CITY OF PALO ALTO
COUNCIL MINUTES
Regular Meeting 
May 22, 1995 ORAL COMMUNICATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76-39 
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF MARCH 6, 1995 . . . . . . . . . . . .76-39 1. Contract 
between the City of Palo Alto and Richard A. Heaps Electrical Contractors, Inc., 
for Replacement of Downtown Traffic Signal Controllers and Cabinets. . . .76-39 
2. Contract between the City of Palo Alto and D.R. Yount Construction Company 
for Installation of Electric Utility Substructure at the Old Trace/Old Adobe/Manuela 
Avenue Area. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76-39 3. Contract 
between the City of Palo Alto and Digital Equipment Corporation to Provide, Install, 
Maintain, and Connect Community Services Department's Local Area Networks to the 
Wide Area Network and Provide Network Configuration Services. . . . . . . . . 
. . . . . . . .76-39 4. PUBLIC HEARING: The Architectural Review Board, Historic 
Resources Board, and Planning Commission recommend to the City Council approval 
of the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and major Architectural Review 
Board application for the Varsity Theatre project located at 456 University Avenue 
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76-39 6. Mayor Simitian and Council Members Andersen, 
Huber, and Schneider re Consideration of Revised Newsrack Regula- tions . . . 
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76-46 5. Follow-up Recommendations 
re Midtown Market Analysis. .76-69 7. Council Comments, Questions, and Announcements. 
. . . .76-74 ADJOURNMENT: The meeting adjourned at 11:35 p.m.. . . . . .76-74 
The City Council of the City of Palo Alto met on this date in the Council Chambers 
at 7:06 p.m. PRESENT: Andersen, Fazzino, Huber, Kniss, McCown, Rosenbaum, Schneider, 
Simitian, Wheeler ORAL COMMUNICATIONS Edmund Power, 2254 Dartmouth Street, spoke 
regarding civic responsibility (letter on file in the City Clerk's Office). APPROVAL 
OF MINUTES OF MARCH 6, 1995 MOTION: Council Member Schneider moved, seconded by 
Huber, to approve the Minutes of March 6, 1995, as submitted. MOTION PASSED 9-0. 
CONSENT CALENDAR MOTION: Vice Mayor Wheeler moved, seconded by Fazzino, to approve 
Consent Calendar Item Nos. 1- 3. 1. Contract between the City of Palo Alto and 
Richard A. Heaps Electrical Contractors, Inc., for Replacement of Downtown Traffic 
Signal Controllers and Cabinets; change orders not to exceed $6,800 2. Contract 
between the City of Palo Alto and D.R. Yount Con- struction Company for Installation 
of Electric Utility Substructure at the Old Trace/Old Adobe/Manuela Avenue Area; 
change orders not to exceed $51,000 3. Contract between the City of Palo Alto 
and Digital Equipment Corporation to Provide, Install, Maintain, and Connect Community 
Services Department's Local Area Networks to the Wide Area Network and Provide 
Network Configuration Services; change orders not to exceed $8,000 MOTION PASSED 
9-0. PUBLIC HEARINGS 4. PUBLIC HEARING: The Architectural Review Board, Historic 
Resources Board, and Planning Commission recommend to the City Council approval 
of the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and major Architectural Review 
Board application for the Varsity Theatre project located at 456 University Avenue. 
The proposal consists of interior and exterior renovations to the Varsity Theatre, 
including a seismic upgrade, historic preservation and expansion to allow a two-story 
retail use and cafe. The existing building contains 14,972 square feet. The floor 
area of the building would be expanded by up to 50 percent. Council Member Schneider 
said she would not participate because of a possible conflict of interest due 
to the location of her business which was within 300 feet of 456 University Avenue. 
Planner Robert Schubert said the proposed project included a historic renovation 
of the Varsity Theatre (Theatre) with a seismic upgrade and expansion of the Theatre 
to allow a two-story retail use in the Theatre and a cafe in the lobby. He said 
there were several revisions to the project which occurred during the review process. 
The modified project which was identified as Alternative B in the Environmental 
Impact Report (EIR) would preserve many more interior features compared to the 
original project. He referred to the findings and conditions associated with the 
application and said that one of the issues which was discussed by the Historic 
Resources Board (HRB) was the compatibility of the checkout counter design with 
the historic features of the lobby. He noted that the Architectural Review Board 
(ARB) had approved the other details of the lobby but the checkout counter design 
was not submitted for its review. Following the meetings last week, the EIR consultant 
indicated to staff that due to the comparatively large size of the checkout counter 
and the fact that it stood across the new and historic portions of the lobby, 
the design was an important feature of the lobby and should be reviewed for compatibility 
with historic features of the lobby. He said if the City Council agreed, a new 
Condition No. 40 could be added requiring that details of the proposed checkout 
counter design be submitted for review and approval by the Planning Department. 
He made corrections to Number 27 to revise Conditions Nos. 1, 9, 28, 29, 30 and 
40. He also corrected the staff report (CMR:250:95), page 3, under the Executive 
Summary. The reference to 1.e.1 should be 1.3, and he noted a change to the Mitigation 
Monitoring Report with respect to the treatment of the arch. Architectural Review 
Board Member James McFall said on March 2, 1995, the ARB held a public hearing 
and unanimously certified the Draft EIR as complete and recommended approval of 
the modified project, Alternative B. The ARB reviewed and approved the final details 
that were submitted for the project at its meeting on May 18, 1995. Director of 
Planning and Community Environment Ken Schreiber said with respect to the ARB 
recommendations regarding the final details there were three alternatives which 
could be taken: 1) approve the recommendations; 2) refer the recommendations to 
the City Council; or 3) refer the item to the ARB for further discussion. If the 
City Council did not take action that evening, he would return the issue to the 
ARB for further consideration when it was appropriate. Council Member Huber asked 
given the various conditions that were imposed on the project whether or not there 
were any conditions left that the applicant had not agreed with. Mr. Schubert 
said no, with the exception of the addition of Condition No. 40. Mayor Simitian 
declared the Public Hearing open. Chop Keenan, Owner, Palo Alto Theatre Corporation, 
700 Emerson Street, said he felt good about what had been done to ameliorate the 
concerns of the EIR consultant and public; and the accommoda- tions, changes and 
compromises were done prior to the public hearing that evening. The issues as 
outlined by the City Council which were necessary for granting a double Floor 
Area Ratio (FAR) had been accomplished for the retrofit. He was not in agreement 
with Condition No. 40, not because it was a big deal in the scheme of the other 
39 recommendations, but because it was a fixture, furniture, and equipment -- 
a slippery slope. Natalie Wells, 3259 Alma Street, member of The Friends of the 
Varsity, the California Preservation Foundation Group, and the Preservation Action 
Council of San Jose, asked the City Council to accept the condition regarding 
the issue of the historic lobby and the design of the checkout counter. She referred 
to the letter from the U. S. Secretary of Interior with respect to the mainten- 
ance of a historic use and suggested that the interpretation of the regulation 
be challenged. She asked with respect to cultural centers in Palo Alto that the 
Council give serious consideration to a master plan for the arts. Dennis Backlund, 
488 University Avenue No. 503, member of the League of Historic American Theatres 
and The Friends of the Varsity Theatre, noted the large amount of materials that 
had been submitted to the City. He thanked the staff and consultants for their 
tremendous work. He supported the monitoring of the size of the checkout counter 
because it was the one piece of furniture in the project that had the characteristic 
of architecture and deserved careful review. He emphasized the problem of the 
back door of the lobby looking onto the parking lot and said the multi-color rich 
tapestry appearance of the courtyard would greatly enhance it. He acknowledged 
the thousands of hours that the citizens of Palo Alto worked to preserve the historic 
use of site. He felt that the outcome was honorable. He hoped the City would accept 
suggestions that civic leaders should become involved in the promotion of serious 
art and theater in the City. Jeff Brown, 1216 Webster Street, said the community 
was fortunate because the City had a soul -- it was unique. He said the soul of 
a city had to do with patterns of how people gathered, related to one another, 
retained their culture, and presented themselves to others outside the community. 
He said the soul of a community could not be systematically built, but it could 
be systematically and precipitously destroyed. He said the Council stood at the 
precipice of destroying a large piece of the community's soul. The New Varsity 
was a theater, a center of cultural, a historical landmark, and a gathering place. 
He did not begrudge Mr. Keenan his property rights but he could not believe that 
every means had been tried to preserve what was so unique. He urged the Council 
not to approve the EIR and to allow time for the community to rally to keep the 
Theatre a part of the community's soul. Arnie Hillesland, 250 Del Medio No. 111, 
Mountain View, urged the Council not to approve the EIR. He said the environmental 
superior alternative for the Varsity Theatre was for it to remain a theater in 
its historic use. He referred to the petitions signed by 7,000 people, 3,600 of 
which were Palo Altans. He strongly urged the Council to heed the words of their 
constituents and to recognize that the other 2,400 signatures were representative 
of the people who found Palo Alto to be a unique destination and one in which 
they spent their dollars. Mark Martel, 275 Hawthorne Avenue, urged the City Council 
to reject the approval of the project and agreed with the comments of the last 
two speakers. He addressed the adequacy of the California Environmental Quality 
Act (CEQA) process, consistency of the project with the Palo Alto Municipal Code 
(PAMC), and the wishes of the Palo Alto constituents. Under CEQA, the EIR needed 
to identify significant environmental impacts of a project. While the EIR acknowledged 
the significant change of use of the building, it did not address the change of 
use as a technically significant environmental impact. Changing the Theatre to 
a large bookstore did not preserve the social requirements for future generations. 
He defined the characteristics of the building and said that the activities and 
use of the Theatre were a critical component. The EIR should not be certified. 
He referred to PAMC Section 16.49.010, Historic Preservation Purpose, and said 
the purpose of the PAMC was to designate historic structures. The project was 
not one that the community wanted. Council Member Fazzino said since no one had 
been identified that had the financial resources to preserve the building, it 
was better to restore the building rather than let it deteriorate and allow the 
building to be in a position of conceivably being converted back to a theater 
in the future. Mr. Martel said the efforts so far had been from a few private 
individuals that tried to get donors. He said the City Council needed to back 
that effort. He agreed that it was better to have a bookstore rather than have 
the building fall down, but it was probably not realistic to think that after 
the bookstore was located in the Theatre that it would ever convert back to a 
theater. Vic Lovell, 885 Sherman Avenue, Menlo Park, member of The Friends of 
the Varsity, urged rejection of the EIR and of the project on the grounds of historical 
preservation and use. The owner compared the building to an old shoe and the previous 
Mayor compared it to a worn out jacket. The metaphors used revealed their values 
and priorities. The Theatre was a unique movie palace that embodied the reputation 
of the Reed Brothers who built it, age was a factor, and it was a focal point 
of community use. Mark Weiss, 13130 Byrd Lane, Los Altos Hills, owner of Earthwise 
Production Company, said that keeping the Theatre as a place for public gatherings 
and entertainment was critical. If the Theatre were available, he would rent it 
and produce shows there. He disagreed with the assessment that it was not practical 
to run the Theatre as an entertainment facility. He urged the City Council to 
listen to the voice of people. He offered to put on a quality show at the Theatre 
and turn a profit. Ann Balik, 2385 Columbia, member of The Friends of the Varsity, 
urged the Council to consider keeping the Varsity Theatre for future generations. 
She said not one citizen had spoken in favor of the Theatre. Since the inception 
of the Varsity, it had provided a forum for cultural programs, films, and benefits 
for the community. She noted some of the Theatre's performances included World 
War II benefits, Stanford University Language and Film programs, etc. She said 
the constituents were strongly supportive of keeping the Theatre a theater. Immediate 
gratification should be rejected in favor of decisions that were right for the 
long haul. Without the Varsity Theatre in Palo Alto, she felt a deep loss for 
herself and for future generations. Lee Marsullo, 444 University Avenue, said 
the structure had sparked a passionate debate, and over 7,000 people had signed 
a petition requesting the Council to defend the Theatre on behalf of the community 
at large. The Council had been asked to take a leader- ship role in preserving 
the Theatre but instead had taken cover. Without The Friends of the Varsity, large 
portions of the historic structure would have lined landfill. Mr. Keenan could 
not be blamed for maximizing his profit on a property, but the Council's function 
as elected officials was to defend the community at large. If the Council approved 
the project, it would betray the public's trust. She felt that the electorate 
should decide what should happen to the Varsity. Tami Jefferson, 360 Forest Avenue, 
presented a community report from Stanford. She was a member of The Friends of 
the Varsity and urged the Council not to accept the Final EIR because it was incomplete 
and did not adequately address the concerns that she raised in her letter. She 
suggested a bond measure as a possible funding mechanism for saving the Theatre 
or perhaps a stock option program. Across the nation communities were saving their 
historic theaters and many successful performances had occurred because of the 
theaters. Faith Bell, 826 Emerson Street, referred to an article in the Palo Alto 
Weekly which stated that The Friends of the Varsity was "content to discuss only 
architectural details." She was not content with the Council's adamant and shortsighted 
insistence that in order to be "business friendly" that megalithic chain stores 
needed to be encouraged. It was possible and desirable to maintain a healthy downtown 
without courting larger noncommunity based businesses. She was not content with 
the lack of initiative on the part of the Council to maintain the Theatre. She 
asked the Council not to approve the Final EIR. Herb Borock, 2731 Byron Street, 
urged the Council to refuse to certify the Final EIR because it failed to address 
the Responses to Comments adequately and to respond to his comments in his letter 
dated March 22, 1995, (on file in the City Clerk's Office), and also because some 
of the language in the draft resolution was contrary to facts that were based 
on substantial evidence in the record already. His letter addressed three issues: 
fiscal analysis, analyzing office use on the site, and the question of parking 
and traffic. The Draft EIR had set a standard for the level of fiscal analysis 
that it felt was appropriate and the preparers were prohibited from choosing which 
variables to analyze because some benefited the applicant and some did not. He 
felt the questions he raised needed to be answered in an appropriate manner. He 
referred to 6.04 on page 55 of the Responses to Comments document and said it 
completely misunderstood the comments that he had made which were on page 4 of 
his letter (page 46 of the Responses to Comments document). He said currently 
no office uses were allowed in the Ground Floor Subdistrict and the Downtown Commercial 
Development (CD) zones. He referred to the report from Michael W. Bills to the 
Planning Commission previously submitted to the City Council with respect to ground 
floor area, and he said the Theatre was 10,213 square feet which was over the 
5 percent and it was appropriate and necessary to evaluate an all office use. 
In regard to the draft resolution, Alternatives C, D, E, and F were factually 
incorrect. He referred the Mr. Keenan's attorney's letter dated May 18, 1995, 
that wanted to modify Condition Nos. 7 and 8 of the draft resolutions, and he 
said those sections required detailed building plans to meet the proposed standards. 
As far as alternative finances were concerned, the easiest alternative was seller 
financing. Gloria Brown, 1766 Fulton Street, agreed with everyone who had spoken 
and urged that the Theatre be preserved. As the national spokesperson for the 
Palo Alto Historical Association, she felt there was a balance of the bookstores 
in Palo Alto and she did not want Borders Bookstore in the Downtown. Vernon O'Dailey, 
774 Hamilton Avenue, was saddened when he heard that the Theatre was closing and 
changing to a bookstore. He said the Theatre should remain the way it was. Susan 
Wexler, 805 Tolman Drive, said as a member of Public Arts Commission, in the midst 
of the country's chipping away at the arts nationally, she hoped the Palo Alto 
community could be a leader. It saddened her to lose another venue for the arts. 
Roy Ola, 670 San Antonio Road, member of The Friends of the Varsity, echoed the 
community's sentiment. One degree of measure of a community was how it nurtured 
its arts, culture, and history. He said those characteristics could not be quantified 
in dollars and cents. The Theatre could be aggressively run and a capital campaign 
to save a facility such as the Theatre generally took two to three years and required 
a public/private partnership to make it happen. If Palo Alto could not save something 
like the Varsity Theatre, then it needed to stop denoting how special it was. 
Jay Jackman, 892 Lathrup Drive, Stanford, opposed the Final EIR and favored Alternative 
E. As a Trustee of the Foothill-DeAnza College District, he had encountered a 
similar issue with the Griffin House, a historical resident on the campus. He 
said the Board had given the people interested in saving the Griffin House an 
opportunity to raise the money that was necessary to save and transform the facility. 
He felt that could be true of the Varsity Theatre as well. He strongly urged the 
Council to allow an opportunity to save and expand a historic landmark and something 
that the community valued very highly. Phyllis Mayberg, 345 Forest Avenue, felt 
that a Border's Bookstore would not do much for Palo Alto. She encouraged moneys 
be put into the library system to provide longer operating hours. Movies gave 
people a sense of life, and old buildings gave people a sense of history. She 
felt that there were other alternatives. Carolyn George, 3501 Murdock Drive, supported 
preservation of the Varsity Theatre. As a previous Historic Resources Board member, 
she had worked to have the Theatre listed as a Category 1 to ensure the preservation 
of the facility. She urged the Council not to tear down or change things that 
it would regret. Alpha Schram, 568 Tennyson Avenue, said one of her earliest memories 
of Palo Alto was having brunch at the Varsity Theatre. She asked the Council not 
to turn her town into another faceless suburb. Carolyn Parker, 600 Fairmont Avenue, 
Mountain View, said if extensive renovations were done to the Theatre, the character 
of Palo Alto would be lost. Chris Storer, 27141 Moody Road, Los Altos, said as 
leaders, public officials were given the public's trust. When times were tough, 
it did not take long to look at the arts and culture as the place to cut. The 
City Council's role was to try and maintain the soul of the community. Don Gentner, 
1124 Byron Street, said profit was not the only value to consider and that art, 
community, and a sense of place were important. He urged the Council to consider 
its value and determine what kind of place Palo Alto should be. Barbara George, 
1725 Alma Street, said the City should think about what it could do to preserve 
the historic building and add to the infrastructure. Mr. Keenan said he wanted 
to reiterate that he intended to save the Varsity. He was substituting one cultural 
aspect--movies for another cultural aspect--literature. He felt it would become 
a renaissance, and he suspected it might become the shining light of culture in 
Downtown Palo Alto. He said The Friends of the Varsity had been quite constructive 
in certain respects. He had offered to help The Friends in its endeavor to find 
a buyer but that had not been forthcoming. The proposed project had been scrutinized 
through the CEQA and community processes and had received accolades from the Boards 
which were charged with reviewing the applications. Mayor Simitian declared the 
Public Hearing closed. MOTION TO CONTINUE: Mayor Simitian moved, seconded by Wheeler, 
to continue Item No. 6 to a date to be determined by staff. 6. Mayor Simitian 
and Council Members Andersen, Huber, and Schneider re Consideration of Revised 
Newsrack Regulations MOTION TO CONTINUE PASSED 9-0. RECESS: 9:12 P.M. - 9:35 P.M. 
Council Member McCown asked whether the current zoning for the Varsity Theatre 
had been in place since the changes were incorpo- rated as a part of the Downtown 
Study. Mr. Schreiber said yes. Council Member McCown asked whether the previous 
zoning would have allowed retail use in the building. Mr. Schreiber said yes. 
Council Member McCown asked how long the previous zoning which allowed retail 
use in the building had been allowed. Mr. Schreiber said probably since the 1950s 
and maybe since the 1920s when the zoning was first established. Council Member 
McCown clarified the zoning in the Downtown core retail went back in time and 
had either permitted theater or a bookstore uses as appropriate. MOTION: Council 
Member Kniss moved, seconded by McCown, to: 1. Adopt the Resolution certifying 
that the final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) has been completed in compliance 
with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA); and 2. Approve the major 
Architectural Review Board (ARB) application with the following findings and conditions: 
Findings for Approval of the 50 percent Floor Area Incentive and Major ARB Application 
- 456 University Avenue Findings are required for approval of the 50% floor area 
incentive and the ARB application and certification of the Final Environmen- tal 
Impact Report (EIR). The City Attorney's office will prepare the findings which 
will be presented to the City Council meeting. Below are draft findings for the 
floor area incentive and ARB application, which were prepared by the Planning 
Division. The findings for certification of the Final EIR will not be prepared 
until the Final EIR is submitted. I. Findings for Approval of the 50% Floor Area 
Incentive Approval of a 50% floor area increase requires the City Council to make 
two findings prior to approving the project: 1) that the exterior modifications 
proposed meet the U.S. Secretary of the Interior's Standards, and 2) that the 
cumulative floor area bonus will not be inconsistent with historic preservation 
of the interior or exterior of the building. The Secretary of Interior's Standards 
state that they are to be applied in a reasonable manner, taking into consideration 
economic and technical feasibility. The findings can be made for the following 
reasons: A. As modified to include the mitigation measures in the Draft EIR, the 
proposed interior and exterior modifications meet the U.S. Secretary of the Interior's 
Standards for the following reasons: 1. A property shall be used for its historic 
purpose or be placed in a new use that requires minimal change to the defining 
characteristic of the building and its site and environment. While still converting 
the building into a bookstore, CD store and cafe, including expansion of the side 
walls of the building and creation of a second floor, the modified project would 
preserve many more interior features than the original project, including the 
lobby, lobby-to-mezzanine stairs, mezzanine and auditorium side aisle arcades. 
As a result, the following historic resources impacts of the original project 
would be eliminated: - Proposed removal of lobby ceiling and decorative columns; 
- Proposed removal of lobby stairway and mezzanine; - Proposed removal of lobby 
wall and construction of new elevator and stairway. - Proposed removal of side 
aisle arcades in the auditorium; - Proposed removal of the forecourt floor slab; 
- Proposed removal of sloped floor (since the loge floor would be retained under 
the revised project, this impact would be reduced from significant to minor). 
The modified project retains (i.e., preserves or re- stores) all of the significant 
interior and exterior historic resource values of the building with the exception 
of: 1) the loss of the seating, stage and sloped auditorium floor; 2) the loss 
of the rear wall of the lobby and the displacement of the prominent Churrigueresque 
arch on the rear wall; 3) closing off of the mezzanine lobby (second floor); 4) 
parapet recon- struction and structural bracing in the forecourt arcade areas; 
and 5) modifications of the proscenium (see Draft EIR pages 193 - 206). With the 
mitigation measures recommended in the Draft EIR (pages 7 -18 and page 205), the 
impacts on the defining physical characteristics of the property would be reduced 
to a less than significant level. These mitigation measures are included in the 
proposed conditions of approval. 2. The historic character of a property shall 
be retained and preserved. The removal of historic materials or alteration of 
features and spaces that characterize a property shall be avoided. The modified 
project retains and preserves all of the historic character of the property with 
the exception of: 1) the loss of the seating, stage and sloped auditorium floor; 
2) the loss of the rear wall of the lobby and the displacement of the prominent 
Churrigueresque arch on the rear wall; 3) closing off of the mezzanine lobby (second 
floor); 4) parapet reconstruction and structural bracing in the forecourt arcade 
areas; and 5) modifications of the proscenium (see Draft EIR pages 193 - 206). 
With the mitigation measures recommended in the Draft EIR (pages 7 -18 and page 
205), the impacts on the historic charac- ter of the property would be reduced 
to a less than significant level. These mitigation measures are included in the 
proposed conditions of approval. 3. Each property shall be recognized as a physical 
record of its time, place, and use. Changes that create a false sense of historical 
development, such as adding conjec- tural features or architectural elements from 
other buildings, shall not be undertaken. The modified project will allow the 
property to be recog- nized as a physical record of its time, place and former 
use as a theater as discussed in the Draft EIR 193 -206. The project includes 
photo-documentation of historic elements. However, the Draft EIR (page 107) states 
that if a design for the proposed new forecourt fountain is selected based on 
poor documentary evidence, it could result in false historicism. With implementation 
of the recommended mitigation measures, this impact would be reduced to a less 
than significant level. The Draft EIR (page 111) also states that the proposed 
new Spanish Renaissance rear facade design is more elaborate than the existing 
Varsity Theatre front facades. It incorporates a shaped pediment which is a direct 
copy of the pediment over the lobby entry, but would be rendered in finer materials 
than the existing facade. The Draft EIR recommends a mitigation measure to require 
the applicant to revise the rear (south) eleva- tion to reduce the degree of duplication 
of the Universi- ty Avenue entrance and lobby entrance facade details, and to 
instead "suggest" the character-defining features of the building front and forecourt 
through use of a more simplified parapet profile and omission of the applied ornament. 
In other words, the south elevation should be redesigned to be less, rather than 
more, elaborate and "historic" than the University Avenue side of the building. 
4. Most properties change over time; those changes that have acquired historic 
significance in their own right shall be retained and preserved. The basic theater 
layout and architectural design of the Varsity Theatre has not changed substantially 
since its construction in 1927. The 82-year history of the building is summarized 
in the Draft EIR (pages 37 - 44), including physical modifications since its original 
construction. In addition to changes which occurred over time in the theater auditorium, 
the physical modifica- tions to the building over time include removal of the 
original marquee and replacement with the current marquee, removal of a fountain 
originally located in the forecourt, replacement of the lobby doors, construction 
of a kitchen in the lobby and addition of a new cafe in the lobby and forecourt. 
The project includes retention of the current marquee, a new fountain in the forecourt, 
replacement of the lobby doors and the addition of a cafe in the lobby. 5. Distinctive 
features, finishes, and construction tech- niques or examples of craftsmanship 
that characterize a historic property shall be preserved. The distinctive features 
of the property are described in the Draft EIR (pages 29 - 45). The modified project 
retains and preserves all of the distinctive features with the exception of: 1) 
the loss of the seating, stage and sloped auditorium floor; 2) the loss of the 
rear wall of the lobby and the displacement of the prominent Churrigueresque arch 
on the rear wall; 3) closing off of the mezzanine lobby (second floor); 4) parapet 
recon- struction and structural bracing in the forecourt arcade areas; and 5) 
modifications of the proscenium (see Draft EIR pages 193 - 206). With the mitigation 
measures recommended in the Draft EIR (pages 7 -18 and page 205), the impacts 
on the distinctive features of the property would be reduced to a less than significant 
level. These mitigation measures are included in the proposed condi- tions of 
approval. 6. Deteriorated historic features shall be repaired rather than replaced. 
Where the severity of deterioration requires replacement of a distinctive feature, 
the new feature shall match the old in design, color, texture, and other visual 
qualities and, where possible, materi- als. Replacement of missing features shall 
be substanti- ated by documentary, physical, or pictorial evidence. The applicant 
proposes to repair decorative plaster work, including existing ceilings, walls 
and columns, as needed. The fountain in the forecourt will be replaced, based 
upon additional research to determine more exactly the style of the original fountain. 
The decorative mirror and columns at the rear of the lobby will be relocated. 
The lobby stair will be retained and its railing re-installed. The applicant has 
photographed all lobby details to facilitate repair and re-creation detailing. 
The curved existing auditorium ceiling and perimeter detail will be retained and 
repaired as required to meet safety codes. 7. Chemical or physical treatments, 
such as sandblasting, that cause damage to historic materials shall not be used. 
The surface cleaning of structures, if appropri- ate, shall be undertaken using 
the gentlest means possible. The applicant is not proposing chemical or physical 
treatments which would cause damage to any historic materials. 8. Significant 
archaeological resources affected by a project shall be protected and preserved. 
If such resources must be disturbed, mitigation measures shall be undertaken. 
The project involves subsurface disturbance for founda- tion work. The Draft EIR 
(page 103) states that there is a possibility of encountering and disturbing an 
historic or cultural resource during these excavation activities. The Draft EIR 
recommends a mitigation measure, included in the conditions of approval, which 
would reduce this impact to a less than significant level. 9. New additions, exterior 
alterations, or related new construction shall not destroy historic materials 
that characterize the property. The modified project is identified as Alternative 
B in the Draft EIR (see the Draft EIR, pages 193 - 206), with a 50% floor area 
expansion. The existing building contains 14,972 square feet of floor area. A 
total of 1,992 square feet of new ground floor area would be constructed and a 
new 10,703 square foot second floor would be provided. The building would total 
22,908 square feet of space, including 450 square feet which is exempt from floor 
area calculations because it is for the proposed handicap accessibility improvements. 
The Draft EIR concludes that the modified project, including the proposed additions 
and exterior modifications, would reduce the impacts on the building's character-defining 
features to a less than significant level, with implemen- tation of the recommended 
mitigation measures which are included in the conditions of approval. 10. The 
new work shall be differentiated from the old and shall be compatible with the 
massing, size, scale, and architectural features to protect the historic integrity 
of the property and its environment. The proposed expansion at the rear of the 
building is compatible with the massing, size and scale of the existing building 
because the new wall will be the same height as the existing wall (39.5 feet). 
A new 47 foot high cupola is proposed on one corner of the new rear wall which 
is consistent with the design and heights of the existing University Avenue elevations. 
However, the Draft EIR (page 111) states that the proposed new Spanish Renaissance 
rear facade design is more elaborate than the existing Varsity Theatre front facades. 
It incorporates a shaped pediment which is a direct copy of the pediment over 
the lobby entry, but would be rendered in finer materials than the existing facade. 
The Draft EIR recommends a mitigation measure to require the applicant to revise 
the rear (south) eleva- tion to reduce the degree of duplication of the Universi- 
ty Avenue entrance and lobby entrance facade details, and to instead "suggest" 
the character-defining features of the building front and forecourt through use 
of a more simplified parapet profile and omission of the applied ornament. In 
other words, the south elevation should be redesigned to be less, rather than 
more, elaborate and "historic" than the University Avenue side of the building. 
11. New additions and adjacent or related new construction shall be undertaken 
in such a manner that if removed in the future, the essential form and integrity 
of the historic property and its environment would be unim- paired. The project 
includes a new second floor within the volume of the existing auditorium and mezzanine 
space to allow an increase in commercial floor area. The second floor is intended 
to allow for possible future removal and return of the building to a theater use. 
A mitigation measure, included in the conditions of approval, requires the applicant 
to submit details and specifications of the second floor design that would allow 
clear evaluation of its reversibility. The stage removal aspect of the proposed 
project is de- scribed in the Draft EIR (page 111) as a minor impact, since the 
stage could be readily reintroduced if the building were converted back to a theatre 
in the future. The original project placed the restrooms in the area created by 
the removal of the stage. In the modified project, the proposed restrooms would 
be located on the new second floor in the auditorium. Locating the restrooms in 
either location would reduce the feasibility of a future conversion back to theatre 
use, resulting in a potentially significant adverse impact. The conditions of 
approval require relocation of the proposed restrooms where they would not need 
to be relocated in case of a return of the structure to theater use. B. Project 
consistency with the Secretary of Interior's Standards is addressed in the above 
findings for the proposed interior and exterior modifications. The original and 
modified project designs include a second floor design approach which is intended 
to allow for its future removal and potential conversion of the structure back 
to a theater. The modified project would preserve many more interior features 
compared to the original project including the lobby, lobby-to-mezzanine stairs, 
auditorium ceiling, mezzanine, and auditorium side aisle arcades. As a result, 
the historic resources impacts noted in the Draft EIR for the project would be 
eliminated or reduced. The impacts on historic resources can be reduced to a level 
of insignificance upon implementation of the recom- mended mitigation measures. 
All such mitigation measures applicable to the modified project have been recommended 
as conditions of project approval. II. Findings for Approval of the ARB Application 
The standards used by the Architectural Review Board (ARB) in reviewing projects 
within its jurisdiction are set forth in Municipal Code Section 16.48.120. The 
project meets the standards for the following reasons: A. Whether the design is 
consistent and compatible with applica- ble elements of the city's comprehensive 
plans. Project consistency with applicable Comprehensive Plan policies is as follows: 
1. Employment Policy 3. Require planned transportation programs by the developer 
or employer in conjunction with new development, expansion, or intensification. 
The applicant proposes a total of 8 bicycle parking spaces which would facilitate 
bicycle use as a means of transport to the project. This could represent an important 
component of such a trans- portation program (see Draft EIR, pages 161 - 162). 
2. Transportation Element, Policy 10.a. In the Downtown Area, new development 
should not increase the total weekday peak parking deficit beyond that expected 
from development existing and approved through May 1986. The project would not 
increase the weekday peak parking deficit beyond the threshold established by 
the city (see Draft EIR, pages 155 - 158). 3. Transportation Element, Policy 12. 
Promote bicycle use. The project includes 8 bicycle spaces which would encourage 
the use of bicycles as an alternative transportation mode to reach the site (see 
Draft EIR, pages 161 - 162). 4. Urban Design Element, Policy 2. Encourage private 
preservation of buildings which have historic or architectural merit or both. 
The project represents private preservation of a building which is historically 
and architecturally signifi- cant. The modified project, with the recommended 
mitigation measures, would not result in significant adverse impacts to historic 
and architectural resources (see the Draft EIR, pages 191 - 226). 5. Urban Design 
Element, Policy 5. Encourage rehabilitation of aging retail areas to keep them 
economically healthy. The project would rehabilitate an old building in the downtown 
area. It is presumed that this project would have a positive impact on the overall 
vitality of the downtown area. 6. Environmental Resources Element, Policy 11. 
Ensure compliance with existing noise laws and protection of resi- dents from 
unnecessary noise. The Draft EIR (pages 176 - 177) recommends measures to ensure 
reduction of construction period noise impacts to less than significant levels. 
7. Environmental Resources Element, Policy 14. Measures to lessen risk to human 
life and property should focus upon identified areas of population concentration 
and keyed to areas of greatest natural hazard and areas of known or subsequent 
structural hazard. The project includes measures to lessen risk to human life 
and property in a building known to contain structural hazards (see Draft EIR, 
pages 119 - 145). B. Whether the design is compatible with the immediate environ- 
ment of the site. There will be no significant changes to the appearance of the 
building as viewed from University Avenue. The proposed improvements to the rear 
facade would make the building more compatible with development adjacent to the 
City parking lot, particularly the adjacent Garden Court Hotel (see Draft EIR, 
Figure 9.d.). At present, a very unattractive blank wall faces the City parking 
lot on the east side of the building. A new facade with large windows and a new 
entrance will be added to the rear of the building to allow passers-by to view 
the retail space from the City parking lot. The entrance from Lot H would be defined 
by a tower element reflective of the existing tower on the University Avenue elevation 
and a canopy in the form of the original (curved) Varsity marquee. A new tile 
roof and cupola would also be constructed on the rear elevation. C. Whether the 
design is appropriate to the function of the project. The design of the project 
is appropriate to the function of the proposed bookstore, CD store and cafe. The 
side walls of the building would be expanded and a new second floor will be created 
to accommodate the proposed use. In addition, a new entrance would be provided 
from the parking lot at the rear of the building which would provide a new pedestrian 
link between the parking lot and University Avenue. D. In areas considered by 
the board as having a unified character or historical character, whether the design 
is compatible with such character. The architectural styles of the various storefront 
street facades along the downtown segment of University Avenue are mixed. The 
Varsity Theatre's University Avenue "Mission Revival" cupola entrance facade is 
flanked on its east and west sides by lower building parapets of identical height 
and Spanish tiled roof style. These symmetrical lower elements architecturally 
complement the higher, mission facade of the Varsity. Since the University Avenue 
building facade would be preserved, the project is compatible with these unifying 
building elements. E. Whether the design promotes harmonious transitions in scale 
and character in areas between different designated land uses. The site is not 
located in a transition area between different land uses. F. Whether the design 
is compatible with approved improvements both on and off the site. Construction 
of an expansion of the All Saints Episcopal Church complex, located on the corner 
of Waverley and Hamilton Avenue, began in January, 1995. The expansion plans include 
demolition of the existing old parish hall on Hamilton Avenue and construction 
of a modern new parish hall replacement. The proposed new rear facade at the Varsity 
Theatre, with a more modern design compared to the University Avenue facade, will 
be compatible with the modern design of the church expansion. G. Whether the planning 
and siting of the various functions and buildings on the site create an internal 
sense of order and provide a desirable environment for occupants, visitors and 
the general community. A new facade with large windows and a new entrance would 
be added to create a new mission-style secondary entrance at the rear of the building 
and to allow passers-by to view the retail space form the City parking lot. This 
would create a new pedestrian link between the parking lot and University Avenue. 
The project also includes preservation of the character-defining historic elements 
of the building and introduction of the necessary accessory elements, including 
new restrooms, a second stairway, elevator, equipment room, receiving area and 
refuse area. H. Whether the amount and arrangement of open space are appropri- 
ate to the design and the function of the structures. The amount and arrangement 
of open space is appropriate to the design and function of the building and adjacent 
structures. An alley which is utilized by adjacent businesses for deliver- ies, 
temporary storage, garbage bins, and employee access is located on the west and 
north sides of the theatre. An existing 10-foot-wide ingress/egress easement is 
located along the alley. The north wall of the theater would be extended to the 
edge of the existing easement. This would reduce the width of the alley on the 
north side of the building from approximately 19 feet to 10 feet while maintaining 
adequate space for storage, garbage bins and employee access to the adjacent businesses. 
I. Whether sufficient ancillary functions are provided to support the main functions 
of the project and whether the same are compatible with the project's design concept. 
In addition to the proposed bookstore and CD store, the project includes the creation 
of an associated cafe and espresso bar. The project also includes the necessary 
accessory elements, including new restrooms, a second stair- way, elevator, equipment 
room, receiving area and refuse area. J. Whether access to the property and circulation 
thereon are safe and convenient for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles. The project 
includes a new entrance at the rear of the building which will provide a safe 
and convenient pedestrian link between the parking lot and University Avenue. 
K. Whether natural features are appropriately preserved and integrated with the 
project. The only existing trees on the site, a Pepper tree located at the rear 
of the property and a street tree in front of the building on University Avenue 
will be preserved and have been integrated into the proposed landscaping design. 
L. Whether the materials, textures, colors and details of construction and plant 
material are appropriate expression to the design and function and whether the 
same are compatible with the adjacent and neighboring structures, landscape elements 
and functions. The proposed materials, textures, colors and details are appropriate 
expression to the design and function. A new facade with large windows and a new 
entrance will be added to the rear of the building to allow passers-by to view 
the retail space from the City parking lot. The entrance from Lot H would be defined 
by a tower element reflective of the existing tower on the University Avenue elevation 
and a canopy in the form of the original (curved) Varsity marquee. A new tile 
roof and cupola would also be constructed on the rear elevation. The existing 
appearance of the forecourt would be maintained, with seismic bracing being added 
to the sidewalls at alternating pilasters. A fountain would be added in the forecourt, 
in the location where a fountain can be seen in historic photos. The marquee on 
the front of the building (University Avenue elevation) would be renovated, stabilized 
structurally, and the neon would be repaired and replaced. At the lobby entrance 
doors adjacent to the forecourt, the facade would be renovated and repaired to 
match the existing historic detailing. The high tower element at the theater wall 
beyond would also be repaired and renovated with planter details to match existing. 
New entrance doors would be provided, in a design more compatible with the design 
of the theatre facade. M. Whether the landscape design concept for the site, as 
shown by the relationship of plant masses, open space, scale, plant forms and 
foliage textures and colors create a desirable and functional environment and 
whether the landscape concept depicts an appropriate unity with the various buildings 
on the site. The landscape design concept would create a desirable and functional 
environment and it depicts an appropriate unity with the building because new 
landscaping would be installed at the rear of the building, including five new 
planter boxes below the new windows, and new concrete paving would be installed 
between the building and Lot H. The new scored concrete forecourt paving pattern 
would be repeated at the Lot H entrance, and may or may not be continued through 
the lobby (cafe/checkout) area to facilitate through pedestrian traffic between 
Lot H and University Avenue. The south side of the building would have scored 
concrete paving. N. Whether plant material is suitable and adaptable to the site, 
capable of being properly maintained on the site, and is of a variety which would 
tend to be drought-resistant and to reduce consumption of water in its installation 
and maintenance. The proposed landscaping is suitable to the site and meets the 
requirements of the City's water conservation guidelines. Three Crape Myrtle trees 
would be planted adjacent to City Lot H. Each of the five new planters would contain 
eight Japanese Boxwood shrubs and flats of "Starfire" Red Verbena. O. Whether 
the design is energy efficient and incorporates renewable energy design elements. 
The design is energy efficient and would be required to meet the requirements 
of Title 24. The proposed project would be similar to typical commercial projects 
of similar size and would not consume substantial amounts of finite natural resources. 
Conditions - 456 University Avenue Prior to Submittal for Building Permit 1. The 
applicant shall submit the following for review by the Historic Resources Board 
and approval by the Architectural Review Board: a. Elevations of the proposed 
pilasters in the forecourt. To insure that the tubular steel elements are in keeping 
with the clean wall forms and symmetry of the Tuscan-style forecourt, more shallow 
tube sections shall be used so that the new fur-outs can be recessed from the 
face of the existing pilasters, or another acceptable design strategy shall be 
used. All existing pilasters in the forecourt shall be furred-out to provide a 
symmetrical appearance; b. Details of the proposed fountain in the forecourt, 
showing that it will accurately replicate the historic fountain, if possible, 
or it shall be designed as a contemporary-compatible feature of the same size, 
scale and in the same location as the original. A replicated design shall be based 
upon adequate research so that the fountain can be accurately recreated. If sufficient 
documentary evidence to accurately replicate the original fountain is unavailable, 
the new design shall be compati- ble with, but clearly distinct from, the remaining 
character-defining features of the historic building. c. Ceiling and wall details 
of the proposed extension of the lobby to the rear (south), showing that the interior 
design will avoid an awkward space, or one in which the extended portion appears 
falsely historic; d. Details of the Churrigueresque arch in the lobby, along with 
its raised tile base. The applicant shall study the possibility of retaining the 
Churrigueresque arch in the lobby at its present location and using it as a passage- 
way. If this is not allowed by applicable Codes, the Churrigueresque arch, along 
with its raised tile base, may be relocated to another wall, preferably within 
the new lobby extension and a drinking fountain shall be installed inside of the 
arch (the existing mirror infill is not original); e. Details showing the mezzanine 
lobby closed off with a grille or similar material near the top of the stairway 
which would allow for sufficient air circulation to minimize deterioration of 
the room; f. More detailed information on the rear (south) elevation to demonstrate 
that the design "suggests" rather than "duplicates" the character-defining features 
of the building front and forecourt through the use of a more simplified parapet 
profile (i.e., it should be demon- strated that the elevation is be less, rather 
than more, elaborate and "historic" than the University Avenue side of the building); 
g. Details of the proposed security fence/grille on the front of the building; 
h. Details of the proposed entrance doors to the lobby from the forecourt and 
Lot H; i. Final landscape and irrigation plan including details of the proposed 
planters and special paving at the rear of the building; j. Design details of 
the widened pilasters in the forecourt; k. Plan showing the removal of the existing 
utilities conduit which is visible in the forecourt; l. Location and design of 
the proposed shear wall under the cupola in the forecourt; m. Design and materials 
of the proposed paving in the forecourt. The existing scored concrete under the 
covered portion of the forecourt shall be replaced in its entirety rather than 
patched following installation of the grade beams for seismic bracing; n. Samples 
of exterior and interior colors; and o. Location and screening of proposed mechanical 
equipment on the roof. Prior to Issuance of Building Permit 2. The applicant shall 
submit details and specifications of the second floor design in the auditorium 
to provide clear evaluation of its reversibility, for review and approval by the 
Chief Building Official. 3. The applicant shall submit details and specifications 
for the redesign of the project retrofit approach to provide the necessary shear 
strength while permitting future reintroduc- tion of a wide screen proscenium, 
for review and approval by the Chief Building Official. 4. The applicant shall 
conduct or request an archeological records search at the State of California 
Historic Resource File System Northwest Information Center at Sonoma State University 
to ascertain whether the project site is likely to be archaeologically sensitive. 
The archaeological records search shall be submitted for review and approval by 
the Planning Division. If, as a result of this file search, it appears likely 
that sub-surface artifacts would be encoun- tered, the applicant shall also implement 
the following additional measures: a. If warranted by the results of the records 
search, the applicant shall retain a professional archaeologist to be on-call 
during project excavation phases in the event that any archeological material 
may be encountered. The archeologist shall conduct a preliminary filed inspection 
after portions of the slab are removed and prior to excavation for the proposed 
new foundations and slabs in order to: (a) determine the nature and extent of 
previous impacts to the project area; (b) assess the nature and extent of potential 
impacts; and (c) to determine the appropriate level and method for further identification 
or potential prehistoric, photohistoric and historic cultural resources. The preliminary 
field inspection may find that enough visible and undisturbed soils remain in 
the project to warrant a full survey, or that some form of subsurface testing 
is necessary, such as the excava- tion by auger, shovel, or backhoe. The archeologist 
shall record observations in a permanent log. b. The necessary extent of on-site 
monitoring of subsurface construction activities including grading, excavation 
for footings, and trenching shall also be determined by the archeologist after 
portions of the slab are removed, and before excavations for the new footings 
and any other proposed excavation work. 5. The applicant shall revise the structural 
design as required by the UBC to strengthen or support all lobby columns which 
support the new vertical and lateral loads from the second floor, to the satisfaction 
of the Chief Building Official. If strengthening or replacement is chosen, the 
technique for preservation of important architectural details on or connect- ed 
to the columns shall be specified and monitored by a qualified Architectural Conservator 
or Preservation Architect. Any removal, reinstallation, or replication of ornamental 
plaster shall be reviewed by the Historic Resources Board, approved by the Architectural 
Review Board and performed by a skilled ornamental plasterer with experience in 
restoration of historic plaster. 6. Plans showing the proposed size and details 
of the trash enclosure shall be submitted for review by the Public Works Operations/Recycling 
Division and Historic Resources Board and approval by the Architectural Review 
Board. The design shall include space for recyclables to the satisfaction of the 
Public Works Operations/Recycling Division. 7. A padmount transformer shall be 
installed at the rear of the site. Shrubs shall be provided to screen the transformer 
from view. The location and design of the padmount transformer and all other utility 
devises, including meters, backflow preventers, fire service requirements, sewer 
cleanouts, on the site shall be submitted for review by the Historic Resources 
Board and approval by the Architectural Review Board. A public utilities easement 
shall be provided for the transform- er. The location and design of the padmount 
transformer and easement shall be subject to review and approval by the Electric 
Utilities Division. 8. Details of the required bicycle parking shall be submitted 
for review by the Transportation Division and Historic Resources Board and approval 
by the Architectural Review Board. The Class II and III bicycle racks shall meet 
the manufacture's recommended spacing of each unit from another and from walls 
or other obstructions. A minimum five foot wide access aisle shall be provided 
between the bicycle lockers and the backflow preventer. The U-Lok "loop" option 
is preferable for the Class II bicycle rack. 9. The project shall provide secondary 
containment for the elevator hydraulic system to the satisfaction of the Fire 
Department's Hazardous Materials Division. 10. A revised construction logistics 
plan shall be submitted for review and approval by the Public Works Department 
and Transportation Division, addressing at a minimum parking, truck routes and 
staging, materials storage, and the provision of pedestrian and vehicular traffic 
adjacent to the construc- tion site, including the following: a. Measures that 
will mitigate the traffic and construction impacts of the project on City Lot 
H; b. Construction period garbage bin locations (serving University Avenue businesses 
on the affected alleys) to replace the existing alley garbage bin locations made 
less accessible by project construction; and c. Revised or refined design and 
location of the proposed construction fence to allow employee and other access 
to existing businesses and other uses affected by the fence as required by the 
ten-foot wide access easement held by the properties adjacent to the project site. 
11. All truck routes shall conform with the City of Palo Alto's Trucks and Truck 
Route Ordinance, Chapter 10.48, and the route map which outlines truck routes 
available throughout the City. 12. The applicant shall post a performance bond 
with the Public Works Department to ensure that any damage in City Lot H is restored 
in kind. 13. The applicant shall submit a final grading and drainage plan for 
review and approval by the Public Works Department, including drainage patterns 
on site and from adjacent proper- ties. The plan shall demonstrate that pre-existing 
patterns to and from adjacent properties are not altered. 14. The proposed long-term 
garbage bin location(s) for the University Avenue businesses on the alley adjacent 
to the addition shall be submitted for review and approval by PASCO and the Planning 
Division. The new garbage bin location(s) shall be easily accessible to PASCO 
and shall not block access to the alley. The long-term location and design of 
the garbage bin provisions shall also be subject to review and comment by the 
affected building owners. 15. The applicant shall provide photodocumentation of 
the historic detailing in the lobby for review, approval and retention by the 
Planning Division. 16. The applicant shall submit a completed WATER-GAS-WASTEWATER 
SERVICE CONNECTION APPLICATION - LOAD SHEET for review and approval by the W-G-WW 
Utilities Engineering Division. 17. The applicant shall submit improvement plans 
for utility construction for review and approval by the W-G-WW Utilities Engineering 
Division. The plans shall show the size and location of all underground utilities 
with the property and the public right-of-way including meters, backflow preventers, 
fire service requirements, sewer cleanouts and any other required utilities. Prior 
to Commencement of Construction 18. The applicant shall obtain an encroachment 
permit and tempo- rary lease from the Public Works Engineering Division for the 
proposed use of public parking spaces in Lot H during con- struction. 19. An encroachment 
permit shall be obtained from the Public Works Department for pedestrian protection 
on the public sidewalk during construction and any proposed construction which 
would impact the use of City Lot H. 20. The applicant shall design and construct 
pedestrian protection in front of the theater on University Avenue to comply with 
UBC Section 4407. The design and construction of such pedestrian protection shall 
be subject to review and approval by the Public Works Department and the Chief 
Building Offi- cial. 21. The applicant shall design and construct the special 
protec- tive barricade described in the construction plan for the adjacent daycare/preschool 
play area to physically and visually block any connection between the play area 
and the construction site. The barricade shall be at least 15 feet tall. Some 
trimming of existing trees may be required or the barrier shall be modified to 
accommodate existing tree branches. The barricade shall be constructed outside 
of the existing cyclone fence, but may be constructed on top of the existing wooden 
retaining wall surrounding the play area with the approval of the property owner. 
22. The applicant shall protect existing trees within the project construction 
zone (including trees near the marquee on University Avenue and in the rear parking 
lot with 8-foot-high chain link fencing, to the satisfaction of the City Arborist 
and Planning Division. The fences shall be mounted on two-inch diameter galvanized 
iron posts, driven into the ground to a depth of at least two feet at no more 
than eight foot spacing. The fences shall enclose sufficient area to protect 23. 
The applicant shall encourage the project construction team to secure construction 
period parking for all workers within private parking lots. Parking shall be discouraged 
on public streets or in public parking lots. 24. The applicant shall provide the 
Palo Alto Community Day Care organization, All Saints Episcopal Church, Palermo 
Rotisserie Restaurant and the Garden Court Hotel with a detailed demoli- tion 
and construction schedule and inform the organizations of all schedule changes 
so that they may adjust their operations, or in the case of the daycare use, relocate 
their operation, during selected periods should they so desire. 25. The windows 
between the courtyard and the American Beauty Salon shall be permanently closed, 
or the contractor shall place temporary noise barriers over the windows. 26. The 
contractor shall appoint a member of the construction crew as Noise Disturbance 
Coordinator. This person shall have detailed knowledge of project construction 
activities and shall have the authority to implement and monitor all of the noise 
related mitigation measures, plus have the authority to stop work on the project. 
The name and phone number of this individual shall be distributed to all businesses 
within 300 feet of the site. During Construction 27. A qualified Architectural 
Conservator or Preservation Archi- tect shall be selected and retained by the 
City to verify that Conditions 1, 9, 28, 29, 30 and 40 have been satisfied. The 
conservator or architect shall submit periodic reports to the City, as required 
by the Director of Planning and Community Environment. The applicant shall pay 
the costs for the conservator or architect. 28. The State Historical Building 
Code permits testing to assess the structural capacities of existing materials, 
which in turn may lessen the degree of necessary retrofit impact to these historic 
features. If, even with the use of this code, features such as the load-bearing 
lobby and auditorium columns would still require a retrofit, the applicant shall: 
a. Carefully document and dismantle these features; b. Salvage, catalogue, store, 
and reinstall removed ornamen- tal plaster (some loss of material would be inevitable 
during this process); and c. Retain a qualified ornamental plasterer, experienced 
with restoration, both to document and dismantle the features and to reinstall 
and repair them. 29. The historic auditorium wall, ceiling, side aisle arches 
and lobby detailing shall be protected-in-place, including the plaster, wherever 
possible. Where protection-in-place is impossible, the contractor shall carefully 
saw-cut, remove and store ornamental plaster for reinstallation. Only as a last 
resort, the existing ornamental plaster shall be replaced with new ornamental 
plaster to match the existing. All detailing, protection, removal, storage and 
reinstallation; and any replication of historic plaster, shall be specified and 
monitored by a qualified Architectural Conservator or Preser- vation Architect. 
Any actual removal, reinstallation, or replication of ornamental plaster shall 
be performed by a skilled ornamental plasterer with experience in restoration 
of historic plaster. 30. All historic light fixtures shall be repaired and relamped 
(the existing saucer lights are not considered to be histor- ic). 31. No storage 
of material is permitted within the tree enclosure area. The trees shall be maintained 
as necessary to ensure survival, including watering at least monthly from May 
through September. 32. The contractor shall implement the following measures to 
reduce construction period truck movement interference with city Lot H parking 
operations: a. Manage exterior construction operations to minimize interference 
with parking lot H driveway operations; and b. To the maximum extent feasible, 
truck movements should be scheduled at times other than the daily AM, midday (lunchtime), 
and PM peak hours. 33. The contractor shall comply with the requirements of the 
City of Palo Alto Noise Ordinance. The contractor shall locate all stationery 
noise-generation construction equipment, such as air compressors, as far as practical 
from the daycare/preschool play area, the church educational building, the Garden 
Court Hotel, and adjacent businesses. Such equipment shall be acoustically shielded 
where necessary. The contractor shall properly muffle and maintain all construction 
equipment powered by internal combustion engines. 34. The contractor shall complete 
as much interior demolition and construction activity as feasible before opening 
exterior walls, in order to contain noise (and dust) inside the existing building. 
35. The contractor shall implement the following measures to reduce project generated 
dust: a. Schedule major dust-generating activities for the early morning and other 
hours when wind velocities are low; b. Cover storage piles (fill, reuse, building 
material, etc.); c. Sweep the sidewalk in front of the theater regularly (at least 
daily) on University Avenue; d. Sweep City Lot H regularly (at least daily) to 
clean up debris caused by project construction and deliveries; e. Sprinkle work 
areas of the site with water as needed to control dust; and f. Perform as much 
dust generating activity as possible within the existing building (prior to wall 
and roof removal). 36. Spillage resulting from hauling operations along or across 
any public or private property shall be removed immediately and paid for by the 
contractor. 37. The applicant shall install a sign(s) at the entrance to Lot H 
indicating that the public can use nearby parking lots or structures during construction 
of the project. The location and details of the sign(s), including a map and wording, 
shall be submitted for review and approval by the Public Works Department and 
Transportation Division. Prior to Occupancy 38. Details of all proposed signage 
be submitted for review by the HRB and approval by the ARB. 39. A parking and 
loading plan shall be submitted for review and approval by the Transportation 
Division, addressing at a minimum, the following: a. provide information to employees 
and patrons regarding parking availability beyond the Varsity block; b. encourage 
employee and patron transit use, carpooling, and other alternative modes of transportation; 
c. schedule deliveries in Lot H during hours with the least parking demand and 
in a manner which does not block parking lot aisles; and d. implement enforced 
landowner policy (and sign) prohibit- ing motors idling near the Palo Alto Community 
Day Care facility. 40. Details of the proposed checkout counter in the lobby shall 
be submitted for approval to the Director of Planning and Community Environment. 
Resolution 7508 entitled "Resolution of the Council of the City of Palo Alto Certifying 
that the Varsity Theatre Remodel Project Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) 
has been Completed in Compliance with the Requirements of the Califor- nia Environmental 
Quality Act (CEQA) and Making Findings on the Project" Council Member Kniss asked 
staff to comment on Recommendation No. 40. Mr. Schreiber said staff was comfortable 
with Recommendation 40. He said Mr. Keenan was correct in his use of the term 
"slippery slope." He said if staff were going to review the checkout counter, 
it needed to be clearly understood that it was being done because there would 
probably be a building permit involved. It would not be a precedent for staff's 
later review of other interior features. Council Member Kniss asked what the public 
could do if they wished to stop the project after it was approved. City Attorney 
Ariel Calonne said he did not want to mislead people; however, the basic procedural 
steps, following approval of a project and certification of an EIR, was that the 
City could file a Notice of Determination that started a short statute of limita- 
tions under CEQA which could be done by the City within the next several working 
days. He said the people who had appeared that evening were entitled to bring 
forward a Writ of Mandate if they believed the Council had done something unlawful. 
In his opinion, the project did not involve any legislative approvals and as a 
result of that there was nothing which was referendable of Council's action. Council 
Member Kniss said when she and several others visited the Varsity Theatre last 
year, she was surprised by the deterioration and it was clearly a building that 
needed to be retrofitted historically and seismically. At that time, the process 
began to allow the retrofit to occur. However, during that time many of members 
of the community requested the Council to provide some time for them to raise 
the money to purchase the Theatre. She said Ms. Bell had indicated that $10,000 
had been raised and that was a good start, however, such a venture took millions 
of dollars. She felt the City Council had an obligation to maintain buildings 
that were public buildings as well as an equal obligation to support those buildings 
which were private buildings. It was not the Council's responsibility to dictate 
what businesses went into the Downtown area. She recognized that some people held 
the owner of the Theatre accountable; however, the Theatre had not returned enough 
profit over the last 15 years to substantially support having that particular 
building function in that way. She regretted that the building might no longer 
be a movie theater or a performing arts theater. She acknowledged the amount of 
City dollars used to preserve arts and culture in the community that few other 
communi- ties did. She remembered comparing the Theater to an "old jacket," and 
said the Theatre was liken to an old jacket that hung in the back of the closet 
that kept being taken out and put on but for some reason it was then placed back 
in the closet in exchange for something newer -- people had stopped going to the 
Varsity Theatre. As the liaison to the HRB, she had listened to Mr. Keenan response 
to suggestions for improvements to the project. A great deal of time and attention 
had been spent on it. She supported approval of the Final EIR. Council Member 
McCown agreed with the comment that evening that the issue was about values. She 
felt that certifying the EIR as complete was correct and approval of the application 
for the restoration of the building and its contemplated use was the right decision. 
She said the Council valued the passion, spirit, emotion, and sentiment expressed 
that evening about the memories of the space and the importance of its use. As 
a Council Member, one of her responsibilities was to impose the rules and regulations 
that were enforced and that the rules and regulations that were imposed by state 
law in a way that was fair to those who came through the process. She said that 
was the criteria under which she applied the project. She saw the critical goals 
of architec- tural and historic preservation, seismic safety, and a project that 
contributed to the Downtown vitality -- without prescribing what that was. The 
Council had consistently stayed out of the business of defining, within the broad 
category of retail, what use someone made of their building. She said the comments 
made that evening were focused on use, not criticism of the proposed project saving 
the historic building. She would not cast a vote that said to any property owner 
who had buildings in the Downtown area that she would define what use could be 
made of the building. Given those criteria and the fact that the project was compatible 
with the zoning, goals, and directions that property owners in the Downtown had 
to respond to, the right thing was to approve the project. Council Member Andersen 
had not attended the Varsity Theatre in the early 1960s but rather the Alhambra 
Theatre in Sacramento. The Alhambra Theatre had been made into a Safeway Store 
and giant parking lot. He felt that took the soul out of a historic building. 
He did not feel that way about the proposed project. He felt that Mr. Keenan had 
done a great deal to see that the building was preserved in a manner that would 
not have occurred if he had not step forth. He commended Mr. Keenan for his willingness 
to sit through many hearings and to agree to the 39 conditions. He was not sure 
that Palo Alto could sustain another theater. He supported the motion and suggested 
an ad hoc committee with respect to Recommendation No. 40. MOTION: Council Member 
Andersen moved to delete Recommendation No. 40 and request that the applicant 
work with an ad hoc committee to to come to an agreement with respect to the checkout 
counter area. Mr. Schreiber said staff had approval authority over location of 
the checkout counter and there was a question about whether it would be part of 
a building permit which would be the only way the City had approval authority. 
He said the City would be obligated to approve Mr. Keenan's submittal as long 
as it was consistent with the PAMC. MOTION WITHDRAWN BY MAKER Council Member Fazzino 
had mixed feelings that evening. He was disappointed because the Varsity Theatre 
would not be preserved as a theater at the current time, but he also admitted 
to a sense of relief that the building exterior and much of the interior would 
be preserved. He truly appreciated the tremendous efforts of The Friends of the 
Varsity and others over the past several months and he did not suggest that those 
efforts should end that evening to preserve the Theatre. He valued the preservation 
of the building and recognized that the cost to bring the building up to code 
was prohibitive for many at the current time. He said that a bond measure had 
merit but he would find it very difficult to support such a measure which focused 
on the Theatre ahead of other needs of the community, particularly the need to 
renovate the Cubberley Community Center. He had toured the facility with two prospective 
operations and one philanthropist and had spoken to others in the high technological 
community. He was basically told that it was economically unfeasible to operate 
the facility as a Filmore-type facility. The question before the Council was whether 
to allow the building to further deteriorate or accept the alternative of development 
at the present time which preserved the exterior and much of the interior of the 
building and allowed the building at some point in the future to conceivably be 
converted back to a theater. He concurred that Mr. Keenan deserved credit for 
making the effort and spending the dollars over the past few months to preserve 
the interior of the building. He supported the motion. Council Member Huber said 
the comments heard that evening were about the issue of and the difference between 
preservation of the structure and preservation of the use. The U.S. Secretary 
of the Interior's Standards by its very existence in nature contemplated a changed 
use and stated that there needed to a possibility of reverting and returning the 
use. He concurred with the Standards. He also had had the pleasure of attending 
the Theatre, and over the years there had been a number of changes to the Theatre 
because of the need of the operators. He said due to the efforts of The Friends 
of the Varsity preservation of the interior had been generally protected. The 
Council was not in the business of deciding what businesses went into the Downtown. 
He felt that Mr. Keenan had complied with what the rules required and in some 
respects had gone even further. He appreciated the people who had spoken and understood 
the emotions and feelings that had arose but felt the motion presented was reasonable. 
Vice Mayor Wheeler concurred with Council Member Huber regarding the Council's 
charge to uphold the zoning ordinances that were in place and to apply those zoning 
ordinances and the U.S. Secretary of the Interior's Standards fairly to applicants 
that came before the Council. The HRB had reviewed the application on a number 
of occasions and along with the ARB and the Planning Commission had passed along 
to the Council unanimous recommendations to certify the Final EIR and approve 
the project. She understood the sentiments expressed by the speakers. A lot of 
great work had been done by the City's advisory boards, the applicants, and citizens 
in the community to ensure historic preservation of the building. She recently 
visited a new Border's facility on the Island of Kauai and said there were local 
performances for residents and visitors at the store and a portion of the proceeds 
from the day's sales was donated to the community theater. It was valid for the 
citizens of the community to express their concerns to the Council, and it was 
valid that the Council listen to those concerns. She felt that the appropriate 
place for those concerns to be examined by the Council and the community was in 
the Comprehensive Plan process. She hoped that those who had strong convictions 
about the way the City had done its zoning in the Downtown or in other areas of 
the community would participate in the Comprehensive Plan process. Council Member 
Rosenbaum said the EIR process had taken six months, and Mr. Keenan paid for the 
EIR and had made modifications to the buildings that were perhaps worth hundreds 
of thousands of dollars. The building had been improved as far as the aspects 
of historical preservation but that had not satisfied the public. He felt the 
Council had been unfairly castigated because it did not have within its power 
to save the Varsity as a theater. The only option the City had was to buy the 
theater; but he did not rate that as a high City priority. The City spent several 
million dollars per year on the arts, for instance people raised $500,000 to expand 
the Children's Theatre, and the same was true about the Williams House to the 
Museum of American Heritage. He supported the motion. Mayor Simitian asked given 
the comments by City Council Members, staff, and members of the public whether 
the City Attorney needed any direction to revise the findings prior to the approval. 
Mr. Calonne said he had heard nothing from the public comment that would cause 
him to question any of the proposed findings, but Council may have conditions 
or changes it wanted to consider. He referred to the draft resolution beginning 
with page 12 and said it dealt with project alternatives. He said the analysis 
was not necessary in the resolution. The environmental law compelled the Council 
to review alternatives when the impacts were not fully mitigated, but in staff's 
view every identifiable significant impact associated with the proposal had been 
mitigated. The alternative analysis pointed out why the staff and consultant felt 
it could not work. He was comfortable with the findings on the record. Mayor Simitian 
would not comment on the merits of the proposal because his colleagues had spoken 
thoroughly to that but he wanted to speak to the public that were present that 
evening and those that had spoken over the last year. He knew that people were 
immensely disappointed and in some respects he shared that disappointment but 
he said as a Council Member he was often left in the position of having to take 
some satisfaction in what he had accomplished rather than what he had not accomplished. 
He suggested to the members of the public who had been a part of the process that 
there was some value in doing that. He agreed with the comment that was made earlier 
that the project would not be what it presently was if it were not for the participation 
of the public, and the public should take great satisfaction in that. He said 
if the public cared about architecture, historic preservation, public safety in 
terms of earthquake preparedness, the people who participated in the process made 
a difference in the project. Prospectively, the improvements that had been made 
and would be made to the ordinance were done largely because of the comment and 
testimony that raised the issue to the top of the Council's agenda. In the future, 
other architectural buildings of historic merit or buildings that were at risk 
in an earthquake would not be at risk because of the public's effort. He felt 
there was true value in the discussion that had occurred over the last year about 
the importance of creating a sense of place in the Downtown and in particular, 
any developer or realtor who watched the process would think very carefully about 
what was proposed for the Downtown. He hoped the members of the public would take 
satisfaction in the significant role they had played. He supported the motion. 
MOTION PASSED 8-0, Schneider "not participating." RECESS: 10:35 P.M. - 10:43 P.M. 
REPORTS OF OFFICIALS 5. Follow-up Recommendations re Midtown Market Analysis Manager 
of Economic Resource Planning Carol Jansen said the staff report (CMR:255:95) 
recommended that the City Council approve a phased public/private partnering to 
work with all interested parties, primarily the commercial property owners in 
the Midtown core area. The primary issue was multiple property ownership and the 
need to work cooperatively within Midtown with all of the commercial property 
owners in order to achieve an integrated set of proposals. Staff had attempted 
to put together a set of recommen- dations that would assist those property owners 
in that effort as noted in the staff report. She pointed out that it was not anticipated 
that there would be any one solution in Midtown and that there might be several 
solutions or phased redevelopment solutions that could work on an interim basis. 
If the property owners agreed to the site plan and to funding the site plan exercise, 
then staff would recommend the City retain the services of a traffic engineering 
consultant to look at a number of traffic issues. In addition, the City would 
provide the services of a qualified retail financial consultant to provide pro 
forma analyses of the site plan alternatives within the Midtown core area. She 
referred to the staff report regarding Phase II. Council Member Andersen asked 
staff to elaborate on the time line. Ms. Jansen said if the property owners were 
ready to proceed immediately, then staff would return to the City Council with 
a Budget Amendment Ordinance to allocate the funds for the two consultant services. 
The time line would be approximately three to five months. Council Member Kniss 
asked whether the property owners would be required to spend moneys prior to the 
City's expenditure of funds. Ms. Jansen envisioned the City would have a letter 
of agreement on a "not to exceed basis" from the property owners to fund an architect 
in order for staff to return to the Council for alloca- tion of funds for the 
consultant services. She said it would be a quid pro quo. Council Member Schneider 
referred to the amounts in Phase I for the preliminary traffic analysis of $15,000 
and the consultant costs at $7,500 and asked whether that was an estimate of how 
much it would cost the property owners for their part. Ms. Jansen said it would 
cost approximately $7,500 to $15,000 to prepare conceptual site planning. The 
cost was dependent on the amount of alternatives the property owners wished to 
pursue. Council Member Schneider asked what was envisioned for the site preparation. 
Ms. Jansen said it would physically show building footprints for retail purposes, 
areas of parking with counts related to the parking, property lines, egress and 
ingress, and general circula- tions patterns as well as the portions of the project 
that would be anchor versus satellite tendencies. It might involve in some cases 
retention of existing buildings, removal of only a portion of the buildings, or 
ultimately removal of all of the buildings within the core area. Council Member 
Schneider asked whether property owners would be required to pay for the entire 
area if only one-third agreed to participate and what plan would be developed 
if the other two-thirds disagreed. Ms. Jansen said paying for the plan was a decision 
for the property owners. Without the formation of a redevelopment agency, there 
was an inherent danger with multiple ownerships that the other two-thirds would 
disagree with the plan. Vice Mayor Wheeler asked staff to define the Midtown core 
area. Ms. Jansen said the area was bounded by Middlefield Road, Colorado Avenue, 
Midtown Court, and Moreno Avenue which had nearly a 40 percent vacancy. Vice Mayor 
Wheeler asked which streets in the Midtown core area would be a part of the proposed 
traffic study. Ms. Jansen said the traffic study would look at Middlefield Road, 
in particular the two-lane versus four-lane configuration, and what projected 
affects that would have on other streets within the area. If a decision were made 
to look further at that issue, then further traffic analyses would need to be 
done. Vice Mayor Wheeler asked whether the scope of Phase I would be completed 
and whether Council would then have an opportunity to decide if it wished to proceed 
with Phase II. Ms. Jansen said yes. Since Phase II also involved zoning actions, 
Council's actions would be necessary to provide direction to the staff. Vice Mayor 
Wheeler asked for the level of staff involvement given the nontraditional role 
envisioned for the consultants. Ms. Jansen said the model for the process was 
based on the conduct of the Midtown Market Analysis. When staff received the bids 
from the consultant for the Midtown Market Analysis, it was significant- ly higher 
than what was ultimately agreed upon because of the enormous amount of community 
involvement on the part of the consultants. Specifically, the decision was made 
to proceed with the consultant but to limit the consultant's attendance at public 
meetings to Council and predetermined meetings. Additional staff time would be 
required to represent the consultant's findings on a number of occasions to property 
owners, residents, merchants, and neighborhood associations, etc. Vice Mayor Wheeler 
asked Ms. Jansen to identify the staffing. Ms. Jansen said the staffing would 
include the Planning Department, Transportation Division, and the City Attorney's 
Office, as well as her staff. Council Member Huber asked about the role for the 
noncommercial neighborhood groups. Ms. Jansen said they would be participants 
in the working group and would work with the site planning consultants that the 
commercial property owners hired. The Co-op representative had offered to play 
that role for the Co-op membership and residents in general. She had also spoken 
to Debbie Mytels who represented the Midtown Residents Association as well. Debbie 
Mytels, 2824 Louis Road, said generally the Midtown Residents Association (Association) 
felt pleased with the approach but there were several areas of concern which included 
the overall goals of the process, participation guidelines, and the proposed new 
Neighborhood Commercial Shopping Center Zone. She asked the Council to look at 
the goals of the process as outlined in the staff report (CMR:255:95). The Association 
certainly agreed that economic revitalization was crucial but felt that a narrow 
focus on economics would result in a master plan that did not meet all of the 
community objectives and might ultimately degrade the quality of life. She asked 
the Council to direct staff to modify the goal of the planning process and to 
specifically state that the goal was to focus not only on the economic goals but 
the concerns of the community, e.g., retail convenience, pedestrian-friendly, 
local scale and community spaces. Sylvia Gartner, 824 Moreno Avenue, member of 
the Midtown Residents Association, said a lot of the issues were addressed. She 
spoke on her own behalf and said she liked the idea of redevelopment. Her specific 
concern was that the rezoning seemed to indicate a feeling that one store could 
be over 20,000 square feet which was in conflict with the feelings of the Association 
that local scale meant that one store would not be so large as to completely swamp 
the neighborhood. She supported the vision of the neighborhood which was created 
at the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) workshop last year, and she 
hoped that that would be taken into consideration for any future plans for Midtown. 
Lynn Chiapella, 631 Colorado Avenue, said Midtown had been a successful center 
overall for about 40 years and had contributed to the City's revenues. The sales 
tax revenue was $12 million in taxable sales per year. In terms of sales revenue 
per square foot, Midtown had more sales per square foot than any of the other 
commercial areas. She asked what the City would provide the Midtown area. She 
felt the City had not been consistent in providing street trees, sidewalk repairs, 
etc.. The Hoover Park Neighborhood Association and Midtown Residents Association 
had requested a comprehensive traffic study since 1978 because of the spillover 
traffic from Bryant and Cowper Streets through the Colorado corridor. She asked 
that the consultant consider a two-lane option with a center left-turn lane on 
Middlefield Road with islands for pedestrian safety. She felt all of the comments 
in the 1989 Citywide Land Use Transportation Study were ignored in the report 
-- the key issue was how to improve the appearance, parking, and circulation. 
She asked that the caveats that were put into the Midtown Area III Section on 
pages 39, 40 and 41 be included by staff in its considerations; that the traffic 
consultant be included in the study; and that the traffic on all of the surround- 
ing streets, e.g., Cowper, Colorado, Bryant, Moreno, Marian, and Ross, be measured 
as well as revisiting the parking requirements in that area. She also requested 
that the Public Works Department be directed to fix the streets that had already 
been identified as dangerous. She said neither the zoning nor the building caps 
should be changed until the EIR for the Comprehensive Plan was done. Herb Borock, 
2731 Byron Street, said he believed that the staff report was a continuation of 
the piecemeal policy and environmental strategy that had been seen for the past 
several years in Midtown that seemed to be geared toward what could be done to 
help commer- cial property owners without integrating that decision with the affects 
or the needs of the neighboring residents or how it affected traffic in the neighborhood. 
He gave a brief history of what had occurred since the 1989 Land Use and Transportation 
Study, e.g., the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) for the Neighborhood Commercial (NC) Zone 
was reduced from 1.0 to 0.4 FAR and at the same time the allowable office FAR 
was stated 0.25 which essentially meant that the allowable office FAR went from 
25 percent of the buildable commercial FAR to 60 percent of the building FAR. 
Empty buildings that were nonconforming were allowed to remain nonconforming even 
if they remained empty for over a year, e.g., the Wells Fargo building. He said 
the major problem throughout the NC was that there had been a change from neighborhood 
serving retail uses to destination retail and to office uses. He said as some 
of the properties became vacant, staff looked for ways to help the property owners 
by changing the allowable uses in the NC zone in general, but in fact it had been 
applied just to the Midtown because in reality that was where the vacancies occurred. 
He noted the inconsistencies with the Draft Comprehensive Plan and the Land Use 
Map. Ron Wolf, San Carlos Court, lived adjacent to the Midtown shopping area and 
was a founding member of the Midtown Neighborhood Association. He appreciated 
the City's focus on the Midtown area. He asked the Council to address specifically 
the makeup of the staff recommended working group. He referred to the staff report 
(CMR:255:95), page 13, last paragraph, which generally described the makeup of 
the working group, and suggested that a full one-third of the working group members 
be area residents, who them- selves were not property owners, developers, or City 
staff. He said that the inclusion of residents in the process to date had fallen 
short of the standards that the City had demonstrated in other areas. The staff 
report was substantially in agreement with the residents' goals, and he appreciated 
the effort and focus that had gone into the process. Gloria Brown, 1766 Fulton 
Street, did not want Safeway Store to get lost in the process. She said the shelves 
were bare and more space was needed. Kathy Williams, 889 Colorado Avenue, said 
she wanted a Midtown area that would provide the majority of her needs, e.g., 
a hardware store. She felt there were enough markets and preferred to see other 
variety of retail uses. MOTION TO CONTINUE: Mayor Simitian moved, seconded by 
Wheeler, to continue the item to the June 12, 1995, City Council meeting and to 
allow those members of the public who did not speak that evening to address the 
Council. Mayor Simitian declared the Public Hearing closed. Council Member Andersen 
suggested that the public hearing remain open to allow those that had not spoken 
an opportunity to do so. Council Member Fazzino concurred with Council Member 
Andersen. Mayor Simitian said he would reopen the public hearing and allow testimony 
at the next meeting from individuals who had not spoken that evening. Council 
Member McCown asked staff to provide an excerpt from the 1989 Citywide Land Use 
and Transportation that referred to the prior analysis of the Midtown area. Council 
Member Huber asked staff to incorporate the four goals expressed by Ms. Mytels 
into the proposal. MOTION TO CONTINUE PASSED 9-0. COUNCIL MATTERS 7. Council Comments, 
Questions, and Announcements Mayor Simitian announced that City Clerk Gloria Young 
had received an award of distinction from the City Clerks Association of California. 
ADJOURNMENT: The meeting adjourned at 11:35 p.m. ATTEST: APPROVED: City Clerk 
Mayor NOTE: Sense minutes (synopsis) are prepared in accordance with Palo Alto 
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meeting tapes are made solely for the purpose of facilitating the preparation 
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