May 222018

On Tuesday morning, May 22nd, members of Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning (PASZ) submitted petitions with over 3000 signatures to the Palo Alto City Clerk, Beth Minor. This was the culmination of a 4 week volunteer effort across the city to gather signatures to qualify the initiative for the November ballot. The petition signatures will be verified by the Santa Clara Registrar of Voters and then the petition will go to the Palo Alto City Council on June 11, 2018.

The initiative, drafted by former Palo Alto councilman Greg Schmid, with the help of other members of PASZ, would reduce the amount of new office/R&D space which could be built under the new comprehensive plan. The current Comp Plan allows for 1.7 million sq. ft. of new office space over the 15 year life of the plan (2015-2030). That’s over 113,000 square feet a year, as opposed to the long-term historic growth rate of 58,000 sq ft/yr, which has already created congestion, traffic and a 3 to 1 jobs to housing imbalance.

The PASZ initiative –
Would cut office/R&D growth in half, bringing it back to its long term historic growth rate.
Would apply CITY-WIDE – including Stanford Research Park, Stanford Shopping Center, San Antonio, East Meadow, West Bayshore and East Embarcadero.
Would be PERMANENT – it would require a vote of the residents to increase the cap and could NOT be changed by the Council.

In a recent editorial, The Palo Alto Weekly stated:
There is no constituency other than commercial development interests supporting new office development in Palo Alto, and every square foot of new office development approved in the city makes our housing shortage and road congestion worse.”

Jun 262015

Palo Alto should approve funding to bolster chances of preserving mobile-home park

 We Need Your Help

The County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday (June 23rd) to set aside an additional $6.5 million towards preserving the park for its residents and affordable housing, making the total set-aside by the County $14.5 million, all coming from developer fees paid by Stanford.

On Monday, June 29th, the Palo Alto City Council will be voting on taking next steps towards matching these funds. This is  a critical juncture for the City Council to take action towards keeping Buena Vista’s residents in their homes. In order to encourage them, we are suggesting that folks:

1)      Write letters to the City Council
Urge them to take steps to match the County’s funds and preserve the park. These will be very influential to the Council in understanding our community support for affordable housing and for keeping Buena Vista residents in their homes. The Council can be reached as a group here:

2)      Attend the City Council meeting on Monday night. There is a good chance that this is one of the last meetings we’ll be asking folks to come to before there is a deal to approve, so it will be worthwhile for supporters to come out. The item is scheduled to be heard by 6:40pm, so I recommend arriving by 6:15pm.  We won’t need folks to speak – they have a long meeting that night, and they’ve heard from many of us already – but we do need to show that the broader community supports preserving the park.

Jun 252015

Supervisors allocate another $6.5 million,
contingent on match from Palo Alto

Santa Clara County supervisors on Tuesday upped the ante in a bid to preserve the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park when they unanimously voted to allocate an additional $6.5 million toward the cause, contingent on a similar match from Palo Alto.

With little discussion, the Board of Supervisors voted to contribute $6.5 million from its affordable-housing fund for the purchase of Buena Vista. The new allocation raises the county’s potential contribution toward preserving Palo Alto’s sole mobile-home park to $14.5 million.

On June 29, the City Council will discuss Buena Vista and consider its next steps. If the council chooses to match the county’s contribution, the total set aside by the city and the county would go up to $29 million. All of the contributions pledged by the city and the county thus far would come from funds designated for affordable housing.

[Read full story…]

Jun 212015

On Tuesday morning, June 23, 2015 the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors will meet to consider a proposal by Supervisors Joseph Simitian and Dave Cortese to set aside an additional $6.5 million from the County’s Stanford GUP Affordable Housing Fund to be used to provide a portion of the necessary funding to secure deed-restricted affordable housing units at the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park.

The meeting will begin at 9:15 AM in the Board of Supervisor’s Chambers in the County Government Building at 70 West Hedding Street in San Jose. [Directions]

If the proposal is passed by the Board of Supervisors, the total set-aside from the Stanford GUP Affordable Housing Fund would be $14.5 million, subject to further authorization by the Board of Supervisors. County funds will be set aside contingent on a 1:1 match with funds set aside by the City of Palo Alto… Requiring a 1:1 match with City funds would ensure the local commitment necessary for this project to be successful. This is an opportunity for the County to leverage its limited funding, and to act effectively on our oft-stated commitment to affordable housing.

The full text of the proposal is available here.