Stop the Loss of Local Control! 4   Recently updated !


There are current proposals before our state legislature (SB 50 and the CASA Compact) that are major threats to local zoning authority in Palo Alto and throughout the state. These proposals would impose dense zoning mandates throughout Palo Alto.

Stop the erosion and loss of local decision-making and control to state legislators in Sacramento. SB50 and other proposed regional proposals threaten R-1 neighborhoods, cities and towns throughout the state.

The goal of Silicon Valley Housing Forum was to raise awareness about the significant changes that will occur where we live if these bills become laws. Our expert panelists have shared views and entertain questions from the audience.
Panelists for the forum included Susan Kirsch (Livable California), Steven Scharf (Cupertino), Michael Goldman (Sunnyvale), Julie Testa (Pleasanton) and Lydia Kou (Palo Alto).
This forum was sponsored by Better Cupertino and other local organizations.

On January 31, 2019 the San Francisco Planning Commission held a meeting to discuss Housing Strategies for the city, SB-50 and the CASA Compact.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has just passed a resolution opposing SB-50, stating that it “undermines the ability of local governments to protect existing housing and small businesses, and otherwise advance the public good.”


Palo Alto Mayor Eric Filseth discusses with the Weekly his concerns with Senate Bill 50, which aims to boost California’s housing stock, and his own ideas for addressing the state’s housing shortage.

On March 29, 2019 Palo Alto Vice Mayor Adrian Fine and Greer Stone, vice chair of the Santa Clara County Human Rights Commission, join Weekly journalists for a discussion of state Senate Bill 50

Listen to the January 21, 2019 KQED Forum on CASA with host Rachael Myrow and guests Susan Kirsch, Founder, Livable California; Michael Covarrubias, CASA Co-Chair, CEO, TMG Partners and Guy Marzorati, reporter, KQED’s California Politics and Government Desk.

Read Guy Mazorati’s article on The California Report

For more details, read Diane Diamond’s article


Spread the Word

  • Download our tri-fold brochure , print it out (two-sided) and distribute it to your friends and neighbors
  • Forward it to your email list.
  • Like us on Facebook

Donate to PASZ

In support of PASZ’s continuing efforts to protect residential rights and educate the citizens of Palo Alto and the Bay Area, we encourage you to make a financial contribution to our cause.

We hope you see the important need to support our organization in the goal of having residential voices heard at our City Council and State organizational levels.

To contribute, click on the big red “DONATE” button or go directly to http://sensiblezoning.org/donate.


This educational forum was co-sponsored by Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning (PASZ), Palo Alto Neighborhoods (PAN) and MidPeninsula Media Center


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4 thoughts on “Stop the Loss of Local Control!

  • Ken

    Used to be a Charter City could reject State mandates on land use but apparently by adding “emergency” to legislation, Sacramento law makers can do as they please. Is Any one challenging this. Maybe Trump heard about this new State attitude and is using it to justify the wall.

  • david schrom

    Ask for what we want: an end to growth of population and artifact in Palo Alto, the Bay Area, California, the US, and the world. The only reason people shrink from asking this is because we feel it’s “impossible.” But politically impossible is a temporary human construct. Ecologically impossible is a permanent and trans-human construct. The consequence of unending growth in all biological systems is collapse. The consequence of growth beyond some limit is degraded quality of life. Nature trumps politics.

    • Maurice Green

      Spot on, David! A speaker for ZPG (Zero Population Growth) once said to me “Population growth is like filling up a bathtub. At some point you either have to build the walls of the tub higher or shut off the water.” I replied “Man and Mother Nature have a third solution. Every now and then they pull the plug.”

  • John B

    Bay area is too expensive for young generation, middle class, low income class etc who work here. They are commuting from far away places San Ramon, Tracy, Lathrop etc clogging all the major high ways and burdening on the environment and losing their valuable family time. Unless you bought a house a generation back or more, its just unaffordable. Either you ask companies to close down in bay area and move to other places, I do not see a reason, how you can make housing affordable unless converting SFR into duplex, triplex or less than 10/15 apts, I do not see a meaningful way to reduce the rent or affordability. When you have given permission for companies to open here, your city council and Mayor forgot to create housing related to job growth. Its time for correcting this and I believe this is what SB50 is planning for. You can’t push the housing problem to other cities. There is no point holding to zoning formulated 50 years back, to work for 21st century needs. Please suggest viable plans, rather than just opposing. There is good broader support from Governor and responsible organizations.