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'Two of my favorite things for a moment collided,' Scott Wiener on Woodside, mountain lions and how other towns try to block housing

Original post made on Feb 23, 2022

State Sen. State Wiener discusses ways Californians have tried to block housing initiatives and explains why he rolled his eyes when Woodside declared itself a mountain lion habitat.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, February 23, 2022, 11:29 AM

Comments (16)

Posted by CyberVoter
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 23, 2022 at 12:38 pm

CyberVoter is a registered user.

I recommend that local communities move to meet the letter of the law & ask their residents for their views going forward. After all, the Towns/Cities & even the State should implement the "Will of the People". SB-9 was pushed through the legislature by the Democratic Super-majority, with little resistance or publicity. Residence are only now waking up to the reality of the land grab & neutering of their local zoning/rules/desires.

The local politicians should follow the the will of their employers (the local voters). Reading the comments on the Almanac and talking with locals, the sentiment appears to support a referendum to void SB-9. If that is what thew locals want, the Town Officials should support it.


Posted by Betsy Roble
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 23, 2022 at 2:19 pm

Betsy Roble is a registered user.

Scott Wiener is a dictator in-training. It is amazing how his opinion trumps any landowner, individual, or local municipality. Arrogance in the extreme. Please Scott do tell us what car we should be allowed to drive, and while you are at it, how about legalizing narcotics - oh wait, you are already hard at work on that one.
He claims only a minority of towns are against his dictate - what about the several hundred communities that signed the now-pulled petition to repeal SB9?
Stop voting for and electing people like Scott Wiener who seem singularly focused on stripping away any individual choice of Californians.


Posted by Kevin
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Feb 23, 2022 at 3:30 pm

Kevin is a registered user.

Betsy, Cyber, I heartily disagree. "Local control" and associated local zoning laws are some of the most housing-onerous regulations in the Bay Area. Half-acre lot minimums and no ADUs / multi-unit zoning in our land-limited region epitomize the kind of regulations that artificially constrain housing supply. Your approach is never going not help with affordability.


Posted by MenloVoter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 23, 2022 at 3:52 pm

MenloVoter. is a registered user.

Kevin:

nothing but government subsidies is going to help "affordability" in this area. The land costs too much and the cost of construction is too high. It has nothing to do with land use restrictions. "Affordable housing" in this area is a myth.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Feb 23, 2022 at 4:52 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Menlo Voter is absolutely right.

Simply wishing for or legislating for affordable housing will not accomplish anything.

If we as a society want affordable housing then we are going to have to be willing to pay for significant taxpayer funded subsidies.

Sadly I suspect most of the proponents of affordable housing would not be personally willing to pay the new taxes required to fund such subsidies.


Posted by Kevin
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Feb 24, 2022 at 7:44 am

Kevin is a registered user.

Menlo Voter, Peter, both of you know that your claims are a cop-out. Menlo Park has a number of BMR units both for rent and for purchase, but those didn’t arrive via direct government subsidy - they came from developers (or developers fees) and zoning flexibility on density. Bay Area cities can absolutely increase housing supply, even for BMR units if they get more flexible with zoning and trade off greater density for more units including BMR units. This article about Long Island’s housing scarcity highlights one of the roots of the problem (land scarcity does exacerbate the issue here).

“The state has allowed local governments to operate like private clubs that exist for the purpose of denying opportunities to people who can’t afford to buy a single-family home.”

Web Link


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Feb 24, 2022 at 9:18 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

There is no free lunch.

Developers who provide BMR units do so by taxing the buyers of their market rate units with a higher purchase cost. This is a government mandated subsidy which INCREASES housing costs for some buyers to benefit the BMR renters/purchasers.


Posted by MenloVoter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 24, 2022 at 1:25 pm

MenloVoter. is a registered user.

Kevin:

And what do those BMR units cost? Are they really "affordable"? When they built Menlo Commons they were required to include four BMR units. When the project was complete they could not sell them because no one could qualify. The developers ended up buying the units themselves and renting them out at BMR. Just barely BMR.

You're ignoring simple economics.


Posted by Kevin
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Feb 24, 2022 at 4:56 pm

Kevin is a registered user.

Sorry guys, you’re grasping at straws to defend exclusionary zoning, while trying to take aim at something that actually works. I live in a development that has a number of highly desirable BMR purchase units. And Peter, localities also give the developers something to make the “taxation” more palatable, usually greater density.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Feb 24, 2022 at 5:21 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Giving the developer more density has no impact on the increased cost that they pass on to the market rate buyers.

Sorry there is no free lunch.


Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 24, 2022 at 6:07 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

No Kevin, we're grasping simple economics which you continue to ignore.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Feb 25, 2022 at 4:32 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Kevin - Please explain why it is fair to force market rate purchasers in a housing development to bear the costs of the BMR units in their development rather than having those costs borne by the entire community.


Posted by Westbrook
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Feb 25, 2022 at 4:44 pm

Westbrook is a registered user.

Giving the developer more density has no impact on the increased cost that they pass on to the market rate buyers.

Peter, I think you are wrong on this one, The developer will not charge more for market-rate units to make up for having to build BMR's, He can't,

Any developer will charge whatever the market will bear, regardless of BMR's not because.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Feb 25, 2022 at 5:15 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Peter, I think you are wrong on this one, The developer will not charge more for market-rate units to make up for having to build BMR's, He can't,"

Wrong - the developer MUST generate a profit and if he/she has to provide BMR units they will simply transfer that cost to their pricing for their market rate units. And the market accepts those inflated prices simply because demand exceeds supply for new housing.


Posted by Westbrook
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Feb 25, 2022 at 5:51 pm

Westbrook is a registered user.

Peter, you left off the last and most important part of my comment.

"Any developer will charge whatever the market will bear, regardless of BMR's not because".

Unless you are saying inversely a developer will charge less than market rate for units built in a property without BMR'S,

As an old Navy buddy used to say "ain't likely"



Posted by gtspencer
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Feb 26, 2022 at 9:54 am

gtspencer is a registered user.

Scott Wiener would have us all practicing socialism and following his orders.


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