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Local towns face increased state housing requirements

Original post made on May 18, 2021

Midpeninsula towns are seeing increasing housing allocation requirements, much to the displeasure of some locals, while others welcome new building.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, May 17, 2021, 3:54 PM

Comments (8)

Posted by MP Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 18, 2021 at 9:37 pm

MP Resident is a registered user.

No argument with the need more housing, but with Facebook, Salesforce and others scaling back on site employees, won't the imbalance be less than current estimates? If so, would the new housing requirements be adjusted down?

Posted by Diane Hillier
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on May 21, 2021 at 9:14 am

Diane Hillier is a registered user.

The principle cause of this need for more housing is the fact that successful companies like Google and Facebook are bringing in a tremendous number of jobs and providing little housing. "In 2015 alone the bay area added some 64,000 jobs." I always thought that more employment opportunities was only a good thing but perhaps it is too much of a good thing.

Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Portola Valley: other
on May 21, 2021 at 1:25 pm

Neighbor is a registered user.

The bottom line is this: The Peninsula has a finite amount of space, and as we have seen, the fire danger is real. Very, very real. Developing areas that are in the high risk fire zone, which is basically everything west of 280 to Skyline (as seen last year in the evacuation maps), is extremely dangerous. The answer is not more housing, it is fewer people, and to that end, the gigantic firms in the area have got to cap their expansion.

Posted by Iris
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on May 21, 2021 at 5:51 pm

Iris is a registered user.

It is simplistic and foolish to look at the housing crisis as something that can solved by adding housing units alone. The pressures from rampant jobs growth are a big factor.
The virtually uncontrolled growth of office buildings and related projections of growth in jobs coming to the area are exacerbating the current housing shortage. The shortage will only get worse unless office space growth slows down, possibly even to a stop. Even mixed use projects approved and in the pipeline add far more jobs than housing. This is simply unsustainable. Looking at only housing will never solve the problems our communities are facing.
The shift to remote work and the extreme drought should lead to serious discussions and a reckoning with what additional in-person jobs growth -- IF ANY -- is realistic, and how much can be supported by the transportation system (such as it is), natural resources, schools, housing.
Such discussions should acknowledge that the housing affordability crisis could be partially addressed with better wages and subsidies, not just by increasing housing supply although that is an important factor, too, since scarce supply relative to demand tends to increase prices

Posted by Ellen
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 22, 2021 at 6:34 pm

Ellen is a registered user.

The previous comments point out what we all know to be true. The problem in our area is excess commercial growth, not insufficient housing development. Our cities - especially Menlo Park - must put the breaks on further development. Otherwise, we will never be able to catch up, let alone keep up.

Posted by Matt
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on May 24, 2021 at 12:31 pm

Matt is a registered user.

I find most of the comments about stopping business growth unrealistic. And even if we did do that, the deficit is so large that we'd still have a massive housing shortage.

I live in Woodside, a place very resistant to meeting its housing requirements in terms of numbers and affordability. I wish it were easier to get an ADU permitted here. My lot is 1.14 acres. I have a 1500 square foot home on it. I'd love to add an ADU. Then rental income could pay my property taxes when I retire, the town would get more affordable housing, and someone or a couple would actually be able to live on the peninsula who wasn't a start up millionair or VC.

Posted by Janet Chen
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 30, 2021 at 4:51 pm

Janet Chen is a registered user.

NIMBYs can go pound sand. We want our communities to be bike friendly and public transit rich. No more cars. And until single family zoning exists as a mandate, that will not happen. So that is the first thing that will go. It must go.

Folks who lament the wildfire risk, well they should not be living there as well if they think it is that big a deal. We want our communities to be dense and affordable especially in the heart of a major metropolitan area. Jobs come first and then housing should follow.

This country messed up big by having folks treat housing as an investment. Shelter is not an investment and keep on NIMBYing and we will make sure that it turns into a commodity that it should be.

Prop 13 repeals comes next. Somebody has to pay for all that sprawl.

And we all know what 'maintaining rural character' means. What you are trying to say is that our community is only accessible to the rich and or the white. Well, that is not going to stand. We will make sure it does not stand.

We want all types and kinds of people to be living amongst us and we want the market to be flooded with so much supply that even a teacher or an artist can live amongst us.

Posted by Observer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 30, 2021 at 8:32 pm

Observer is a registered user.

Wow Janet, you got to make sure that all the bases are covered including racism.
I think that most of rural America would love for you to locate all that wealth you imply they have.
You say that you want all types of people living among us and that's great and I agree. But that is you and I.
People are diverse as you say but not all of those diverse folks wish to live as you seem to tell them they should live.

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