In case you missed the excitement on July 30th, the Palo Alto City Council voted 5-4 to cap office development citywide at 850,000 square feet through 2030 rather than sending the PASZ initiative to voters on the November ballot. Mayor Liz Kniss and pro-growth council members Greg Tanaka, Greg Scharff and Adrian Fine opposed the move to make the cap law. Voting in favor were Lydia Kou, Karen Holman, Eric Filseth, Tom DuBois and Cory Wolbach. Normally, Wolbach votes with the pro-growth majority but tonight swung over to the other side. He’s running for re-election in November.
Supporters of the initiative, including the Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning who gathered signatures, said limiting office growth would help to correct the city’s traffic gridlock and three-to-one jobs-housing imbalance.
“We are over-abundant with office and research and development. Over-abundant,” Councilwoman Karen Holman said, citing a penthouse for rent for $30,000 a month as a symptom of the imbalance. “Until we get our house in order, why in the world would we consider allowing more office?”
The thing that we are seeing is a lot of dense office space in Palo Alto with no housing to complement that office space. The traffic in Palo Alto is horrendous, Streets are a mess and there does not seem to be any money for improvements. Unless you want to discuss the mess that was created on Arastradero between El Camino and Foothill Expressway.
Housing in this city is a joke, How in the hell can these prices be good for Palo Alto, except to compare PA with the pricing on the National news as being one of the most expensive places to live. The point being? Can your children consider buying a house here?
We really need to be addressing the future of this area and the quality of life here. Trash pickup needs to be an issue. Driving into this town is like driving into a ghetto. The trash along the roads, such as Birch, California Ave, Downtown and parking lots all have an abundance of trash. If this is such an exclusive area why all the disregard for the way our town looks?