City Council discusses limiting PHZ

Join us to speak out on Monday, April 12th when City Council votes to prohibit apartments on 87% of Palo Alto's residential land and disproportionately raise the fees to build them. 

Read Palo Alto Forward's letter here
Read Steve Levy's letter and blog post here 

Read this post for more details. 

Email: [email protected] 
Public Comment:
Meeting ID: 362 027 238

Agenda Item #10 (6:05-7:15pm) Ask City Council not to disproportionately increase fees on apartment buildings, making affordability more difficult to achieve.  
Agenda Item #11 (7:15-8:45pm) Ask City Council not to make Planned Home Zones more exclusive. We have to make space for apartments if we want to meet our climate change and affordability goals.  

Palo Alto Forward's Letter from Board President, Gail Price: 

Dear Mayor DuBois and City Council members,  

Palo Alto Forward is a non-profit organization focused on the intersection of housing, transportation, and climate change. We have members in every neighborhood and strive to make Palo Alto a more inclusive, affordable, and climate positive place for residents at all income levels.

We are writing to oppose the new restrictions to multi-family housing development that City Council will discuss at the April 12th meeting. By disproportionately raising fees on multi-family housing and limiting the use of the Planned Home Zone (PHZ) in R-1 lots, Palo Alto will make it virtually impossible to build a wider range of housing options to meet our housing needs. Given state mandates and city priorities, this Council should be considering how to make PHZ more desirable and feasible to ensure the development of needed new homes. 

The change to the PHZ, prohibiting the use on R-1 lots, is wrongheaded and inappropriate. The PHZ never mentioned exemptions for single family lots and by changing this policy midstream to meet the requests of one neighborhood, the City Council will demonstrate a bad faith effort that blocks new, affordable housing. Further, by limiting the ability to use this important tool across the city, Palo Alto will make it impossible to equitably zone for new housing in every neighborhood. 

This is the wrong time to constrict future housing proposals and is not in line with the mandate of “housing for social and economic balance”. Last week the council appointed a Housing Element Working Group and tonight will approve a Housing Element consultant team. Taking a potential needed housing tool off the table before the process of developing a new Housing Element even begins sends a signal to HCD and ABAG that Palo Alto does not intend to undertake the Housing Element update in good faith exploring what alternative sites and policies are needed to meet housing goals.

Palo Altans have consistently demanded the prioritization of climate change action. The single most impactful way to reduce our GHG emissions in Palo Alto now and in the future  is to build more infill housing.  Unless we begin to replace some of the inefficient, aging housing stock we have with new, dense homes, we will continue to fail future generations.

Thank you.
Gail Price, President of Palo Alto Forward 

  • Angela Evans
    published this page in Blog 2021-04-12 15:02:02 -0700


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