Losing Local Housing Control
I will protect our small-town character, while also considering impacts on our schools, traffic, water, and quality of life.
Pleasanton must pay attention. A plethora of California State legislation is threatening to remove our local control over Pleasanton’s planning and development of our community. The State’s housing agenda has little concern for Pleasanton’s quality of life regarding the balance of new housing with city services, schools, traffic, and water, and city services. State legislators want to take those decisions away from us, removing local control. Legislation currently being considered gives a clear path to developers to build new housing – without concerns for architectural review, traffic congestion, law enforcement and other city services, or building schools. The State feels no responsibility for our community’s values.
I support Pleasanton’s 20% affordable housing policy (intended for very-low-income qualifying populations), but the State’s housing agenda mandates 5-10 story buildings and produces 80%-90% market-rate housing (expensive) which does not create the needed workforce affordability.
Having two BART stations, Pleasanton is targeted by AB 29231, legislation which has the potential to pass soon. AB 2923 gives development authority to BART – an organization that has no experience as a developer, can’t manage the responsibilities they currently have, and wouldn’t care how our community would look or be impacted.
The threat from other legislative proposals is even greater.
Join me to Stand Up for Local Control!
1 AB-2923 would set new rules for development within a half-mile radius of BART stations – including BART parking lots, removing local city council control from those developments.
CA Senator Steve Glaser gives a thoughtful, heartfelt and courageous speech regarding AB 2923: Watch... (16-min video)
“We are so much better here in the Legislature, as a state, as a nation, when we find ways to build partnerships, provide compromise, accommodation, collaboration. That’s what brings out the best in our lawmaking. But the bill before us does none of these things… It’s a sledgehammer. It tramples the rights of towns and cities with no good reasons. It’s unprecedented in scope. It stifles community engagement, increases distrust and animosity.
“Let’s do our great work together to support affordable housing in this state. We’ve taken many steps in the last few years to do just that. This bill today – today – is not a good answer.”
Catherine Baker, Calif Assemblywoman, gives an excellent speech attacking unfairness and unconstitutionality of AB 2923. (5-min video)
Also, read this interesting letter from Steve Glazer (Senate District 7) to Assemblymembers Chiu and Grayson, stating AB 2923 suggests a solution to a problem that does not exist. Local cities have already approved thousands of housing units near BART stations, “even though BART has not tried to build housing on the property it owns.” Senator Glazer includes the following data table in his letter, showing the number of BART applications for development on its properties near stations in Senate District 7:
More important letters in opposition to AB 2923:
- BART Board Members’ letter to CA State Senate Appropriations Cmte., oppose AB 2923
- Letter to CA Senate Appropriations Cmte., from Susan Kirsch – Chair, Livable California
- “When Affordable Housing Meets Free-Market Fantasy”, Zelda Bronstein – former Berkeley Planning Commission Chair
Some other housing bills to watch in 2018:
- SB-827 Planning and zoning: transit-rich housing bonus
Requires a local jurisdiction, notwithstanding any local ordinance, general plan element, specific plan, charter, or other local law, to provide an eligible applicant with a transit-rich housing bonus if requested by the developer, as specified. Read bill analysis…
Status: Defeated for 2018 – Likely to come back next next year.
- SB-828 Land use: housing element
Makes a number of changes to the regional housing needs allocation (RHNA) process. Read bill analysis…
Status: At Assembly Appropriations Committee August 2018.
“Other bills” information from LivableCalifornia.org used with permission.