Oct 022017
 

With sadness we must inform you of the death of our long-time PML maintenance man, Dennis Forrest, who passed away on September 27th from complications after open heart surgery. His excellent work and his jovial attitude will be sorely missed by those of us who had the opportunity to work with him here at Barron Square. We extend our condolences to his daughter Christina and all his family.

Services for Dennis will be held 10:30AM on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at Peninsula Temple Beth El, 1700 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo, CA 94403 (map). Donations in his name may be made to the charity or foundation of your choice or the Peninsula Humane Society. The full obituary is available here.

 Posted by at 3:01 PM
Sep 222017
 

Have you heard jets flying low and loud over your house, children’s school, or workplace, sometimes every 2 min or less, sometimes in the middle of the night or early morning? This noise is due to changes by the FAA in March under a program called NextGen, which concentrates air traffic in narrow corridors. As a result, virtually all SFO-bound flights from the South, West, and North converge over Palo Alto using trajectories that often cause substantial noise damage to residents.

Palo Alto has been disproportionately impacted. 3 of the 4 main routes into SFO now converge over Palo Alto. In the last 8 years, SFO arrival traffic increased by only 28%, while arrival traffic for the lowest and noisiest flights (3000-4000 feet) over Palo Alto went up a whopping 131%. In the last 2 years alone, the number of low flights (3000-4000 feet) over Palo Alto increased by 65% while nearby communities saw substantial reductions in low elevation air traffic.

Why should you care?

Many low flying aircraft degrade your health, productivity, and quality of life (as well as your children’s and other loved ones’) resulting in:

  • Sleep disruption, stress, and exposure to pollutants such as carcinogenic aromatic hydrocarbons from aircraft exhaust emissions that undergo chemical changes in sunlight
  • Decreased ability to concentrate for learning and working purposes
  • Reduced ability to enjoy the outdoors 
  • Aircraft traffic also impacts property values.

We want the FAA to:

  • Include noise and emissions as critical design inputs for arrival and departures routes.
  • Distribute noise equitably over populated areas when it cannot be eliminated.
  • Adopt more meaningful noise assessment methods on the ground.

What YOU can do!

  • File noise complaints with SFO in one click with stop.jetnoise.net
    • Login once through Gmail or Facebook (stop.jetnoise does not see or store your password but will email
      complaints to SFO on your behalf). Create an icon on your phone or computer home screen for easy access.
    • We prefer that you use stop.jetnoise.net because it is simple, gives you flight data, and makes it easier to roll
      up and analyze complaints.
    • At least one click per day to keep the planes away: one complaint from 100 different people carries much
      more weight than 100 complaints from one person.
  • Contact Congresswoman’s Eshoo’s office (eshoo.house.gov/contact; 408-245-2339) to demand that she
    make addressing this issue a top priority. In addition, fill out her SFO noise survey (tinyurl.com/nlpne5a)
  • Visit the Sky Posse Palo Alto website (skypossepaloalto.org) and get involved:
    • add a personal note to this flier and distribute it in your neighborhood.
    • sign our petition to reduce jet noise over Palo Alto (click the Sign petition! icon)
    • join our mailing list (click Join our mailing list on the website)
    • follow us on Twitter (twitter.com/skypossepa) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/skypossepaloalto )
  • Sign the petition to ask airlines to spend less than $5000 per jet to retrofit their Airbus A320
    series with airflow deflectors to stop the loud “whistling” sound (bit.ly/1OJAVok) as required in Europe.
 Posted by at 10:03 PM
Mar 102017
 

During the holiday season we were forced to replace the mailboxes in the kiosk for buildings 10 and 11. We reviewed the condition of the remaining mailboxes which are 35 years old. Many of them have cracked or broken frames on the doors and were showing their age. The Board decided to upgrade all of the mailboxes and the new mailboxes have now arrived. 

Replacement of the mailboxes will involve careful planning and coordination between PML and the Post Office in order to minimize the disruption of mail service to the residents.

The procedure will be as follows:

  1. Distribution of the keys for the new mailboxes at the clubhouse.
  2. On a specified date residents will be asked to ensure that their mailbox is emptied.
  3. The next day the Post Office will unlock all mailboxes, old mailboxes will be removed and replaced by the new ones.
  4. The Post Office will install locks on the new mailboxes (hopefully the same day) and lock the mailboxes.
  5. Mail delivery will resume the following day.

Distribution of the keys for the new mailboxes will take place over the next two weeks. Each family must come to the clubhouse and sign for receipt of the keys. The initial distribution times are:

  • Tuesday, March 14, 2017 12 Noon to 2PM 
  • Wednesday, March 15, 2017 6PM to 7PM (prior to the Board meeting)

Additional times will be announced as needed. The sooner the keys are distributed, the sooner we can install the new mailboxes. Your cooperation will be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions, please call PML.

 

 Posted by at 10:47 PM
Feb 052017
 

Palo Alto City Council Meeting – Monday, Feb 13, 2017  6PM

Barron Square Owners and Residents are urged to attend or write to the Council to oppose the upzoning of the adjacent property at 4146 El Camino Real from RM-15 to RM-30.

Most, if not all, residents of Barron Square have received notices from the City of Palo Alto that the City Council will hold a Preliminary Review to Rezone the Vacant Property at 4146 El Camino Real, adjacent to Barron Square. As of this time, the plans submitted to the City are for 21 condominiums to be built on the 3/4 acre parcel with access from El Camino Real and under the building parking, essentially the same as was submitted to the Architectural Review Board in 2014.

Many of our current residents are new to Barron Square and may not be familiar with the history of the adjacent property, but clearly the upzoning of this property and the construction of a three-story block of houses could have a significant impact on Barron Square. An article describing the proposed project appeared here in 2014. The “Adjacent Property Committee” appointed by the Board has been monitoring the situation and one of the members, Ruth Lowy, has provided an excellent write-up on the history of the property and the problems we envision for the new development. Additonal documents are available:

Staff Report for February 13, 2017 City Council meeting.
Submitted Plan set for 4146 El Camino Real (very large document)

There are several basic questions which need to be considered:

Ingress/Egress to the property – The current design clearly indicates that access to the property will be via El Camino Real and NOT via Thain Way. Thain Way ENDS at the cul-de-sac adjacent to buildings 7 and 10 and the only point of connection which could be made is the 10′ section of fence which abuts the cul-de-sac. The current designs shows that at that point the adjacent property would be 10′ below ground level for under the building parking. So, in spite of the desire by the former head of the ARB for ‘connectivity between the communities’ and a bike path for the kids going to school, unless the laws of gravity are repealed, such a connection is not feasible. Both the fire lane from the cul-de-sac to the gate at El Camino and the parking area along building 10 are the PRIVATE property of Barron Square and not available for access.  

Privacy and Security – A number of residents have expressed concerns regarding access from El Camino Real to Thain Way via the new property.  Before the fire lane was gated and locked we experienced a considerable amount of vandalism and petty crime and recently there have been a number of autos vandalized and an attempted break in at one of the condominiums. Again, if the current design is maintained, the vertical separation of the properties will serve as a deterrent. We are also planning additional deterrents to entry from the El Camino side of the Barron Square property.

Zoning and Compatibility – Palo Alto Code, chapter 18.13.060 establishes “Multiple Family Context-Based Design Criteria” It states that “development in a multiple-family residential district shall be responsible to its context and compatible with adjacent development.” “Context” used in this section is intended to indicate relationships between the site’s development to adjacent street types, surrounding land uses, and on-site or nearby natural features, such as creeks or trees. Effective transitions to these adjacent uses and features are strongly reinforced by Comprehensive Plan policies…” “Compatibility” is achieved when the apparent scale and mass of new buildings share general characteristics and establishes design linkages with the overall buildings to maintain visual unity of the neighborhood or street.

The developer is currently asking for rezoning of the El Camino parcel from RM-15 (15 residential units per acre) to RM-30 to allow building 21 units. This would be a continuation of the disproportionate amount of high density development in the South Palo Alto area. 

The three-story buildings present a significant visual impact and encroachment on the daylight plane. One Barron Square owner has requested that a ‘daylight plane’ study be required to determine if there would be a detrimental effect on the residents in the nearby Barron Square buildings.

We urge all owners and residents at Barron Square review the facts here and express their opinions to the City Council.

The Adjacent Property committee is urging that we oppose the upzoning to RM-30 by writing to the City Council and/or attending the Council meeting on February 13th at 6PM. Council Chambers are located in the Civic Center at 250 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto, CA. Carpooling is recommended if you plan to attend. 

 

 

 Posted by at 10:27 PM