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Webcast: Mayor pushes back on SB50

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Palo Alto Mayor Eric Filseth discusses with the Weekly his concerns with Senate Bill 50, which aims to boost California's housing stock, and his own ideas for addressing the state's housing shortage.

Watch the webcast here or listen to the podcast version of the episode here.

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7 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 8, 2019 at 8:31 pm

This is an easy one. Mobilizing for what most of Palo Alto residents already practice now: Resist

28 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 8, 2019 at 9:56 pm

City and county leaders (not bought and paid for by the big corporations and residential highrise developers pushing SB 50) better be ready to challenge its passage by the state legislature and signing by the Governor: It msy only be stopped by an immediate statewide referendum petition. The special interests are no longer going to play nice. This year, they are out for more profit - existing neighborhoods be damned.

6 people like this
Posted by @Mike
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 9, 2019 at 12:52 am


“This is an easy one. Mobilizing for what most of Palo Alto residents already practice now: Resist”

You must be either a tech titan that wants a free ride for the jobs/housing imbalance problem or you are a developer or related business. Or you are part of the President Hotel project that just eliminated several of our neighbors and housing which are both hard to see go. And you don’t understand basic economics.

Must be hard to see some facts being talked about.

13 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 9, 2019 at 10:46 am

Yeah for the mayor - we have your back here. It appears for the last couple of years that the CA legislature is willfully sticking it to the citizens with no apparent input. Any act that affects the tax base of the citizens, city, county, and state need to be voted upon by the citizens. We have a state AG who is issuing law suit after law suit on many issues which affect federal funding to support our cities. We have legislators who are willfully determining what our "values" are with no vote from us. Many of those issues directly affect our neighborhoods and how a city manages the resources available. So where are the legislators that we voted on here - Mr. Berman? We need to position our local legislators better so their names are out there regarding the voting on these issues.

2 people like this
Posted by Redevelopment In PA Is Good
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 9, 2019 at 1:03 pm

State law supersedes local law. If the state of CA mandates more affordable housing then Palo Alto must comply.

There are many areas in Palo Alto that could us a facelift. That area on Charleston Road between Alma & ECR is especially noticeable...houses all run down & lacking a certain Palo Alto vibe.

Redevelopment of South Palo Alto, Barron Park & Ventura should be expedited. A shameful appearance compared to other parts of PA.

16 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Ventura
on Mar 9, 2019 at 1:30 pm

Amazing the tone deafness of the above poster from Crescent Park, cheering on redevelopment (densification) of other people's neighborhoods in other parts of town. Robert Moses would be proud.

Instead of Moses-style authoritarian development, we need local control to ensure local input.

22 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 9, 2019 at 8:26 pm

The scariest aspect of this new proposed law is that it potentially takes away local zoning control for areas with "high-quality public schools" [1]. Last I checked, Palo Alto's public schools are pretty high quality, which means that these large 5 story buildings can effectively pop up anywhere in Palo Alto, including in areas that are zoned R-1 (single family homes). I'll be letting my local representatives (state assemblymember Marc Berman [2] and state senator Jerry Hill [3]) know what I think about this.

[1]: SB50 legislative text Web Link
[2]: Marc Berman contact information Web Link
[3]: Jerry Hill contact information Web Link

16 people like this
Posted by JR
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 9, 2019 at 8:32 pm

The root cause of the housing crisis is overdevelopment. Isn't it convenient that the "solution" is even more development. Developers have already made billions, now they stand to make billions more. What a great time to be a developer.

1 person likes this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 9, 2019 at 11:41 pm

@Resident of Duveneck -- good luck with Marc Berman.
Were you at his open house last Thursday afternoon?

5 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 10, 2019 at 11:43 am

Time to put pressure on both our state and federal representatives - Berman, Eshoo as to what we want here. Berman thinks he is building a life long career in politics then he is not allowed to skate free on issues which directly affect our city. As to Eshoo she is sucking up to whatever the local politics are. Message to Eshoo - the Burbank Congressional leader Schiff has done U-Tube commercials for the Armenia Fund - Burbank is a stronghold for eastern European transplants from the previous soviet Russia. Assume that he is getting political funds from a super pac regarding eastern European countries. He is the Russia connection. Eshoo has the same connections - other stronghold is Fresno - previously in this congressional section. CA is so screwed up. SF the city is screwed up and trying to push their problems they can't solve down to everyone else. If we do not put the pressure on then we are allowing the incompetents to take over and continue their incompetent destruction of the state.

9 people like this
Posted by Bg
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Mar 10, 2019 at 11:14 pm

Letting the corrupt o crats propose authoritarian rule for city development proves Berman is already a failure.
Boot him out.

9 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 11, 2019 at 8:31 am

Note that teachers in school systems throughout the state are striking due to class size, pay, and available housing in the system they are working in. Compartmentalizing issues regarding housing and immigration is driving legislative decisions which are in conflict with each other. Reporting on these issues excludes the overall effect caused by too many people in a geographic location which is already built out and already has school systems designated in those locations. So add more housing but what about the schools which are over burdened. Those are our children who are getting stuck with the degradation of the overall available infrastructure for any one city. We have allowed the legislature to compartmentalize these topics to exclusion of overall impact. Further we have state officials which are continually jabbing at federal laws then complaining when they hit a roadblock which they in fact created. Cause and effect appears irrelevant to the running of this state which imagines itself to be a world entity unto itself.

2 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 11, 2019 at 11:20 am

While we are at it. Ms. Lofgren in a local congressional district has input a voting law which has many issues which are in conflict with the program the DMV is instituting for effective period of 2020 forward. I just went through that process of bringing in information to prove who I am, where I live, and American citizen. So if the state is paying the DMV to implement the law as provided on their web-site then why is Ms.Lofgren proposing a voting set of requirements which circumvent what the DMV is tasked to do. The DMV also signs up people to vote. Another example of compartmentalizing issues which do not take into consideration other issues which are being mandated by the state. DMV's biggest complaint was the high number of people in the bay area which are going in to prove who they are and over burdening the system. What she is proposing is going to overburden the whole voting process by same day sign up and create total chaos and mismanagement. Is that the goal here? If people want to vote then they go down to the authorized locations and register when told to do so. Then the poles are scrubbed to verify identity. If people are not smart enough to figure that out then they should not be voting - not that important to them. It is the Secretary of States job to manage voting and voting rules - so where is his input on this topic? Another state employee who is lagging behind on the job.
And you all want more people in the state? You cannot manage what you have. Mr. Berman can you please respond with what ever you are doing about this situation. Do not leave the management of this county to Joe Simitian - he has other jobs to do.

Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2019 at 11:33 am

Resident-- I'm very confused about what you are saying.

DMV is tasked with providing at least three kinds of IDs. Driver's licenses (DLs), which don't and probably never did require citizenship, but rather, are supposed to show qualification to drive an auto in the state, DLs which show US citizenship, as a convenience for California residents-- because DHS/TSA accepts a "Real ID" DL as a valid ID for flying, and, several types of IDs that have nothing to do driving-- they exist because lots of people don't drive but still need some kind of ID. DMV can also make voter registration part of the process-- another convenience.

It is an odd bit of history that DMV has been tasked with all this, but, I guess it shows how enormously important people in the 20th century thought that personally driving Single Occupancy Vehicles was. My hope is that in the future, automation will make this obsession with driving a quaint bit of 20th century lore.

2 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 11, 2019 at 6:34 pm

Your local papers are filled with information concerning a requirement coming up in 2020 in which your driver's license will have a character in the right hand corner showing that you have brought paper work to their offices which verify your identity, address, picture, fingerprint. Go to the DMV web site and review what they are looking for here. Check out your driver's license as to the date of validity. Check out the DMV web-site as to their requirements for documents. The place is filled with people who are in line with their documents to get an updated license. The updated license will be required if you use your license to get through the security line at the airport. The Mr. Roadshow articles in the Mercury News have been following this requirement. It has been a strenuous exercise for the DMV. They have gone through three mangers in short time due to incompetence. At some point everyone will need a valid source of identity to fly and vote. What we know now the idea of signing people up to vote the same day as an election would be total chaos.

Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 11, 2019 at 10:50 pm

^ The Real ID character in the upper right corner is our State Bear with our 5-pointed star. I have one but I'm still confused. Question is how many official identifying documents will be required NEXT time I renew? Allegedly the DMV did not require enough last time. Seems every year the Federal deadline is extended another year anyway. Yeah we've drifted off-topic again.

2 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 12, 2019 at 8:43 am

Only partially off-topic - the states ability to handle increased population has a lot of elements - schools, infrastructure, etc. If you try and compartmentalize the housing topic with none of the impacts then you are missing the total problem. Right now the papers are discussing the governor using part of the gas tax money that was suppose to go to roads and use for housing.

As to the DMV I brought multiple documents and they copied them all. They list them on their web-site. Everyone I saw was already alerted to the problem and had multiple documents.

But back to the problem at hand is the increased cars, increased infrastructure required to manage the whole scenario including enough school space is part of the overall problem. And by 2020 there will be more impact regarding the driver's licenses which affect everyone.

Side note I was at the credit union yesterday and when they brought my name up they noted my license was due to expire in April and did I have a revised license. Yes - I did. And they knew who I was before I even gave them any data - must have facial recognition. Rather sophisticated.

We live in a complex world and over-burdening the already built out area we live in has many elements that need to be addressed - part of which is the state's ability to handle it all.

Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 12, 2019 at 12:08 pm

Boomi knows everybody.

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