Palo Alto Residents for Planned Growth
Palo Alto City Council
Chapman, Fineberg, Fallon, et al
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Date: June 2006
Subject: Petition requesting that City Council take action against the application by Classic Communities to build 96 residential units and enact a two-year, citywide moratorium on commercial properties being converted to housing. This will allow City to discuss where new developments should be built, how many units should be built, and to conduct required environmental analysis to ensure that new developments are well designed, structurally safe, environmentally sound, and a good place to live.
We the undersigned, request that the Palo Alto City Council take action against the application submitted by Classic Communities to build 96 residential units at W. Bayshore and Loma Verde. Per the City Manager, Staff believes the concerns presented in the appeals reflect project and broader policy concerns which warrant discussion by the City Council. A public hearing of these issues is scheduled for June 19th. The four Appeals include the following reasons why the project should not be approved by Council and can be found at:
1) Comprehensive Plan did not foresee the building of any residential units in this area.
2) No EIR was done on this project, nor any additional analysis triggered at 75\% of EIR growth caps.
3) Residential units (approved and projected) exceed the growth caps in Comprehensive Plans EIR.
4) Cumulative impacts of the 931 approved and projected units in South Palo Alto need review.
5) Seismic, geologic, soil, and flood hazards on-site should require an EIR before approval.
6) Design Enhancement Exceptions are not supported by uniqueness of the site and should be denied.
7) Negative impacts of this project as stated in the Comprehensive Plans EIR are not acceptable (i.e. school overcrowding, increase demands on public services, land use incompatibility, greater demands for parking along roadways, increased development exposed to seismic and geologic risks, greater impacts to vegetation and wildlife, greater visual impact resulting from new developments).
8) The ARB process has yielded an exterior design which leaves pause for many and requires discussion.
We the undersigned, request that the Palo Alto City Council enact a two-year, citywide moratorium on commercial properties being converted to housing until the City:
1. Updates the Comprehensive Plan and the Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
2. Conducts environmental analysis on all current projects as required by the Comprehensive Plan and CEQA, including cumulative impacts.
3. Prepares Area Plan for neighborhoods where multiple projects create significant cumulative impacts.
4. Implements a program in the Planning Department to track the number of ALL new residential units.
5. Revises public notice requirements for multi-family projects to include an area relative to the size of the project.