Menlo Park council commits to more housing, but not everyone's on board
Original post made on Nov 12, 2007
Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, October 31, 2007, 12:00 AM
on Nov 12, 2007 at 5:23 pm
Technically, I think its true that "housing advocates" can sue cities, but clearly this does not mean that they can force cities to build housing, or even to change their General Plans, or even pay monetary damages.
As I recall from my conversations with the City Attorney, it means that housing advocates might have stronger grounds to oppose or block city approvals of non-housing projects. This makes the stymied office or retail developer the real party in interest not the city.
Frankly, I can think of worse things to fear than housing advocates blocking office complexes, but in any case, I think the reporter should qualify who is suing whom for what rather than raise the cloud of a non-specific lawsuit, which arguably holds little actual threat to the city.
on Nov 12, 2007 at 6:29 pm
Rumor has it that the state housing advocates and affiliated nonprofit organizations are sponsored by real estate interests. Even if that's not true, it's hard for me to see flaws with deferring to market forces. Sure, some people won't be able to afford to live here, but a lot of others are moving out of the area because the towns/schools/roads are getting unpleasantly crowded.
You can't just mandate housing without becoming entangled in a host of other issues, blithely overlooked by those who care only about adding more housing. However, it's interesting to note that other local cities that have much larger quotas than we do seem to be much more irate about the forced imposition of housing. I suspect that any lawsuits may be backed by the cities that are seeking to wrest themselves from the authority of the housing zealots.
on Nov 13, 2007 at 8:10 am
It seems that creating/preserving open space should be of higher priority than more housing. Has there ever been any serious discussion in this town about asking the citizens of Menlo Park to support the buyback of land in centrally located city areas to increase parks and open space? This is frequently done by townships back east.