ZONING ORDINANCE UPDATE
1. Heavy traffic impacts from GM area – Traffic has increased over the last couple of years (San Antonio, Charleston Road ® takes at least 3 light cycles, Louis Road, Fabian and East Meadow).
2. Louis is now a thoroughfare to get to Light Industrial (LM) area ® no light at corner of Louis and Charleston; cut through traffic uses Louis and Greer.
3. Uncertain where the traffic is coming from since LM/Industrial areas has less employees and a lot of buildings for lease due to economy.
4. In the College Terrace area – traffic has actually decreased in the California/Page Mill area. But southbound El Camino Real is over saturated with commuters; peak back up on Stanford Avenue.
5. There has been significant redevelopment of California Avenue, everyone wants to park on the street, and there is no buffer for residents and other businesses; siting of driveways with access to California Avenue is a problem.
6. Noise issues, no internal circulation (“spine”) in Research Park ® Delivery trucks cutting through California Avenue (garbage trucks, Fed Ex, Shuttle, etc.)
7. Need to make Research Park a more pedestrian friendly area, with connections to commercial areas (e.g., Palo Alto Square Theaters).
8. No resident activity in Research Park (“dead and dangerous zone”) ® provide a shuttle service to cut down on traffic flow through residential area.
9. Provide incentives to businesses for commuters (increased FAR, reduced parking) to use public transportation, free shuttle service, restrict amount of parking per site, etc.
10. Require a business license to monitor transportation measures; if businesses do not comply pull their license and put them out of business.
11. Hotel and apartments should not be considered a Mixed Use (Hyatt Rickey’s site) – need to be providing for local services.
12. Planning should be incorporated into zoning, and should consider everything that’s happening in South Palo Alto – Hyatt, Research Park, Sun, Mitchell Park, JCC, etc.
13. Need for services in Research Park – there is a traffic increase during the midday peak hours (lunch). Get people off the street, put restaurants in that area.
14. Stanford has refused to put housing in Research Park, they are concerned only with maximization of profit, and housing is not a profit.
15. Where should housing transitions occur? Along California Avenue would need to be more than 4 units/acre.
16. How are we going to force Stanford to build housing? Put pressure on Stanford to put housing somewhere/anywhere in the Research Park.
17. Model ourselves after other areas for Village Residential and Transit Oriented Districts (Mountain View, Sunnyvale) to provide housing transitions.
18. Master Plan for Research Park ® when is that going to happen?
19. Opposed to building out FAR for mixed use housing on top of maximum non-residential.
20. Should have map where within the Research Park housing is wanted and areas where housing is not wanted; otherwise, will get undesirable housing.
21. Zone where existing housing is currently at, then Village Residential, then Mixed-Use, etc. (raise density levels as transition).
22. May need more schools to handle the increase of children.
23. Only 20% of people who live in Palo Alto, work in Palo Alto. Sub-zone to convert housing and increase affordability requirements.
24. Broker land to build housing in Bayshore area, then provide the right incentives to move employees (shuttle services)
25. Provide affordable housing for service workers who are important to retain in the City, e.g., teachers, police, fire, emergency workers, and city workers. Something that is attractive to them to keep them here, not just BMR units, actual housing.
26. Research Park has much higher employee density now than prior, due to office space converted from R&D, especially for lawyers.
27. Stanford says it wants to keep area as Research and Development, not offices; estimates a current 75%/25% (R&D/Office) split.
28. Research and Development is estimated at 1 –2 persons per 1000 square feet, office at 4 persons per square feet; zone for employee density.
29. Area of LM along Bayshore contains lots of vacant space; should accommodate other uses, such as community centers and facilities; make transitions sooner rather than later, more community friendly uses.
30. Provide actual data on Research and Development; make businesses accountable for number of employees, percentages of employees who go out to lunch, number of employees who commute, traffic impact ® offer incentives ® shuttle service. Get smaller employers (businesses) to cooperate with the City to make traffic impact less and limit number of employees per square foot; maybe revise employee and parking assumptions for office.
31. Start-ups can have less impact on travel services, where employees use alternate transportation (such as bicycles) for commute.
32. A lot of Research Park services being provided along California Avenue business district, such as retail, eating, etc.; driving away neighborhood serving services.
33. New workers in Research Park soliciting homeowners door-to-door to purchase their homes.
34. Noise from Research Park including generators, roof mounted equipment, should be mounted away from the residential area and provide buffers.
35. Need to address transitions from single-family with landscaping, density, and transition-oriented housing densities.
36. Along California Avenue provide for residential zoning transition, such as attached housing.
37. Increase enforcement of noise and traffic violations and nuisances.
38. Assure that the height limit is no greater than residential on residential side of industrial sites.
39. Limit to no net new commute trips – measuring the baseline first is critical.
40. Require landscape strips between industrial and residential areas, but make sure they are still service accessible.
Note: Comments listed were made individually and are not intended to represent a consensus of Focus Group participants. A list of participants is attached.