Confirmed victory

A developer wants to rezone 567-595 Maybell (at the corner of Maybell and Clemo) in order to build 60 high-density housing and 15 homes. Currently, there are 4 single family homes on this small property parcel. Existing zoning already allows for reasonable development that includes restrictions on setbacks, building height, density, and daylight plane - the new rezoning has no such restrictions. 

This area already suffers from traffic and safety hazards for our school children on bikes and foot every day on their way to and from school. Adding 75 housing units to a congested and dangerous traffic area is irresponsible. It is a foreseeable risk and danger to hundreds of school children, who depend on Maybell as a designated "Safe to School Route."

Stop the rezoning. We demand reasonable and responsible development.

Letter to
Planning Commission, City of Palo Alto
Please vote against rezoning at 567-595 Maybell Avenue. We understand that a developer is proposing that this small area would be rezoned from four single-family homes to allow 75 housing units. This high-density development will have a significant, negative impact on traffic, safety, school access, and property values in this neighborhood. With no sidewalks in this neighborhood, and so many children and teenagers walking and biking up Maybell and Georgia to and from school each day, increased traffic and serious safety issues concern us all.

This rezoning would significantly and negatively impact several neighborhoods - Green Acres, Barron Park, Charleston Meadows, and Palo Alto Orchards, in terms of traffic, safety, school access, quality of life, and aesthetics of the neighborhood. The most serious concern is bike and pedestrian safety as Maybell is a small road that is the main thoroughfare for hundreds of students attending Juana Briones Elementary School, Juana Briones Occupationally Handicapped Center, Juana Briones Kids Club, Terman Middle School, Gunn High School, and Barron Park Elementary School, in addition to those who regularly use Juana Briones Park for field-trip and after-school activities.

Given the central and primary access to five schools in this area, Maybell has been designated a "Safe to School Route" - and the Palo Alto School District and the City of Palo consistently urge parents and families to have our children bike or walk to school. And yet, even though this is a designated "Safet to School Route" - it is already way over safe traffic capacity limits.

Every day, parents and residents witness dangerous driving and school kids in near-miss situations. There are no sidewalks, no curbs, and no bike paths on Maybell Avenue, and bikes, pedestrians, strollers, and motorists all share the same road. Maybell is already a choke-hold, there are no other ingress points directly into this neighborhood. Arastradero has been re-striped and narrowed, driving traffic onto Maybell. The traffic overflows to Amarantha and Georgia, which also have no sidewalks, curbs, or bike paths. Young children on bikes and walking are often forced to weave between parked cars - just to get to school. I have personally seen cars backing up or pulling out, almost hitting young children on their bikes that they can't see.

How staggeringly unreasonable and irresponsible it would be for the City to ignore the warnings, information, and pleas from parents and residents. If anything were to happen to a child due to a known traffic safety issue, the fault would squarely be theirs.

The existing zoning already provides for R-2 single family homes and duplexes in addition to RM-15 for lower-density housing. Putting up 75 new housing units would increase known traffic dangers, and also essentially "trap" residents and emergency/disaster vehicles by blocking up access on Maybell.

There is already a lot of new housing development occurring all along El Camino and plenty of reasonable development potential throughout the city There are dozens of empty, unleased-for-years buildings in commercial and high-density zoned areas already that are wasteland, and yet the City would consider seriously putting children's lives at risk by building high-density in a residential neighborhood that feeds into five schools.

Be Reasonable. Be Responsible. Don't Rezone.