Mar 012018

By now all residents/owners should have received the letter from the Palo Alto Public Works Department reminding residents that effective January 1, 2018 smoking is prohibited in all multi-unit residences such as Barron Square.

Smoking is prohibited:

  1. inside all multi-unit residences, including balconies, porches, decks and patios,
  2. in common areas such as pathways, courtyards, community rooms, swimming pools, grassy areas, parking lots and garages,
  3. in outdoor areas within 25 feet from a doorway, window, opening or vent of a multi-unit residence.  

The Association will be posting “No Smoking” signs in the common areas and providing each unit with a written notice of the no-smoking restrictions as required by the ordinance. The Board may consider the establishment of designated smoking area(s) as permitted by the ordinance.

All owners who are renting or leasing their units must include a copy of the restrictions in their leases or rental agreements from January 1, 2018 as required by Section 9.14.060 of the Smoking and Tobacco Ordiinance 

A copy of the letter from the City of Palo Alto is here

 Posted by at 9:42 PM
Dec 282017

Acclaimed Stanford neuroscientist Ben Barres, MD, PhD, and long time resident of Barron Square, died on Dec. 27, 20 months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was 63. He had been in hospice at home for several weeks. Ben wanted no memorial service.  I suspect that given Ben’s stature in the world of science and medicine that his colleagues at Stanford will make some efforts to recognize the significance of Ben’s life. Barres’ path-breaking discoveries of the crucial roles played by glial cells — the unsung majority of brain cells, which aren’t nerve cells — revolutionized the field of neuroscience.

If you wish to read more about his amazing life and work, here are some references:

 Posted by at 10:08 PM
Dec 122017

Just a gentle reminder to all owners, especially those living on upper floors.

Hot water heaters age and can leak when they fail, causing serious damage to your own or your neighbor’s Unit. Is your water heater more than 10 years old?  It may be time for a new one.  This is especially important for upstairs units, because flooding affects your downstairs neighbor’s unit, as well as your own. 

Owners will be responsible for any of their own repairs and also that of their affected neighbors.  The CC&R’s state that “Each Owner shall maintain, repair and replace their water heater…” (Section 6.10) and that “Owners shall be liable for all damages caused by water leaks due to willful or negligent act or omission that originate inside their Units.” (Section 5.1.1). It will be less expensive for your costs, time, energy, and recovering from the disruption. 

For those who might want to consider a tankless hot water heater, these will require an enlarged vent pipe that will involve expensive retrofit work through the roof as well as installation of an additional electrical line.

Architectural board approval, a Palo Alto City permit and a licensed plumber are all required for this work.  Palo Alto code now requires a catch pan under the heater with a drain to the outside. This may be difficult in our 38 year old buildings, but Dominic from Boncore Builders negotiated some solutions with the city planning department. Call Julie at CIMS for information and remember to inform CIMS when the work is completed so that the new water heater will be included in our association insurance records.

 Posted by at 3:08 PM
Dec 122017


Your recycle, compost, and garbage collection day will change during the holidays. Collection will not occur on Christmas and New Year’s Day. If your regular collection day falls on or after one of these holidays, your collection day will be moved to the following day for the rest of the week. For more information about holiday schedule changes for waste collection, HHW Station hours, and street sweeping, visit You can also email or call (650) 496-5910.


For the four weeks following Christmas day, holiday trees will be collected curbside. Trees must be undecorated, unflocked, cut to four-foot lengths with stands removed, and placed curbside next to your compost cart.


Cardboard boxes and packaging materials that are not properly prepared can cause litter that negatively impacts our streets and creeks, as well as costly inefficiencies in our waste collection system. 

If you consistently have a lot of cardboard, you can get a larger or additional blue recycle cart by contacting GreenWaste of Palo Alto at or (650) 493-4894.

For more information about What Goes Where, visit, email or call (650) 496-5910.

 Posted by at 11:39 AM
Dec 122017

Property theft is the major crime problem in Palo Alto

One of our Barron Square neighbors recently suffered the loss of a package which had been delivered to his door. Despite the fact that the entrance to their unit was upstairs in the rear of the building, the thief calmly walked back and took the package. The video of the theft suggested the same person who had been seen taking packages from other Palo Alto residences. One Midtown home was reported on NextDoor to have been hit by the same thief twice within three hours. The increase in online holiday shopping has made this a lucrative endeavor. 

Vigilance is the price of liberty. And also of security!

The Board will be asked to consider additional security measures for Barron Square. You may want to consider installation of a home security camera like a Ring doorbell or Nest camera (NOTE: Architectural approval is required).

We urge our neighbors to take action if you observe any suspicious person(s) within Barron Square. It is left up to you whether you choose to question the person’s intentions directly or call the Palo Alto police department, depending on your level of suspicion. But please do not simply ignore it. 

The Palo Alto Police Department published the following suggestions last year…

Shopping Online This Holiday Season? See Our Tips to Prevent Package Theft!
Be sure to read and share these tips to ensure your packages aren’t stolen off of your front porch.

This is a great time of year to get to know your neighbors and encourage them to keep eye out for suspicious behavior. Please call our 24-hour dispatch center at 9-1-1 or 650-329-2413 to report suspicious activity immediately.

If you’ve become the victim of a package theft, please give us a call at 650-329-2413.

For a full list of crime prevention tips, please visit our website at


 Posted by at 2:35 AM