Excessive Office Development Threatens Ravenswood

A pending update to the 2013 Ravenswood Plan could forever change East Palo Alto by doubling the 1.4 million square feet of commercial office space already allowed there.

Excessive office space could result in negative impacts to the community and massive development next to the Ravenswood Open Space Preserve and its sensitive wetlands. The City of East Palo Alto has gathered input regarding community benefits, and will request community input on an environmental analysis. Residents have been speaking up and will need to continue to do so. Sign up to be notified of opportunities to voice your opinion.

Plan Could Bring Traffic, Gentrification, Displacement, Harm to Wetlands

In 2013, the East Palo Alto City Council adopted a “Ravenswood Business District/Four Corners Specific Plan” that provided for 1.4 million square feet of commercial office space along with housing, retail/civic, and light industrial development. In 2021, the council proposed a range of new potential development scenarios, the largest of which would have more than tripled office space to 4.2 million square feet. Green Foothills partnered with local residents to oppose excessive office space. As a result, in November 2021 the City Council voted to study a reduced-scale development scenario for the area and called for additional outreach to residents.

Green Foothills and East Palo Alto residents share some common goals. One goal is to not allow excessive commercial office space. Thousands of new office workers seeking nearby housing would cause gentrification and displacement of existing residents, along with exacerbating already terrible traffic. Ravenswood is East Palo Alto’s only open space preserve. Its wetlands provide irreplaceable habitat for several endangered species, absorb carbon from the atmosphere, and help to protect the local community against sea level rise. Not allowing excessive new office space would lessen the harm to residents and the environment.

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Please join us in the fight to protect East Palo Alto and sensitive Bay wetlands! Sign up to be notified of opportunities to voice your opinion on this issue. Communications are available in English and Spanish.

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Green Foothills appreciates every individual, agency, and foundation who makes our work possible and we are proud to recognize every contributor in Our Donor Community. Thanks to their generous support, we are able to champion land use decisions that affirm and support open space, biodiversity, climate resilience, and natural resources in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. To ensure local nature always has an advocate, please become a Sustaining Contributor today.


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