Local Control Over Housing Development
The residents of Los Altos should be able to control development in our City.
But it isn’t that simple. Silicon Valley like the rest of California is facing a housing crisis. The shortage of housing at all income levels contributes to urban sprawl, traffic, gentrification, sky-high rents, climate change, and – over time – will weaken our economy.
The State of California requires every City to do its part to increase housing. The State enforces its mandate by setting complicated Regional Housing Needs Allocations, (“RHNA”) for every city.
Los Altos has not met its RHNA obligation. Under state law, the City lost its ability to control some of the housing projects proposed by developers.
To protect our ability to control development, I will advocate for policies that respect the charm and appeal of our City but still comply with State law. It is not enough to declare that the State shouldn’t interfere in local zoning laws and controls over development. We have a legal (and a moral) obligation to do our part and work to meet our RHNA obligations.
We can’t just ignore laws we don’t like. That’s how Los Altos winds up in costly and tangled litigation. Let’s come together as a community and find solutions to meet our obligations, and minimize the impact to our residents and businesses.