What about SB 35 and Housing?
There are new housing bills such as Senate Bill 35 (approved) and Senate Bill 50 that may lead to incremental housing growth in your city. Here is an example: Saratoga has proposed a simplified “ministerial review process” being applied to SB-35 housing development initiatives, that skips city council review and falls upon the planning department. I did not support this process when it was voted. As a result, a new SB-35 housing proposal will now be fast-tracked in Saratoga. I am not excited about this directional shift as it not only changes the character of our cities, but will also impose additional pressures upon schools along with traffic, water and our quality of life.
I will push back against SB-35 and housing projects that are being forced onto cities: I would like to see managed housing growth, not the likes of which SB-35 or SB-50 will allow. Any housing development needs to happen on the foundation of sound urban planning. Circumventing EIR processes that have worked very well for decades is simply a recipe for disaster. The growth of Silicon Valley will be very disruptive and just wrong. No wonder, cities like Beverly Hills, Huntington Beach, Walnut Creek, Palm Desert, San Luis Obispo are opposing SB-35.
Rishi has a better way: The housing problem is really a transportation problem. See my alternate viewpoint. Is there greed playing with the push to force housing into every city of Silicon Valley? Forcing housing, preempting local control of our cities is not the way. How about a new approach; expanding out housing in a Mega Silicon Valley region on the backs of eco-friendly, noiseless, tunnel-based, cutting-edge transportation system (not the bullet train or light rail). This will address our housing, transportation, homelessness challenges, expand the economy, while preserving and protecting our quality of life.
The Rishi and Anna housing contrast: Congresswoman Eshoo wants to increase housing in every city. Anna wants to work “with cities to satisfy their Regional Housing Need Allocation goals for construction of housing, including affordable housing.” If that happens it will increase housing development projects in every city. I don’t support that.
Failure of our elected leadership: Our elected leaders have been unable to prescribe a plan to solve the Silicon Valley housing crisis and our traffic woes due to decades of inaction, a band-aid policy and inefficient systems like the Light Rail that bleed money every month. We need a better plan and a new vision.