Thanks to all who came to our general meeting last week. 40+ people packed Mitchell Park Community Center's Adobe Room South to hear Steve Levy present his voluntary research: Region and County Economic Trends and Implications for the Comprehensive Plan. For those who were unable to attend, Steve has updated his slides to clarify some points and incorporate some of the discussion.
Steve opened by illustrating job growth trends for CA, the Bay Area and Santa Clara County. Since the 2008 recession the economy has rebounded and we have now added back the lost jobs and then some. Job growth is forecasted to continue at a slower pace through 2018. Most of the people filling these jobs will be newcomers to the area (from other parts of the US and other countries.) And those folks will need to live somewhere and travel around the region efficiently.
On the demographic front, for the next 15 years, the 55 and over population is projected to increase significantly, as boomers age. There was a lot of lively discussion around the housing types, options, and challenges that people of all demographics (age, economic, etc) are facing, but with particular concern on how best to handle the projected increase of the senior population.
Given the time horizon of the next Comp Plan, through 2030, Steve also encouraged us to think about how much things have changed in the last 15 years, from the year 2000. In 2030, the world around us may be quite different, and the vision and policies for our next Comp Plan should reflect future possibilities, not just react to salient issues on the ground today.
Hillary Gitelman, Palo Alto's Planning Director, attended and gave a quick overview of the Comprehensive Plan process. They expect to hold a Comprehensive Plan Summit or Expo in May, which will kick off and recruit participants for a series of summer work sessions to writing the Comprehensive Plan. Your support for housing and transportation issues will be particularly important.
Hope to see you at another meeting or event soon: