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'I'm very discouraged': Morale is low as Portola Valley officials face state rejection of its housing element

Original post made on Aug 10, 2023

Following the state’s latest rejection of Portola Valley’s housing element draft late last month, morale is low among town officials.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, August 10, 2023, 11:47 AM

Comments (8)

Posted by Clevenger
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 10, 2023 at 12:31 pm

Clevenger is a registered user.

Congratulations to the state for sticking to its moral guns in the face of elite and moneyed opposition.

Posted by Dave Ross
a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Aug 10, 2023 at 12:43 pm

Dave Ross is a registered user.

Day, Turcott and Eastman are pretty smart guys. Why not put them in charge of meeting the HCD requirements?

Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Aug 10, 2023 at 2:12 pm

Joseph E. Davis is a registered user.

This is simply abusive behavior by deranged YIMBYs in the state government. Of course, large majorities of Portola Valley voted for this, so it's hard to feel too sorry for them.

Posted by N. Berry
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Aug 10, 2023 at 3:40 pm

N. Berry is a registered user.

My question is how and when does the state decide that a community is built out and no longer must completely redesign its structure?
When a community which has, over a long period of time, developed thoughtful planing regulations with the support of it’s residents, why is it the state’s authority to overrule that?

Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Aug 14, 2023 at 6:57 am

pogo is a registered user.

N. Berry asks "when does the state decide that a community is built out and no longer must completely redesign its structure?"

It's a good question but I would suggest that "the state," that is, politicians in Sacramento, never know. But you know who would know? It's local government. In fact, that's what local government is for!

For Sacramento politicians to usurp what is so clearly and obviously a local issue - with subtleties and nuances that they could never understand - is truly absurd. Local officials know what's best for their communities. That's why they are there!

Posted by PH
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Aug 14, 2023 at 8:46 am

PH is a registered user.

@N. Berry "When ....."

The actual answer is probably never.

In cities like MP and RWC there is continual "infill" redevelopment of existing sites with more intense development. RWC and MP both have projects to scrape existing commercial sites, and replace them with new, larger ones. Similar rezoning and intensification can also happen with housing.

I was a seated on a "sustainable" platform 30 years ago. In my experience, the "growth" mentality never stops and the bureaucracy is habituated to perpetual growth.

When cities update general plans they almost always intensify the zoning.

Maybe you want to ask, "When would state rules stop shoe-horning housing into Portola Valley?

I don't know. I think its reasonable that the state require cities to build housing commensurate to their employment. But towns like PV don't really have job densities and probably run a housing surplus not a deficit.

So why is the State in your face? Honestly. Tech growth needs housing, and PV has lots of unused land. The state is pretending to address "equity", but, some amount of San Mateo housing quotas are "shared" among cities in that county.

The "equity" thing is really a bait-and-switch government snafu in which HCD rules use "affordability" as a pretext for forcing towns like PV to upzone for multi-family housing, which, when built will become luxury housing. It's not possible to zone for "affordability" or to force private developers to build it.

I don't know the RHNA "sharing" rules, but I fear that PV might always be on the hook to swallow some portion of San Mateo County housing obligation whether or not PV itself "grows".

So long as SMC jobs grow, PV might be on the hook to build more housing, and it will always be on the hook to build more "affordable" housing whether that is possible or not.

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 14, 2023 at 12:41 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

" It's not possible to zone for "affordability" or to force private developers to build it."


And yet, progressives continue to say you can.

Posted by David B
a resident of another community
on Aug 16, 2023 at 1:05 pm

David B is a registered user.

PV's experience with the state (moving target, unrealistic rules, micromanaging, etc.) is akin to what homeowners go through with cities when trying to get a development approved.

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