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Atherton council passes resolution decrying bills like SB 50

Original post made on Nov 7, 2020

The Atherton City Council approved a resolution on Nov. 4 decrying potential state legislation that could require cities and towns to allow more housing in their communities.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, November 6, 2020, 2:21 PM

Comments (8)

Posted by Anon Ymous
a resident of Atherton: other
on Nov 7, 2020 at 11:29 pm

Anon Ymous is a registered user.

Interesting that closing the Caltrain station helps remove some influence of SB 50 or similar laws. If you don’t want to be required to build housing near transit, just remove the transit.


Posted by David B
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Nov 9, 2020 at 12:31 pm

David B is a registered user.

All the "we want local control of the character of our town" protests reek of "we want states' rights to control the racial and social policies of our state". It's always just code words for "don't make us live next to people we don't want to live next to". I hate it.


Posted by Robert Cronin
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 9, 2020 at 1:46 pm

Robert Cronin is a registered user.

If the special folks in Atherton don't want to accept their responsibility to allow housing for all, then they should pay a fine. A big one. They can afford it.


Posted by Tecsi
a resident of another community
on Nov 11, 2020 at 1:09 pm

Tecsi is a registered user.

Atherton should join with other peninsula cities to make their case en masse. It is much more powerful when 5-10-20 cities join together, and puts pressure on the state to consider their wishes.


Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on Nov 11, 2020 at 1:13 pm

Neighbor is a registered user.

I do think towns should have control over what kind of development is done in their community. This has nothing to do with race and everything to do with maintaining open space. I also think it's important to make sure that people who are not of the same fortunate means as some of us, are still able to live in our towns. The two things are not mutually exclusive---and a forward-thinking town can plan for this, creating smaller homes that are more affordable, but not "packing them in" onto tiny lots or in undesirable areas, if there are any. Don't build it if you wouldn't want to live there after downsizing.


Posted by Tecsi
a resident of another community
on Nov 11, 2020 at 1:16 pm

Tecsi is a registered user.

Responding to comments from David and Robert:
- David, this is not a race issue, but I rather a reasonable right for communities to establish building codes they want mutually agree to.
- Robert, if no city wants to more housing, isn’t that the will of the people? Each city can determine whether it’s in their interest or no. Some may welcome the increased property and sales taxes, while others might prefer to forego these.


Posted by David B
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Nov 11, 2020 at 1:56 pm

David B is a registered user.

@Tecsi - I didn't say this specific case is a race issue, I just said it's the same mindset. I get that people want to dig in and defend their "way of life" in the face of change, but while "way of life" might be defined as big lots and no multi-family homes in Atherton, it's been used to exclude races/religions/genders elsewhere (and probably here too).

I think we all need to be very cautious, and very understanding of the unstated impact, when hiding behind "the character of our community".


Posted by Tecsi
a resident of another community
on Nov 12, 2020 at 9:57 am

Tecsi is a registered user.

@David B – good point about the caution. I think where we are concerned about discrimination (race, religion, gender), we have laws to safeguard against that.
There are 2 issues that I see in this particular discussion: density and affordability.
With regards to density, I don’t want to suddenly see 3-story condo buildings on each side of me. That seems fair. Isn’t that’s why we have zoning?
Affordability: the only way I see we can address this is subsidies for local workers. Maybe this is how public housing in NYC got started.
Now the state also wants to legislate density and affordability, in addition to race, religion, gender. To me, this feels like overreach.


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