The law firm of Aleshire & Wynder is seeking petitioners (cities, counties, and government agencies) to jointly file a legal action against the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD)
Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning (PASZ) have circulated a letter supporting the Menlo Balance initiative for local control.
The New York Times followed up with a “Times Insider” column on June 12th. Reporter Sarah Bahr writes about her interview with journalist Connor Dougherty, author of the “Not in Her Backyard” profile of Catalysts’ founder Susan Kirsch.
Susan Kirsch is a 78-year-old retired teacher who lives in a small cottage home in Mill Valley, Calif., on a quiet suburban street that looks toward a grassy knoll. The cause that takes up most of her time, however, is fighting new development and campaigning for the right of suburban cities to have near total control over what gets built in them.
For decades, cities like San Francisco have issued new housing elements every ten years, and for decades they haven’t made much difference. The last version, approved in 2014, called for far more affordable housing than the city has funded and approved. Meanwhile, the city has authorized more luxury housing than the state says it needs.
Data shows that RHNA rules are just impossible without complete urban transformation. What was Wiener thinking?
If San Francisco is going to rely on private for-profit developers to build most of its new affordable housing through inclusionary mandates, the amount of new market-rate housing will have to more than triple what state currently requires.
An initiative proposed by local group Menlo Balance seeks to make rezoning single-family neighborhoods in Menlo Park require a vote at the ballot box, but critics say that it’s trying to fend off a threat that doesn’t exist.
In some parts of California, there is definitely a housing crunch: small supplies of homes for sale, prices that escalate even when population has apparently stabilized and high prices that exclude most Californians as buyers.
But a massive, multi-million-unit shortage? Maybe not. At least, so suggests a scathing springtime report from the non-partisan acting state auditor.
In the March report, auditors said “HCD does not ensure that its needs assessments are accurate and adequately supported.” That’s a big deal.
In other words, the housing department’s top-down mandates for the next eight-year housing element cycle are unreliable, likely invalid and should therefore be unenforceable. The foundation of the RHNA methodology is as unstable as building housing on sand.