News

Palo Alto fails in attempt to appeal housing mandate

Regional agency votes to reject city's arguments that challenge its assignment of 6,086 housing units

A view of El Camino Real from Arbor Real homes in Palo Alto. The city's appeal of the number of housing units it needs to plan for under the Regional Housing Needs Allocation was preliminarily rejected on Oct. 22, 2021. Embarcadero Media file photo by Olivia Treynor.

For the past month, dozens of Bay Area mayors, city managers and planning directors who are aggrieved by regional housing mandates have been tuning in to virtual hearings where their appeals were heard, acknowledged and invariably rejected.

On Friday, it was Palo Alto's turn to face defeat in front of the Association of Bay Area Governments, the regional agency that is charged with allocating 441,176 housing units to Bay Area's nine counties and 101 municipalities. Over the series of five hearings that began on Sept. 24 and that will conclude on Oct. 29, the ABAG executive board's Administrative Committee heard the arguments, offered its sympathy to the cities and voted to support preliminary denial of their appeals.

The cities' reasons for resisting the mandates in what's known as the Regional Housing Needs Allocation process were varied, even if the outcome was the same. Los Altos argued that the city is largely "built out" and that its low number of jobs doesn't justify the high housing targets. The city of Alameda pointed at the threat of sea level rise as a reason for why it's not well-suited for a housing boom, while Saratoga, Fairfax, Lafayette and Corte Madera cited wildfire threats and suggested that meeting the regional assignment would mean constructing residences in high fire hazard zones. The affluent Marin County enclaves of Tiburon and Belvedere both argued that they simply don't have the space for new housing.

"The town is simply built out and the few remaining vacant parcels are primarily located on steep slopes in the hills," said Christine O'Rourke, a consultant representing Tiburon in its appeal.

None of these arguments held sway with the ABAG committee, which is made of elected officials from throughout the nine-county region. While some ABAG executive board members, most notably San Ramon Mayor Dave Hudson, agreed with cities' critiques of the methodology that was used to distribute housing allocations across the region, they repeatedly reminded appellants that the debate over methodology had already been settled earlier this year. And the committee did not buy any of the arguments from the appellants who suggested that their specific circumstances merit a downward revision in their housing assignments. Nearly every vote to deny appeals was unanimous, though a few denials went ahead with a single dissenting vote from Novato Mayor Pat Eklund.

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Palo Alto's plea met a similar fate, with all ABAG board members present voting to deny the appeal. In its appeal letter, the city argued that its assignment of 6,086 units between 2023 and 2031 is unrealistically high. The city stated that ABAG had made inaccurate projections for housing capacity at numerous city parcels, leading to more than 1,000 excess units. And it also pointed out that the city had recently imposed office caps that limit commercial development, a move that effectively lowered Palo Alto's historically high jobs-to-housing imbalance, which is estimated at greater than 3 to 1. The city's moves to better align jobs to housing should be counted in the city's favor, the appeal argued.

"Instead of recognizing Palo Alto for taking measures to minimize job production in favor of restoring a better jobs/housing balance, the City is assigned a greater number of housing units than it otherwise would have been assigned without these measures," the city's appeal states.

Palo Alto Planning Director Jonathan Lait and City Council member Eric Filseth reiterated these points during Friday's hearing. Filseth told the ABAG committee that because of commercial restrictions that the city had adopted, it effectively stopped jobs growth even as other parts of the region are still approving job-generating commercial developments.

"Please don't punish us for this," Filseth said. "Instead, give us credit for attacking this and executing a plan that works."

The appeal proved futile. In addressing the city's points about technical errors, ABAG staff noted that even if there are discrepancies associated with particular parcels, that does not impact the city's overall housing obligation.

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"The Bay Area has millions of parcels and identifying a potential data issue on specific parcels is not a valid case for RHNA appeal," ABAG senior planner Gillian Adams said.

Committee members quickly agreed to deny the city's appeal. Hudson, who has long criticized Santa Clara County for exacerbating the region's housing crisis through massive jobs growth and meager housing production, suggested that Palo Alto can find ways to build many more housing units if it only makes the effort.

"We have to solve the problem," Hudson said during Palo Alto's appeal hearing. "Housing (production) is more than 1 million homes behind and the primary offenders are in Santa Clara County and one of them is before us right now."

Several housing advocates urged the committee to reject Palo Alto's appeal. Kelsey Banes, a Palo Alto resident who is the regional director for the Peninsula and south bay at YIMBY Action, was one of several speakers who rejected Palo Alto's contention that reduced office growth should be factored into housing quotas. Unbuilt offices, Banes said, don't put roofs over people's heads.

"The reality is that Palo Alto turned its nose up at hundreds of apartments this year, saying they are too tall, too dense, or have not enough parking," Banes said.

The biggest criticism came from East Palo Alto Mayor Carlos Romero, an ABAG executive board member who observed that Palo Alto had already seen its initial allocation of more than 10,000 units reduced by more than 4,000 before ABAG finalized its methodology. The city's arguments that it cannot meet its housing targets is belied by its success over the past three decades in attracting commercial development and creating jobs. He called Palo Alto "one of the wealthiest communities around, with a lot of wherewithal."

"For you to come before us and say that the past is forgotten and that now we must have other folks who have not had that type of generous jobs development carry the burden that has been created by your fabulous economic development, I do believe is disrespectful of the counties and neighbors around you," Romero said.

For Palo Alto, the verdict was in some ways predictable. The city's own planning staff had warned the council that the regional body is unlikely to further reduce the city's housing allocation before the council voted in May to nevertheless challenge the numbers. In supporting the appeal, Mayor Tom DuBois said at the May 18 meeting that the council has "a responsibility to the city to protect ourselves from state override, using all the means we can." He called the RHNA housing numbers "aspirational."

The Friday vote means that the city will have to either accelerate its housing production or find its powers to reject housing projects significantly curtailed thanks to recent state laws such as Senate Bill 35, which creates a streamlined approval process for housing developments in areas that fall short of their housing targets.

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Palo Alto fails in attempt to appeal housing mandate

Regional agency votes to reject city's arguments that challenge its assignment of 6,086 housing units

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Oct 22, 2021, 3:19 pm

For the past month, dozens of Bay Area mayors, city managers and planning directors who are aggrieved by regional housing mandates have been tuning in to virtual hearings where their appeals were heard, acknowledged and invariably rejected.

On Friday, it was Palo Alto's turn to face defeat in front of the Association of Bay Area Governments, the regional agency that is charged with allocating 441,176 housing units to Bay Area's nine counties and 101 municipalities. Over the series of five hearings that began on Sept. 24 and that will conclude on Oct. 29, the ABAG executive board's Administrative Committee heard the arguments, offered its sympathy to the cities and voted to support preliminary denial of their appeals.

The cities' reasons for resisting the mandates in what's known as the Regional Housing Needs Allocation process were varied, even if the outcome was the same. Los Altos argued that the city is largely "built out" and that its low number of jobs doesn't justify the high housing targets. The city of Alameda pointed at the threat of sea level rise as a reason for why it's not well-suited for a housing boom, while Saratoga, Fairfax, Lafayette and Corte Madera cited wildfire threats and suggested that meeting the regional assignment would mean constructing residences in high fire hazard zones. The affluent Marin County enclaves of Tiburon and Belvedere both argued that they simply don't have the space for new housing.

"The town is simply built out and the few remaining vacant parcels are primarily located on steep slopes in the hills," said Christine O'Rourke, a consultant representing Tiburon in its appeal.

None of these arguments held sway with the ABAG committee, which is made of elected officials from throughout the nine-county region. While some ABAG executive board members, most notably San Ramon Mayor Dave Hudson, agreed with cities' critiques of the methodology that was used to distribute housing allocations across the region, they repeatedly reminded appellants that the debate over methodology had already been settled earlier this year. And the committee did not buy any of the arguments from the appellants who suggested that their specific circumstances merit a downward revision in their housing assignments. Nearly every vote to deny appeals was unanimous, though a few denials went ahead with a single dissenting vote from Novato Mayor Pat Eklund.

Palo Alto's plea met a similar fate, with all ABAG board members present voting to deny the appeal. In its appeal letter, the city argued that its assignment of 6,086 units between 2023 and 2031 is unrealistically high. The city stated that ABAG had made inaccurate projections for housing capacity at numerous city parcels, leading to more than 1,000 excess units. And it also pointed out that the city had recently imposed office caps that limit commercial development, a move that effectively lowered Palo Alto's historically high jobs-to-housing imbalance, which is estimated at greater than 3 to 1. The city's moves to better align jobs to housing should be counted in the city's favor, the appeal argued.

"Instead of recognizing Palo Alto for taking measures to minimize job production in favor of restoring a better jobs/housing balance, the City is assigned a greater number of housing units than it otherwise would have been assigned without these measures," the city's appeal states.

Palo Alto Planning Director Jonathan Lait and City Council member Eric Filseth reiterated these points during Friday's hearing. Filseth told the ABAG committee that because of commercial restrictions that the city had adopted, it effectively stopped jobs growth even as other parts of the region are still approving job-generating commercial developments.

"Please don't punish us for this," Filseth said. "Instead, give us credit for attacking this and executing a plan that works."

The appeal proved futile. In addressing the city's points about technical errors, ABAG staff noted that even if there are discrepancies associated with particular parcels, that does not impact the city's overall housing obligation.

"The Bay Area has millions of parcels and identifying a potential data issue on specific parcels is not a valid case for RHNA appeal," ABAG senior planner Gillian Adams said.

Committee members quickly agreed to deny the city's appeal. Hudson, who has long criticized Santa Clara County for exacerbating the region's housing crisis through massive jobs growth and meager housing production, suggested that Palo Alto can find ways to build many more housing units if it only makes the effort.

"We have to solve the problem," Hudson said during Palo Alto's appeal hearing. "Housing (production) is more than 1 million homes behind and the primary offenders are in Santa Clara County and one of them is before us right now."

Several housing advocates urged the committee to reject Palo Alto's appeal. Kelsey Banes, a Palo Alto resident who is the regional director for the Peninsula and south bay at YIMBY Action, was one of several speakers who rejected Palo Alto's contention that reduced office growth should be factored into housing quotas. Unbuilt offices, Banes said, don't put roofs over people's heads.

"The reality is that Palo Alto turned its nose up at hundreds of apartments this year, saying they are too tall, too dense, or have not enough parking," Banes said.

The biggest criticism came from East Palo Alto Mayor Carlos Romero, an ABAG executive board member who observed that Palo Alto had already seen its initial allocation of more than 10,000 units reduced by more than 4,000 before ABAG finalized its methodology. The city's arguments that it cannot meet its housing targets is belied by its success over the past three decades in attracting commercial development and creating jobs. He called Palo Alto "one of the wealthiest communities around, with a lot of wherewithal."

"For you to come before us and say that the past is forgotten and that now we must have other folks who have not had that type of generous jobs development carry the burden that has been created by your fabulous economic development, I do believe is disrespectful of the counties and neighbors around you," Romero said.

For Palo Alto, the verdict was in some ways predictable. The city's own planning staff had warned the council that the regional body is unlikely to further reduce the city's housing allocation before the council voted in May to nevertheless challenge the numbers. In supporting the appeal, Mayor Tom DuBois said at the May 18 meeting that the council has "a responsibility to the city to protect ourselves from state override, using all the means we can." He called the RHNA housing numbers "aspirational."

The Friday vote means that the city will have to either accelerate its housing production or find its powers to reject housing projects significantly curtailed thanks to recent state laws such as Senate Bill 35, which creates a streamlined approval process for housing developments in areas that fall short of their housing targets.

Comments

chris
Registered user
University South
on Oct 22, 2021 at 5:39 pm
chris, University South
Registered user
on Oct 22, 2021 at 5:39 pm

Filseth, DuBois and Kuo

Quit wasting city resources on your fantasies and your own political purposes.

The city's resources are valuable and should not be wasted on poorly thought out ideas that have no chance.


PA Female Resident
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 22, 2021 at 10:57 pm
PA Female Resident, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 22, 2021 at 10:57 pm

YES! Great news! Housing is the number one stressor for so many people here. Along with anti-trust action against the mega-companies that concentrate too much wealth, we need to build as much housing as possible, and allow current housing to be adapted. Even getting rid of 20 foot setbacks, allowing 2-4 units per lot, not requiring off street parking not in the setback would help. It doesn't have to all be big buildings, though honestly I was looking at Channing House the other day and realizing - a big building doesn't have to be bad.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 23, 2021 at 10:22 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 23, 2021 at 10:22 am

"In just eight short years, Mountain View is being asked to grow by close to 30% under a new state housing mandate that has cities across California scrambling to rezone for a spurt of residential development.

State housing officials are requiring the nine-county Bay Area to zone for at least 441,176 new housing units between 2023 and 2031, a hefty increase from prior eight-year cycles. The high growth targets are seen as a way to ameliorate the regional jobs-housing imbalance and put a dent in the high cost of housing."
Web Link

441,176 housing units = close to 1,000,000 people, mainly young techies in $4K a month "affordable" aka workforce aka market rate housing.

The same tech whales who spent big to deny gig workers benefits and a living wage backed this bill and they thank you for supporting their bill which will increase demand but not lower the prices since less than 5% of the 441,176 housing units. How great that these units will be under-parked because all these workers are early adopters who won't need cars, commuting on their broomsticks.

PS: I have a lovely bridge to sell you now that rents tank and you'll be living large. Ignore all the congestion.


panative
Registered user
Midtown
on Oct 23, 2021 at 10:31 am
panative, Midtown
Registered user
on Oct 23, 2021 at 10:31 am

Happy to see this was denied. This region will become the new rust belt if we fail to build tons more housing, and soon. Are we Palo Altans ready to see the value of our homes plummet?


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 23, 2021 at 10:42 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Oct 23, 2021 at 10:42 am

Mountain View has a large growth in apartments in the Rengsdorff area. They also have the San Antonio buildings on the section east of El Camino - that whole area is now in construction.

Palo Alto is also in construction - homes are being upgraded and renovated with crews who come in to a house on the market and replace the whole interion with new kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, exterior landscaping. One such home sold the first week of Open House. They do a great job. Hard to imagine that all of this upgrading and renovation which is going at a good price is going to tolerate a breakdown in the R-1 concept. Other cities ar putting all of their time in the areas next to Caltrain, 101, El Camino for the apartment building new growth.


Chris
Registered user
Charleston Meadows
on Oct 23, 2021 at 12:16 pm
Chris, Charleston Meadows
Registered user
on Oct 23, 2021 at 12:16 pm

Do these people realize they are taking a flamethrower to the environment?

Do they realize there are too many people on Earth already?
California's out of water guys. At the same time Sacramento puts out mandatory water restrictions they are imposing mandatory population increases which is laughably ridiculous
Palo Alto is just barely over the water table. To drill into that and fill it in is SO BAD for the environment. You might as well be filling in the bay. Most of the trees in Palo Alto are dying because all the new construction has destroyed the underground rivers they use to drink.

What a joke this really is. Not a single homeless person will be housed. Peanuts will be thrown at BMRs while the true agenda of Facebook and Google will be pursued.

Just quit pretending you guys are philanthropists or something. Your credibility is below zero at this point.
This would be terrible for the environment, it will make affordability worse by far, just quit lying about it it's disgusting


chris
Registered user
University South
on Oct 23, 2021 at 3:51 pm
chris, University South
Registered user
on Oct 23, 2021 at 3:51 pm

chris to Chris,

The housing that will be built in Palo Alto will be more responsible than large sprawling houses built elsewhere.

You are distorting facts so that you can cling to plan to freeze Palo Alto in a not so environmentally friendly past.


Allen Akin
Registered user
Professorville
on Oct 23, 2021 at 8:41 pm
Allen Akin, Professorville
Registered user
on Oct 23, 2021 at 8:41 pm

@chris: For the sake of argument let's stipulate that multi-unit housing is more environmentally responsible than single-unit housing. But co-living housing is more environmentally responsible than multi-unit housing. Corporate dormitories are more environmentally responsible than co-living housing. Hot-bunked corporate dormitories are even more environmentally responsible. Eliminating population growth is more environmentally responsible than any new-housing option. Where, precisely, do you, personally, draw the line on what's mandatory and what's not? Why?


Chris
Registered user
University South
on Oct 24, 2021 at 3:17 pm
Chris, University South
Registered user
on Oct 24, 2021 at 3:17 pm

The US birth rate has been running well below replacement rate for years now.
It is a red herring in the housing debate.

The moral issue that the anti-housing City Council always avoids is that Palo Alto promoted jobs in the 50s through the 90s, far outpacing the growth of housing after the 70’s. It relied on other cities to act as bedroom communities.

Palo Alto reaped the supposed benefits of the jobs, but it is unwilling to allow any substantial amount of housing, in effect forcing other communities to pick up even more of the gap created by Palo Alto.

The City Council made ridiculous arguments in its appeal that nobody outside of the ruling clique in Palo Alto accept. The Housing Element Task Force should have no problem identifying parcels that are suitable for housing in Palo Alto. Of course, the Council put its thumb on the scale by nominating certain people to the group would would love to subvert it from achieving its objective.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 24, 2021 at 4:16 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 24, 2021 at 4:16 pm

What benefits? Being overrun by commuters who outnumber(ed) residents by 4:1 or 6:1 depending on which estimate you accept? Having to pay for residential parking permits and city staff to administer those programs? Having to subsidize the offices that pay no business tax and that displace resident-serving businesses? Having to listen to specious claims that densification will reduce rents and housing prices to "affordable" levels even though the new laws lack requirements for affordable/BMR housing? Having ABAG cavalierly refuse to hear appeals from local governments that a) the economy has changed due to the pandemic? b) that drought and fire risk make such unprecedented demands for growth dangerous? C) that congestion won't be a problem because everyone will ditch their cars? d) that public transportation and other infrastructure improvements aren't need to handle almost 1,000,000 new residents? e) that underparking new housing benefits neighborhoods more than developers? etc etc etc.


Mondoman
Registered user
Green Acres
on Oct 25, 2021 at 12:36 am
Mondoman, Green Acres
Registered user
on Oct 25, 2021 at 12:36 am

I don't get it - house values would have to drop by more than 80% in Palo Alto to make houses "affordable". How is that not off the policy loony deep end?


TimR
Registered user
Downtown North
on Oct 25, 2021 at 9:12 am
TimR, Downtown North
Registered user
on Oct 25, 2021 at 9:12 am

Time to start thinking like a big box retailer here: stack them high, and sell them cheap!


Allen Akin
Registered user
Professorville
on Oct 25, 2021 at 3:23 pm
Allen Akin, Professorville
Registered user
on Oct 25, 2021 at 3:23 pm

@Chris: "It [US birth rate] is a red herring in the housing debate." Maybe so, but that's not what I asked about. I learned what I wanted to know from your reply, though, so let's move on.

"The moral issue..." From this I understand you are arguing that every political unit must have a perfect balance of jobs and housing within its geographic limits, and if it doesn't, then someone (residents, City council, employers, developers, ?) has acted immorally?

"The Housing Element Task Force should have no problem identifying parcels that are suitable for housing in Palo Alto." Here we agree. But just as in the past, if the housing people actually need in Palo Alto isn't profitable, or isn't as profitable as other investment options, developers won't build that housing here.

The previous Housing Element folks identified opportunities for thousands of units, and the RHNA process requires that they be viable possibilities (not shams), but few have actually been built. Offices are more profitable. Luxury housing is profitable enough, but the market is too small to result in many new units. Land is cheaper in neighboring cities, so it's more profitable to build in those than in Palo Alto. Funding for affordable housing is scarce. However, hiring new employees is always profitable (otherwise the companies just won't hire), and that economic difference between hiring and housing is the main reason why we have a jobs/housing imbalance in the Bay Area. The situation is different elsewhere.


William Hitchens
Registered user
Mountain View
on Oct 26, 2021 at 5:57 pm
William Hitchens, Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 26, 2021 at 5:57 pm

It's far overdue for Palo Alto, and my city Mountain View, to tell the so-called "authorities" to shut up and go to Hell. Ignore the well-meaning fools. They must also consider Quality of Life, and for existing residents, cramming in more excessive housing and people degrades residents' deserved Quality of Life. As I see it, residents' rights are more important than the rights of people who don't live here but who want to ruin our lives. I feel really sorry for any ignorant fool who doesn't realize this. Consider not voting, nor having offspring.


Forever Name
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 26, 2021 at 9:00 pm
Forever Name, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 26, 2021 at 9:00 pm

Easy solution. Pao Alto and other cities impacted should just ignore the ABAG. Seriously. Who are these people and why are we giving them so much power over Palo Alto or any other city? Just ignore and move on.


Gale Johnson
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 27, 2021 at 4:56 pm
Gale Johnson, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Oct 27, 2021 at 4:56 pm

Going down the line of responses…

@PA Female Resident: I don’t agree with all your points, but do agree with one. I made the observation about Channing House years ago, back in the Liz Kniss era. I posted that I was sure there was another site on the ‘available for building’ site map that would accommodate another Channing House size building…with some exception allowances…height limit, and casting shadows and obstructing views of the mountains to the west…in adjacent neighborhoods. I made the argument then, that I repeat now…it would not cause rental rates to drop. You’ll see why in another post below.

@ Online Name: Thanks for taking a poke at the housing advocates who haven’t thought this through. One of your comments kinda faded away…the 5% one…but I filled in the words in my mind. Sorry, you’re going to be stuck with that bridge.

@ Modoman: I understand what you’re trying to say but the fact is there are are enough people who can afford housing here that we’re not going to become a Wild West ghost town, at least not very soon. Sadly, Palo Alto has become a city of the rich and for the rich. That wasn’t the case in 1961 when we moved here. We felt differently, living down here in SPA, from our neighbors to the north, but we were all Palo Altoans, and we lived where we could afford to live. We had teachers, a gardener, secretaries, firemen, doctors, one lawyer, living in our neighborhood. .Asians, blacks, and East Indians, were our neighbors.

@ Allen Akin: You always seem to get it right. Your one point about developers only building projects that yield the highest rate of return is spot on, and building affordable housing doesn’t fit their model. Will the “affordable housing” advocates ever understand that? And I hope you’ve answered the question about PA forcing neighboring communities to provide housing for workers who work in PA every day. Cheaper land and the ability to grow out yields lower housing costs, purchase or rent. ABAG doesn’t it.


Monroe
Registered user
Monroe Park
on Oct 27, 2021 at 4:56 pm
Monroe, Monroe Park
Registered user
on Oct 27, 2021 at 4:56 pm

Curiouser and curiouser (sic)
We froze jobs so now we should be able to freeze housing.
"Filseth told the ABAG committee that because of commercial restrictions that the city had adopted, it effectively stopped jobs growth even as other parts of the region are still approving job-generating commercial developments."


Gale Johnson
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 27, 2021 at 4:59 pm
Gale Johnson, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Oct 27, 2021 at 4:59 pm
Andy
Registered user
Stanford
on Oct 28, 2021 at 7:36 am
Andy, Stanford
Registered user
on Oct 28, 2021 at 7:36 am

We should do everything to exceed any mandates for more housing supply.

* taller structures

* mixed use

* higher density

* ADU's


Palo Alto, Mountain View can each TRIPLE their population and still have extra room if planned correctly with taller structures.

We should also allowing Stanford to build as many residential skyscrapers on their campus as needed.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 28, 2021 at 9:21 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 28, 2021 at 9:21 am

Andy, you forgot:

* produce more water

* produce more roads to accommodate all the new people without spending a dime or taking over more land for the new roads needed

* create parking without requiring the ADUs or high-rises to have parking

* invent curbside areas for the 3 trash bins since the curbs are already jammed with overflow cars

* support mixed use with yet more offices to atrtract more people to compete for "workforce"-rate housing costing $4,000+ a month

* support the environment after cutting down all the trees and greenery

* prepare to sacrifice people since ambulances and fire trucks can't get through the jammed roads, something that the Menlo Park fire chief has complained about for years

* buy binoculars to peer into neighbors homes from your high rises, ADUs and drones. Up with voyeurs.


David Ross
Registered user
Portola Valley
on Oct 28, 2021 at 10:46 am
David Ross, Portola Valley
Registered user
on Oct 28, 2021 at 10:46 am

In light of these rulings by ABAG, I am grateful for the prudence of the Portola Valley Town Council in avoiding a costly appeal. Taken together, every appellants' possible grounds for appeal by PV was struck down. Our Town's decision avoided costly litigation.

I hope that Some of the Town Council's strident critics over this issue now realize that this decision was not made rashly or via a wide-ranging conspiracy as some have claimed.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 28, 2021 at 11:06 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 28, 2021 at 11:06 am

David Ross, wonderful.

So how many housing units is Portola Valley required to build based on its jobs numbers? How many jobs are there in Portola Valley? Which big companies are in PV? What's the average lot size? How many big universities? Do you have 40% or more renters in PV?


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 7, 2021 at 10:23 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Nov 7, 2021 at 10:23 am

Reading the SF Chronicle 11/7/21 big article about housing in SF for low income and the SF Board of Supervisors trying to stall the building in dirty parking lots. Lots of locations that are ready for renovation and no action by SF city officials. So a major city in the state is lagging purposely that has available space while beating up suburban cities. And the new appointed AG Bonta is threatening action. What a bunch of political nonsnese - beat up suburban areas while leaving the obvious big city locations sitting there untouched. Everyone - can we please get this political game straightened out? Do not allow big cities to avoid action and let the state government then beat up on suburban cities. Time to clean house in this political jungle because lack of consistency in policies is going to cause many people to not get re-elected. Bonta - get on the SF city supervisors. Suburban cities - do not let the state get away with political activites which are killing this economy. We are in political chaos and allowing it to happen.


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