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Zoning changes needed to get Menlo Park's housing element OK'd could allow for up to 100 units per acre

Original post made on Aug 25, 2023

The Menlo Park City Council is moving forward with zoning changes to dramatically increase building density in future developments, in order to get its housing element accepted by the state.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 25, 2023, 11:03 AM

Comments (10)

Posted by Karl
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Aug 25, 2023 at 12:39 pm

Karl is a registered user.

Naturally, these projects will have no environmental impact or increase traffic congestion and further stress our antiquated Cal Water and PG&E grid. Please stop the group think and virtue signalling. Sacramento politicians are using the fig leaf of equity to line the pockets of the real estate lobby - and they have no qualms about destroying our quality of life on the Peninsula. When will the madness end? Only when people stop voting for the Blue fascists. Wake up, people!

Posted by CyberVoter
a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 25, 2023 at 4:20 pm

CyberVoter is a registered user.


You are correct. We will never satisfy the zealots that run HCD until they have destroyed all differences between neighborhoods in CA! The only solution is to fight the requirements & vote out Becker & Berman as a message to the State.
Otherwise we will all be living in high rises & taking the bus to work. If I wanted that, I would have stayed in New York!

Posted by Kevin
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Aug 25, 2023 at 10:31 pm

Kevin is a registered user.

Sorry but I want my kids to be able to live around here. Sad to see people focused on preserving Menlo Park into increasing unaffordability. I'm in favor of Menlo Park evolving into a higher-density, more vital and more walkable hometown. More young people and fewer R1 curmudgeons ;) !

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 26, 2023 at 7:35 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.


More housing in Menlo Park and more density won't make it "affordable", just less expensive. There's a BIG difference.

Posted by Menlo Lifestyle
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Aug 31, 2023 at 9:04 am

Menlo Lifestyle is a registered user.

"More housing in Menlo Park and more density won't make it "affordable", just less expensive."

And it will drag down all of the existing property values with it. Y'all thought Measure V was about one neighborhood. It never was. The YIMBY Coalition and SF dense housing advocates NEED the city council to be able to change single family zoning unfettered if they will achieve their goals.

And worse yet the voters sent Nash back to the city council.

The Dems in Sacramento know they have permanent jobs. That's why they don't even really campaign. Why should they? The county regularly votes 80-20 Democratic. These are the people that are destroying your city and your investment.

Posted by Karl
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Sep 1, 2023 at 10:49 am

Karl is a registered user.

Here's a thought, Big Tech companies should cut salaries by 75% and housing prices will decline rapidly. Problem solved! {wink, wink}

BTW, how many of you "curmudgeons" go around town and wish there were more people, cars and housing. Not that many, I suspect. So vote accordingly!

Posted by Karl
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Sep 1, 2023 at 10:54 am

Karl is a registered user.

Menlo Lifestyle: Well said and spot on!

Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 14, 2023 at 11:57 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

“The cost to build affordable housing is unsustainable in the long term,” said Muhammad Alameldin, a policy associate at the University of California, Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation. “And that cost needs to go down to get us out of the housing crisis.” A Sacramento Bee analysis of more than a dozen affordable housing communities recently opened, under construction or in advanced planning stages found that it almost always costs at least $500,000 to build a single unit of affordable housing in Sacramento. More recently, that price tag has frequently eclipsed $650,000 on substantial projects."

Read more at: Web Link

Posted by PH
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Sep 14, 2023 at 12:14 pm

PH is a registered user.

The LA Times did its own study putting the figure closer to $1M. Web Link There's a pay wall. It seems in their article that "apartment" means "unit." They say the highest subsidies are in our area.

I did read online somewhere that Santa Clara County's housing bond was responsible for creating some number of affordable units. When I did the math it put the subsidy much lower at about $350k or so, which I thought was pretty good. They don't say whether or not their bond partially or fully funded those units.

Menlo Park first subsidized housing in Belle Haven using RDA funds to buy land along Hamilton Ave through eminent domain. At that time I was very curious and pushed staff to figure out what the per unit subsidy was for that project. What I learned then was that staff just doesn't think like that. I never got a number from them. My best recollection is that I did some back of the envelope and got estimates from $350k-$500k per unit.

Estimates put homelessness in CA at 170k people, and the rent burdened population in the millions.

At $.5M per unit, it would cost $85B to house just the homeless while providing no subsidized relief to the rent burdened.

Posted by PH
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Sep 14, 2023 at 2:18 pm

PH is a registered user.

From Peter's Bee article:

"In a series of interviews with The Bee, prominent affordable housing developers and housing policy experts said it can take years to assemble the public financing for affordable housing communities, and that builders often have to cobble together funding from as many as eight or 10 different sources. That effort doesn’t just take time, it can also add millions to a project’s budget, as teams of lawyers, bankers and consultants negotiate the terms of each financing piece. Meanwhile, developers are forced to sit on land they’ve purchased, all while continuing to pay taxes and insurance on those properties."

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