We could see some changes similar to what’s been happening at Ross Road. Ken thinks it’s not bad. Plans can be seen here: https://www.cityofpaloalto.org/news/displaynews.asp?NewsID=3736

Becky – Bulb-outs, islands that bulb out into the road from the sidewalks are made to slow traffic.

The city did try to reach out to residents, but many residents are now surprised.
There are plans available to see what will happen to Park Blvd. See the city’s Transportation web page.

Ken – Basically, in a few places they take away a parking space and build a bump out into the street. Visually, you see a thing there where there was nothing before.
At the corners, there are islands to, perhaps, help pedestrians, who can take refuge.

Angela – has seen this done in San Jose. It’s very attractive and works to slow traffic.

Raudel – How much does this cost? (Not sure: Check the website)

Ken – At Park and Chestnut, only one lane, you have to take turns – it’s no different from that.
Susan – Is it permanent or just an experiment? (Ross Road is permanent) The main goal is traffic calming.

Raudel – What about speed humps? I like them.

Becky – They cut down on cut through traffic, which is great. Does anyone want to take the lead on looking into the Park Ave. Bicycle Plan? Ken will do it!

Railway and grade separation – The city website information is overwhelming. (Here it is:
https://www.cityofpaloalto.org/gov/depts/pln/transit/railways.asp)
A Palo Alto resident has put together a clearer collection of information on this website:
http://svfyi.com/trains/ In fact many of you might want to check out SVFYI as a general information site on Silicon Valley

Gary – Eminent domain would be necessary in some alternatives proposed for the crossings. There are problems with almost every alternative. Big problem with trenching is that the entrance to the trench would have to be very long. Cannot disturb stream beds. The tracks belong to Union Pacific, so it can’t be a real subway. Trenching is also the most expensive alternative. The Japanese have figured out how to make trains quiet. See attachment for visuals.
Follow these links to supporting documents.

Three rounds of Community Roundtables have wrapped up and one is in the process of being scheduled for early 2018. A summary of the roundtables has been posted in the “Here’s Some Background” section of the city webpage: https://cityofpaloalto.org/gov/depts/pln/transit/railways.asp

Gary downloaded a big PDF file that has graphs of what people voted for at the seminars; if you want it let Gary know.  Additional Info that Gary shared are Noise Reduction Research and Images of what a raised train would look like.

Becky – Nadia said she’d be happy to come and talk with us about the train track situation, if enough people are interested. Could do a joint presentation with Barron Park.

Parking. Jack – There are parking permit programs in various neighborhoods in PA.
Basically, we just need to pick one format and then get 70% of residents to sign up to support it, which would require some legwork.  One format that is popular in some neighborhoods: each home gets one free permit; for more permits, you pay $50 – $100 per vehicle.

Neera – What if you have friends coming for dinner?

Jack – This is only for overnight parking. Some neighborhoods in Menlo Park there is no parking at all on the street –

Neera — This would be a problem for those of us who do not have garages. And it’s the crowded daytime parking that is the problem here, not so much overnight parking.

Raudel –Some people just leave their garbage cans on the street, but this is not actually allowed.

Becky – Evergreen neighborhood allows some commercial parking, but only as long as the street parking is at 60% capacity — no more than that. It worked well at at first, but then a tech co. figured out how to game the program and left no places for workers, doctor and dentist offices to park.
It’s a city-wide problem; really the city should be taking on the issue as a whole rather than neighborhood by neighborhood.

Jack – We can set it up any way we want. Maybe it would work better for us if the restrictions were just during the day and not during the night. There are also the homeless vehicles to consider.
Jack will report back to us after a meeting with other parking-focused residents.

El Camino Real Grand Boulevard: Anyone interested in getting some of the money to beautify El Camino:
Ken – Went to a meeting about this attended by city planners. These up-coming meetings are geared towards residents:

Re-Envisioning El Camino Real – In 2016, the Grand Boulevard Initiative received a state grant of nearly $350,000 to design safety and accessibility improvements on El Camino Real in both Palo Alto and Redwood City. The grant was awarded by Caltrans as part of its Sustainable Transportation Planning program. The segment of El Camino between Stanford Avenue and Lambert Avenue in Palo Alto was chosen based on a high opportunity to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety and access on El Camino Real.

Before any improvements get underway, your ideas and input are needed for the Grand Boulevard Palo Alto study.There will be three opportunities coming up in January to share your thoughts with City staff at the following locations and dates:

Sunday, Jan. 14
9 a.m.- 1 p.m.
California Avenue Farmer’s Market

Wednesday, Jan. 17
4- 7 p.m.
Country Sun Natural Foods

Thursday, Jan. 18
4- 7 p.m.
California Avenue Caltrain Station

You can also go online and take our interactive survey: gis.fehrandpeers.com/GBIPaloAlto

To stay up-to-date on this project, go here:
https://www.cityofpaloalto.org/news/displaynews.asp?NewsID=4119

Governance: Becky – The City Council will be going on retreat at the end of January, and at that retreat they will decide on their goals for the year 2018. If you would like to have a voice in what they decide, send them an email before January 27: city.council@cityofpaloalto.org
Results of residents’ survey will be available soon online. You may find inspiration in seeing the important issues in the replies to the survey. Some examples might be: Code enforcement; excessive waivers for new development; parking issue as a whole city rather than piecemeal. Etc!

The City Budget Process takes place in May – Open hearings in May. Big Meeting June 18th.
If you would like to influence the decisions about how they spend our money, this is the time to come to city council meetings and hearings.

Monday, January 8 – Council Reorganization – Liz Kniss will be New Mayor – Big question who will be Vice Mayor: Filseth or Wohbach? 6 pm

ADU – Granny Units – The council wants to make ADUs easier to build now. Can we restrict the use of the ADUs? Do we want to?  The state has some rules that the city can’t change. Raudel has heard that there is a limit of only 9 ADU permits per year. Perhaps that is the old law that they want to change.

Neera is wondering how there can be space for ADUs when parking requirements make things so tight. You may be interested in attending the following meetings:
Wednesday, January 10 – Planning & Transportation ADU Hearing – 6 pm https://www.cityofpaloalto.org/civicax/filebank/documents/62773

Friday January 14 – ADU Info Session – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/backyard-rental-units-as-a-means-to-address-the-housing-shortage-tickets-41059974489

Becky will be going.  (Becky: “I learned that there is some deep yogurt coming our way in terms of new state legislation that will allow builders in compliance with state law to overwrite city laws in service of building housing.  One of the speakersa SF-based housing activist is linked with the Yimby movement.  and I found her words sobering as to local communities chances on preserving their neighborhoods.   State legislation that is in the pipeline is interpreted by some as a possible death knell on R-1 neighborhoods.    https://marinpost.org/blog/2018/1/10/the-death-toll-for-californias-single-family-neighborhoods?mc_cid=8974275e92&mc_eid=3747a975b9 and https://marinpost.org/blog/2018/1/10/6-tactics-to-hijack-californias-suburban-way-of-life?mc_cid=8974275e92&mc_eid=3747a975b9

Miscellaneous Items:

* Jessica Asay at Lamplighter Apartments: Is interested in bike safety, and in a Ventura Newspaper written by children. She also hosts a free library. We should perhaps contact her to begin to get some renters involved in the VNA .  Becky will follow up.

* TeenJobFind – new app that will match local teens with odd jobs in neighborhoods. Will be put out on NextDoor. We could also create a neighborhood non-profit to help kids with a gift card, etc.

* Does anyone know any renters who might be interested in joining our meetings? It would be great to get renter perspectives. Apartment renters? Are they prepared for an earthquake?

* Becky – There is so much information, so many issues. Don’t try to learn it all. Just pick a few things you really care about and focus on them.

Our next meeting Feb 4 – place to be decided.

For further information about city issues: Knowledge Aggregation
Jen Hetterly’s newsletter Palo Alto Matters

Welcome


and
Roger Peterson’s website http://svfyi.com/

Minutes – January 7, 2018

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