City Council changes course on housing fees | March 31, 2017 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - March 31, 2017

City Council changes course on housing fees

Council members spar over best way to fund affordable housing

by Gennady Sheyner

In an unusual move that reflected Palo Alto's shifting political dynamics, the City Council reversed on Monday night its December decision to significantly raise the fees that office developers must contribute to fund affordable housing.

This story contains 891 words.

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Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be emailed at gsheyner@paweekly.com.

Comments

63 people like this
Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 28, 2017 at 3:23 am

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

My blog of 2017-02-01 "Affordable Housing: Complexities" (Web Link) provided some additional analysis of the relationship between the fees, affordable housing and the jobs-housing (im)balance. See sections "Fair, reasonable and practical fees" and "Do the math: More office buildings to fund affordable housing?".

----
Also, remember that during the Council campaign, Liz Kniss claimed that the office cap had dissuaded developers from building more offices here. Now we are told it is these fees. What's next? Will we be told that office developers are being scared away by the laughter of little children, and consequently that fees need to be charged for children to provide financial incentives for developers?


80 people like this
Posted by Common Sense
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 28, 2017 at 5:21 am

Anything for the developers. Obviously we the residents can afford higher fees than those poor developers.

So glad to our concerned group of 5 council members were there to jump in to help out the struggling developers and remove more impediments to their growth.


74 people like this
Posted by Dad with 2 young kids
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 28, 2017 at 5:54 am

Corey Wolbach shows true colors and votes against affordable housing, which he was supposedly a champion of when he first ran for office. [Portion removed.]


68 people like this
Posted by HMM
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 28, 2017 at 7:08 am

Now we know who was buying City Hall, and, who was for sale. [Portion removed.]


92 people like this
Posted by Bought and paid for
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 28, 2017 at 7:46 am

This is crazy. What a blatant giveaway to big donor interests.

When does the recall start? I don't think Palo Alto can sustain 2 more full years of developer run government.


19 people like this
Posted by Housing
a resident of University South
on Mar 28, 2017 at 8:28 am

Remember, of course, that the Palo Alto Housing Corporation opposed the fees at $60/sq ft, arguing that they were too high and that collections would be higher at a lower level.

Yes, they are a much-maligned "developer", but they only develop affordable housing, so I think they are the credible parties here. Certainly more credible than those politicians who made their name opposing an affordable housing project.


38 people like this
Posted by Eric Filseth
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 28, 2017 at 8:37 am

As the Mayor correctly pointed out, fees should not be used to guide land uses; zoning is the proper tool for that.

All development comes with costs to the community; impact fees are established to recover these costs. If the developer doesn’t pay the full amount of the costs, somebody else must pick up the difference.

The Nexus study was conducted to calculate these costs specifically for affordable housing. Since each high-paying tech job in Silicon Valley typically produces three to five lower-income jobs, some of whose holders will qualify for BMR housing, adding commercial space (and also market-rate residential space) increases the need for that housing. While all South Bay cities’ fees have fallen behind on this, I think the impact is especially high in Palo Alto, particularly in comparison to San Jose, with its vastly better mass transit, large local workforce, and significantly lower housing prices than the mid-peninsula.

I do think the Mayor’s late and prudent motion to restore most residential fees to the original Council’s settings went a long way towards bringing balance to this ordinance. Nevertheless in my view (and per the Nexus study), its Office/R+D side still falls well short - hence my vote. Developers should cover the full costs of their impacts to the community; if they don’t, somebody else must pick up the difference. It’s of particular queasiness in the BMR arena, where that difference falls mostly on the shoulders of our most vulnerable.


39 people like this
Posted by Does Palo Alto Housing Corporation Serve the Community?
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 28, 2017 at 8:42 am

To the comment above that the Palo Alto Housing Corporation only develops affordable housing, recall they also wanted to develop market-rate housing at Maybell, which voters rejected.

And the Palo Alto Housing Corporation has developers on its board of directors but not people served by affordable housing. So when it asks that new construction pay lower taxes for affordable housing, that helps some of its board members -- but not people who actually need low-cost housing.

Yes, sometimes, non-profits sadly end up doing the opposite of what their mission is supposed to be.


72 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 28, 2017 at 8:52 am

Let's hear it for the hyper-growth 5 who are working so hard to make Palo Alto an office park at the expensive of our quality of life for their developer buddies.

Remember that at the next election the council will shrink from 9 to 7 as engineered by outgoing Mayor Shepherd who was so so worried that council discussions were so time consuming. Corey Wolbach is the only one of the hyper-growth 5 up for re-election while Dubois and Filseth are both up if they decide to run.

The hyper-growth 5 couldn't even wait until the campaign probes into Tanaka and Kniss are finished to rush to save their contributors money while fees on the rest of us for utilities, govt salaries, storm drains, bike programs etc. continue to soar.

I guess deficits only matter for residents who continue to get drained.


13 people like this
Posted by Norman Beamer
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 28, 2017 at 9:22 am

To Eric Filseth: re "I do think the Mayor’s late and prudent motion to restore most residential fees to the original Council’s settings went a long way towards bringing balance to this ordinance."
Article says the fee was raised to $75 from the original $50 -- please clarify.


46 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 28, 2017 at 10:46 am

Doers anyone who is intellectually honest and unbiased still doubt that Scharff, Kniss, Wolbach, Tanaka and Fine are on the city council mostly to serve their big developer doners with the ultimate goal of turning Palo Alto into an office park, something it is already becoming?


26 people like this
Posted by Mama
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 28, 2017 at 10:58 am

The evil triumvirate now being investigated should not even be allowed to vote. Also, we should not pay for an expensive recall. Kniss, Tanaka, and Fine should resign. Developers are making fortunes off Palo Alto while destroying our quality of life. At the very least we should be getting paid dearly for what they are doing.


39 people like this
Posted by Cube Farm Haven
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 28, 2017 at 10:59 am

Mauricio makes am excellent point about how Scharff, Fine, Kniss, Tanaka and Wolbach are doing their best to turn Palo Alto into an office park for the benefit of their donors AND to make the residents pay for it.

Maybe the Weekly's can sponsor a contest to rename Palo Alto?


18 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 28, 2017 at 11:07 am

Annette is a registered user.

Not paying attention comes with a VERY high price in this Business Park of ours (that was once a city and before that a town). It is getting impossible to not point the gnarly finger of blame for this "citicide" at certain of our Council members, particularly those who are recidivists.


33 people like this
Posted by Actual facts
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2017 at 11:19 am

People still trot out the wrong ideas about Maybell, evidence of the development interests corrupting what should have been community problem solving.

PAHC never had plans to develop the majority of the property at Maybell that was market rate. That was part of the plan's fatal flaws. Had they developed the property themselves, they could have used far more money to apply to the affordable side and could have afforded to make the entire project more compatible. All PAHC was doing was trying to profit from upzoning the property and selling the upzoned land to a for-profit developer, who would have made the lion's share of the profits. One of the reasons they did this instead of developing the land themselves was to meet an impossibly tight deadline for a grant application, where they listed the profits of the upzoned land as community investment. (They already did this before the land was even rezoned.)

People who voted against the rezoning were not voting against affordable housing, that was always a dishonest political move by one side that made coming together impossible. Sadly, many of the Maybell leaders were prevented from putting together a working group the way they asked, and had when a developer was going to put housing where Terman school is now. That working group managed back then to meet the desires of all parties including affordabke housing, except for the big developers, which is probably why the destructive tack of the political push from that side during Maybell. People who care about affordable housing can take heart that the Maybell referendum loss meant the funds could finally be applied at Buena Vista, for actual low-income Palo Altans. And, if Maybell had gone differently, the BV residents would be gone now as the big developer would never have known the residents could stand up to stop massive upzoning there.

But ideological extremists and their alternative facts never die, it seems, regardless of the actual facts. A huge opportunity was lost, and now the hyperdevelopment faction seem to have co-opted the ideologues on the other side of the fence enough that they are able to make move after move against affordable housing. And against the environment, etc.

Why do we need more office development? Too many offices and workers is the problem here. We should be making plans to convert offices to needed housing.


18 people like this
Posted by Eric Filseth
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 28, 2017 at 11:56 am

Norm,

The new fee schedule, which is based on square footage, replaces the existing one, which is based on a percentage of sale price of the unit. There are pro’s and con’s to each approach, but the $75/sf for single-family houses was estimated by Staff to be roughly revenue-neutral between the old and new schedules.

That said, there was some discussion about the difference in per-sf fees between detached single-family homes and Office/R+D space, and also townhomes, condos and apartments. The Mayor’s late motion to raise multi-unit fees somewhat reduced this. Should note that the fees on single-family homes only apply to developments of at least three units, so unlikely to affect individual homeowners; it’s really a developer impact.


51 people like this
Posted by Greg Schmid
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 28, 2017 at 11:59 am

This vote ends up retaining the counter-intuitive policy of having new housing pay more for additional affordable housing in the community than new commercial space despite our current trend of adding three jobs in our community for every additional employed resident.

Our current "Housing Element: 2015-2023" (adopted in 2014) cites data that during the period of our previous Housing Element (2009-2014) the fees imposed on new housing exceeded the fees imposed on new commercial development by some $2 million (page 78). This does not take into account the value of low income housing units built in place of in-lieu fees. If you add the value of this new housing to the total this would probably raise the value of low income housing contributions by home builders to almost twice what commercial developers pay. Now we are asking new housing to continue to pay more for housing rather than the businesses that are creating the need for new housing! And, we are doing this during a time period when commercial development is adding square footage that is creating three new jobs in Palo Alto for every new employed resident added. (Note that Palo Alto has just about the highest ratio in the country of jobs per employed resident for any city over fifty thousand people).

It is time for commercial development which has a higher dollar return per square foot to pay its fair share towards creating and maintaining a balanced community.


13 people like this
Posted by FloggrGurl
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 28, 2017 at 11:59 am

@mauricio- An office park? Seriously? I don't know exactly what Palo Alto you are referring to, or what Mayor exactly, but mine is the furthest thing from "office park" and my Mayor, well he's doing an exemplary job taking control of this council and city.

Palo Alto is growing, it is not now, nor has it ever been a bedroom community. Every city needs to grow and change as it moves toward the future or else it will wither and die. Would you rather have a multitude of vacant storefronts blighting the downtown landscape? We are a large city with a broad span of housing, retail, open space, and yes, our revered Stanford. It is a delicate balance to keep everyone happy. Merchants, employees, students, visitors and our impassioned and oft entitled, residents.

Our mayor has inherited a mountain of issues. If it one, feel he is doing a phenomenal job of pulling together this current council. I watch week after week, as the meetings go long into the night, and I marvel at his patience and professionalism while trying to corral the newbies, manage the staff and limit the snark all while keeping the dignity that his position deserves.

I hope that PA Online doesn't remove my glowing commentary, as they let those that are clearly opposed lie here. We should all agree to disagree and keep mocking forward. That's when real progress will be made





Like this comment
Posted by FloggrGurl
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 28, 2017 at 12:01 pm

*keep MOVING forward... not mocking


44 people like this
Posted by Marie
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 28, 2017 at 12:24 pm

Marie is a registered user.

This makes no sense. Lowering the impact fee for office developments, which is what is driving the need for more housing and raising it for housing of any sort, which is the only development that improves the worker-resident ratio. Everyone criticizes that ratio but the current council is adopting policies that will only make it worse.

Is it a surprise that the council members who received campaign contributions from developers (even when saying they would not) are the ones voting benefits for the builders and developers?

This policy goes against meeting ABAG assigned goals, increases traffic, reduces parking and further degrades the Palo Alto quality of life. Vote them out in 2018.


23 people like this
Posted by Goodbye politeness
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 28, 2017 at 12:38 pm

[Post removed.]


17 people like this
Posted by I don't think so
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 28, 2017 at 12:42 pm

I don't think so is a registered user.

Flogger (British, informal) - a person who sells something.

"I don't know exactly what Palo Alto you are referring to" ...
"Mayor, well he's doing an exemplary job taking control of this council and city" - no, not in PA where I live.

"Every city needs to grow and change as it moves toward the future or else it will wither and die."
- Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha ... right. We are in the area of ghost towns all over the place.

"We are a large city with a broad span of housing, retail, open space," - no we are not. We are a small town with a world class University next door and a bunch of faculty, high-tech workers, and a lot of lawyers living in it.
"It is a delicate balance" - agree, so stop screwing with it.


17 people like this
Posted by mj
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Mar 28, 2017 at 12:58 pm

[Post removed.]


9 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2017 at 1:01 pm

[Post removed.]


26 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 28, 2017 at 1:46 pm

Annette is a registered user.

Even w/o ABAG's directives about housing (which we could ignore as other communities do) we have a painfully obvious jobs:housing imbalance that long ago morphed from imbalance to BIG UGLY PROBLEM ("BUP"). Let's get real about that. Our BUP will only get worse if CC doesn't stop facilitating commercial development. At least for a while we work on the BUP b/c it sure as heck won't get better on its own.

Why does CC open the door so widely for developers? The usual answers in politics are power and money. Berman recently rode the money wave to the Assembly. Is that the aspiration of others? Are PA's infrastructure problems the price we are being forced to pay so that someone can be elected to office? Is it too late for non-partisan, non-PAC local politics and service for the sake of service?


33 people like this
Posted by Ugh
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Mar 28, 2017 at 2:10 pm

Ugh is a registered user.

Ugh, I am so disappointed/upset about this. Office development is driving our need for more housing, per ABAG and more. We have GOT to tax the office development so we can build affordable housing. Otherwise we are just digging ourselves a worse and worse transit nightmare. Help, why are we building office space at all. I am so upset with this Council. We should call it the Developer's Council, not the City Council.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2017 at 2:38 pm

Historically, decisions about fee structures have been largely driven by what other cities in the area are doing. We don't want to create a fee structure that makes our community less competitive. Not all development is bad. Some is needed to replace aging, blighted buildings and underused spaces. Like every city, we have some of those. I didn't read the staff report fo this meeting, but it seems to me from this article that a lot of the normal discussion either did not occur or was not reported. That seems rather odd.


32 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2017 at 2:56 pm

@FloggrGurl,

In many Palo Alto neighborhoods on "wrong side of the tracks" or on the wrong side of certain roads you can't go more than 2-3 blocks without encountering a giant blocky office-park building and another 2-3 under construction.

There are two Palo Altos. One that lives a 1950s "Leave it to Beaver" lifestyle, and another where the quality of life is being sacrificed to maintain the lifestyle of the other.


32 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2017 at 2:59 pm

@Hmmm,

What you call a "blighted" building is actually affordable housing for someone.


33 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 28, 2017 at 3:43 pm

@ FloggrGurlsays," Palo Alto is growing, it is not now, nor has it ever been a bedroom community. Every city needs to grow and change as it moves toward the future or else it will wither and die. Would you rather have a multitude of vacant storefronts blighting the downtown landscape? We are a large city with a broad span of housing, retail, open space, and yes, our revered Stanford. It is a delicate balance to keep everyone happy. Merchants, employees, students, visitors and our impassioned and oft entitled, residents."

1) Of course it was a bedroom community for Stanford and for San Francisco. Read up on your history. The Professorville neighborhood, for example, got its name because that's where the Stanford professors LIVE(D).

2) Yes, it's growing. During the work week when the population triples from 65K to 180K to accommodate the workers who outnumber the residents and prevent many of us from getting out of our driveways or getting around town.

3) Retail is disappearing because developers can charge more for offices than for retail. You won't have vacant storefronts because there will always be offices claiming to be groundfloor "retail" like SRI etc. And now the City Council wants to make it tougher to visit your doctors and dentists so these workers can park.

4) What "issues" did our mayor inherit? Has he recused himself from voting on development issues when he's part owner of buildings under consideration? What's he done to rein in spending when both the city and the school district are running deficits and our firemen average $300,000, not counting retirement benefits? What's he doing to make city workers more responsive when EVERYONE gets the maximum raises?

5) The city's unlikely to "die" when we have a constant flow of all-cash foreign buyers pushing up housing prices and a city council continuing to let office development outpace housing which if course pushes up housing prices.

So yes, we're fast becoming an office park whose traffic strangles the remaining residential areas.


5 people like this
Posted by Chris Gaither
a resident of Mayfield
on Mar 28, 2017 at 5:01 pm

So, why did they need to re-visit the policy they set in December? Why can't they make decisions, and move on? Someone, please advise.


6 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 28, 2017 at 5:07 pm

[Post removed.]


10 people like this
Posted by Ugh
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Mar 28, 2017 at 5:21 pm

@Chris:

You ask: why did they need to re-visit the policy they set in December?

Why did Trump re-visit Obama's climate policies? Because they can? Because they want to make their mark on our city? Heaven help us.

And this was purely bad-luck timing, per note from the article: The council's change of course on affordable-housing fees was made possible by the vagaries of its calendar. When the council approves an ordinance, it typically has to formally adopt it at a subsequent meeting on what is called a "second reading." Though the second reading is usually a formality, in this case it occurred in January, shortly after the new council was sworn in. Led by Fine and Greg Tanaka, who was also elected in November, the council then moved to reopen the issue and take fresh votes, effectively nullifying the December ordinance before it ever had a chance to kick in.


22 people like this
Posted by long view
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 28, 2017 at 5:23 pm

long view is a registered user.

So if zoning is the best tool to change what gets built, when will the city review its zoning, and change more areas from other uses to housing only?

Further, I don't see what is so wrong with using fees to discourage added office square footage. The last housing element says we have 3 jobs for every resident. This an imbalance so great that we should be happy if new office is discouraged.


14 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 28, 2017 at 5:42 pm

I said long ago, in one of my earlier comments, that the December approved fees should/would never be cause for developers to not build, whatever they wanted to build. In their bottom line calculations those fees are a minuscule component and they could just push them along as higher rent rates. Giving owners/developers more relief is silly. They are preying on the new developer friendly council who supports all of their ideas. Sad, but true. Last night's CC meeting was hard to watch...in fact I stopped watching after most of the meeting was devoted to a property owner wanting to build on their property abutting Arastradero Preserve. Too much valuable CC time taken up on that issue alone. How did it ever get pushed all the way for CC to make a ruling?

It would be so nice if CC gets down to the real business at hand, of dealing with the really important and hard issues that they were elected to deal with.


6 people like this
Posted by FloggrGurl
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 28, 2017 at 7:08 pm

@don't think so-Multiple definitions of "Flogger". Your assumption of my meaning is as far from correct as it is offensive

Palo Alto may have a small town feel, but it is clearly no longer a small town. That seems to be the crux of everything and everyone's issue. The "leave well enough alone" train left the station years ago. Time to understand that and head into the future


24 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2017 at 7:59 pm

@FloggrGurl,

You might want to find some more contemporary branding for what you are flogging. Futurism doesn't have the same naive appeal it used to have in the 1950s. Does your brand of futurism include free electricity from nuclear reactors like the futurists of the 1950s promised?


30 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 29, 2017 at 6:18 am

"We don't want to use fees to punish development or halt office growth," Fine said.

??? But it is okay to use fees to punish builders of detached single-family homes???

"But Scharff called the $60 fee that the council approved for office projects in December "outrageous.""

??? But it is not outrageous to go from the December-approved rate of $50 to $75 for builders of detached single-family homes???

The majority on this Council has their priorities wrong. Fee-wise, residents are basically subsidizing development.

Where is the analysis to justify these changes? I believe the December changes were based on extensive study. And doesn't this require a "second reading" since it is a substantial variance? And where do ADUs come in - they are a detached single family unit for the would-be occupant(s) so are they also subject to the $75?

And how does this do anything to improve the jobs:housing imbalance? If anything it makes it worse.


36 people like this
Posted by Sunshine
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 29, 2017 at 8:51 am

The Council got it wrong
We need higher fees for offices and exercise joints, especially those on University and California Aves.
Yesterday I walked along both University and California Aves. There is no longer anywhere to shop for anything useful with the possible exception of food at the most expensive places. Both are now lined with offices on the ground floor and exercise places that rely on machines. I would never want to exercise using a machine and I especially do not want to exercise in front of a plate glass window.
These places along with many over priced restaurants that often have very poor service have replaced the great places such as independent bookstores, the best Camera shop in the area, home stores, good independent clothing stores where you can buy a variety of good fitting items made of natural fibers, rug stores, art supply stores. Now I would need to travel to Campbell for a good book/record store and I don't know where the decent craft stores have gone. We are left with only Stanford U (if you can find parking) for books and nothing else but a few mediocre restaurants with sky high prices.
Stop over whelming the good council members like Kou and ditch all the prodevelopment people.


5 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 29, 2017 at 4:51 pm

Sunshine, I suppose you also long for the days where horses pulled carriages as well. The internet killed those stores. Maybe you've heard of a small website called Amazon?

Has nothing to do with the developers.


26 people like this
Posted by Cube Farm Haven
a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 29, 2017 at 6:29 pm

@Me 2 , no we don't yearn for the days of horsedrawn carriages although that's what the proponents of uber-density like to claim to dismiss any and all objections we have to PA becoming an office park and to the city allowing under-parked buildings like the Epiphany Hotel that has NO parking for guests, visitors, workers and people dining there.

I DO yearn for the days when you can go out and hear live music without having to go to Redwood City or SF. But alas, the Gatehouse, Illusion/The KeyStone etc. etc. are all cube farms now.

So yes, it has to do with developers AND the lack of parking which is why have Uber and Lyft and as well as Amazon. You've also got DoorDash and all the meal delivery services because it's getting to be too much of hassle to go out.

It wasn't too long ago -- within the last 5 years -- that the city paid handsomely for a big-deal study on retail density and how a lot of stores were needed in a particular area to attract shoppers. I remember the Chamber of Commerce testifying about exactly how many stores were need within an X-block area.

Of course after they spent the money on the study, they proceeded to ignore it and declare what are clearly offices "ground floor retail" until that because absurdly laughable.


2 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 29, 2017 at 7:24 pm

We have more than one category of developer - profit and non-profit - and the somewhere in-between depending on who is doing the major effort on the job vs being the front person to reduce costs. Hopefully it is spelled out how the resulting property is going to be taxed. Property taxes are now front and center and we need it clarified as to the negotiation with the lead contractor as to how the city will benefit. Are there any deals being made which shifts the burden of taxes elsewhere?


14 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 29, 2017 at 8:21 pm

"But it is okay to use fees to punish builders of detached single-family homes?"

Of course it is. Everybody in Wonderland knows that constructing residences always boosts the need for affordable housing, while building commercial facilities never does. Just ask the Mad Hatter, or anybody.


6 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 30, 2017 at 8:38 pm

If the intent of the reduction in fees for offices and research-and-development was to encourage more development of them, that is counterproductive in trying to solve the jobs to housing imbalance. Did developers talk to council members, or vice versa, and did the developers say they wouldn't propose projects because of the December approved rates? Are they happy with the new ones?

What is the recent history of facts relating to revenue derived from each of the categories: offices and research-and-development, hotels, and detached single-family homes? Would anyone who knows or can retrieve that information please post it here? I'm interested in data from the last 3 years and a projection with the new rates for 2017 and 2018.


2 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 1, 2017 at 2:42 pm

A rushed decision with no basis in fact, just feelings of pro growth CC members of what the December rates would do. They were never given a chance to go into effect, so we'll never know. It's important to compare historical data on revenues received from the different categories of rates with revenues going forward with the new ones.

Who decides what and when to build affordable housing? What is the interest earned on the current amount in the fund? Time is our enemy, the longer we postpone spending the money. Building costs keep going up, way beyond the earned interest rate in the fund.

Eric Filseth adds so much to the discussion on this subject. He studies it, then analyzes it, and articulates it. Many others just have 'a feeling'. Not the way to go. Feelings alone, can lead us down the wrong path.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.