Town Square

New housing bills stir familiar opposition

Original post made on Apr 30, 2021

After seeing his contentious housing legislation, Senate Bill 50, flounder at the finish line last year, state Sen. Scott Wiener is taking a more delicate approach with his latest proposal to encourage residential density.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, April 29, 2021, 12:29 PM


Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 30, 2021 at 6:49 am

Annette is a registered user.

The words "transit rich" suggest a transit system that offers a dependable alternative to automobile use. Maybe Sacramento should focus on legislation that results in a such a system and leave housing to local government.

As for our jobs:housing imbalance, Palo Alto is jobs rich and lacking in housing b/c of the actions of development oriented city councils that did not require sufficient mitigations on commercial development. The majority on those councils made their campaign donors happy (and wealthier!) and they were successful in their campaigns, but the community suffered - and is still suffering - as a result. There has to be a remedy to correct this that provides adequate levels of city services to support housing growth, including water supply and public safety. I think this is called Smart Growth. It is ironic that Palo Alto didn't choose to be iconic in that area.

As the saying goes, follow the money. And while doing this, take a look at where Weiner's $upport comes from.

Posted by anon1234
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 30, 2021 at 8:37 am

anon1234 is a registered user.

A careful reading of both SB 9 and 10 shows that they are NOT duplex bills.
Lots splits and state mandates allow six to eight units where one was before and reduce rear and side setbacks to four feet!
No affordable units are required.
No contributions to infrastructure improvements that will be needed are required.
This represents a huge loss of backyard habitat. Loss of trees.
The bills are not voluntary rather imposed across the state.
The bills will contribute to the the wealth of land speculators big real estate interests and drive prices for tenants/ buyers up as land values continue to sky rocket!
Terrible bills that if successful will cause real harm!
Like the poster above says, follow the money!

Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 30, 2021 at 8:52 am

Citizen is a registered user.

Didn’t CA just lose a seat in Congress because we’re losing more people than we’re getting? The state legislature should be focused on drought, fire and supporting quality of life, especially by investing in civic assets where towns have affordable housing but are losing people (can’t attract job creators for lack of civic assets), or where they are losing people due to the damage to liveability from the developer-obsequious overdevelopment push of recent years.

The 2017 tax changes were brutal to California homeowners in the middle class and seriously disadvantaged them in other ways while advantaging investors. The problem of investors snapping up housing which is the biggest moneymaker just sitting on it long term rather than ensuring it gets lived in. Investors now account for 20% of home sales in Atlanta, how much is it here?

We have drought problems and people moving out precisely because developers have been allowed to destroy quality of life to make a fast buck using false arguments about affordability. (Honestly, they’ve gotten liberals to act as idiotlogically over the false argument that new dense developments result in “affordability” as conservatives do over tax cuts for the rich: no matter how often doing so causes the opposite result of the promises, they just claim we didn’t do enough of it—and the result is exactly the same for both, the super rich get wealthier at everyone else’s expense.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 30, 2021 at 8:58 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Horrible bills that do nothing to promote affordability and only densification and gentrification as per the lobbyists' backer$. I'm so relieved that the pro-development majority on the City Council was finally voted out!

Removing local control is tyrannical and authoritarian and anti-choice and will remove all diversity that makes life interesting. As it is, we're so over-crowded we can no longer easily go hear performances in Berkeley and don't tell me to take the train -- the train station parking lots are now filled with transit-rich housing so there's no parking! Taking Uber/Lyft to the train DOUBLES car traffic and shows the absurdity of the car-light fairy tales.

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 30, 2021 at 12:22 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

The bills have to pass. Check our congressional reps to see how they vote. Berman shows Los altos as his address - that is how he is referred to - don't think that this type of activity will go over big in Los Altos. But Berman is a Weiner. This whole idea is based on a policy of social equity which in realitiy has no applicability to the issue. People are using that as a wedge.

Posted by Allen Akin
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 30, 2021 at 1:29 pm

Allen Akin is a registered user.

If Newsom signs these bills, he becomes "the man who destroyed single-family housing in California". Would that eliminate any possibility he could win national office? Would that increase the chance he'll be voted out in the recall election? He has some difficult political calculations to make.

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 1, 2021 at 8:35 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

In the SFC 05/01 - "Palo Alto Housing debate's wide echoes". This "article", aka hit piece is more than one full page filled with the same "talking points" of "truths" pushed by the same suspects that appear and push their political rants on a regular basis. This group loves to make Palo Alto a target and get the local papers to push their story line. A percentage of the population lives and breathes pushing an agenda which only provides cherry picked POV's. It fails to mention that the biggest landholder with the most money is Stanford University and much of the city population is dependent on the many opportunities which spin off being next to a world wide noted university and the technical development relative to SU proximity. That alone defines the resident population in this city to some degree and the resulting tech companies and government agencies in this area.

Mr. Weiner's city of the Castro in SF is a totally different financial and social environment. He is busy trying to put square pegs in round holes - literally and figuratively. And the folks in Berkley at UC are in their own political maelstrom busily defining every one else against their standards which are progressively off the charts.

What is it that they all do not get? The people who live here have a purpose specific to this area and the government agencies that surround the University and tech industries. Housing is competitive in this area. And it has nothing to do with race - it has to do with brains. Brains come in all colors and they all are capable of focus on regional activities. In this state every area has a regional definition. WE have a regional definition and it is not UC Berkley or SF - the city falling apart at the seams. We are not going to become SF or Berkley - we are who we are which is the best.

Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on May 3, 2021 at 2:18 pm

chris is a registered user.

With its unsustainable financial model, Palo Alto is going to be begging the state for subsidies.
See the other article on the budget.

Do you think the state will be inclined to give Palo Alto any money if the current city council continues all attempts to build housing in Palo Alto?

It has nothing to do with what bills Newsom signs or doesn't sign. In the meantime, say goodbye to your libraries, community services, and current police and fire staffing. Palo Altan want all the goodies but are not willing to make the sacrifices to pay for them.

Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on May 3, 2021 at 2:40 pm

Novelera is a registered user.

OK, here's where Wiener gets his donations:

Web Link

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 3, 2021 at 3:36 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Read the business section of your papers - it shows the major real estate transactions. The bay area is getting bought up by out-of-state companies at a fast rate. Starve the local businesses, including hotel chains until they go out of business. Starve mom and pop wineries until they go out of business. Delay projects that are on the books so that labor does not have a job. There is someone waiting to buy all of this up. And this is not typical business transactions - this is a result of the Covid and political actions in process.

Palo Alto seems to have a target on it's back - people are trying to turn this place into a Hooverville. San Jose already has some elements with it's inability to get the homeless out of the Guadalupe River Park. How bizarre since they have empty buildings where they can put people. Why isn't that happening? They need to have the people out and in your face evident vs providing the space they have. There is more going on here and half the political groupies are signed on. Pay Attention.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 3, 2021 at 4:06 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

@Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is absolutely right. Pay attention.

Not a day goes by without another huge transaction -- or three -- being reported. Pretty soon we'll have no retail left to pay sales tax -- or to serve OUR needs.