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					                                        PLANNING AND
                              TRANSPORTATION DIVISION
                                                                          MEMORANDUM


TO:                     PLANNING & TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION
                        ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW BOARD
                        HISTORIC RESOURCES BOARD
                        DIVISION STAFF

FROM:                   Curtis Williams
                        Chief Planning and Transportation Official

DATE:                   August 3, 2006

SUBJECT:                Planning and Transportation Issues of Interest


The following list outlines recent actions and the current status of planning and transportation
projects and issues that may be of interest to boards and commissions, staff and the community:

City Council

         801/841 Alma Street: The Council reviewed preliminary plans for an affordable housing
          project by Eden Housing and Community Housing Alliance (CHA) on the current electric
          substation and Ole’s automotive repair shop sites in the SOFA II Coordinated Plan Area.
          Conceptual plans include 53 affordable units, with vehicle access via the garage for 800
          High Street. The Council will be considering a 3-party predevelopment agreement
          between the City, Eden, and CHA for the housing project on September 18th. If the
          predevelopment agreement is approved, the project will be submitted for Planned
          Community zoning with subsequent review by the ARB, the Planning and Transportation
          Commission, and the City Council.

         Pedestrian and Transit Oriented Development (PTOD) Combining District: The Council
          adopted a new Chapter 18.66 of the Zoning Ordinance to provide for a PTOD overlay in
          the California Avenue area. The zoning provides standards for residential and mixed use
          development and a “form-based code” to illustrate design criteria. The Council revised
          the boundaries of the PTOD area to exclude the Fry’s Electronics site and other sites
          south of Olive Ave.

         2825-2865 El Camino Real: The Council approved proposed plans for a 13,998 square
          foot mixed use project in the CS zone.



City of Palo Alto                                                                           Page 1
         Municipal Service Center Site for Relocation of Auto Dealers: The Council conducted a
          study session to review the potential to relocate Palo Alto auto dealers to the Municipal
          Service Center site. Council was concerned about the costs of the relocation effort and
          directed staff to explore other sites and evaluate other means to expand opportunities for
          existing dealers to remain.

         P&TC Appointments: The Council appointed Samir Tuma and Arthur Keller to the
          Planning and Transportation Commission terms vacated by Annette Bialson and Phyllis
          Cassel. The first P&TC meeting with the new commissioners is scheduled for August
          23rd.

         Revenue Generation and Cost Reduction: The City Manager presented a number of
          options to the Council to enhance the City’s revenue generation and to reduce budget
          expenditures. Some of the planning-related approaches explored include roadway impact
          fees and facilitating retention and expansion of auto dealerships, hotels, and large-scale
          retail (e.g., Stanford Shopping Center, Fry’s Electronics). Subsequent presentations will
          be made to the Finance Committee and initiating some of the efforts, and the programs
          will then be incorporated into the next budget.

         135 Hamilton Ave.: Chop Keenan presented to Council a preliminary plan for
          development of a 4-story building (2 stories of office over 2 stories of retail) at the now
          vacant corner of Hamilton and High Street. The project would also include construction
          of a new parking structure on the current City Parking Lot P on High Street. Some of the
          spaces would be reserved for office users during weekday hours, but all would be
          available for the public at night and on weekends. The owner is assessing whether to
          proceed with a Planned Community zoning for the project or to reduce the scale to 2-3
          stories and submit for ARB review.

         Regional Transit and Transportation Trends and Issues for Palo Alto: On August 7, 2006,
          the Council will conduct a study session regarding transit and transportation trends and
          issues. The session will provide an overview of the City’s transportation efforts and
          coordination with other transportation agencies, including sources of funding.

         Strategies for Restricting the Conversion of Commercial Uses to Residential: On August
          7, 2006, staff will report to the Council regarding potential strategies for limiting the
          conversion of commercial uses to residential, for both commercially-zoned and
          residentially-zoned land. Subsequent to Council direction, staff will prepare ordinance
          revisions, rezonings, or other documents to implement those objectives.

         901 San Antonio Projects: The Council will consider the BUILD and TKCJL Planned
          Community applications and EIR at its September 11, 2006 meeting.

Planning and Transportation Commission

         901 San Antonio Projects: On July 26, 2006, the P&TC recommended certification of
          the EIR and approval of both the BUILD and TKCJL projects. Additional conditions



City of Palo Alto                                                                              Page 2
          and/or direction were included for the TKCJL project to further address noise from and
          parking for special events, and enhanced transit service and bicycle access.

         3412 Hillview (SAP): A Site and Design Review application for construction of a 74,000
          square foot research/office building and a two-level parking garage was recommended
          for approval by the P&TC. The ARB recommended approval of the application on
          August 3, 2006, and the City Council tentative hearing date is September 25th.

         Channing House (850 Webster): The ARB recommended approval on August 3, 2006,
          and the P&TC will consider a Planned Community application for a new, two-story
          assisted living and skilled nursing facility building on the Channing House site on August
          30, 2006.

         Zoning Ordinance Update – Commercial/Mixed Use/Performance Criteria: The P&TC
          will conduct a study session on August 30, 2006, to review revisions to the commercial
          zone districts, mixed use criteria, and performance criteria (lighting, noise, etc.). The
          zoning amendments will return to the Commission for recommendation in late
          September.

Staffing

         Staff Recruitments: Several positions remain vacant, but are in the process of being
          filled. The Department has hired Chitra Moitra as a Planner in the Advance Planning
          section, and she will start work on September 5th. Interviews for the Planning Technician
          position will occur on August 10th, and interviews for two Transportation Engineer
          positions will follow shortly thereafter. The Associate Transportation Engineer position
          will be posted next week.

         Staff Liaisons: Some of the staff liaison duties have changed. Beth Bourne is now the
          liaison to the ARB (replacing Chris Riordan). Chris is now the planner in charge at the
          Development Center (replacing Beth). Paul Mennega is the liaison for Subdivision
          review (replacing Steven Turner), and Steven will be focusing on upcoming special
          projects at Stanford (as well as finalizing permit approvals for the Arbor Real and 901
          San Antonio projects). Gina LaTorra remains the Development Review Committee
          (DRC) liaison.

         Planning Districts: Current Planners are assigned to seven planning districts, acting as a
          contact for neighborhood associations and as a resource for other staff. As of August 1st,
          Chris Riordan is now the planner for District 1 (downtown and Professorville) and Steven
          Turner is now the planner for District 2 (Stanford Shopping Center and Medical Center,
          California Avenue and nearby residential areas), while other planners have retained their
          districts as originally assigned.




City of Palo Alto                                                                              Page 3

				
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