This is an empty, unused lot with no sign of construction not half a mile from Facebook’s HQ.
It could be filled with engineers in small apartments happily paying enough in taxes to house dozens or hundreds of homeless people, but it’s being used for… absolutely nothing.
Those engineers are living cities away, using up limited road capacity and wearing down pavement at Menlo Park’s expense, slowing everyone’s commute as they burn fossil fuels and happiness, increasing housing prices in San Jose and Palo Alto and making it harder for everyone else to afford rent.
(If not apartments, then a playground or a park or a grocery or literally anything other than an empty lot in an area where real estate prices are exploding. )
This is an absurd level of incentive alignment failure. I’m not sure what’s going on here (guess: regulations making it really-hard-to-impossible to build), but it’s causing a lot of pointless pain.