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Tonight: Portola Valley council to discuss committee report on affordable housing

Original post made on Jun 11, 2013

The Portola Valley Town Council will meet at Wednesday, June 12, to discuss a report from a committee of nine volunteers on how the town should address the controversial topic of affordable housing mandates.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 12:06 AM

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Posted by louis ebner
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Jun 11, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Once again, Mr. Boyce has slipped a soap-box into his “reporting” of latest developments in the unfolding saga of BMR housing in Portola Valley. His ‘historical’ summary of the controversy clearly suggests that resistance to Town Council maneuvers in the area of BMR over the decades has been primarily based in complaints about possible declines in property values as the result of the appearance of “condominiums”. This, of course, is a dog-whistle to advocates of imposing other jurisdictions’ BMR “solutions” on towns such as Portola Valley.
Readers are directed to follow an embedded link and click on “Committee Report to Town Council”. Though Mr. Boyce is evidently less sanguine about this option, Readers who wish to get a fuller sense of what the Committee brought to light should also click the OTHER listing on the link: “Executive Summary of Community Meetings”. There the Reader will find an entirely different (fact- rather than rhetoric- based) take on the BMR controversy: what the principle points of contention and concern have been, and the true etiology of the “divisive tone” darkly referenced in Mr. Boyce’s 2nd paragraph.
The Executive Summary reports results of a series of five Community meetings held during March and April, and the Committee’s conclusions do not square with Mr. Boyce’s boilerplate characterization of the BMR controversy. In the section titled “Main concerns about affordable housing”, for example, the subject of “property values” is not to be found. According to the Community, the primary concerns are (1) Density (as pertains to protecting the rural character of the Town) and (2) Local (versus State or out-side Developer) Control of the BMR units planned and built.
As for that “divisive tone”: some explanation might be derived from the Executive Summary section titled “Themes that repeatedly arose”. The first listed theme (and the theme heard most by anyone who bothered to attend those community meetings) was: “Trust: An unfortunate level of distrust with past and current Town Council members and other decision-makers in the way that Affordable Housing issues have been handled was expressed.”
Could it be that twenty years of Developer-coddling, politically driven, secretive, fitful and heavy-handed tactics on the part of the Town Council in this arena have divided the Community on BMR housing, far more than the bogey-nimby Mr. Boyce and various members of the Council are determined to blame?
Why else would the Committee’s Summary end on this note? : “Moving Forward. Residents were assured that the process was ongoing, that they would be given additional opportunities to provide input, and that careful consideration and debate would take place in the future.”

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