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Palo Alto sued over delay in adopting housing plan

Yes In My Backyard and California Housing Defense Fund ask court to formally declare city to be out of compliance with state law

An Arbor Real home in Palo Alto on Nov. 13, 2020. Photo by Olivia Treynor.

Two pro-housing groups are asking the court to limit Palo Alto's control over approving development applications because it has not adopted a plan for adding more than 6,000 new dwellings by the state's Jan. 31 deadline.

Like most other Bay Area jurisdictions, the city has not yet received any feedback from the state Department of Housing and Community Development on its draft Housing Element, which the city submitted on Dec. 23. The document, which took more than a year of work, lays out the city's plan to add 6,086 new dwellings by 2031. As of last week, only a few cities, including Alameda, Emeryville, San Francisco and Redwood City, have received a green light from the state.

The lawsuit was filed in the Santa Clara County Superior Court on Feb. 2 by the nonprofits Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) and the California Housing Defense Fund. The two groups point to a provision in the Housing Element Law that restricts the ability of cities with drafts that are not in "substantial compliance" with the law to disapprove housing developments that have an affordability component.

The law also requires jurisdictions that are more than 120 days late to complete all the required zoning changes to implement their plans within one year, rather than three.

The groups have filed 12 lawsuits against various Bay Area jurisdictions and plan to file more in the coming weeks, according to an announcement from the nonprofits. The group of cities being sued includes Belvedere, Burlingame, Cupertino, Daly City, Fairfax, Martinez, Novato, Palo Alto, Pinole, Pleasant Hill and Richmond.

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"There's no excuse for these cities to be in violation of state law," Sonja Trauss, YIMBY Law Executive Director, said in a news release. "Cities have had years to plan for this. They've also received resources and feedback from us, our volunteer watchdogs, and HCD."

The cities, she said, are "trying to push the responsibility onto other communities and avoid having to welcome new neighbors. It's time for them to be held accountable."

The two nonprofits claim that they had sent the city a letter in December informing them that they would forego litigation if city officials acknowledge in writing that they would "not be in substantial compliance" by Jan. 31 and that they will be "prohibited from rejecting any (affordable) housing development" based on the Housing Accountability Act. The city reportedly did not submit a response.

"Because the City has not adopted a sixth revision of its housing element, and its statutory deadline has passed, the City is out of compliance with the Housing Element Law," the petition states.

The City Council approved its draft Housing Element in November, launching a 30-day public review period before the document was forwarded to the state for review. Council members have said that they expect that Palo Alto, like almost every other city, will be required to make some revisions to its plan and resubmit it before getting an approval, a process that typically takes months.

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Palo Alto's plan focuses much of the city's future growth in commercial and industrial areas in the southern end of the city, around San Antonio Road and Fabian Way. The strategy banks of rezoning these areas for residential use and constructing about 2,000 new dwellings at 290 sites in this area.

Other strategies call for building housing at public parking lots, encouraging accessory dwelling units and increasing allowed density in areas near transit.

The petition from Keith Diggs of Yes in My Backyard and Dylan Casey, executive director of the California Housing Defense Fund, asks the Santa Clara County Superior Court for a writ of mandate requiring the city to adopt its new Housing Element in accordance with the state schedule. They also request a declaration finding that the city is out of compliance with the Housing Element Law "from Feb. 1, 2023, until the City lawfully adopts a sixth revision of its housing element that substantially complies with the Housing Element Law."

"It is unacceptable that most Bay Area cities have failed to come up with plans to address the ongoing housing crises," Casey said. "We cannot begin to fix our housing problems when local governments respond to clear state directives by dragging their feet and looking for loopholes to avoid their responsibilities to provide needed housing growth. We hope these lawsuits will help get cities back on track."

The petitioners are also asking that the court order the city to rezone sites according to the accelerated schedule and that it be barred from relying on code provisions to disapprove of housing projects or make such projects infeasible.

Gennady Sheyner
 
Gennady Sheyner covers the City Hall beat in Palo Alto as well as regional politics, with a special focus on housing and transportation. Before joining the Palo Alto Weekly/PaloAltoOnline.com in 2008, he covered breaking news and local politics for the Waterbury Republican-American, a daily newspaper in Connecticut. Read more >>

Follow Palo Alto Online and the Palo Alto Weekly on Twitter @paloaltoweekly, Facebook and on Instagram @paloaltoonline for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Palo Alto sued over delay in adopting housing plan

Yes In My Backyard and California Housing Defense Fund ask court to formally declare city to be out of compliance with state law

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Feb 7, 2023, 9:10 am

Two pro-housing groups are asking the court to limit Palo Alto's control over approving development applications because it has not adopted a plan for adding more than 6,000 new dwellings by the state's Jan. 31 deadline.

Like most other Bay Area jurisdictions, the city has not yet received any feedback from the state Department of Housing and Community Development on its draft Housing Element, which the city submitted on Dec. 23. The document, which took more than a year of work, lays out the city's plan to add 6,086 new dwellings by 2031. As of last week, only a few cities, including Alameda, Emeryville, San Francisco and Redwood City, have received a green light from the state.

The lawsuit was filed in the Santa Clara County Superior Court on Feb. 2 by the nonprofits Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) and the California Housing Defense Fund. The two groups point to a provision in the Housing Element Law that restricts the ability of cities with drafts that are not in "substantial compliance" with the law to disapprove housing developments that have an affordability component.

The law also requires jurisdictions that are more than 120 days late to complete all the required zoning changes to implement their plans within one year, rather than three.

The groups have filed 12 lawsuits against various Bay Area jurisdictions and plan to file more in the coming weeks, according to an announcement from the nonprofits. The group of cities being sued includes Belvedere, Burlingame, Cupertino, Daly City, Fairfax, Martinez, Novato, Palo Alto, Pinole, Pleasant Hill and Richmond.

"There's no excuse for these cities to be in violation of state law," Sonja Trauss, YIMBY Law Executive Director, said in a news release. "Cities have had years to plan for this. They've also received resources and feedback from us, our volunteer watchdogs, and HCD."

The cities, she said, are "trying to push the responsibility onto other communities and avoid having to welcome new neighbors. It's time for them to be held accountable."

The two nonprofits claim that they had sent the city a letter in December informing them that they would forego litigation if city officials acknowledge in writing that they would "not be in substantial compliance" by Jan. 31 and that they will be "prohibited from rejecting any (affordable) housing development" based on the Housing Accountability Act. The city reportedly did not submit a response.

"Because the City has not adopted a sixth revision of its housing element, and its statutory deadline has passed, the City is out of compliance with the Housing Element Law," the petition states.

The City Council approved its draft Housing Element in November, launching a 30-day public review period before the document was forwarded to the state for review. Council members have said that they expect that Palo Alto, like almost every other city, will be required to make some revisions to its plan and resubmit it before getting an approval, a process that typically takes months.

Palo Alto's plan focuses much of the city's future growth in commercial and industrial areas in the southern end of the city, around San Antonio Road and Fabian Way. The strategy banks of rezoning these areas for residential use and constructing about 2,000 new dwellings at 290 sites in this area.

Other strategies call for building housing at public parking lots, encouraging accessory dwelling units and increasing allowed density in areas near transit.

The petition from Keith Diggs of Yes in My Backyard and Dylan Casey, executive director of the California Housing Defense Fund, asks the Santa Clara County Superior Court for a writ of mandate requiring the city to adopt its new Housing Element in accordance with the state schedule. They also request a declaration finding that the city is out of compliance with the Housing Element Law "from Feb. 1, 2023, until the City lawfully adopts a sixth revision of its housing element that substantially complies with the Housing Element Law."

"It is unacceptable that most Bay Area cities have failed to come up with plans to address the ongoing housing crises," Casey said. "We cannot begin to fix our housing problems when local governments respond to clear state directives by dragging their feet and looking for loopholes to avoid their responsibilities to provide needed housing growth. We hope these lawsuits will help get cities back on track."

The petitioners are also asking that the court order the city to rezone sites according to the accelerated schedule and that it be barred from relying on code provisions to disapprove of housing projects or make such projects infeasible.

Comments

felix
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 7, 2023 at 10:16 am
felix, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2023 at 10:16 am

Of course Yimby sued - it's what they get paid for. Lots of lawsuits now, a zillion more to come.

Palo Alto turned in its Housing Element in early December, has yet gotten comment back from HCD. I expect the Housing Element to be certified and this lawsuit to be moot.

I also expect that when the state tries to hold cities all over CA responsible for its totally unrealistic unfunded affordable housing goals, cities will rise up and sue enmasse (Palo Altos affordable housing assignment alone will cost about $2.2 billion). Affordable housing is wanted and needed, but this is an ill-conceived con-game having no realistic way of achieving the housing we need.







Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 7, 2023 at 10:29 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2023 at 10:29 am

If they really cared about housing, they'd push to convert all the empty offices and hotels during this new economic downturn. They would have also pushed for more truly affordable housing rather than the profitable market rate units for highly paid techies who might not even be here next year if the layoffs continue at their current rate.

But that wouldn't make their backers in the real estate and construction industry happy. And that's why they keep recruiting "lobbyists" with no conception of economic cycles, no awareness of climate change and that we don't have enough water for the new huge number of NEW residents forget the existing ones, us.

Instead they keep mouthing meaningless nonsense like "more housing will bring down prices." Hah! Tell that to the most densely populated cities like Manhattan.


EM
Registered user
Midtown
on Feb 7, 2023 at 10:37 am
EM, Midtown
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2023 at 10:37 am

YIMBY is crazy to set such high expectations for Palo Alto! All I have seen being built in our town for the past 20 years are office buildings and Stanford faculty housing. All house owners are NIMBY until they turn YIMBY when their kids turn 18 and leave the bay area to never return because they can't afford it.

Not to worry, Palo Alto is this time moving at a fast pace and TALKING about replacing the McDonald's and fish market restaurants on El Camino near page mill with a 300-single-bedrooms apartment. Oh but wait, parking is going to be a problem... or the increased foot traffic that can slow down traffic... or the lack of a bicycle lane.


panative
Registered user
Barron Park
on Feb 7, 2023 at 10:58 am
panative, Barron Park
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2023 at 10:58 am

Lived here most of my life, am a Palo Alto homeowner, happy to see these suits get filed. I'm embarrassed to live in this town, frankly, specifically because of Palo Alto's approach to housing, among other things. We need to do better and apparently lawsuits are the only thing that will motivate the city council to take any action to increase equity. (See e.g. the lawsuit over Foothills Park.)


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 7, 2023 at 11:02 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2023 at 11:02 am

If you want to increase "equity" then change the housing targets specifying only 5% very low income and 10^ sort of low income. How is housing highly paid single tech workers in studios helping equity? Do they have ties to the community? Will they be here in 3 years?


NeilsonBuchanan
Registered user
Downtown North
on Feb 7, 2023 at 11:25 am
NeilsonBuchanan, Downtown North
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2023 at 11:25 am

When the pie gets smaller, the table manners change.

I don't understand the legislative intent and I certainly don't understand nuances of the governing law and regulations. I look forward to whatever merit a judge(s) finds in these two lawsuits.


PaloAltoVoter
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Feb 7, 2023 at 11:26 am
PaloAltoVoter, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2023 at 11:26 am

@PaNative - I don't understand your comments. Palo Alto has more affordable housing per capita than almost every city in Santa Clara county - I think we're ranked #2. We should all be proud of Palo Alto's long term efforts to create affordable housing in an a very expensive city.

Frivolous lawsuits while the city has submitted a plan to the state and is waiting on them for a response just adds expense and friction to the process. I hope those filing these lawsuits are rightly rebuffed. It would very interesting to understand the source of the funding for these lawsuits. Where does YIMBY Action get its funding from?


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 7, 2023 at 11:40 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2023 at 11:40 am

In today's report by the San Francisco Chronicle, it said these suits are backed by the National Association of Realtors.

Web Link

"Housing advocates are about to deliver a message to the Bay Area: Comply with state housing law or face the consequences.

The message is being delivered in the form of 12 lawsuits, most of which will be publicly unveiled for the first time Tuesday by three pro-housing legal nonprofits: YIMBY Law, the California Housing Defense Fund and Californians for Homeownership, which was founded and is financially supported by the California Association of Realtors."

Other research has shown that the YIMBY's are backed by big-dollar contributions from high tech execs and VCs like the CEO of Yelp, VC Marc Andreesen and his wife, the daughter of Mr Arrilega (one of the areas biggest developers) who naturally support the more profitable market-rate housing. Andreesen and his wife made national business news when their opposition to multi-family near their $16.6M Atherton mansion was cited as just one example of the YUMBY's hypocrisy.

Look up the WikiPedia entry on their other big-name backers, including the construction trades, Apartment Owners Association etc.


What Will They Do Next
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Feb 7, 2023 at 11:53 am
What Will They Do Next, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2023 at 11:53 am

Felix has it right. Can't state it any better. Just wonder though how many of these YIMBY members live and own homes in the cities they are sueing or if they own homes at all. One thing for sure is that developers are in it for profitability and low income housing ain't it. My guess is these lawsuits will be hung up in the courts for years.


Jerry
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 7, 2023 at 11:57 am
Jerry, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2023 at 11:57 am

The hyperbole of these YIMBY groups' statements is truly astounding. The Chron article that @Online posted says this:

"We are talking, after all, about enforcing that simplest of concepts: the deadline. It’s baked into us in elementary school; if you don’t turn in your homework on time, there will be consequences."

How utterly condescending. An over-simplification of a complex problem.

For more of this nonsense, check out the CalHDF website: Web Link
It includes descriptions of their lawsuits, some which lead with the phrase "We Won!"
There's absolutely no meaningful discussion of why following the state's housing mandate is a good thing, or what the impacts to infrastructure will be.

The webpage is merely a lawyer contact front. It even has the audicity to include a "Donate" button.

Yeah, you won and California lost.



mjh
Registered user
College Terrace
on Feb 7, 2023 at 12:33 pm
mjh, College Terrace
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2023 at 12:33 pm
ALB
Registered user
College Terrace
on Feb 7, 2023 at 12:54 pm
ALB, College Terrace
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2023 at 12:54 pm

YIMBY is a national organization funded by tech, investment firms, developers, builders and politicians. They pass re: tiny ‘affordable’ housing numbers in projects that are pitched to tech workers IOW market rate. The pro tem Akins’s partner is a developer. If you look at the teacher housing coming to Palo Alto and the already constructed Whilton Court apartments you will not see the developer imprint. Instead the county and nonprofits etc. worked together to get this TRULY affordable housing launched.

YIMBY posits the crusading ‘good guy’ narrative as helping society. We do need housing for modest and low income folks but those are not priorities for the YIMBY crowd. Their priority is making Silicon Valley tech housing at market rate. Again, follow the money as lawsuits require mega dollars. Judges loathe frivolous cases as these will waste their time and further clog the judicial system.


Cheryl Lilienstein
Registered user
Barron Park
on Feb 7, 2023 at 1:05 pm
Cheryl Lilienstein, Barron Park
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2023 at 1:05 pm

1. If the state cared to produce affordable housing, subsidies would have been mandated. If YIMBYs were honest they'd sue the state for funds to support affordable housing. Conclusion: affordable housing IS NOT the goal. But, I don't suppose those who file lawsuits about this care because...

2. What is this legislation providing? Along with enormous developer profits, I've always assumed it provides support for money laundering. Is there any anti-corruption legislation embedded in this legislation? I haven't read it all, but please enlighten me if it exists. Given the continuous openness of US real estate to money laundering, I assume YIMBY means Yes I am for Money laundering in your Back Yard.
Web Link



Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 7, 2023 at 3:32 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2023 at 3:32 pm

""We are talking, after all, about enforcing that simplest of concepts: the deadline. It’s baked into us in elementary school; if you don’t turn in your homework on time, there will be consequences."

How utterly condescending. An over-simplification of a complex problem."

Indeed. Also proudly ignorant of the fact that while lots of things can change in 8 -- EIGHT -- years, the housing targets are totally sacred and not subject to review under ANY grounds like risk of fire, drought, economic shifts.... Is your salary or stock portfolio worth the same as 8 years ago???

I wonder how old most of the YYIMBYs are since they obviously never lived through -- or even heard of -- the various real estate crashes and the dot.bomb crash in the last 20 years.

Palo Alto and environs are currently a mess because they put all their eggs in the business travel / commuter basket rather than focus on residents and our needs.

Companies don't live forever, esp. tech companies, and I wonder what will happen to cities like San Jose when / if they go the way of other former high-fliers now that they've destroyed much of the city for the Google Transit Village which, ironically, right now is reducing its office space footprint there.

Sloganeering sure is easier than dealing with reality.


Eric Filseth
Registered user
Downtown North
on Feb 7, 2023 at 3:52 pm
Eric Filseth, Downtown North
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2023 at 3:52 pm

Obviously Palo Alto is going to get a compliant Housing Element done - it’s the law - and HCD trying to negotiate detailed local zoning for every town and city in the state was always going to be a bottleneck. I don’t understand what’s in it for these groups, unless they’re just trying to show their backers that they’re doing something to earn their pay.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 7, 2023 at 5:01 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2023 at 5:01 pm

I hope that these organizations that chose to sue the state are not getting any taxpayer provided funding. Not from the state - not from the cities. There is only so much money available in the budget to keep the lights on, keep libraries open, keep childtren activities funded, keep staff paid. They are taking away from everyone else to create disruption for a situation that is highly complex.


MyFeelz
Registered user
another community
on Feb 7, 2023 at 5:09 pm
MyFeelz, another community
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2023 at 5:09 pm

Who didn't see this coming?


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 7, 2023 at 5:31 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2023 at 5:31 pm

With all the high tech companies downsizing, moving out of state and allowing remote working along with the latest idea of 4 day work week, we must look at housing requirements with fresh eyes.

Are we going to end up with housing nobody wants?


MyFeelz
Registered user
another community
on Feb 7, 2023 at 6:02 pm
MyFeelz, another community
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2023 at 6:02 pm

We already have that, Bystander. Housing nobody wants. LEGO buildings aren't very sought-after. And tonight Biden is going to tell us about how unemployment is the lowest since the Stone Age. Meanwhile, tech workers are dropping like flies. I went to a dollar store today and the stores look like the shelves in a Tahoe store before a snowstorm. Empty. They primarily stock their shelves from goods in their remote warehouses. They are running out of goods. Every chain store that sells Chinese made goods -- and that's EVERY CHAIN STORE -- will close before the end of 2023, which will add MORE unemployment. Unemployment numbers are calculated from new claims. When the COVID extensions ran out, people jumped on the PPP gravy train. And now there are no more PPP loans and the government wants everybody to turn in their friends and neighbors to recoup funds they weren't entitled to. They're not considered unemployed because they haven't had enough work credits since 2020. But they are indeed not working. The "great resignation" is a false term. Nobody quit. They just started sucking on the government bottle. Every door dasher, uber driver, lyft driver, aka "SELF EMPLOYED" person doesn't pay into unemployment. Also, the government has caught onto the fact they also haven't been paying taxes on the income. Now the fed is not contemplating but IMPLEMENTING higher interest rates and plans to keep on doing it until millionaires start screaming. What Palo Alto needs to do is to convert office space to housing. The infrastructure is ALREADY there. But, because I am a gloom and doom prognosticator (unfortunately often right), I predict cities will TEAR DOWN office buildings before they will turn them into housing. Just like after 2008, when banks had too many foreclosures, and they started tearing the houses down rather than letting values sink. Web Link There ya go.


MyFeelz
Registered user
another community
on Feb 7, 2023 at 6:12 pm
MyFeelz, another community
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2023 at 6:12 pm

"Supply chain issues" is 2022 speak for "we can't get goods from China". China, the world's largest supplier of plywood, is holding the world by the shorthairs. Increased fees for wood will triple the cost to build new housing. It only makes sense to convert existing empty buildings into housing. If Palo Alto wants to showcase itself as the world's best (fill in the blank) they could try to be more forward thinking and show the example by providing a solution to the world's biggest problem: homelessness.


felix
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 7, 2023 at 6:59 pm
felix, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2023 at 6:59 pm

HCD, not Palo Alto is the problem.
Palo Alto turned in its completed Housing Element nearly 2 months before the January 31 deadline, yet HCD hasn’t returned it to the City. You can’t adopt what you don’t have.

Seems the State didn’t have the foresight to hire the staff needed to review Housing Elements in a timely manner.

This is on HCD not Palo Alto, and these sad lawyers know it.


Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on Feb 7, 2023 at 7:45 pm
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2023 at 7:45 pm

No way those behind this law suit would skip over the opportunity to sue Palo Alto. We live in one of those places that assures headlines and a type of traction. We have submitted a plan. I think MJH has it right: posturing.

I continue to wonder about the end game. We badly need housing for those with talents that have them in community-serving jobs. These days, it is not unusual for those jobs to pay less than what is needed to make ends meet. This leads me to a troubling question: what good is affordable housing in an increasingly unaffordable city? And how can we met our GHG goals when we are driving businesses out, requiring people to DRIVE to other communities for various services? And how does eliminating an affordable eatery, McDonald's, translate vis-a-vis affordability?

I don't question that some changes are needed; but I think it critical that the changes make sense in the long term.


Easy8
Registered user
Green Acres
on Feb 7, 2023 at 11:39 pm
Easy8, Green Acres
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2023 at 11:39 pm

According to the SF Chronicle, cities have until the end of May to be certified.

This is just chest thumping from lawyers, and snarky, inflammatory comments from YIMBY. No doubt they are trying to justify their salaries and playing up to their income source.

Web Link






Local Resident
Registered user
Community Center
on Feb 8, 2023 at 6:20 am
Local Resident, Community Center
Registered user
on Feb 8, 2023 at 6:20 am

I think this title is misleading. An example of a better title for this article might be

“While the city waits for feedback from HCD on an already compliant housing plan, YIMBY groups file frivolous lawsuits against the city.”

Note, the housing plan the city filed already meets all the state’s requirements, however, HCD is over reaching on their mandate, which is why its atrempting to extract additional concessions from cities. The RHNA numbers (which are triple the previous cycle) are based on heavily biased projections of growth based on inaccurate modeling with the goal of prioritizing corporate growth and developer profits on market rate housing over local control of their land use. Note the state thumps its chest on how important affordable housing is but then does properly fund it and blames cities.


JR
Registered user
Palo Verde
on Feb 8, 2023 at 7:28 am
JR, Palo Verde
Registered user
on Feb 8, 2023 at 7:28 am

Palo Alto has already filed a compliant plan. This is a frivolous lawsuit that will be promptly dismissed. This "YIMBY" group is not interested in improving the housing situation, they are only interested in self-promotion and enriching their moneyed backers.

Palo Alto now must waste resources fighting this bogus lawsuit that would otherwise be spent on city services and real affordable housing.


Gale Johnson
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 8, 2023 at 2:46 pm
Gale Johnson, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Feb 8, 2023 at 2:46 pm

I am anxiously awaiting PACC's reaction to this lawsuit. Hopefully, it will help sort out those who really understand the myth of a shortage of housing, or where it can be built, in PA (missing out on vacant convertible office space, city owned parking lots, vacant retail space, and vacant apartments and ghost houses)...and what kind of new housing the YIMBYs are supporting. Sadly, an effective correction for making housing affordable for the very low and low income people will hurt those who bought/invested in real estate when it was at it's peak, but corrections have been the history of local and national economic up and down swings, policies, and laws passed that were designed to provide a permanent solution..."The Best of Times, The Worst of Times". There are always winners and losers in these transitions. Maybe it's time for a major real estate market correction to get prices down to a real affordable level for our daily service workers. Don't wait for a big 'hurrah' or wild round of applause from the YIMBY crowd for that to happen, however. They're working hard with lobbyists to prevent that from ever happening. It always helps to have billionaires supporting your campaign and paying lawyer fees to support frivolous lawsuits like this one. The bait tossed out to set aside a small percentage of newly built housing for very low and low income workers is a farce IMHO. It just provides leverage for land owners, developers, and contractors to get projects approved. I would like to see an honest survey/study made on how many of the workers that serve us daily in PA, fit into those bottom two income tiers. What %age do they represent? If it's much higher than 15% then I have a complaint/bitch to make! Are our elected officials deaf to good verifiable data? Cool sounding political candidates shouldn't be blindly accepted as looking out for the good of the homeless, and a large portion of our daily workers. Don't get me started on the loss of family owned businesses!


Elon Thiel
Registered user
Community Center
on Feb 9, 2023 at 1:50 pm
Elon Thiel, Community Center
Registered user
on Feb 9, 2023 at 1:50 pm

Legal question for the armchair attorneys…since the State of California is the bottleneck, taking 4 months to respond to Palo Alto’s housing element which was filed last year , can the City make the state party to the lawsuit? The Yimby should have but since they didn’t what can they city do while it is stuck waiting on a bottlenecked, unrealstic HCD.

Could the city simple adopt the submitted housing element next week with an agreement to consider Further updates once the state gets back to us?


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