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Original post made
on Jun 14, 2008
How do you get on a list for these houses?
A friend told me that Menlo Park increased its units by loosening the rules for exisiting "mother-in-law" units (which many people illegaly have) and making it inexpensive to get the permits to bting them up to code. Good idea!
palo alto mom, That would be an interesting idea, and open up possibly thousands of Palo Alto homeowners to being able to build mother-in-law units. This was tried several years ago, but it was soundly defeated by NIMBY extremists. In fact, after the first denial, the city came back with the idea that they would only approve _six_ such units per year, and the outcry from NIMBYISTS was that "this will change the character of Palo Alto". SIX units per year?Again, that was only _six_ units per year?? Six units will "change the character of Palo Alto"? Pathetic.
If our City Council had just gone ahead, we'd have probably 1000 small homes built already, many perfectly situated for older citizens to live in. What a sad loss that was.
I think it's time we revived the mother-in-law program, and at the same time held our city's feet to the fire to build the full ABAG allocation. Great idea!
i like this idea. and who says we can't have more low income housing here. how selfish!
So, Menlo Park gets around the rules. Woodside and Atherton opt out. Palo Alto has other options, we don't have to follow ABAG'S rules. Sure we'd loose some State grants but since the State is bankrupt they might be quite pleased to keep the money.
We could make up for the loss of grants by withdrawing $6 Million a year we give the PAUSD. No BMR units built, no increase in students.
Dear ABAG takes control - Menlo Park isn't getting around the rules, they are being creative in fulfilling the requirements with existing housing stock that wasn't represented because it wasn't "legal". They made it easy (and I'm sure the housing much safer) by making the cost to bring the units up to code low from a permit standpoint.
BMR units provide a VERY small increase in students. Regular old housing turnover, new developments such as the one at the old Hyatt provide lots of students. In particular, there are many parents moving to the south PA new housing, expecting to get their kids into Gunn and Terman, only to find they are closed to new students for next year.
palo alto mom, you mean that Menlo Park is lying? Playing games with the law, right? I just reported this to the State Comptroller's office.
I also remember the outcry over the mother-in-law units. The rallying point, as Mike pointed out , ""this will change the character of Palo Alto".
Naturally, as in all situations like this, the council put their tail between their legs and went along with the screaming minority.
ANother missed opportunity due to the inability of our city council to grow a spine.
[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
A few years ago they built a bunch of new homes with "granny" units on and around the old clinic site. The city praised them as economical additions to the housing stock, but the developer advertised them as guest cottages. It would be very interesting to know how many are actually rented out vice being studios, dens, bonus rooms, kiddie playhouses, etc. Perhaps some enterprising reporter at the Weekly could find out.
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