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?”