Who We Are:
We are a Citywide organization of residents concerned for our City’s future. We are actively involved in issues that are in agreement with our Principles and Goals as we strive to keep Palo Alto a unique place for raising families and fostering business innovation.
Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning (PASZ) is a grass roots, political action committee dedicated to a high quality of life for Palo Alto residents and the innovative spirit that has made Palo Alto unique. We are for sensible land use planning and development and will continue to be advocates for mitigating the negative impacts of excessive development.
We envision a dynamic Palo Alto that remains a family-oriented community with excellent schools, infrastructure and community services. Technology and business innovation are part of Palo Alto’s heritage and should be fostered. We envision a City that is not overwhelmed by excessive development. We value diversity, our historic resources, our neighborhoods, parks and open spaces, and support projects that enhance our quality of life
- Ensure that the pace of development does not outstrip our infrastructure, schools and City services, or compromise the beauty and character of our City.
- Encourage Housing that Allows for a Diverse Economic Population
- Maintain our Community as a Great Place to Live
EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions expressed in the news items cited here do not necessarily represent the opinion of Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning. We try to present a balanced picture of the news on the subjects of housing and legislation.
By DAVID GARCIA and BILL FULTON |
A slew of ambitious housing legislation has emerged recently in states as varied as Maine, Utah and Washington. Many of the proposals aim to loosen zoning restrictions with the goal of addressing housing shortages. Perhaps not surprisingly, California is mentioned in many of the resulting conversations and debates, and not in a positive light.
By Thomas Elias
California has a bunch of new housing laws, several taking effect in each of the last few years. But the most important reality ignored by the housing density enthusiasts who now populate the Legislature and governor’s office may be this: Some of what they’re enabling can conflict directly with other state mandates, notably one that insists California run almost exclusively on carbon-free renewable energy by 2045, just 22 years from now.
SB 1214 goes into effect on January 1, 2023, and adds Section 65103.5 to the Government Code. The purpose of the bill is to require a local planning agency to ensure that architectural drawings that contain information protected by copyright laws are only made available to the public in a manner that does not facilitate their copying.
By Emily Hoeven
Faced with a statewide housing crisis, California has increasingly moved to muscle NIMBY local governments into building against their will. But when it comes to building desperately needed housing, California’s government isn’t just the arbiter of state laws — it’s also a vast landholder.
By Michael Brownrigg and Donna Colsson
We recently critiqued the state housing element process, noting that Sacramento’s reporting requirements result in many hypothetical housing units but few real ones. Here we outline how the state could get more affordable housing actually built in cities.
By TOBIAS PETER AND EDWARD J. PINTO
From the end of World War II until 1970, owner-occupied housing was broadly affordable across the entire country. The standard measure for measuring affordability —the price-to-income ratio— was at about 2.8 in 1950, 2.5 in 1960, 2.6 in 1970, 3.4 in 1980, and 4.2 in 2020. This meant that, to a large extent, factors other than housing, such as climate, amenities, and job and economic opportunities, drove migration, which builders were in a position to respond to.
By SUSAN KIRSCH
April 21, 2023 at 3:43 p.m.
The threats of a “strike force” coming from Attorney General Rob Bonta’s office; intimidating letters from the Housing and Community Development Department chastising communities for what department considers inadequate housing elements; and well-funded, corporate-serving agencies like the pro-housing group Yes In My Back Yard, as well as it’s legal arm YIMBY Law, are having a stifling impact.
By Zelda Bronstein
April 20, 2023
Up to now, when it comes to development, Scott Wiener and the Yimbys have always agreed that bigger is better. So it’s notable that they’re at odds about the 50-story skyscraper being proposed for 2700 Sloat Boulevard. The Yimbys love it. “It’s so beautiful,” tweeted California Yimby CEO Brian Hanlon over a rendering of the tower. “We think the project is very exciting,”
Wiener is opposed.