PASZ Alert

HCD (the State’s Department of Housing and Community Development mandated more than 6000 new housing units for Palo Alto and is requiring Palo Alto to rezone properties currently used for commercial purposes for tall, high-density housing. Hundreds of jobs and many retail businesses will be lost.

Palo Alto Mayor Assails State Housing Mandates

Palo Alto Mayor Lydia Kou took a swing on Wednesday at state housing mandates during her “State of the City” address and warned that recent laws could render the council helpless to prevent an onrush of large developments.

Four California Cities File Lawsuit to Stop SB-9

Petitioners/Plaintiffs City of Redondo Beach, City of Carson, City of Torrance, and City of Whittier bring this action to uphold the California Constitution and prevent the State of California from usurping a charter city’s land use authority, which …

California State Auditor releases scathing report on RHNA process

Report finds housing goals are not supported by evidence On March 17, Michael S. Tilden, the Acting California State Auditor, issued a blistering critique of the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and its Regional Housing Needs Assessments …

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.

Our Mission:

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.

Our Vision:

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

Our Goals:

  1. Ensure that the pace of development does not outstrip our infrastructure, schools and City services, or compromise the beauty and character of our City.
  2. Encourage Housing that Allows for a Diverse Economic Population
  3. 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.

PASZ Alert

HCD (the State’s Department of Housing and Community Development mandated more than 6000 new housing units for Palo Alto and is requiring Palo Alto to rezone properties currently used for commercial purposes for tall, high-density housing. Hundreds of jobs and many retail businesses will be lost.

read more

YIMBYs love to hate her. Inside one Bay Area mayor’s anti-housing campaign

By J.K. Dineen
SF Chronicle

Palo Alto Mayor Lydia Kou is the Silicon Valley politician the YIMBYs love to hate.
As the pro-housing “yes in my backyard” movement has spread across California, bringing with it an avalanche of state laws making it more and more difficult for neighbors to block residential development, Kou has doubled down on her role as the South Bay’s most pugnacious anti-YIMBY, an outspoken critic of what she feels is Sacramento’s overreach in forcing municipalities to build housing.

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50-story S.F. condo tower: Drawings reveal new details of what Sunset skyscraper would look like

By Danielle Echeverria
San Francisco Chronicle

The 680-unit building, proposed for a site across from the San Francisco Zoo, would rise more than 580 ft in a neighborhood currently defined largely by low-rise buildings and single-family homes. City officials have said that, while they encourage density and residential development in the area, the proposed project is several times taller than what regulations allow in the neighborhood.

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Et Tu, Mother Jones?

By Michael Barnes
48 Hills

The one-time radical left magazine has gone all Yimby on us
I have written the following rebuttal because I wanted to set the record straight on many of the contentious housing issues that are being misrepresented in the media.

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Housing Report: Blame Ourselves, Not Our Stars

By Wendell Cox and Joel Kotkin
in California Reports

No issue plagues Californians more than the high cost of housing. By almost every metric—from rents to home prices—Golden State residents suffer the highest burden for shelter of any state in the continental U.S. Its housing prices are, adjusted for income, as much as two to three times higher than those in key competitive states.

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Focus on surplus properties for housing

By Leon Huntting

We do not have a housing crisis, we have an affordability crisis. You can build as much housing as you want, but that doesn’t mean people can afford to buy or rent it. The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) mandate for the Bay Area is 441,176 new units. Several sources, including the state auditor, have shown that this is very overstated.

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The Real Affordability Crisis

By Bob Silvestri

Politicians in Sacramento have been wailing on local governments about the need to build “affordable housing” as a scapegoat to avoid dealing with their own public policy failures. In addition to attacking local control of planning and zoning laws, they are even trying to eliminate the citizen’s ballot initiative process in the single-minded belief that their policies are the only answer. But, what if they are just plain wrong?

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Simple Explanation of RHNA and Housing Mandates

By Amy Kalish
Marin Post

RHNA is the Regional Housing Needs Assessment — the number of housing units (a place for at least one person to live) assigned to an area by the state. This happens in eight-year housing cycles, and the allocation numbers are determined by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).

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