The proposed arts and innovation district near the Palo Alto Caltrain station will no longer be on the ballot for local voters in June. The Palo Alto City council vote to reject the staff proposal recommending a June ballot measure came early Tuesday morning after hours of public hearing and dozens of speakers.
The Council instead voted to continue with the master plans for the John Arrillaga ’60-backed project while looking at alternative plans to develop the land.
If the Arrillaga plan comes to fruition, four office towers and a theater would be built near the station. Some of the towers are planned to exceed 100 feet, which was a point of contention for many community members at the public hearing.
Plans for the project had reduced the maximum height of the towers from 150 feet down to just over 100 feet due to concern about height. The city’s statutory limit height limit is 50 feet.
Others at the hearing expressed concern that many meetings about the project had taken place in private without public record. Representatives of the business and arts communities, however, expressed support for the project at the hearing.
The land in question is owned by Stanford but is within the City of Palo Alto’s jurisdiction. Arrillaga has said that he intends to donate proceeds from the project to the University. Mayor Yiaway Yeh and Councilman Larry Klein recused themselves from the vote because their spouses are both connected with Stanford.