Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning (PASZ)


Our Mission:

Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning is a political action committee dedicated to sensible zoning and planning for all of Palo Alto. We advocate for zoning reform and education of the public as to land use and transportation issues. We will encourage development projects that do not adversely impact quality of life and seek proper application of the Comprehensive Plan by City government.

Our Vision:

We envision a Palo Alto that is a family-oriented town with excellent schools, parks, and infrastructure, where resident’s quality of life is favored over commercial enterprise.

Our Goals:

  1. Improve our quality of life as measured by traffic, parking, pollution, and safety.
  2. Moderate the pace and density of development in order to make sensible, long term choices that balance the insatiable demand for development with the limited supply of land available in Palo Alto and neighboring mid-peninsula communities.
  3. Institute measurement systems to gather valid, real-time, continuous, and ongoing data that will facilitate better decision-making by City government.
  4. Require transparent, objective, and resident-centered processes and services from City government.
  5. Support and improve our excellent schools at all education levels.
  6. Protect and expand our urban forest, community gardens and open spaces.

Our Platform:

We will advocate for the following:

  1. A moratorium on all major projects (over 10,000 sq. ft.) in all zoning districts until a comprehensive and valid land use and transportation plan, supported by continuous traffic monitoring, is completed in order to establish the level of development that can be supported by existing infrastructure.
  2. A reduction of the maximum development volume in certain zoning districts so that when state-mandated density bonuses are applied, the resulting volume matches what current zoning maximums would allow.
  3. Enforcement of all zoning regulations in a consistent and predictable manner so developers know what to expect. Zoning limits should be viewed as the maximum attainable, granted only to high quality projects consistent with all planning criteria, as judged by cumulative traffic and parking impacts, aesthetics, and planned land use.
  4. Implementation of a business registry to understand the employee population’s impact on traffic, parking, and housing mandates.
  5. Limiting commercial development in order to break the cycle of ever increasing housing mandates.
  6. Updating PC Zoning ordinances to be used only in extraordinary circumstances that provide clearly defined, valuable and durable public benefits.
  7. Fixing the inadequate public outreach and decision process, by involving the public much earlier in the process and publishing information at least ten days before public meetings in order to restore public trust in the City’s project review and approval process.
  8. Immediately increasing community involvement in the review and approval of the upcoming Comprehensive Plan Update.
  9. Collaborating with neighboring communities to promote modifications of ABAG and state mandated programs that account for the unique issues associated with fully developed cities situated on a peninsula, in a highly desirable central location between San Jose and San Francisco.
  10. Opposing all specific projects that do not meet the values of our organization.

UPDATE: Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning now has its own website