California Avenue Repaving This Friday

As construction on University Terrace nears its completion, Stanford is required by the City of Palo Alto to repave California Avenue along the entire frontage of the project (see map below). That work will take place starting at 7am this Friday, December 14, and will make California Avenue beyond Dartmouth Street inaccessible to vehicles until around 5pm.

Residents living on California Avenue in the affected area are encouraged to park their cars Thursday night on one of the adjacent streets so that they can be used while the paving is underway. If you’re in the affected area, please read the complete Construction Advisory for further details.


Around the Terrace: December 5, 2018

Here are some recent announcements and news stories of interest to College Terrace and the surrounding area.

Escondido Elementary School Community Meeting
Palo Alto Unified School District will host a meeting to review and receive input on the Schematic Plan for a new Multi-Purpose Building and plan for the Escondido Elementary School Campus. The meeting will be conducted by Gelfland Partners Architects (who worked on similar projects at Duveneck, Fairmeadow, and Ohlone) and take place this Friday, December 7, at 8:15am in the Escondido Multi-Purpose Room.

Residents Seek School Funds From Stanford’s Expansion
The Palo Alto Weekly recaps the community listening meeting on the Stanford GUP development agreement led by Santa Clara County Supervisors Joe Simitian and Cindy Chavez. Schools, housing, and traffic concerns were top discussion topics.

Palo Alto Home Repair Program
Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley is administering the City of Palo Alto’s Home Repair program.  Lower-income Palo Alto homeowners in need of assistance with a broad range of health, safety, and accessibility improvements may be eligible for $10,000 grants.  The program is especially helpful for seniors on a fixed income and those with disabilities who might need adjustments made to continue living in their home. 

SunLife Brings Açaí Bowls, Juice to Cal Ave
A new business has opened on California Ave. Sun Life Organics serves açaí bowls blended with different fruit combinations and topped with ingredients such as nuts, fruit, coconut, honey and bee pollen. They also serve juices, smoothies, coffee and tea.

Key Community Input Meetings Next Week

Two projects with potentially huge impacts on our city and neighborhood are having community input meetings in the coming week. These are excellent opportunities to share your ideas and voice your concerns.

Rail Crossing Grade Separation
Wednesday, November 28 at 6pm (Mitchell Park, El Palo Alto Room)
The city is hosting a community meeting to discuss ideas for separating the street from the railroad at Palo Alto’s four existing railroad crossings. This particular meeting will focus on the Charleston Road and Meadow Drive crossings; another meeting on January 23 will cover the Churchill Avenue and Palo Alto Avenue crossings.

For more information on the Palo Alto rail corridor, visit cityofpaloalto.org/ConnectingPaloAlto.

Stanford GUP Community Benefits
Thursday, November 29 at 6:30pm (City Hall)
Santa Clara County Supervisors Simitian and Chavez will host a Community Listening Meeting to hear from the public about community benefits the county should consider in a negotiated Development Agreement regarding Stanford’s application for a General Use Permit for its proposed 2.3 million square foot academic expansion.

For more information on the Stanford GUP Development Agreement, visit www.countystanfordda.org.

And one more thing… on the City Council’s agenda for Monday, November 26, is a series of revisions to the zoning code intended to make it easier for residential developers to get their projects approved. These revisions, which range from new density bonuses to reduced parking requirements for residential projects, are likely to generate a spirited debate. Read the proposal (or at least the Weekly’s summary) and then decide if you want to add one more meeting to your civic/social calendar.

A Fabulous Fall Picnic

Thanks to everyone–especially those costumed pets–who came out to the CTRA’s annual Fall Picnic this past Saturday. Special thanks to Taylor Brady, CTRA social chair, and the rest of the CTRA board for putting together a fantastic event.

Art for Action Event Sunday

The Art for Action Foundation, a non-profit organization created and run by Paly students, is holding its annual art gallery where the art donated by talented teen and community artists from Palo Alto will be displayed and available for purchase. All proceeds will benefit DreamCatchers, an organization that aims to close the opportunity and achievement gap in the Palo Alto school district.

In addition to the gallery, there will be complimentary food and drinks, fun art activities for kids, and an inspiring keynote speaker. The event will offer an evening of enjoyment for families and people of all ages. 

The event will be held Sunday, October 21st, from 2-5pm in the Adobe Room at Mitchell Park Community Center. 

To learn more about the gallery, please visit theartforactionfoundation.org. If you have any questions, please contact artforactionpa@gmail.com.

Save the Date: Fall Picnic on October 20

Get ready to party! The CTRA will be hosting its annual Fall Picnic on Saturday, October 20th from 2pm to 5pm at Mayfield Park, next to the College Terrace Library. Don’t miss the Pet Costume Contest, Neighborhood Bakeoff, and Cakewalk with Wine!

We’ll be grilling burgers (meat and veggie) and other goodies, but neighbors are encouraged to bring a potluck dish to share. (We’ll take care of drinks, plates, napkins, and utensils.) So stop by, have a bite, and hang out with some of your friendly College Terrace neighbors.

By the way, the CTRA Spring and Fall Picnics are made possible by your donations, so why not donate today?


 

City Council Candidate Forums Next Week

We’re only a few weeks away from the November 6 elections and there are a number of events coming up to help voters become more familiar with local candidates for Palo Alto City Council. Five candidates–Pat Boone, Alison Cormack, Tom DuBois, Eric Filseth, and Cory Wolbach–are vying for three seats on the council.

The Palo Alto Weekly is hosting a candidate debate at the Little Theatre at Cubberley Community Center on Monday, October 3rd at 7:30pm. The following night (October 4th) at 7pm, Palo Alto Neighborhoods (PAN) is hosting a candidate forum at City Hall moderated by former City Councilwoman LaDoris Cordell. The League of Women Voters of Palo Alto will also hold a candidate forum on October 9th at 7pm at First Congregational Church on Louis Road.

If you can’t make any of those events, be sure to check out PAN’s City Council Candidates Questionnaire, which gathers responses from the candidates on issues ranging from accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to renter protections.

The Weekly has a summary of other election events, including School Board candidate forums as well as events covering the various ballot measures. Do your homework and don’t forget to vote!

What’s Up with the Stanford GUP?

One of the topics at last week’s CTRA board meeting was an update on the Stanford General Use Permit (GUP) approval process. The GUP is intended to guide the growth and development of the university’s central campus through the year 2035. Stanford has asked for approval of 2,275,000 net new square feet of facilities and up to 3,150 units of housing, which is estimated to generate an additional 9,610 people on campus.

Journalists at the Palo Alto Weekly recently discussed the proposed campus expansion and the debate over how much housing the university should provide as part of its growth plan. If you haven’t been closely following the GUP process, the video is a good way to catch up.

The period for providing comments on the recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report (including the two alternative housing options proposed by the county) recently ended. Once the Environmental Impact Report is final, the project will go before the Santa Clara County Planning Commission for consideration and then to the Board of Supervisors for a vote. Here’s the current schedule for those workshops and hearings:

Planning Commission
Workshop, September 27
Hearing #1, October 11
Hearing #2, October 25
Hearing #3, November 1 (if needed)

Board of Supervisors
Hearing/Workshop, November 6
Hearing #1, November 13
Hearing #2, December 4
Hearing #3, December 18
Final Meeting #4, January 8, 2019

Check the county’s website for further information, including locations when they’re announced.

The outcome of the GUP approval process will have a profound impact on the surrounding area, and our neighborhood in particular, for years to come. (The majority of new on-campus housing forecast will be adjacent to College Terrace in Escondido Village.) So take time to read up on the issues (via the Weekly’s coverage, the county’s website, Stanford’s own GUP site, or elsewhere) and consider attending one or more of the above meetings to make sure your concerns are addressed.

Save the Date: Spring Picnic on May 19

Mark your calendars! The CTRA will be hosting its annual Spring Picnic on Saturday, May 19 from 3pm to 7pm at Mayfield Park, next to the College Terrace Library. We’ll be grilling burgers (meat and veggie) and hot dogs. Drop by, bring a potluck dish to share and meet some of your neighbors from across College Terrace.

By the way, the CTRA Spring and Fall Picnics are made possible by your donations, so why not donate today?