Margaret Fruth

Mar 152014
 

The 2013 appraisal of the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park, commissioned and paid for by the owner, Joe Jisser, claims that the appraised value as a mobile home park is the same as it was in 2012, and includes an estimated 3-6 months probable marketing time (this could be much shorter and simpler with ready buyers who have already made an offer). It also alleges that with the current RM-15 zoning and with the proposed increased RM-40 zoning it has exactly the same appraised value. The claim is that higher construction costs exactly offset the increase in value due to the proposed increase in density. If this were true, there would be no reason to apply for a zoning change. There is no update since 2013.

 

Oct 182013
 

Everyone agrees that the Maybell site is an excellent site for senior housing, which could be the start of working toward consensus.  No one wants to see the land sold to a for-profit developer, but an alternative to the rezoning over-development will not emerge unless Measure D fails to pass.

The corporation backing Measure D, the proponent of rezoning, claims that they cannot obtain all of the grants & loans with just a 41-unit apartment building at Maybell.  But they can build the 60-unit building they want to build, without any modifications to to the existing design, through a density transfer from the rest of the land.  They also claim that their budget will not balance without the twelve luxury homes planned for two-thirds of the land.  I have been attempting to obtain evidence which prove or refute this claim since July, 2013; when and if I receive any I’ll get back to you.

If Measure D fails, the financial issues can be put on hold while the neighbors & the corporation negotiate a solution everyone can live with.  Preferably directly, without the City Council playing emperor.  If a compromise is reached, the pending lawsuits will disappear before the next City Council election.  Otherwise the discord will continue to be expensive for all in both time, money, & additional damage to the social fabric of the community.  This much-needed reconciliation will not happen unless Measure D fails, so please

vote NO on Measure D.

Oct 082013
 

The corporation backing Measure D claims that they cannot obtain all of the grants & loans (apparently there is at least one loan other than the sweetheart loan the City of Palo Alto awarded to them) with just a 41-unit apartment building at Maybell.  But they can build the 60-unit building they want to build, without any modifications to to the existing design, through a density transfer from the rest of the land.

They also claim that their budget will not balance without the twelve luxury homes planned for two-thirds of the land.  I have been attempting to obtain evidence which supports this claim since July 22, 2013; when and if I receive any I’ll get back to you.  Until and unless we do, please vote NO on Measure D.

Oct 082013
 

Our treatment of the economically disadvantaged goes beyond one housing project, beyond car camping beyond Hotel de Zink, & beyond Measure D.  The issues apply far beyond Palo Alto’s borders

Many of the arguments against Measure D are summarized in “Palo Alto Measure D: Not Worth the Cost

There are many discrepancies in the details of the project; please contact me if you want more information.  If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing honestly.

I am shamelessly forwarding my two recent letters published in the local newspapers, as I continue to seek a middle ground, which cannot be found unless Measure D fails:

FIRST:

Friends have asked me what can we do to help save the existing low income housing at the Buena Vista Trailer Park.  If Measure D fails, it will send a message to other greedy developers that Palo Alto will not double their money by allowing a density bonus at the expense of current residents.  Then the owner, & the developer who has incited the owner’s greed, might negotiate a fair realistic price to sell to the residents.  Keep the kids in the Palo Alto schools! Please vote no on Measure D.

SECOND:

The Maybell developer has claimed the Maybell site is one of the few sites in Palo Alto available for low income housing.  They have also claimed that if Measure D loses they will sell the land.  But these two claims are contradictory. If the land is that perfect for this use, why won’t they respond to a NO vote by negotiating a better proposal, one more consistent with the current zoning?

If Measure D fails, it will create a new opportunity to reach a compromise, a win-win that can provide senior housing on Maybell while helping to heal the divisiveness in the city.  For example, the 41 apartments the property is zoned for now, could become 60 units of senior housing, without even redrawing the existing plans.  This could be accomplished through a density transfer which would keep the rest of the land as open space.  The pending lawsuits would become moot.  This compromise could be fasttracked & approved in time to break ground before the next City Council election.  This can only happen if Measure D is defeated.  Please vote no on Measure D.

Click on this link if you are moved to volunteer to defeat Measure D or to recommend that others do so.

In Friendship,

Margaret