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Split council walks away from affordable housing fee

Original post made on Nov 3, 2011

On Tuesday the City Council had its most intense disagreement in recent memory when members split over whether to pursue a new affordable housing fee for developers.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, November 3, 2011, 11:30 AM

Comments (13)

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 3, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Subsidized housing is a cruel hoax. Through misplaced middle class guilt, we tax ourselves in order to supply a continuous stream of 'below market rate' employees. The rich get richer....


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Posted by Another Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 3, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Nothing is free... If we don't provide BMR housing our taxes can go up to pay police, fire, teachers, etc enough to be able to afford to live in our City when they are young...If we don't facilitate that one way or another they work here, live elsewhere and can't contribute to our community outside of work OR can't get here quickly when called after a disaster...

You are correct we have a choice. I would choose to fund BMR housing, but a voted on parcel tax will fail. So our choices are a builder's fee (rents are increased) or a massive voter campaign to persuade those who don't care about above. I'll support council members who vote to do the job we elected them to do, not to put every hard question on the ballot.


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Posted by Pete
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 3, 2011 at 2:32 pm

"Nothingn is Free" is correct but the remainder of the statement that BMR is used to keep public safety and teachers in our community is INCORRECT.

Public safety only qualifies in their intial years right out of the academy. Teachers after 6 years no longer qualify. So how many of us purchased our first house in our 20s? The BMR is being expanded to include everyone and it was stated that people remain on section 8 vouchers for an average of 12 years. So let's not use persuasive emotional language out of context and devoid of facts.

I appreciate straight-up Council Members with integrity. Thank you for all that you do and for making the hard decisions.


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Posted by George
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 3, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Hey, housing too expensive ? Friggen move to Lodi, Bodega Bay, anywhere else... Everyone need not own a house (or rent) in Mtn.
View. Jeeze, do we need more "poor" ones in town ???


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Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 3, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Parcel taxes are terrible, the well off with expensive houses pay the same amount as someone who has a inexpensive home or condo. As a retired person I don't want new added taxes. I say no new parcel taxes and get rid of the ones we have.


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Posted by Doug Pearson
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 3, 2011 at 5:52 pm

I see these choices: an affordable housing fee fee that is acceptable under the Palmer v. Los Angeles decision (I don't know what that is; maybe a fee of "up to 11.4% of the project's assessed value" consistent with the 'nexus' study, whatever that was), a tax, or reduced city income (i.e., neither fee nor tax).

I am strongly opposed to reducing the city's income. The city already is required, year after year, to find some new service to cut because, even in good times, it doesn't have enough income to pay for everything it needs to do. (For example, library services are below what they should be, strictly because of lack of money.)

Even though this fee/tax/whatever-is-decided is dedicated to affordable housing and that's the only thing that would be cut for lack of it, I still think we need to have a minimum amount of affordable housing in the city.

If we can't get affordable housing by requiring developers to pay an in lieu fee, we should require a portion of their development to be affordable.


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Posted by Doug Pearson
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 3, 2011 at 5:53 pm

I see these choices: an affordable housing fee fee that is acceptable under the Palmer v. Los Angeles decision (I don't know what that is; maybe a fee of "up to 11.4% of the project's assessed value" consistent with the 'nexus' study, whatever that was), a tax, or reduced city income (i.e., neither fee nor tax).

I am strongly opposed to reducing the city's income. The city already is required, year after year, to find some new service to cut because, even in good times, it doesn't have enough income to pay for everything it needs to do. (For example, library services are below what they should be, strictly because of lack of money.)

Even though this fee/tax/whatever-is-decided is dedicated to affordable housing and that's the only thing that would be cut for lack of it, I still think we need to have a minimum amount of affordable housing in the city.

If we can't get affordable housing by requiring developers to pay an in lieu fee, we should require a portion of their development to be affordable.


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Posted by Tired of Being Used
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 3, 2011 at 9:55 pm

I won't vote for a parcel tax increase when the city still has put in no plans to stop the abuse of people who get on the lists for affordable housing without ever having lived in Mtn. View before, or for that matter without ever having lived or worked in California before.

When immigrants from Europe no longer get on Section 8 lists before ever moving to the US and then somehow getting into Ginton Terrace before any low income Mtn.View residents can, then why would I give the city more money to create more affordable apartments?


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Posted by good
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 3, 2011 at 10:17 pm

OK, I'll play devil's advocate here...
Why do we need subsidized/affordable housing in Mountain View? I have many coworkers that cannot afford a home in Mountain View and have obscene commutes that affect their quality of life... used to be me. If you hadn't noticed, there are quite a few commuters in this area, and many of them work in a where they can't afford the housing! What is considered affordable housing? There are hundreds of two-bedroom apartments available for under $1500/mo... a fair number under $1000/mo within a more reasonable commute than many that work in Mountain View. Why is it more important to spend money on subsidized housing to attract low-income residents than to provide services to existing residents?


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Posted by Andrea Gemmet
Mountain View Voice Editor
on Nov 4, 2011 at 10:46 am

Andrea Gemmet is a registered user.

The following comments have been moved from a duplicate thread, which has now been closed:

City council rejects Socialism. There is hope.
by Patriot Nov 3, 2011 at 4:42 pm

I applaud council members Bryant, Kasperzak and Macias for wanting to build more housing that is affordable in Mountain View. We need affordable housing, especially apartments,if we want Mountain View to be a welcoming, diverse community in which young families, college students, senior citizens, new immigrants, restaurant workers, health care aides, retail employees and others earning lower wages can afford to live.
by Lori Abrahamsohn Nov 3, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Why two identical articles?
by why??? Nov 3, 2011 at 9:43 pm

The parcel tax idea is less fair than a direct fee to developers. Homeowners should not have to subsidize developers' profits through a parcel tax. Developers will assure themselves profit, fee or no fee. A fee to developers is the most fair to the community.
by Amanda Que Nov 4, 2011 at 7:59 am

ugh. not this cr@p again. If you want to tax a private business, tax them. But a parcel tax to fund BMR housing is no more subsidizing developer profit than a resident's donation to a food bank is subsidizing Safeway's profits. Why is it the developer's responsibility to ensure sufficient BMR housing exists in the community?
by insanity! Nov 4, 2011 at 8:50 am

Just because Simon Legree could supply affordable housing to his servants, should we supply affordable housing to our servant class?
by Tom Nov 4, 2011 at 9:20 am

Not everyone living in Mtn View has a large and glorious salary. Some of us get by on very modest incomes. Why should we be taxed to subsidize people choosing a lifestyle they cannot afford?
by Steve Nov 4, 2011 at 10:11 am


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Posted by gcoladon
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 4, 2011 at 2:31 pm

gcoladon is a registered user.

I lived somewhere affordable and commuted to my workplace until I saved enough money to move closer to where I worked. What's so wrong with that? Is it heartless or uncaring to expect others to follow a similar path?

I too wish things like housing, food, and gas cost less. But alas, they don't.


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Posted by DCS
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 6, 2011 at 12:50 pm

There is a large amount of apartments here in Mountain View that are very run-down and unpleasant to live in, and also very expensive. Perosnally, I would like to see BMR money going towards tearing these down and/or renovating them and allowing a certain percentage of the units to be BMR. It could only improve our neighborhoods. Of course, I really don't believe we should be collecting money for BMR< but the money is there, so it needs ot be spent appropriately.


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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 7, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Very courageous decision by council to end a policy that did very little to help make housing more affordable. The BMR rental tax unfairly taxed middle income people to pay for subsidized housing. A parcel tax will allow all residents to decide if they want to provide subsidized housing to a few low income people. If enough residents want to support this type of housing program, then they should vote for the parcel tax which, will be paid for by all residents.


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