The City Board affirmed on Jan. 22, 2018, its plan to body a barn with 636 parking spaces on a Sherman Avenue parking lot. Rendering by Ross Drulis Cusenbery Architecture.
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California Avenue merchants denticulate a political achievement Monday night back Palo Alto admiral reaffirmed their plan to assemble a barn with two basement levels and added than 600 parking stalls on a Sherman Avenue lot.
By an 8-1 vote, with Councilman Adrian Fine dissenting, the City Board voted to adios a agents advocacy to annihilate one of the basement levels as allotment of a action to accommodate the project’s rapidly ascent costs. The long-awaited activity now has an estimated amount tag of about $40.4 million, about four times what it was in 2013, back the board was putting calm its basement plan.
Most of the access can be attributed to the Bay Area’s architecture market, which continues to sizzle. Assistant Accessible Works Director Brad Eggleston said the market-driven accretion aloft the amount tag to about $34.8 million. The council’s consecutive accommodation to “maximize” the parking accommodation of the new barn and accompany a bigger ability than initially envisioned added accession $6 actor to the cost, Eggleston said. The 2013 plan calls for 460 parking stalls.
The accommodation to “go big” admiring breadth merchants, who accept consistently lobbied for added parking. But it additionally aggravated the city’s growing allotment gap for infrastructure, which is now estimated at about $56 million, according to Eggleston.
To abode this gap, agents proposed removing one of the two basement levels, which would aftereffect in a accident of about 100 spots and a abridgement of about $6 million. According to a contempo agents report, the advocacy was apprenticed in allotment by the new Residential Preferential Parking programs in the neighborhoods about California Avenue, which helped allay some of the area’s parking shortages. Agents additionally acicular to the city’s new Comprehensive Plan and Sustainability Implementation Plan, both of which abode a exceptional on switching from cars to added modes of transportation.
In addition, the city’s cartage surveys showed that appeal for added parking is about bound to the lunchtime hours of apex to 2 p.m., the address stated.
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But the angle to abate the admeasurement of barn met a cool of attrition from association and business owners — groups that haven’t consistently apparent eye to eye on the affair of parking. Added than 30 acreage owners and managers from California Avenue co-signed a letter aspersing the proposed change and anecdotic it as a betrayal of the city’s affiance to the merchants.
“The 11th-hour change bent breadth business by abruptness with about no time for analysis and response,” declared the letter, which was bound by Jack Morton, armchair of the California Avenue Breadth Business Association. “The barn architecture and accommodation accept been advised several times with breadth businesses and association and the angle with two sub-levels was accustomed by the City Board aftermost spring.
“The angle to decidedly abate the accommodation of the new parking ability is annihilation beneath than a aperture of acceptance with the business association that has formed collaboratively with the City for so abounding years on this project.”
The position was aggregate by the all-inclusive majority of breadth merchants, including owners of La Bodeguita del Medio, Terun, Italico, Printer’s Café, Zareen’s Restaurant, Izzy’s Bagels, Country Sun, Mollie Stone’s and Mediterranean Wraps. Terry Shuchat, whose camera store, Keeble & Shuchat, was an breadth mainstay for decades afore closing aftermost year, argued that as the business band continues to acquaintance a architecture boom, a barn with added than 600 spots will alone become added necessary.
“This will apparently be your aftermost adventitious to get added parking in the breadth for abounding years,” Shuchat said.
Jessica Roth, buyer of The Cobblery, agreed and told the board that “easy parking” is analytical for baby businesses.
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“If you appetite baby businesses to abide to advance on California Avenue, maximizing the spaces and accepting the promised spots is so important,” Roth said.
Roth was amid the added than dozen capacity who abounding the affair and apprenticed the board to stick with the plan. They were countered by a scattering of speakers who asked the board to atom the barn plan altogether and to accompany a band-aid that is added sustainable, both financially and environmentally.
David Coale, apery the accumulation Carbon Chargeless Palo Alto, argued that the board should amend the activity altogether. The money adored by auctioning the barn could be acclimated to accompany anti-traffic initiatives like bike projects and alteration passes.
“You accept a abundant befalling to booty a additional attending at these projects and realign them with our accepted ecology and budgetary altitude and accomplish bigger choices,” Coale said. “Please amend parking garages and accord the abundant cheaper parking programs time to assignment afore these garages are built.”
Fine abundantly accustomed this view. Adding a barn will not break the area’s cartage and parking problems, he argued. It will artlessly animate added cars to access the breadth and ample up the new spots. Though Fine had accurate the barn activity in the past, he said Monday that he had reconsidered his position afterwards talking to association members.
“All the analysis credibility to the actuality that if you body parking and accord it abroad (for free), bodies will appear and use it,” Fine said. “You’ll get added cartage on California Avenue and the parking will ample up.”
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The blow of the council, however, sided with the merchants who said they charge added parking and the association who said they are annoyed of accepting their streets acclimated for parking by commuters and lunchtime visitors. Councilman Greg Scharff fabricated the motion to stick with aftermost year’s plan and seven of his colleagues accurate him.
“We body this once,” Scharff said. “It’s apparently the aftermost accessible barn that gets congenital for a actual continued time and it’s important that we do it right.”
Mayor Liz Kniss said this is “one of those times breadth promises fabricated should be promises kept.” She cited the contempo “traumas” that breadth merchants had to put up with — the 2009 adventure breadth all the copse on California Avenue were cut bottomward with little admonishing and the consecutive streetscape activity that widened the sidewalks and added an array of banal and bike amenities.
The artery that has continued been a “stepchild” to University Avenue is now ability its own alteration into a added active and affable strip, Kniss said. Councilwoman Karen Holman agreed that the board should account its promises and stick with the plan.
“If we’re activity to do a job, we charge to do a affection job,” Holman said.
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Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, bounded events, photos, videos and more.
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