In the October 19th Daily POST Mayor Scharff is quoted as saying that “Planned Community zoning has the advantage of requiring the developer to give something to benefit the community.”
The mayor has unusual standards as to what constitutes a “benefit.”
In May 2012, Scharff was one of 7 council members who voted in favor of the Lytton Gateway project, calling the building itself a benefit: “I think this is a prime site and having an office building – a Gateway project – is itself a public benefit.”
Councilwoman Nancy Shepherd agreed, saying the building itself was a contributor to the public-benefit package.
Back in the 1990s, council member Micki Schneider said that PC zoning allowed developers to benefit at the city’s expense. Another council member at the time, Ron Andersen, said it was “zoning for sale.”
More recently, Councilwoman Liz Kniss said developers gained too much at the public’s expense and PC zoning was one of the biggest issues raised during her council campaign.
In March of this year Planning Commisioners Martinez, Michael and Alcheck called for major changes to planned-community zoning, calling the existing process “the greatest challenge to land-use planning in Palo Alto today.”
With all the talk, it took the Maybell community to finally stand up and say, “No more rezoning!”