Tonight: Portola Valley meets on affordable housing


What should be done in Portola Valley to bring the town into compliance with state laws requiring communities to have housing that is affordable to people of moderate incomes? The town government is inviting residents to the Community Hall at Town Center at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, for an informal and moderated discussion of this issue.

Town Center is at 765 Portola Road in Portola Valley.

The town is negotiating to purchase 1.68 acres at 900 Portola Road, the former home of Al's Nursery, with plans for about eight homes there that would fulfill some of its affordable housing obligations. Former councilman and experienced mediator Steve Toben is set to moderate the discussion.

The town's general plan includes a chapter on housing that discusses in some detail the housing situation in town and the applicable regulations. The town recommends (in an announcement) that anyone planning to attend this Wednesday discussion to prepare by reading the housing "element" of the general plan. Go to this link.

The town is planning to finance the purchase of the former nursery site through the sale of two parcels designated for affordable housing in the Blue Oaks neighborhood. Town representatives will be available at the meeting to answer questions about this proposed land swap.

The invitation asks that residents "Please come to learn the facts about affordable housing in Portola Valley and what is being considered, to listen to others' opinions, and to share your own thoughts and ideas."


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Posted by Arch Conservative
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 6, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Well, there goes the neighborhood.
What's the median price in PV- $1,000,000?
Who is going to decide who is going to buy and to live in the "affordable housing"?

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Posted by Amused
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Jul 6, 2012 at 6:48 pm

> Well, there goes the neighborhood.

To each his own. Personally, I'm ok with having a family that makes up to $123,600 living nearby.

> What's the median price in PV- $1,000,000?

Do you even live in the bay area? $1M median? Do you even live on the peninsula? Ignoring the 500 sq ft 1Br/1Ba listing, the current cheapest home listing in PV starts at $2.5M.

But let's be clear, the "funds" for this project have already been collected when Paul Faye developed Blue Oaks. Either give it all back to him, or do a development. One thing I do know is that the funds from the lots can't move directly to the general fund ledger without a lawsuit. They were collected under the PV ordinance that arose from the 1990 housing element of the town plan that designated 15% of the lots from new developments to be used for affordable housing.

I don't live in Blue Oaks, but I did look there when we were shopping. I do support those who say a development there would be completely out of place. It would also subject those homes to paying for their own road maintenance and possibly forcing them to pay for the local swim/rec center.

Putting the development between a restaurant/shopping and a church seems entirely reasonable. As for the impact on the town itself, having housing seems best to me from a traffic standpoint. That section of road doesn't need the extra cars that Windmill would draw down.

Arch conservative? What's the difference from a run of the mill conservative? Do your eye brows go up when you talk politics?

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Posted by PV resident
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Jul 9, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Thanks for your input, Arch Conservative, but you live in Menlo Park so worry about your own neighborhood. As for me, a resident of over 35 years in PV, letting teachers, firefighters, or safety officials be able to move into the Valley would be great. They lived here when my family moved in and we were all the better for their presence.

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Posted by Arch Conservative
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Dear Amused,
Yes, my eyes do go up when I hear "politics" being discussed, but my lips do not move when I read.
No one yet has said who determines who is going to benefit from this "deal". But knowing politicians, I am sure that it will be "fair".
My eyebrows go up when I see and read of what goes on in politics today- doesn't everybody's?

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2012 at 12:06 am

"Portola Valley meets on affordable housing"

I'm enjoying the very simple irony of this headline.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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