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Town Square

Gordon forms housing review committee

Original post made on Feb 19, 2013

About a dozen representatives from cities within Assemblyman Rich Gordon's district will join him on a new committee to review the state's housing element process. He represents Menlo Park, Atherton, Woodside and Portola Valley, among other cities.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, February 19, 2013, 8:14 AM

Comments

Posted by Enough, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Feb 19, 2013 at 12:18 pm

What, exactly, is the punishment for NOT complying with the state law? Menlo Park is so overstuffed with humanity, we might be better off taking the punishment rather than complying with the law. I am typically a rule-follower, but some "laws" are in need of breaking. No more housing. Please.


Posted by Dave Boyce, Almanac staff writer
on Feb 19, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Dave Boyce is a registered user.

A Bay Area city or town without an ABAG certified housing element can face penalties, including:

An enforced zoning category for as many as 20 homes per acre.

A halt to property development by suspending the town's right to issue building and planning permits.

An enforced shortening of the window of processing time that a town has for developing properties.

Noncompliant towns are also open to lawsuits by affordable-housing advocates. A loss in court can mean reimbursing the advocacy group for attorney fees. Pleasanton lost in court and paid $2 million in attorney fees.


Posted by Just the facts, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 19, 2013 at 1:43 pm

No. The Pleasanton lawsuit is irrelevant to this discussion. Pleasanton violated state law by limiting the number of houses that could be built. They fought in court for ten years.

The current problem arises because of NEW laws (again, irrelevant to the Pleasanton case) that require an untenable level of new homebuilding, especially subsidized housing for people with very low incomes. We don't know what the consequences will be for not complying with the new laws. They're too new! But because it is essentially impossible for cities like ours to meet the mandates, something will have to give.

We are not the only mid-peninsula city to be challenging these ill-conceived dictates. Too bad our hometown newspaper seems so unwilling to support these efforts. More homes will not equal more subscriptions; reducing the overall quality of life is more likely to result in lowered property values and perhaps the inability of the community to continue to support a paper like the Almanac!


Posted by old timer, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 21, 2013 at 3:40 am

Just what did our incompetent City Council think when they decided to approve FaceBook, with its 9000 new employees to be added to our City as well as Bohannon's as yet built towers with its over 2000 new employees and yet to be determined numbers of other wonderful additions to our city.

Eventually the voters will have an "uprising" and chop many heads over in staff and install a real "residentialist" minded City Manager, rather than the empire builder we just hired.