By Steve Levy
E-mail Steve Levy
About this blog: I grew up in Los Angeles and moved to the area in 1963 when I started graduate school at Stanford. Nancy and I were married in 1977 and we lived for nearly 30 years in the Duveneck school area. Our children went to Paly. We moved ... (More)
About this blog: I grew up in Los Angeles and moved to the area in 1963 when I started graduate school at Stanford. Nancy and I were married in 1977 and we lived for nearly 30 years in the Duveneck school area. Our children went to Paly. We moved downtown in 2006 and enjoy being able to walk to activities. I do not drive and being downtown where I work and close to the CalTrain station and downtown amenities makes my life more independent. I have worked all my life as an economist focusing on the California economy. My work centers around two main activities. The first is helping regional planning agencies such as ABAG understand their long-term growth outlook. I do this for several regional planning agencies in northern, southern and central coast California. My other main activity is studying workforce trends and policy implications both as a professional and as a volunteer member of the NOVA (Silicon Valley) and state workforce boards. The title of the blog is Invest and Innovate and that is what I believe is the imperative for our local area, region, state and nation. That includes investing in people, in infrastructure and in making our communities great places to live and work. I served on the recent Palo Alto Infrastructure Commission. I also believe that our local and state economy benefits from being a welcoming community, which mostly we are a leader in, for people of all religions, sexual preferences and places of birth. (Hide)
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Palo Alto Housing Element Update
Uploaded: May 2, 2014
Palo Alto has begun the process of updating the City's Housing Element (HE). The process is well summarized in a memo to the Council's Regional Housing Mandate Committee (RHMC), which meets next on May 8 at 4pm at City Hall. click here
. There is a citizen advisory committee that has been meeting. More information is available at click here
The City is looking to identify sites that could hold roughly 2,200 units by 2023 to meet state and ABAG planning requirements. All of the sites proposed by staff have existing zoning and virtually all the new units would be in multiple-family structures with a few potential "granny" units as part of the proposal.
My understanding is that approval of already zoned units on these sites cannot simply be dismissed by the council except in extraordinary circumstances, e.g. toxics on the site.
So even people who think (incorrectly) that they can stop all condo and townhouse developments should be interested in having a voice on which sites are selected.
There are at least three important decisions described in the memo to the RHMC.
One decision is whether to eliminate some sites in the current HE (that are mainly in south PA) and replace them with units in downtown and Cal Ave, I like this idea.
A second decision is how much housing to plan for on the Fry's site. It is the ONLY site under discussion with the potential for a large number of new units.
A third decision is about some sites along San Antonio.
All of these choices are described in the memo.
My understanding is that even if a different council is elected in November, these choices will need to be made and that just "no" is not a legal option.
Please discuss the choices and not whether you like that they have to be made. To clarify another point, the HE is a planning requirement but the sites under consideration have a legal right to be developed under current zoning should an owner wish to do so.
What is it worth to you?
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