FEBRUARY 9, 2023

Dear Editor: After reading the guest opinion by Palo Alto Mayor Lydia Kou, I wanted to express my gratitude that she is encouraging Californians to support Our Neighborhood Voices.com. I only recently discovered this organization whose mission is to bring back single-family zoning and local control over land use.

Certain state legislators and the governor have usurped local control over land use via the laws SB330, SB9 and SBIO. These authoritarian laws in the name of “affordable” housing are extreme and unfair and have stripped single family zoning from our neighborhoods. They are dumbed down oneĀ­size-fits-all laws that are forcing high density housing (whether affordable or not) in every town and city in California in all neighborhoods – not just in locations that actually make sense along transit corridors.

The planning departments and elected officials have no say in the assigned number of living units that are being dished out by the state. It is simply: You must build this many units for your city. End of story. No planning approvals or neighborhood input allowed. There are housing  .advocates ready and waiting to sue cities who don’t comply with these laws. It is just a mess.

There is no recourse except to challenge these laws. These laws are having a supremely negative impact on the character of our neighborhoods, and I urge you to state your objections to your local council members and county supervisors. There are cities in Southern California whose elected council members are listening to their constituents and have sued the state in protest over these laws. I am not sure how successful they will be in the courts but thankfully some city officials are bravely taking a stand against the state’s overreach. Follow and support Our Neighborhood Voices.  This organization is drafting an initiative for the 2024 ballot, which should return single family zoning to our neighborhoods and reverse the havoc wreaked by certain state legislators and the governor.

  Mary Giles
  Menlo Park