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How Affordable is that Subdivision, Really? ABAG is Calling...

Original post made by Mike, College Terrace, on Jun 25, 2008

More rising support and data for living "close in". ABAG is calling folks; it's time to meet our civic and environmental responsibilities - to build more affordable and accessible housing, and the mass transportation to serve it.

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The End of Suburbia
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Comments (4)

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Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 25, 2008 at 5:01 pm

It's just more of the same, Mike. It was nifty stuff in the fifties, but we're flat out of orchards to sacrifice in the name of progress.

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Posted by Anna
a resident of Southgate
on Jun 25, 2008 at 5:05 pm

We already have a lot of housing in places like Tracy that Mike would have us believe is obsolete because people who would live in them have no choice but to endure long, expensive commutes to the Bay Area.

Mike's solution would apparently be for us to build houses here in (already overbuilt) Palo Alto so these people could move here closer to employment opportunities - abandoning these obsolete houses.

Wouldn't a better way to handle this situation be to put jobs where these "obsolete" houses are - making them no longer obsolete (since people could live in them without commuting to the Bay Area)?

Why should we duplicate Tracy's housing in Palo Alto, where it's much more expensive to build, when we can for much less strain on the environment, send some jobs to Tracy? It's wasteful to rebuild all this existing housing: let's find a way to use what's already there. That's green.

And why assume that people who DO commute from far out suburbs do so by car? Couldn't we build some energy efficient rail from the valley (Where we already have a LOT of houses) to the Bay Area for less stress on the environment than crowding more housing into an already overbuilt area?

Mike always talks about win/win. Isn't using what we have already (the houses in Tracy) more win/win than abandoning them for lack of the kind of can-do imagination Mike always talks about?

When ABAG calls, we needn't pick up the phone. We ought to do a little more creative thinking before falling for the same bureaucrat inspired solutions to "problems".

ABAG is mostly a lobbying arm of the building trades. Haven't these people harmed our environment and our state enough?

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Posted by Mike
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 26, 2008 at 11:09 am

'Wouldn't a better way to handle this situation be to put jobs where these "obsolete" houses are"

And where do those jobs come from? California sprawl is a direct result of urban job growth. Here is where employers want to locate; here is where more housing is needed.

Mass transport? Who wants a 2 hour train commute when you can walk to work, or take a 10 minute interurban train?

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Posted by Donnie
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 26, 2008 at 7:24 pm

"Here is where employers want to locate; here is where more housing is needed."

I, for one, am offended by the notion that we should have the shape of our City dictated by "what employers want". George Bush may think it's a good idea if corporate interests control government policy, but he's the most unpopular politician in America for that very reason in part.

Here in Palo Alto, I think WE should get to decide our zoning policies. Not ABAG...and certainly not "employers". And I'm pretty sure if WE decide, we're not going to be building 2800 new housing units to warehouse workers for these wanting "employers" any time soon.

If "employers" want cheap worker housing, let them move to the valley where such housing already exists in abundance instead of attempting to force us unwillingly to put the cheap worker housing here.

I think Anna was pretty much right when she said ABAG is mostly a lobbying group for corporate interests like building trades and "employers".

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