The Jan. 30 letter is unsigned, and written before the council adopted its draft plan on Jan. 31, but City Manager George Rodericks said residents Jeff Morris and Rod Shepherd are members of the coalition. The town must plan for the development of 348 new housing units, per its 2023-31 Regional Housing Needs Allocation.
"Atherton Housing Coalition's proposal for the Housing Element complies with HCD requirements and incorporates ideas that have a higher likelihood of coming to fruition than what is in the current draft of the Housing Element," the letter states. "We recognize that this is a difficult time for everyone and gratefully appreciate your efforts on behalf of the Town to ensure the character of the community is maintained, while we plan to satisfy our RHNA allocation. It is our hope that you will discuss our plan at theCity Council meeting on January 31, 2023."
The group is proposing:
•Gilmore House — proposal to include six housing units in the area where the Gilmore House sits now in Holbrook-Palmer Park. AHC proposes that six of those units be set aside as affordable.
•Corporation Yard at Town Center — proposal to include four housing units in the area where the Town Center Corporation Yard sits now in the Town Center. AHC proposes that 2 of those units be set aside as affordable.
•28 Almendral Ave. (Menlo Park Fire Protection District property) — proposal to rezone this parcel to the PFS Zone and include four workforce housing units at 28 Almendral.
The group opposed any multifamily zoning along El Camino Real and Valparaiso Avenue, which were ultimately both removed from the town's draft housing element. It also is against developing multifamily housing "near" school campuses in town, as it believes adequate multi-family faculty and student housing can be located wholly on campus.
The proposal accepts the town's inclusion of backyard accessory dwelling units (ADUs), vacant lots and urban lot splits (through Senate Bill 9).
The coalition proposed that the town petition the state for legislation to provide an extension of the timeline for obtaining a certified housing element.
The Atherton Housing Coalition wants Atherton to commit to create an affordable housing fund, which will receive the proceeds from the new inclusionary fees. The fund should also be available for charitable donations to increase the size and scope of the affordable housing effort.
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