Town Square

Los Altos appeals court decision ruling the city must allow a downtown housing project to proceed

Original post made on Jul 8, 2020

The city of Los Altos is fighting a trial court judgement earlier this year that ruled the city must allow a 15-unit housing project in its downtown area to proceed, challenging a verdict seen as a victory for housing advocates.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, July 8, 2020, 1:36 PM


Posted by Member
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 8, 2020 at 11:30 pm

SB35 Coming to ruin your city soon! Although Mt View ‘leadership’ already doing everything they can to do that already. Although since Covid now all companies will simply have there workforce WFH forever and no one will have to live here anymore. Get ready for major real estate crashes, abandoned projects and pretty much local economic apocalypse setting in. COVID may not be the deadliest of bugs but we are hellbent or destroying ourselves over it.

Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 9, 2020 at 12:16 am

This situation was decades in the making:

First, AB5 is correcting for the illegal use of contractors in the Tech industry. More than 50% or workers in the industry are not employees even though the legally were required to be employees. 1996 Microsoft gout caught in the Federal Courts, and Dynamex did in 2018. Thus these companies are going to relocate to avoid this problem for a short time. The real problem is that the IRS standards are federal and the courts made that decision based on the IRS standards.

Second, The failure of the private housing sector to build enough housing to keep housing prices high, even after the 2008 "correction" which actually didn't happen, the area continued to inflate the bubble. This has added to the forces that result in people moving away. THe recent story about NYC and the rental industry is a sure warning. The Bloomberg article titled "NYC Rental Market Pushed to Breaking Point by Tenant Debts" found here (ttps:// This is a good predictor since so many people up and left San Francisco, and it is occurring in Santa Clara County too.

Third the fact that local governments NEVER addressed the issue enough requiring the state to create land use mandates. Including the ability to override local plans if affordable housing is not being met under the RHNA inventory. So this is another serious issue.

You now say "gosh I'm shocked" The COVID is just icing on the cake.

So many people cheated to get over inflated prices on housing, and so many employers cheated to make their workers think they were making a good living. This situation is finally disclosing the cheating and no one want to play that game again.

Posted by NIMBY / YIMBY
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 16, 2020 at 10:43 am

And the Los Altos political establishment continues to both advocate and spend public money (attorney fees) to fight the federal system. The state of California has control over zoning and land use, not a city like Los Altos. If the opposite were true, would Los Altos City Council still be requiring restrictive deed covenants - prohibiting residential deed transfers to members of the "Negro race"?

Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 16, 2020 at 12:16 pm

Regarding last anonymous poster. The ruling on appeal has nothing to do with "the federal system." It is based on a state law. State courts have ruled that the state government may write and re-write land use laws - whatever city or county governments might want. Cities should consider a statewide initiative (proposed ballot measure) to secure some local control - but I have been saying so for years. As to higher-density housing, it is not necessary to authorize it everywhere. There is space not in single-family neighborhoods. But giant high-tech employers and developers would rather just rebuild and add high-density in single-family neighborhoods. City Council candidates should be asked what state housing laws they favor and oppose and what housing laws and strategies they propose to save or improve this city.