Taming Traffic

Palo Alto Forward’s Taming Traffic event hosted Evan Goldin, Director of Product at Chariot, and a former product manager at Lyft, and Jamie Jarvis, Transportation Demand Manager for Stanford Research Park.  60 eager attendees included residents, community leaders, and a brain trust of transportation and sustainability oriented professionals. Thanks to all who attended and if you couldn’t come, we are posting the presentations here: Evan Goldin’s PresentationJamie Jarvis’ Presentation Read more

ADU Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance

Palo Alto City Council is finally weighing in on ADUs or Accessory Dwelling Units! (see staff report) Granny Units, Second Units, Nanny Flats, In-Law Unit, whatever you call them, if you want to make it easier to build them, come to City Hall on Tuesday March 7, 2017 8:30p (at 250 Hamilton Avenue) to show your support!   Palo Alto Forward's Board of Directors has just submitted the following letter to city.council@cityofpaloalto.org.  If you'd like to write in with similar comments, please do so, and please cc: action@cityofpaloalto.org.     Read more

Land Use and Transportation

On Monday, January 30, 2017 at 6:10 pm, Palo Alto City Council is going to review the Land Use and Transportation Elements of our Comprehensive Plan. Sounds boring – why should YOU care? Read more

In Support of Housing at 2755 El Camino Real

For the first time in two years, a significant housing project is being proposed to Palo Alto’s City Council.  On Monday Sept 12 at 6p, City Council will have a study session for a 60 unit housing project (30 studios and 30 one-bedroom rentals) at 2755 El Camino Real ( at corner of Page Mill.) Read the Staff Report here. Read more

Election season meetup at Scotty's - Tuesday 8/30, 6:30pm

Meet Up Tonight at @ Scotty's Come meet with your neighbors to talk about the upcoming election, housing issues, and enjoy the good company. And meet local hero Kate Downing - the former planning commissioner whose resignation made Palo Alto's contribution's to the local and regional housing crisis into regional and national news.     Time: 6:30pm548 Emerson RoadPalo Alto, CA 94301 

Five Common-Sense Steps to Fix Palo Alto's Housing Crisis

The cost of living in Palo Alto has skyrocketed. As a result, we are seeing long-time neighbors move as they can no longer afford the rent. It is not unusual for Palo Alto workers to commute in from areas as far as Stockton, Gilroy, and Tracy, putting severe strain on our roads and our climate. We are on the path to being a city composed only of long-time landowners and wealthy newcomers. That’s why we need you to sign our petition asking the City Council to take immediate, common-sense steps to address the housing crisis. Sign the petition!   The housing shortage has been caused by city policies that have discouraged new housing while encouraging office space. While the city has taken steps this year to slow the growth of office space, it is now time for the city to fix the policies that put up unnecessary barriers to new housing. Read more

Missing Middle Housing

On Thurs Nov 5, 2015 6-7:30p, we heard from Daniel Parolek, a nationally recognized thought leader in architecture, design, and urban planning, who specializes in creating livable, sustainable communities. Daniel conceived the term Missing Middle Housing to describe the range of multi-unit or clustered housing types compatible in scale with single-family homes that help meet the growing demand for compact, convenient, walkable lifestyles. If you missed his presentation live, video of the presentation can be found below and slides will be forthcoming! Read more

When Studio Apartments are Forbidden, Hostels Appear

The Hotel President Apartments, built in 1929, is one of the only buildings in Palo Alto to offer studio apartments. According to an article in the Palo Alto Weekly, neighborhood hostels have begun to appear in Palo Alto, in the form of single-family homes where the rent is split between many students or recent graduates. While it's long been common for students and young workers to split a lease on a house, what's new is how many tenants are required to pay the rent: in some cases, the homes are being filled with bunk beds and the rent split between as many as 16 people at one time! It's easy to see why landlords would like to rent to so many people for so much money. But why don't students and young workers have better options? Surprisingly, it's because Palo Alto's zoning code has strongly discouraged buildings with housing units appropriate for single people, such as studios or one-bedroom apartments, leaving single tenants little option other than sharing a larger space with one or more roommates. Read more

Council Listens to Residents on Housing Shortage

To the overwhelming number of residents who came to speak at City Council about the need to address the city's housing shortage - thank you! There were 45 pro-housing comments made at the Land Use Element, compared to only a handful of comments against. City Council listened to you. Council members Marc Berman, Pat Burt, and Cory Wolbach proposed motions that spoke directly to the need to increase housing supply in our downtown areas for all residents and specifically for Palo Alto's increasing population of seniors. These ideas were included in the Council's final direction for the Comprehensive Plan. Nevertheless, it is clear that achieving our goal of a Palo Alto that remains inclusive to residents of all incomes and all ages will be an continuing struggle. Your voice will be needed in the weeks and months ahead to make sure Council addresses the housing shortage with the same urgency that it has displayed for other important issues this year such as managing office growth and regulating downtown parking. Thanks again to all the residents who spoke or wrote in favor of housing - your voice is beginning to be heard!

Do Foreign Investors Drive High Housing Prices in Palo Alto?

  A ghost home owned by a foreign buyer? Attrib: sanfranman59 on Wikipedia. Foreign investment seems to be on everyone’s mind these days with stories about unoccupied “ghost” homes making the headlines. Many people are saying that foreign investment is the cause of Palo Alto’s sky-high housing prices.  Others say that the foreign investment trend is a reason for Palo Alto to not build more housing.  But how much do foreign buyers increase home prices, and what can Palo Alto do about it? Read more

Ask City Council to Make Housing a Priority!


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