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Get announcements of new topics and important updates to existing topics from the City of Palo Alto in your RSS reader or emailed to you as a daily digest.
Statements are emailed at most once per day (in the morning).
Check out some recent announcements
February 18, 2021, 4:26 PM
We are excited to launch our new, streamlined, and mobile-responsive beta website to the public. Community members are encouraged to explore the new site still under construction and share their feedback on the current design, navigation, search, and other web elements before we launch the new website in Spring 2021. The beta period will close on Wednesday, February 24.
Please spread the word and encourage others to visit the beta website and take the survey as well.
City of Palo Alto
January 14, 2021, 12:37 PM
Each year, Palo Alto City Council reviews its priorities for the year ahead at its annual Council Retreat. A Council priority is defined as a topic that will receive significant attention during the year. Typically, priorities have a three-year time limit, although some may continue beyond that time period.The Council Priorities for 2020 were:
- Housing: with an emphasis on affordable housing
- Sustainability: in the context of the changing climate
- Mobility: improving mobility for all.
For more detailed information on the 2020 City Council Priorities, check this website and CMR 11034 - Discussion and Selection of 2020 Council Priorities.
The 2020 three Council priorities were chosen from a list of eleven submitted by Council Members and discussed at their annual retreat on February 1, 2020. Priorities are meant to give overarching themes to the year's actions and focus by the City Council. While the priorities selected are bigger picture, the topics that fall under can be very detailed. Topics discussed last year included pursuing a business tax, reconstructing Cubberley Community Center, and addressing transportation and traffic issues by expanding the City's shuttle program and promoting alternatives to solo driving.
Carryover priorities from previous years include:
- 2018: Grade Separation, Transportation
- 2019: Climate Change, Fiscal Sustainability
This Policy and Services Committee staff report from their December 2020 meeting provides background on Council priority setting and other related items. The Policy and Services Committee is tasked at the end of each year with collecting City staff suggestions and coming up with some of their suggestions based on their work over the past year. The list you'll find below comes from the aforementioned December meeting of the Policy and Services Committee.What is Different This Year?
The National Citizen Survey, not conducted in 2019, was launched in 2020 and is currently collecting similar information on community priorities for Palo Alto. The survey was open to a random sampling of residents last month and will open to the public for general responses later this month. With this additional layer of feedback, the Council will have even more community input on their upcoming decisions on priorities and could help inform the budget process and other annual City processes and decision-making. Community feedback is an important aspect of City Council decision-making processes and there are many opportunities to express your input and ideas on upcoming community issues.
This online community survey seeks to help the Council rank the list of priorities that the Policy and Services Committee has forwarded for Council consideration at their retreat. Input received through this platform will be provided to the City Council in preparation for their retreat. The Council retreat agenda and meeting details will be posted online several days in advance of the retreat here: www.cityofpaloalto.org/councilagendas.
The City values your engagement. Thank you in advance for your input!
May 6, 2020, 10:25 AM
This is an unprecedented time, and together we face a series of tough budget discussions in the weeks ahead. Thank you for joining the conversation.
Due to the current public health emergency, the City is anticipating extreme impacts to our local, regional, and state economies, tax revenue, and more. As a result, on May 4, the City Council adopted a set of budget assumptions to help inform how staff will prepare the revised Fiscal Year 2020-2021 operating and capital budgets for Council consideration and community input. The City Council selected scenario estimates with a preliminary loss of $39 million in major tax revenues during the next fiscal year. The assumptions include a shelter in place period through early summer with prolonged economic impacts lasting throughout the rest of the fiscal year, if not longer. In addition, anticipated impacts of continued social distancing such as limitations on travel and a slow recovery of local economic engines such as the downtown core, California Avenue, and Stanford Shopping Center and other related business activities will persist during this timeframe.
The City has established a dedicated budget webpage at www.cityofpaloalto.org/budget for additional resources to stay informed and share your thoughts.
We are in this together and we are seeking community input on the City’s fiscal situation in two phases. The first phase is your feedback on the City’s six service areas and ways you would prioritize these services.
The six service areas are:
- Public Safety
- Infrastructure and Environment
- Planning and Transportation
- Economic Sustainability and Business Support
- Neighborhood, Community and Library Services
- Administration and Government
This initial community engagement will help inform the City Council’s budget deliberations that begin on May 11 through May 13. These public hearings are open to the community to tune in.
Following these discussions, the second phase of community conversations is planned including another online budget survey and a series of informational sessions to learn more about preliminary potential service impacts. These conversations and online input will inform the Council’s discussion on May 26 to review and consider a revised proposed budget. Following this discussion, staff will make any adjustments and return to the City Council for final adoption of a budget in early June.
Thank you in advance for your input and for continuing the conversation with us.
For a list of Council discussions planned and ways to share your input, go here. Other budget resources to inform and details of the first in a two-part series of budget engagement efforts will be available this week on the City’s dedicated budget webpage at www.cityofpaloalto.org/budget.
January 15, 2020, 11:27 AM
Thank you to community members who have responded to the current survey seeking input on City Council Priorities for 2020. For those still planning to share your thoughts, the deadline is coming up soon.
With the City Council retreat date now scheduled for February 1, 2020, the deadline for the survey input is January 24, 2020, by 11:59 p.m. If you haven't submitted your priorities just yet, please share them soon.
The City values your engagement. Input received through this platform will be provided to the City Council in preparation for their retreat. Please share "Your Priorities" on this topic by Friday, January 24, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.
If you have questions, please send them to email@example.com.
December 19, 2019, 1:52 PM
This message is being sent from the City Manager's Office on behalf of the City Council.
What are the priorities you would like to see the City Council adopt for 2020?
Each year, the City Council reviews its priorities for the year at its annual Council Retreat which will be scheduled in early 2020. A Council priority is defined as a topic that will receive significant attention during the year. Typically, priorities have a three-year time limit, although some may continue beyond that time period.
The City values your engagement. Input received through this platform will be provided to the City Council in preparation for their retreat. Please share "Your Priorities" on this topic by Friday, January 31, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.
If you have questions, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 15, 2019, 2:57 PM
What are the priorities you would like to see the City Council adopt for 2019?
Each year, the City Council reviews its priorities for the year at its Annual Council Retreat. A Council priority is defined as a topic that will receive significant attention during the year. Typically, priorities have a three-year time limit, although some may continue beyond that time period.
The priorities for 2018 included:
- Budget & Finance
- Rail Grade Separation
Suggestions and feedback will be provided to the City Council in preparation for their retreat scheduled for February 2, 2019. Your responses are important to the City Council. Please submit all comments on this topic by January 28, 2019.
November 9, 2017, 5:03 PM
What are the priorities you would like to see the City Council adopt for 2018?
Each year, the City Council reviews its priorities for the year at its Annual Council Retreat. A Council priority is defined as a topic that will receive particular, unusual and significant attention during the year. Typically, priorities have a three-year time limit, although some may continue beyond that time period.
To learn more and leave your feedback click here.
August 1, 2017, 1:56 PM
Please provide your feedback to help select the next Police Chief for Palo Alto.
The City of Palo Alto has initiated a search to hire the next Chief of Police, with the final candidate selection to be made by the City Manager and confirmed by the City Council. The City is seeking community input to the following questions that will be provided to the executive recruitment firm assisting the City in identifying the key qualities and areas of focus for Palo Alto’s next police chief.
June 26, 2017, 1:19 PM
Thank you for your participation on Open City Hall. Your comments and engagement in this process are much appreciated. In July 2015, the City launched a new online community engagement tool called the “Digital Commenter” to serve as a way to “crowdsource” comments and ideas for the update to the City’s Comprehensive Plan.
To learn more about how your feedback is being used please click the outcome statement tab for each topic. You can find all "Digital Commenter" topics here or to click directly through to the outcome statement click here.
Thank you again for your participation. We hope that you will remain engaged with the City and continue to provide your thoughts and opinions.
November 9, 2016, 10:19 PM
What ideas do you have about policies and programs for the draft Safety Element?
October 30, 2016, 4:47 PM
Each year, the City Council reviews its priorities for the year at its Annual Council Retreat. You still have time to comment on the priorities you would like to see the City Council adopt for 2017. Have your say, today!
October 5, 2016, 11:04 AM
Each year, the City Council reviews its priorities for the year at its Annual Council Retreat. What are the priorities you would like to see the City Council adopt for 2017?
September 30, 2016, 4:41 PM
What ideas do you have about policies and programs for the draft Natural Environment Element?
Next up in our Comprehensive Planning process is the draft Natural Environment Element, which contains 8 over arching goals addressing open space, creeks & streams, urban forest, water resources, air quality, noise, energy and climate change & climate adaptation.
We'd like your feedback on these goals and the plans to get there. You can choose to participate in a quick exercise by answering a few general questions, or review the detailed policies and programs. Please take a few minutes and add your voice.
The deadline for submitting your comments is 9 a.m. on Wednesday, November 9th.
May 23, 2016, 2:35 PM
Thank you for providing valuable input on strengthening the link between land use planning and sustainability. In total, 67 community members visited the topic, leaving 25 comments that have been provided to the Sustainability Subcommittee of the Comprehensive Plan Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC). The Sustainability Subcommittee met once in May and is meeting again between late June and early July to recommend policies and programs to include in the Land Use Element of the Comprehensive Plan. We welcome you to attend the upcoming meeting; details of meeting location and time will be posted to the project website by mid-June. The recommendations of the Sustainability Subcommittee will be considered by the CAC at their July 19 meeting. Visit www.paloaltocompplan.org for more information on the Comprehensive Plan Update and the Citizens Advisory Committee.
April 27, 2016, 1:05 PM
How can we strengthen the link between land use planning and sustainability?
March 4, 2016, 4:34 PM
This week, the focus of the Palo Alto Comprehensive Plan Update (Comp Plan) shifts to land use and community design, as Palo Alto makes important decisions about growth management and the quality of life in our community.
Visit the Digital Commenter - an interactive online forum that enables you to comment directly on key issues and participate in an interactive discussion with other Palo Altans.
- Have 10 minutes? Choose the Quick Version to provide input on a handful of critical questions.
- Have more time? Choose the Extended Version to dive deeper into specific policies and programs, with notes and questions from staff.
Join the conversation today! The deadline for contributions is April 11 and community input will be forwarded to the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) for consideration as they discuss updates to the policies and programs for the Land Use and Community Design Element of the Comp Plan. Visit www.paloaltocompplan.org for more information for more information on the project and the process.
Thank you for your continued interest in the City of Palo Alto’s Comp Plan Update. We look forward to hearing from you.
February 12, 2016, 12:08 AM
The Preliminary Draft Transportation Element is ready for public feedback. Share your thoughts today.
January 6, 2016, 5:23 PM
What services, programs or improvements do you think would be most effective at reducing traffic - and Greenhouse Gas emissions - and still enable people to get around the City and the region, faster and more conveniently? Maybe even without a car?
December 17, 2015, 4:01 PM
Do you support the goal of Palo Alto becoming a Carbon Neutral City?
November 12, 2015, 9:25 AM
The Preliminary Draft Community Services and Facilities Draft Element is ready for review! Share your thoughts today.
October 25, 2015, 9:46 PM
What are the priorities you would like to see the City Council adopt for 2016?
August 19, 2015, 1:44 PM
What ideas do you have about the draft Transportation Element?
July 24, 2015, 12:12 PM
Most cities, including Palo Alto, utilize a document called a General Plan to guide preservation and development decisions in their municipalities. We have named our document the Comprehensive Plan, as it is the repository of our collective community values and aspirations, and gives us tools to manage growth and change. The City Council has asked all of us to participate in a process that will update our current Comprehensive Plan, which was last updated in 1998. In order to fully understand the community’s hopes for the document, your ideas and comments are needed.
July 10, 2015, 1:41 PM
We want your input regarding options for providing ultra high-speed wireless Internet access broadly to our community.
June 10, 2015, 1:37 PM
If you were not able to attend the Our Palo Alto 2030 Summit or participated and have more ideas, the City of Palo Alto has created another opportunity to share your vision on transportation, growth management and housing. The Virtual Summit will be “live” through the end of June, and your ideas will be shared with Palo Alto’s City Council and the Citizen Advisory Committee as part of the update to Palo Alto’s Comprehensive Plan.
May 13, 2015, 9:31 AM
What is the one aspect that best defines Palo Alto’s community character for you?
April 22, 2015, 11:27 AM
What are the top three things that would motivate you to drive less?
March 25, 2015, 4:50 PM
Should the City of Palo Alto adopt an ordinance setting a local minimum wage that is higher than the State minimum wage?
February 24, 2015, 11:54 AM
On Nov. 20, 2014, the City posted the question, “What are the three priorities you would like to see the City Council adopt for 2015?”
The Council’s adopted priorities for 2015 include:
- The Built Environment: Multi-modal transportation, parking and livability
- Infrastructure Strategy and Implementation
- Healthy City, Healthy Community
- Completion of the Comprehensive Plan update with increased focus from Council
For more, please click on Read More.
February 5, 2015, 9:54 AM
How do you think Palo Alto should move forward with Planning Community Districts? What constitutes a substantial public benefit?
November 19, 2014, 8:52 PM
What are the three priorities you would like to see the City Council adopt for 2015?
November 13, 2014, 10:58 AM
What would it take for Palo Alto to be carbon neutral in 10 years or less?
August 26, 2014, 5:36 PM
Recently, the City of Palo Alto closed two Open City Hall Topics. The Critical Issues topic asked “What are the critical issues for Palo Alto's future?” and asked people to offer feedback to this question in one or more of the categories of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, or Threats. It closed on July 20, 2014. The Focus Areas addressed six geographic areas, identified based on input from community members, where future growth might be focused, and asked “What roles should these Focus Areas play in the life of the City in 2030?” It closed on August 5, 2014.
The input received in response to both topics was considered by Planning and Transportation Commission members at their meeting on July 9, 2014, and by the City Council at their meeting on August 4, 2014 as they considered the four land use alternatives that had been developed through the community workshops held in May and June. The City Council has directed staff to come back to Council for further discussion of the Comprehensive Plan Update process, and its interrelationship with other planning initiatives that will address the issues identified through this exercise. This discussion will begin at the Council’s September 8 meeting. We encourage you to remain involved as your input on critical issues will continue to inform the process. Stay tuned for more opportunities to participate and share your views as the City updates its Comprehensive Plan, the foundational policy document that guides land use and development decisions.
August 1, 2014, 1:44 PM
Next week, the City Council will discuss alternative future scenarios for Palo Alto as part of the Comprehensive Plan update currently underway. These scenarios will describe different ways our city might evolve over the next 15 years. We need your input to help shape these scenarios before they are analyzed in detail. Share your vision in our online forum today!
The scenarios that go before Council will be based on input the community provides at public meetings and via Palo Alto's online discussion forum between May 29 and August 5, 2014. There are 5 days left to participate online so don't miss this chance to have your say.
Once the scenarios are approved by Council, the next phase of the project will begin. By the end of 2014, an environmental impact report (EIR) evaluating the potential environmental impacts of the scenarios will be released and in 2015 the community will be invited to help select a preferred alternative future scenario.
For more information about the Comprehensive Plan Update process, visit: http://www.paloaltocompplan.org/
July 2, 2014, 3:26 PM
At the Growth Management workshop on June 10, community members identified areas of Palo Alto that should be protected and preserved, as well as areas where change and development could be focused. The City is seeking input on these focus areas and on alternative futures for the City.
Participate in this online activity and let us know your vision for Palo Alto in 2030. Your input will help shape the alternative future scenarios that will be presented to City Council on August 4, 2014 and will be considered as part of the Comprehensive plan process.
To learn more about the Comprehensive Plan Update process, visit: http://www.paloaltocompplan.org/
June 11, 2014, 3:08 PM
As we update the Comprehensive Plan, we want to hear from you about the critical issues and opportunities that need to be addressed. Use our online SWOT tool to help identify the key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to consider as we plan for Palo Alto in 2030.
This online activity will remain open from June 6 through July 20, 2014. Your input will help shape three alternative future scenarios for Palo Alto that will be presented to City Council on August 4, 2014. Once approved by Council, these three scenarios will be analyzed in a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Comprehensive Plan Update.
Don't miss out on this opportunity to help shape Palo Alto's future. Have your say today!