News

The wrecking ball swings for another 59 homes

Tenants plead for help; city blames rent control for redevelopment

For the third time in recent months, Mountain View City Council members held their noses and made a show of disapproval even as they approved razing a cluster of 59 older, lower-cost apartments.

Following a pattern of similar redevelopments, the project approved at the Tuesday, April 3, meeting would replace dozens of cheaper apartments with a smaller number of for-sale homes, expected to sell for about $1.5 million apiece.

The project located at 2310 Rock St. was described as the latest case of gentrification, pushing out middle-class families into a hostile housing market. And for many observers, it felt like a rerun of last week's meeting: the same rhetoric, the same promises and the same result.

The redevelopment fits a pattern that sums up most of Mountain View's imbalanced housing challenges. When completed, it will add 54 units to the city's abundant and growing supply of housing priced for those earning well above six figures. Meanwhile, the project was another setback for moderate-income housing, the most lopsided category in the city's housing inventory.

This context wasn't lost on many residents living at the 2310 Rock St. apartments. While many implored the city to save their homes, they also urged the council to do something to stop the larger trend from continuing.

"Have you considered what Mountain View will look like if you allow this juggernaut to continue? It will change the face of the community," said Kennia Cobos, a mother of two who has lived at 2310 Rock St. since 2013. "The people who make this city are leaving in droves and we're not going to be left with diversity anymore."

Cobos' neighbor, Leland Erickson, 57, said his family would be split up if the project were approved. His wife wouldn't be able to stay in her job, and she planned to move to North Carolina. He would need to move someplace that guaranteed he would still have medical coverage since he has a disability. Right now, his plan is to sleep on a friend's couch in Oregon.

Like other tenants, he described a Catch-22 situation. In order to secure a new home, they needed proof of income, but in order to work, they needed nearby housing.

"I won't deny that losing my family is a real worry, but you have to go down fighting no matter what," he said. "If this happens we'll be forced out of our jobs because we'll be forced to move too far to commute."

But even tenant advocates acknowledged it seemed all but certain to go through, especially since similar projects had been recently approved. In December, a project at 2005 Rock St. won approval to rebuild 20 apartments into 15 rowhouses. Just last week, the council agreed to let a developer demolish 34 apartments at 1950 Montecito Ave. to build a smaller number of for-sale homes.

In total, far more housing is being built than what is being lost in Mountain View. In the last five years, more than 2,500 residential units have been permitted for construction, according to city officials. But the recent loss of older, rent-controlled apartments has highlighted how certain types of housing are endangered. With each project, elected leaders have reacted with increasing alarm, agreeing that something needs to be done.

Councilwoman Ellen Kamei tested the idea of imposing some kind of moratorium to restrict certain types of housing redevelopments. But City Attorney Jannie Quinn warned her that it would require a six-vote majority on the council, plus they would have to make specific findings to justify the action. The idea was soon dropped.

In turn, Kamei and Councilman Lucas Ramirez suggested bringing the project back to the drawing board to find ways to add more housing on the site. It would require variances and exemptions, but at least it would balance out the housing loss, Ramirez said.

But that idea also landed with a thud amid warnings that denying or delaying the project wouldn't accomplish anything. Councilman Chris Clark admonished his colleagues to approve the project, saying it was the best way to guarantee some kind of relocation benefits for the tenants. If the project were denied, the property owner could evict the tenants without any compensation.

"I don't feel like protest votes are productive or helpful," Clark said. "The answer to this long-term is to revisit our policies and determine what we can do to prevent this from happening again, but right now the rules are set in stone."

It was unclear what kind of housing policies the City Council has the appetite to revise. Some members mentioned the need to create a no-net-loss ordinance to prevent redevelopments from producing less housing. This idea will be considered later this month as part of the city's goal-setting session.

Council members Alison Hicks and John McAlister said they were more concerned about the impact of displacement on families. They plugged an idea to revise the city's Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance to open up income eligibility.

"I'm very upset about what's going on," Hicks said. "I hope we can use this to have a real discussion on displacement and policies to create something with real teeth in it, and not just something that tinkers with the details."

Other council members trained their sights on the city's rent control law, which they blamed as the culprit behind multiple recent redevelopments. The sale of the 2310 Rock St. apartments was not related to rent control, McAlister acknowledged, yet he believed it contributed to a "perfect storm" causing many landlords to sell.

"When rent control comes along, it devalues a person's property, and if someone wants to buy it they can't get more than a 3 percent increase," McAlister said. "We need to review this, and there's an opportunity in the 2020 election."

Of all the ideas mentioned, this one was highlighted as a "fast track" priority by the council. At the end of the meeting, Councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga asked for consideration of a future ballot initiative to revise the city's rent control policies as part of the council's April 23 goal-setting session. Abe-Koga did not specify what kind of revisions she wanted to include, but she suggested city officials should begin by examining housing data.

As they promised to look at those ideas, City Council members signaled they had little option but to approve the 2310 Rock St. project. In a round of deal-making from the dais, the council pressed the developer to increase the relocation benefits for special-needs households by $2,000. Displaced tenants were also promised they would have relocation payments facilitated in order to help them secure new housing. Of the 59 households, 37 have been deemed eligible for relocation payments.

All tenants are expected to leave by the end of September.

The project was approved in a 6-0 vote with Kamei abstaining.

"As policymakers we have to make policy that works for the residents, and I see a disconnect with this project that displaces people once again," Kamei explained.

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Comments

323 people like this
Posted by Mark
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 3, 2019 at 5:37 pm

I support the council’s decision last night to allow the Rock Street property to be redeveloped. I also disagree with Job Lopez comment last night in that he said “any of you voting to approve it, will be voted out of office”. I will vote against any candidate that supports taking rights away from any property owner.

It is the job for council to represent all the interests in Mountain View. Many activists continue to speak out and are trying to intimidate council members into voting against existing laws, like the Ellis act/a state law, and to vote NO on approving these redevelopment projects. You can have an opinion on rent control, but on the matter of who owns the property, it is up to the owner and that person alone if he wishes to exit the rental business and sell his property to whomever he wishes. Council needs to protect those individual rights as a property owner.

To all council members, please answer this for me.

In the year 2001, you had the Dot.com implosion. In the years that followed after that you had thousands of people being laid off from their jobs in our city and the surrounding area and could not find any other work here and had to move out of the area. Council members, in the next recession will you be passing any new laws that will prevent employers from laying off people? Will you be passing a new law that will require employers to pay their salaries for 3- 6 month’s or till they find a new job? If you don’t then many people will have to move out of the area, be displaced, as they were in the last recession. This is no different than what is happening now when you have a rental business that is closing down and going out of business.

IMHO, we have a home ownership imbalance in our city. To many rental units and not enough home ownership options. As a goal setting agenda for the council they should look at allowing those older apartments that are currently going to be razed, to have an option for them to convert to Condominiums as they are. That is the most affordable home ownership option that we have.


82 people like this
Posted by Lori
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 3, 2019 at 5:40 pm

We are now in a TAKE WHAT YOU CAN GET mode with state legislation pending that will soon force cities to allow residential highrises all over the place.


14 people like this
Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 3, 2019 at 5:48 pm

Hicks lives in a nice big house on a corner lot in Old Mountain View. Liberal as hec, but certainly must love the sky rocketing value of her house.

And I'm all for ripping down the old and bringing in the new. The displaced tenants will survive. This is probably just the push they needed to take the jump into looking for other living arrangements.

Heartless, maybe, but I want Mountain View to resemble more Los Altos, or Palo Alto or Beverly Hills. Call me crazy. I just like money and being rich.


260 people like this
Posted by As was foretold
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 3, 2019 at 5:57 pm

This is exactly what the opposition to rent control warned about. Looks like they were right, but being correct about things doesn't always win you elections. Just ask Trump.


65 people like this
Posted by rent control deniers
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 3, 2019 at 7:50 pm

lets face it, most landowners are not going to publicly admit the real reason they want to get out of the rental market . but, they cannot upgrade their rental units or demolish and build newer and nicer units. they will not be able to get return on their money because of restrictions placed on them by measure v.

it doesn't take a genius to predict that older rent controlled units are more likely to be demolished and replaced with for sale units


12 people like this
Posted by LOL
a resident of Bailey Park
on Apr 3, 2019 at 8:21 pm

[Post removed due to poster being banned for repeated violations of terms of use/trolling]


5 people like this
Posted by Todd Boyle
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2019 at 8:35 pm

I lived 20 years in Seattle area before being displaced by high costs. We saw countless affordable apartments demolished.. I videod Jim Page performance of "Wrecking Ball" and all would probably enjoy it. His conclusion in that case was accountability lies with City Hall. It is on youtube.com/watch?v=wahcqXf5whA


102 people like this
Posted by m2grs
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2019 at 10:55 pm

The problem with old apartments is that if you don't upgrade you face potential lawsuits from tenants for violating ever more stringent state laws. The state legislature has been busy passing thousands of laws, some of which are nightmares for landlords of old apartments. A successful lawsuit may bankrupt the landlord.

But if you do upgrade you cannot recoup the cost, let alone any profit, because of the rent control.

The only way out is to get out of the business.


14 people like this
Posted by Affordable Housing Crisis
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 4, 2019 at 2:34 am

Affordable Housing Crisis is a registered user.

Demolitions of affordable housing were happening long before rent control was even on the ballot in Mountain View and several speakers on the evening of the April 2nd Council meeting provided that well known evidence. It was also made clear that the owners of 2310 Rock Street and 1950 Montecito were not selling because of rent control but rather for family reasons and retirement, respectively. The reason that property owners are selling is because Mountain View is experiencing an extremely strong sellers market which for the most part has been created by one of the largest tech firms on the planet setting up their HQ in Mountain View, bringing in an enormous number of jobs which, coupled with other tech giants like Apple, Facebook, and Amazon doing the same in surrounding cities, sparked a gentrification process that is severely decreasing diversity in this city and the whole Silicon Valley area. And previous Mountain View Councilmembers are directly responsible by allowing tech giants to set up shop with no jobs/housing balance as part of those deals. I don't expect landlords to put people over profits (especially after reading all the comments they make on these articles about people losing their homes) but we have to hold our elected officials accountable to do so and keep demanding that a No Net Loss of Affordable Housing policy be put in place which will help the Council meet their number one goal of protecting vulnerable communities and preserving diversity in Mountain View.


59 people like this
Posted by A resident
a resident of Gemello
on Apr 4, 2019 at 8:20 am

The rabid rent control advocates didn't think things through. The rent control law targeted properties built before 1997, mostly owned my mom/pop operations which aren't trying to squeeze the last penny out of the tenant like the larger real estate firms.
I know a man with a few properties that he rents BELOW market as he doesn't want to price gouge. He isn't young and after rent control passed he is now worried. He mentioned that he may sell.
Sounds to me like the large property developers paid the rent control people to get the law passed.


183 people like this
Posted by Econ 1
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2019 at 8:30 am

Every voter should take a class in basic economics. The jobs/housing imbalance by definition is caused by too many jobs and not enough housing units! There are too many jobs because MV and surrounds have allowed unrestricted growth of the large tech companies. (How can you add so many high-wage jobs and new workers to an area with limited housing availability and not expect existing residents to be displaced?) There are not enough rental units because MV has imposed rent control and other laws that make it unattractive to be a landlord.(So why are we surprised when those rentals are converted to condos and houses?) And in a place where land is expensive and demand for housing is high, of course developers will build large luxury units to get the highest return possible on their investment. Supply and Demand. Basic Economics. I agree with @m2grs and @Affordable Housing Crisis.


173 people like this
Posted by Rent control deniers
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 4, 2019 at 9:10 am

No one is saying old units are more likely to be demolished than newer ones, but does RC increase the likelihood of it occurring sooner. As I said no landowner will admit it publicly. Maybe he decided to retire sooner than planned. As noted above, a landowner will not get a fair return, if he upgrades his units above basic code. Also, there is no incentive to demolish and build new rental units that will still be under the original rents. As some have noted, MV will eventually have RC with no units under RC.


Like this comment
Posted by nihilist
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 4, 2019 at 9:24 am

“abundant and growing supply of housing priced for those earning well above six figures”
Over six figures, is it seven figures?
If it was that abundant, it would be hard to sell them, wouldn’t it?


9 people like this
Posted by Affordable Housing Crisis
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 4, 2019 at 1:36 pm

Affordable Housing Crisis is a registered user.

Amazing how all these "Mom and Pop" landlords were so gracious in keeping their rent prices below market rate for older housing (most of course in need of repairs) built before 1995 until rent control went into place and then suddenly they weren't getting a fair rate of return. That is quite the story to spin but it certainly doesn't match up to the real world, where one family-owned rental property (Del Medio Manor) actually had to open up their accounting books after their tenants fought their petition to increase rents and lo and behold we found out that the "Mom" landlord (Elizabeth Lindsay) and her family made $1.3 million on the property in 2017 with rent control in place. And the hearing officer and the RHC rejected nearly all the claims made by Lindsay and her partners, saying they relied on faulty accounting and inflated expenses.

I understand the desire to fight rent control for landlords whether they are "Mom and Pop" operations or large real estate management companies because they actually make the most money on run-down, older properties where they can keep jacking up the rent and exploiting low income people. If people really want to understand how landlord economics works - don't take an economics course, read Rich Dad Poor Dad. Or this article entitled "Study finds that landlords exploit the poor" will explain it as well: Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by Affordable Housing Crisis
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 4, 2019 at 2:05 pm

Affordable Housing Crisis is a registered user.

What was completely left out of this article was that Councilmember Ellen Kamei abstained from the vote because she wanted the Council to address policy changes around displacement, no net loss of affordable housing, right of return, and removing the income requirement from the TRAO. The latter two policies are triage responses to the housing crisis but the creation of a No Net Loss of Affordable Housing will actually address the displacement until more affordable and below market rate rental housing can be built. Or perhaps other strategies such as real estate cooperatives or land trust non-profits can be utilized. Looks like SF Board of Supervisors is moving in the right direction with COPA: Web Link


7 people like this
Posted by AC
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2019 at 2:37 pm

AC is a registered user.

@Mark

I agree with you in principle. But I can't agree on the ownership options. We're building ownership option housing (rowhouses, etc) which are priced out of reach of even a six-figure salary renter. I read somewhere, and I can't verify its math or accuracy but it makes a good starting point that it would take a $250K household income, if you are starting today, to save up the down payment for one of the new owner housing units to be able to bid on it in three years' time.

Again, I can't verify the accuracy, but I believe it.

I think the "crisis" is around availability of rental stock.

The gentrification is already well underway. Property owners have the right to sell their property. The "wiggle room" is for what kind of building project is put on the property which they sold.


6 people like this
Posted by MyOpinion, Repeal Costa Hawkins
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 4, 2019 at 2:53 pm

MyOpinion, Repeal Costa Hawkins is a registered user.

If Costa Hawkins had been repealed (Prop 10), developers like Prometheus would not be so eager to buy up affordable housing stock as they would be subject to rent control just like the older properties, at least it would be a level playing field. And developers who want to build ownership units might be more willing to invest in our city.


5 people like this
Posted by Darin
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 4, 2019 at 7:06 pm

Darin is a registered user.

"No Net Loss" sounds good in principle, but it may not always be possible. For example, were our complex to burn to the ground, it could not be rebuilt the way it is now. Current code would require 11 or 12 additional parking spaces, and the space for that parking has to come from somewhere. So the result of rebuilding would be either smaller units (but the same number of units), or fewer units (but the same size of units).


Like this comment
Posted by Greg Nelson
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 4, 2019 at 9:12 pm

Greg Nelson is a registered user.

City Council members brown their underwear whenever an attorney injects his/her self into the conversation - currently the City Attorney, previously the attorney for the tenants association.
Council has congenital spinelessness regarding this issue.
Anti-Rent Control/rabid free marketers who post here ignore that 2 of recent 3 owners selling these properties have stated they are selling to retire - NOT as a result of the rent control ordinance. Problem with rent control is that allowable annual increase should be 6-7% not 3.6% currently.
Reagonomics didn't work then, still doesn't work now.
City Council has an option, invoking eminent domain - FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD.
Cheers


2 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2019 at 1:09 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

THese actions are voter manipulation.

Since the City was forced by renters to adopr rent control. THe City is using its ability to engineer the voting pool.

This should be a interesting issue to try to address.

Becasue it is the same as Gerrymandering.


32 people like this
Posted by The Successful Businessman
a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 5, 2019 at 1:09 pm

The Successful Businessman is a registered user.

It truly is laughable that the same government entity responsible for creating the housing shortage (all Bay Area city councils are culpable) is now trying to magically manufacture a cure for their stupidity on the backs of landlords.

Rather than meddling in the property rights of landlords, perhaps the Mt. View city council should do a little introspection on how we got to where we are. Let me help kick this analysis off: you've approved too many commercial projects leading to too many employees with nowhere to live! Stop approving more and more office space. That's the emergency ordinance you should be working on until there is housing equilibrium in the Bay Area.


15 people like this
Posted by The Successful Businessman
a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 5, 2019 at 1:25 pm

The Successful Businessman is a registered user.

@Greg Nelson . . . great idea! Eminent Domain! The city condemns by eminent domain every apartment complex built before February 1, 1995 and expropriates the properties to preserve affordable housing for the "PUBLIC GOOD". Of course, finding the $7.5 billion dollars to finance such an undertaking in Mt. View might be a bit problematic since one of the key requirements of eminent domain is to compensate the landowner at fair market value. Perhaps the city could simply buy the existing improvements and lease the land from the owner! That should get the price down to around $4 billion.

For all you landlords, imagine getting out of rent controlled Mt. View multifamily housing at full fair market value. Bring. it. on!


Like this comment
Posted by alexprime
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 5, 2019 at 4:55 pm

alexprime is a registered user.

@successful why limit it to apartments? Raze every structure built before your arbitrary date!

You will still be a troll, but it will be more interesting to see parents, home owners, businesses, commuters, etc get outraged too.


18 people like this
Posted by The Successful Businessman
a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 5, 2019 at 5:22 pm

The Successful Businessman is a registered user.

@Alex . . . there's nothing arbitrary about that date. It's the very moment in time defining which multifamily properties can be subject to rent control STATEWIDE.

I would be less than candid if I didn't admit this Peninsula native would much rather see 250,000 jobs and people permanently leave the Bay Area than continuing with this insane agenda of housing being built to accommodate another 250,000 people.


1 person likes this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2019 at 1:26 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

From what I understand this project is in violation of “No Net-Loss” Housing law. Given that 59 units are replaced with 54 new units. A Housing element is defined as an apartment unit or a home. No matter how many people live in the home is still is counted as a single unit. The law states:

“65863. (a) Each city, county, or city and county shall ensure that its housing element inventory described in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583 or its housing element program to make sites available pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 65583 can accommodate, at all times throughout the planning period, its remaining unmet share of the regional housing need allocated pursuant to Section 65584, except as provided in paragraph (2) of subdivision (c). At no time, except as provided in paragraph (2) of subdivision (c), shall a city, county, or city and county by administrative, quasi-judicial, legislative, or other action permit or cause its inventory of sites identified in the housing element to be insufficient to meet its remaining unmet share of the regional housing need for lower and moderate-income households.

(b) (1) No city, county, or city and county shall, by administrative, quasi-judicial, legislative, or other action, reduce, or require or permit the reduction of, the residential density for any parcel to, or allow development of any parcel at, a lower residential density, as defined in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (g), unless the city, county, or city and county makes written findings supported by substantial evidence of both of the following:

(A) The reduction is consistent with the adopted general plan, including the housing element.

(B) The remaining sites identified in the housing element are adequate to meet the requirements of Section 65583.2 and to accommodate the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584. The finding shall include a quantification of the remaining unmet need for the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need at each income level and the remaining capacity of sites identified in the housing element to accommodate that need by income level.

(2) If a city, county, or city and county, by administrative, quasi-judicial, legislative, or other action, allows development of any parcel with fewer units by income category than identified in the jurisdiction’s housing element for that parcel, the city, county, or city and county shall make a written finding supported by substantial evidence as to whether or not remaining sites identified in the housing element are adequate to meet the requirements of Section 65583.2 and to accommodate the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584. The finding shall include a quantification of the remaining unmet need for the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need at each income level and the remaining capacity of sites identified in the housing element to accommodate that need by income level.

(c) (1) If a reduction in residential density for any parcel would result in the remaining sites in the housing element not being adequate to meet the requirements of Section 65583.2 and to accommodate the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584, the jurisdiction may reduce the density on that parcel if it identifies sufficient additional, adequate, and available sites with an equal or greater residential density in the jurisdiction so that there is no net loss of residential unit capacity.

(2) If the approval of a development project results in fewer units by income category than identified in the jurisdiction’s housing element for that parcel and the jurisdiction does not find that the remaining sites in the housing element are adequate to accommodate the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need by income level, the jurisdiction shall within 180 days identify and make available additional adequate sites to accommodate the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need by income level. Nothing in this section shall authorize a city, county, or city and county to disapprove a housing development project on the basis that approval of the housing project would require compliance with this paragraph.

(d) The requirements of this section shall be in addition to any other law that may restrict or limit the reduction of residential density.

(e) This section requires that a city, county, or city and county be solely responsible for compliance with this section, unless a project applicant requests in his or her initial application, as submitted, a density that would result in the remaining sites in the housing element not being adequate to accommodate the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584. In that case, the city, county, or city and county may require the project applicant to comply with this section. The submission of an application for purposes of this subdivision does not depend on the application being deemed complete or being accepted by the city, county, or city and county.”

In effect the City is violating the State laws in approving the project. I strongly urge one of the current residents to file a writ of mandate against the City for this violation. It will put a freeze on the project at the very least.


23 people like this
Posted by sfcanative
a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 6, 2019 at 4:36 pm

sfcanative is a registered user.

If only everyone making lengthy comments on these boards had a working knowledge of what they're attempting to talk about . . .


4 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2019 at 10:08 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to sfcanative you said:

“If only everyone making lengthy comments on these boards had a working knowledge of what they're attempting to talk about . .”

I guess you can prove that comment?

The simple fact is that the City of Mountain View has been behind in the affordable housing needs for more than 10 years. I have post4ed the following in the past:

Here is some real information from the Association of Bay Area Governments.

The 2007-2014 housing report stated that:

Mountain View had a need of Very Low housing of 571 but only had 237 which reached 42%, Low Income Housing 388 but only had 28 which reached 7%, Moderate Income housing of 488 but only had 4 which reached 1%, Above Moderate housing of 1,152 but had 2,387 or reached 207% of the needs.

Compare with current record:

Mountain View had a need of Very Low Income Housing of 814 but has only provided 120 which reached 15%, Low Income housing of 492 but has only provided 135 which reached 27%, Moderate income housing of 527 but provided no additional housing which reached 0%, and Above Moderate housing of 1,093 but has 2,004 which reached 183%.

The fact is the City of Mountain View is failing to provide adequate housing period, and it has been all the fault of the City Council. I am not playing favorites with my assessment.”

Since the law does in fact state the following text:

“65863. (a) Each city, county, or city and county shall ensure that its housing element inventory described in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 65583 or its housing element program to make sites available pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 65583 can accommodate, at all times throughout the planning period, ITS REMAINING UNMET SHARE OF THE REGIONAL HOUSING NEED ALLOCATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 65584, except as provided in paragraph (2) of subdivision (c). AT NO TIME, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH (2) OF SUBDIVISION (C), SHALL A CITY, COUNTY, OR CITY AND COUNTY BY ADMINISTRATIVE, QUASI-JUDICIAL, LEGISLATIVE, OR OTHER ACTION PERMIT OR CAUSE ITS INVENTORY OF SITES IDENTIFIED IN THE HOUSING ELEMENT TO BE INSUFFICIENT TO MEET ITS REMAINING UNMET SHARE OF THE REGIONAL HOUSING NEED FOR LOWER AND MODERATE-INCOME HOUSEHOLDS.”

That would seem to apply directly to the City of Mountain View. Since this project is not in any way addressing the affordable housing unmet needs of the City. It also applies that:

(b) (1) No city, county, or city and county shall, by administrative, quasi-judicial, legislative, or other action, REDUCE, OR REQUIRE OR PERMIT THE REDUCTION OF, THE RESIDENTIAL DENSITY FOR ANY PARCEL TO, OR ALLOW DEVELOPMENT OF ANY PARCEL AT, A LOWER RESIDENTIAL DENSITY, AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPHS (1) AND (2) OF SUBDIVISION (G), UNLESS THE CITY, COUNTY, OR CITY AND COUNTY MAKES WRITTEN FINDINGS SUPPORTED BY SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE OF BOTH OF THE FOLLOWING:

(A) THE REDUCTION IS CONSISTENT WITH THE ADOPTED GENERAL PLAN, INCLUDING THE HOUSING ELEMENT.

(B) The remaining sites identified in the housing element are adequate to meet the requirements of Section 65583.2 AND TO ACCOMMODATE THE JURISDICTION’S SHARE OF THE REGIONAL HOUSING NEED PURSUANT TO SECTION 65584. The finding shall include A QUANTIFICATION OF THE REMAINING UNMET NEED FOR THE JURISDICTION’S SHARE OF THE REGIONAL HOUSING NEED AT EACH INCOME LEVEL AND THE REMAINING CAPACITY OF SITES IDENTIFIED IN THE HOUSING ELEMENT TO ACCOMMODATE THAT NEED BY INCOME LEVEL.”

The City has not even provided such information. The plan is completely lacking this requirement under the state laws. You simply do not address that this is specifically required from the City. It also went on to say:

(2) If a city, county, or city and county, by administrative, quasi-judicial, legislative, or other action, ALLOWS DEVELOPMENT OF ANY PARCEL WITH FEWER UNITS BY INCOME CATEGORY THAN IDENTIFIED IN THE JURISDICTION’S HOUSING ELEMENT FOR THAT PARCEL, THE CITY, COUNTY, OR CITY AND COUNTY SHALL MAKE A WRITTEN FINDING SUPPORTED BY SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE AS TO WHETHER OR NOT REMAINING SITES IDENTIFIED IN THE HOUSING ELEMENT ARE ADEQUATE TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 65583.2 AND TO ACCOMMODATE THE JURISDICTION’S SHARE OF THE REGIONAL HOUSING NEED PURSUANT TO SECTION 65584. The finding shall include A QUANTIFICATION OF THE REMAINING UNMET NEED FOR THE JURISDICTION’S SHARE OF THE REGIONAL HOUSING NEED AT EACH INCOME LEVEL AND THE REMAINING CAPACITY OF SITES IDENTIFIED IN THE HOUSING ELEMENT TO ACCOMMODATE THAT NEED BY INCOME LEVEL. “

Again this was not provided by the City in any way. The City must document how the loss of the affordable housing units are to be replaced in the City in order to move forward. Without such allocation in a “parallel” project, this project is in violation of the state laws. It goes on to say:

“(c) (1) If a reduction in residential density for any parcel would result in the remaining sites in the housing element not being adequate to meet the requirements of Section 65583.2 and to accommodate the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584, THE JURISDICTION MAY REDUCE THE DENSITY ON THAT PARCEL IF IT IDENTIFIES SUFFICIENT ADDITIONAL, ADEQUATE, AND AVAILABLE SITES WITH AN EQUAL OR GREATER RESIDENTIAL DENSITY IN THE JURISDICTION SO THAT THERE IS NO NET LOSS OF RESIDENTIAL UNIT CAPACITY.”

The City has not even bothered to address this legal requirement as well. So the City is in further violation of the state laws. Unless the City again provides a “parallel” project that will replace the affordable units being eliminated by this new plan. It goes on to say:

“(2) If the approval of a development project results in fewer units by income category than identified in the jurisdiction’s housing element for that parcel and the jurisdiction does not find that the remaining sites in the housing element are adequate to accommodate the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need by income level, THE JURISDICTION SHALL WITHIN 180 DAYS IDENTIFY AND MAKE AVAILABLE ADDITIONAL ADEQUATE SITES TO ACCOMMODATE THE JURISDICTION’S SHARE OF THE REGIONAL HOUSING NEED BY INCOME LEVEL. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL AUTHORIZE A CITY, COUNTY, OR CITY AND COUNTY TO DISAPPROVE A HOUSING DEVELOPMENT PROJECT ON THE BASIS THAT APPROVAL OF THE HOUSING PROJECT WOULD REQUIRE COMPLIANCE WITH THIS PARAGRAPH.”

If the City does not provide replacement of the affordable housing units to be built in 6 months, the approval of this project is illegal. Of course the city has no plans moving forward to address the replacement of the lost affordable housing units. Thus the City will violate this provision of the law. It went on to say:

(d) THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE IN ADDITION TO ANY OTHER LAW THAT MAY RESTRICT OR LIMIT THE REDUCTION OF RESIDENTIAL DENSITY.

(e) This section requires that a city, county, or city and county be solely responsible for compliance with this section, unless a project applicant requests in his or her initial application, as submitted, a density that would result in the remaining sites in the housing element not being adequate to accommodate the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need pursuant to Section 65584. IN THAT CASE, THE CITY, COUNTY, OR CITY AND COUNTY MAY REQUIRE THE PROJECT APPLICANT TO COMPLY WITH THIS SECTION. THE SUBMISSION OF AN APPLICATION FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION DOES NOT DEPEND ON THE APPLICATION BEING DEEMED COMPLETE OR BEING ACCEPTED BY THE CITY, COUNTY, OR CITY AND COUNTY.”

Yes that means that the City was given some latitude as to whether the plan will comply with the law. But a resident can and should take action in place of the City to ensure their 14th Amendment rights and California equal protection of the STATE laws are provided. In that case, the complaint should be filed with the STATE courts and NOT the County Courts. The County has a record of not enforcing state laws adequately, look at the TRO that was enforced regarding the CSFRA when later the court determined that there was no legal basis to challenge it and eventually revolked it.

Unless you can provide some legal basis to prove otherwise, it would only be that you want to personally attack a person who shares the California laws as written and a basis of how it applied to the City.

I expect some kind of substantiated argument against this observation.


2 people like this
Posted by alexprime
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 7, 2019 at 7:37 pm

alexprime is a registered user.

multifamily properties can be subject to rent control STATEWIDE.!!!! Gasp!

Troll.


2 people like this
Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 8, 2019 at 5:50 pm

William Hitchens is a registered user.

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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