Category Archives: PAMF Sunnyvale

“Hold Your Laughter But What Can $25,000 Get Us?” Writes Sunnyvale Planner Steve Lynch


“Please hold your laughter but  . . . . what can $25,000  get us?” writes Sunnyvale Principal Planner Gerri Caruso’s replacement, Steve Lynch, in an email to city transportation staff Heba El-Guendy and Jack Witthaus.

So . . . while the Sunnyvale Heritage District Neighborhood was earnestly advocating for safe and calm streets, the paltry $25,000 initially required of PAMF for traffic calming devices was considered laughable?
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"Hold your Laughter" Mocks Steve Lynch 4_27

“Hold your Laughter” Mocks Steve Lynch 4_27

FREE 28 Months of Thunderous Pile-Driver “Hammer-Rap” for the Neighbors, Courtesy of PAMF


Get ready to party to agitating, pile driver, hammering noise, and lots of it! The Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) did not seem to bat an eye at imposing 28 months of loud, 6 day work-week, intense construction noise to their neighbors despite numerous comments and complaints from community members during the June 23, 2009 hearing.

Palo Alto Medical Foundation Giant Excavator Digging feet away from residential homes on Jarvis Court, Sunnyvale

Palo Alto Medical Foundation Giant Excavator Digging feet away from residential homes on Jarvis Court, Sunnyvale

Before the neighbors are told, “Tough luck, there are overriding considerations as to why you must expect over 2 years of construction noise exceeding the City of Sunnyvale Noise Standards,” CEQA requires there be a thorough analysis of alternatives that could reduce this significant adverse unavoidable environmental impact to a less than significant level.

And . . there wasn’t. This is so despite the numerous comments on the noise problem, noise mitigation or lack thereof.
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Sunnyvale PAMF EIR Traffic Study A Morse Code to “The Boss”


The PAMF FEIR Traffic Analysis, apparently a Morse code to Sunnyvale Planning Officer Trudi Ryan, as well,  emails the Environmental Preparers David J Powers at the last-minute for HELP.

With only 4 DAYS until the June 23, 2009 Council Hearing, Ryan emails a request, “Karli and John, can you ask Fehr and Peers to provide an estimate of the percent of traffic on Bayview and Carroll that are associated with PAMF.”     Continue reading

Bottleneck Traffic in Line for PAMF Site?


PAMF’s planned location of the ambitious $120M, 270,000 square foot, 5 level  structure at the edge and within the Sunnyvale Heritage District Neighborhood is an incompatible choice, according to many, as  the site is not well-connected to the roadway network.               

The site is surrounded by two-lane former “horse and buggy streets” residential Carroll, S Bayview, S Sunnyvale Ave and Old San Francisco Road, with limited access. It may be like jamming an endless number of sand particles through an hour-glass timer within the neighborhood and slowly waiting for the particles to sift through the narrow funnels.         

NOTE: The street in front of the illustrated PAMF building is NOT a wide boulevard as drawn. It is currently two-laned Old San Francisco Road with stop signs at Cezanne and Bayview.  

  

PAMF View Surrounded by Two-Lane Residential Streets

PAMF View Surrounded by Two-Lane Residential Streets

 

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PAMF FEIR Says “No Thanks” to Additional Shadow Views from Building


Shadows are important to be aware of. So much, in fact, the City of Sunnyvale has a solar ordinance stating that no building permit shall be issued for any construction that interferes with solar access to the rooftop or blocks sunlight greater than 10% during ANY solar cycle. (19.56.020 Solar Envelope)

DEIR PAMF Shadows Limited Views

DEIR PAMF Shadows Limited Views

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Finding out just how deep the shadows will fall at other hours became quite a challenge and still remains UNKNOWN.

NOTE: The rooftops that fall in the shadow range have been highlighted to white by the consultant for the Lead Agency in preparation for the PAMF DEIR.

You can see how worrisome and deep the shadows fall during the winter months when a home needs sunlight the most. Continue reading

Can 75% of PAMF GARAGE Vehicle Emissions Vent Through the Ramps?


Why wasn’t the Illingworth & Rodkin, Inc Vehicle Exhaust Emissions Air Quality Report for the Palo Alto Medical Foundation PAMF Sunnyvale Underground Parking Structure, designed by Hawley Peterson Synder Architects, provided in the PAMF DEIR/FEIR for disclosure and review?

LATE for the party and PRESENTED for the first time ON THE EVE of the COUNCIL VOTE, the Air Quality report estimates 75% of the expelled carbon monoxide emissions to vent independently through these narrow ramps leading to the underground parking structure for PAMF to be located at 301 Old San Francisco Road.
PAMF Sunnyvale Ramp Illustration Leading to Underground Parking Structure

PAMF Sunnyvale Ramp Illustration Leading to Underground Parking Structure

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Is the $120M PAMF BUILDING a FIT in the Neighborhood?


Former Sunnyvale City Manager, Amy Chan, described Palo Alto Medical Foundation, a subsidiary of Sutter Health, PAMF’s 301 Old San Francisco Road location as both “at the edge of and within a residential neighborhood.” 

PAMF Aerial View to North

Palo Alto Medical Foundation, a subsidiary of Sutter Health, proposed PAMF $120M,  270,000 square foot, 5-level structure, designed by Hawley Peterson Synder Architects , is ambitious, to say the least. Is it a “FIT” with the quiet Heritage Neighborhood District?

WHY Did The City of Sunnyvale REQUIRE PAMF to Prepare an EIR?


A Public Agency, or Lead Agency, determines whether a “project,” such as The Sunnyvale Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), under The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA),  has potential for a direct physical change or a reasonably foreseeable indirect physical change in the environment.

CEQA is a statute that requires state and local agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions and to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible.

The lead agency determines if an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) will be required.

The Lead Agency for the PAMF Project, coincidently, was the City of Sunnyvale Planning Staff: Principal Planner Gerri Caruso and Planning Officer Trudi Ryan. The Environmental Consultants and Planners were David J. Powers & Associates.

Shortly before the Commission/Council Vote on June 23, 2009, Sunnyvale Planner Steve Lynch replaced Principal Planner Gerri Caruso. On an email dated 4/13/2009, Caruso wrote that she was resigning to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. PAMF004718

It’s important to NOTE: If the responsible agency believes that the environmental analyses in the CEQA document is incorrect or inadequate, CEQA Guidelines section 15096(e)(1) provides that a responsible agency may “…take the issue to court within 30 days after the lead agency files a NOD, or within 180 days of the commitment to go ahead or approve the project where a NOD is not filed.”

The PAMF Project was approved during the June 8, 2009 City of Sunnyvale Commission Hearing. The PAMF Project and EIR was approved and certified during the June 23,2009 Sunnyvale Council Hearing.

Copies of the PAMF DEIR/FEIR are available at the City of Sunnyvale Library and Planning Dept for review.

Will the PAMF Vents Exhaust Cross Property Lines?


Sunnyvale is a windy city. The wind does not always blow south. In fact, the wind blows from the southeast to the north 25%  of the time!

Information needed within hours, Caruso’s replacement Planner, Steve Lynch requests details regarding the Palo Alto Medical Foundation PAMF Parking Garage Exhaust Vents.

Lynch emphasizes to Mahlstedt urgency of the answers needed by the end of the same day to meet the PAMF project report deadline and advises him to “assume southward exhaust direction since it cannot vent across property lines.”

Why did Lynch advise the architect to “assume south” when the wind blows toward the north as well?

And why was an Air Quality Impact Analysis omitted from request? Is the air healthy?

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Steve Lynch requests Parking Exhaust Vent Stats on May 5, 2009

Steve Lynch requests Parking Exhaust Vent Stats on May 5, 2009

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PAMF Chimney Type Parking Garage Vents Dispel Hazardous Air Pollutants Adjacent to Residential Homes


How did the objectionable, massive, 94dBA Parking Garage Exhaust Vents for the Sunnyvale Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF),  fly under the radar without full public disclosure or analysis?

Architects Hawley Peterson Synder state the purpose of the imposing PAMF Garage Exhaust Vents, is to ventilate the carbon monoxide/air toxins/exhaust accumulating from vehicles circulating, parking and exiting PAMF’s two-level, 150,000 s.f. underground garage to total the capacity of 399 parking spaces.

Notably non-existent and missing from the PAMF Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) and the Final Environmental Impact Report(FEIR) were any identifiable Architectural Illustrations, discussions or analysis of the loud, powerful vent structures designed to be placed just a few feet away from residential homes.

PAMF Parking Garage Exhaust Vents

14 Foot Tower PAMF Parking Garage Exhaust Vents Adjacent to Residents Home

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The placement of the vents was discovered shortly before the June 8th Sunnyvale Commission Hearing, when, despite months of meetings with the Sunnyvale Planning Staff, a keen resident, Tynna Jones, pointed to the two empty boxes on an illustration, identified simply with an “x,” at both the northwest and northeast of the PAMF site design and asked “what are these?”

Trudi Ryan, serving as both PAMF EIR Lead Agency and Sunnyvale Planner, responded, oh, I don’t know, I’ll find out.”

Thus began a frustrating, perilous quest to find out what the function of the vents were for, what would be the intensity of the noise measured by dBA, what amount and how dangerous would the toxic emissions be (still not adequately answered), Air Quality impacts, the distance from each property lines, etc, only to be subject to vague and non-responsive answers from the Sunnyvale Planning Staff.

As a matter of fact, Sunnyvale Planner Steve Lynch replied to our inquires “Your comments will be forwarded to the Sunnyvale Commissioners.” “Comments?” we replied, “these are questions!”

Our questions were of little concern to the Sunnyvale Planning Staff and never fully answered.

This illustration of the vents, from Hawley Peterson Synder Architects, was presented and viewed for the first time on June 23, 2009 during the Council Hearing.

Both Sunnyvale Council Members John Howe and Melinda Hamilton remarked about the vents during the hearing, “I wouldn’t want to live near those . . .” yet approved and voted “yes” anyway.

Solely identified by decibel levels of the PAMF parking lot vents for each (east and west unit): FEIR Appendix J, pg 13 states 94 dBA at 5 feet. Both vents are 40-horsepower garage exhaust fans and very close to residential homes. According to Table 2, 94 dBA falls within the range of Night Club with live music.