UPDATED November 9, 2015

Dear Neighbor,

Palo Alto City Council is reviewing the Planning & Transportation Commission’s recommendations regarding the Comprehensive Plan Update and resolutions certifying the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Comprehensive Plan Update, with a goal of adopting findings pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and adopting the updated Comprehensive Plan Dated June 30, 2017 with desired corrections and amendments, which comprehensively updates and supersedes the City’s 1998-2010 Comprehensive Plan, except for the 2014 Housing Element which remains in effect.

There are two public hearings scheduled. At the Public Hearings held on October 23 and October 30, 2017, the Council considered the Planning & Transportation Commission’s recommendations in order to provide direction to Staff, and certify the Final EIR. Due to a large number of public comments, this item has been continued to the November 13th Council meeting at 6PM. The public may continue to submit comments to the City Council by email. The Council will also consider the adoption of the recommendations of the Planning & Transportation Commission on the Comprehensive Plan and other actions.

The Comprehensive Plan, as approved, will set forth a vision and policies for Palo Alto’s growth for the next 15 years.

The draft Comprehensive Plan continues to allow tech firms to remain in the downtown commercial area as they grow in size. This does not curtail the growth we have seen in recent years in employee density, which necessarily will cause greater auto congestion and adversely impact parking conditions in adjacent neighborhoods.

Hotels in the downtown area will be allowed to be built 50% larger than their current allowable size. This will overwhelm the downtown area and lead to over-sized buildings with maximized size and minimum character. Think of the newer hotels on El Camino Real adjacent to the downtown area.

Non-residential growth could increase by 3 million sq.ft. over the 15 year duration of the Comprehensive Plan. This is DOUBLE the average rate of growth in non-residential space in Palo Alto over the last 27 years.

If you believe (as we do) that this will

  • increase our already severe traffic congestion
  • decrease available parking
  • further strain neighborhood streets
  • increase the already severe housing shortage
  • increase rents
  • crowd our schools and
  • ruin the Palo Alto we know and love,

We want to thank all of you who wrote to the City Council or attended the meetings on October 23rd and 30th. We have to continue to make our City Council aware of the wishes of the residents of Palo Alto to maintain the quality of life that we all cherish.

Please share this information with your friends and neighbors.

Now is the time to speak out. You will live with the consequences of the decisions made on the Comprehensive Plan for decades.

You can email your comments to the Council at city.council@cityofpaloalto.org.

Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning

** Staff reports for the agendized item are available in the bin in Council Chambers, City Hall on the Friday preceding the meeting date, after 2:00 PM.  The agendas and staff reports can be viewed or obtained by going to http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/gov/agendas/council/default.asp, approximately eleven days before the public hearings.  Updated information on the start time may be found there. You may download copies of the Draft Comprehensive Plan and the Final EIR or visit the Our Palo Alto 2030 website

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