A housing project killed by the recession won unanimous approval by the council Tuesday, May 24, replacing a vacant strip mall at the corner of Middlefield and Alvin streets with 32 row homes.
Some council members weren't entirely happy with the design, which squeezes five, two-story buildings, a small driveway network and a tiny park on a triangular 1.85-acre parcel, putting the park up against the neighboring Toyota dealership. There was a long discussion about the walkability of the sidewalk out front and whether the residents would use their front doors because garages were placed to the rear of each home.
The project was said to have the support of the Monta Loma neighborhood and the environmental planning commission. A previous iteration of the project the council approved pre-recession had 75 apartment units.
The homes will average 1,500 square feet and are two- and three-stories tall with two-car garages.
A small commercial space had been designed into the project but was found infeasible without street parking, which was removed to allow for a bicycle lane that extends through Palo Alto on Middlefield Road.