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.

Zone changes aim to meet housing surge in south Palo Alto

By Gennady Sheyner / Palo Alto Weekly
Uploaded: Fri, Oct 13, 2023, 8:46 am

With some reservations, planning commissioners endorse package of reforms to meet Housing Element goals
Palo Alto’s plans to create a new housing hub on a stretch of El Camino Real, south of Oregon Expressway, received rave reviews this week from area developers, though one major builder suggested on Oct. 11 that it may still rely on state laws to override local zoning laws.

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A ‘company town’? Stanford housing plan raises concerns in Palo Alto

by Gennady Sheyner / Palo Alto Weekly
Wed, Oct 11, 2023, 3:23 pm

City urges county to limit Stanford’s future housing growth largely to campus

As Santa Clara County prepares to approve new policies governing Stanford University’s growth, a key goal is to ensure that Stanford supplies enough housing on its campus to accommodate a growing workforce.

But as the county Board of Supervisors looks to adopt the new Stanford Community Plan next week, one question remains unanswered: To what extent should Stanford be allowed to lean on surrounding cities, most notably Palo Alto, for housing sites?

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Don’t believe state’s low-growth forecast

by Thomas D. Elias
October 11, 2023

The state Department of Finance in 2013 predicted California would have 52.7 million residents by 2060, but now figures the number will be 39.51 million, just about the same as today.
Two things you can count on when it comes to ballyhooed state forecasts on things like California’s housing and population: They’ll be incompetent and inconsistent. Usually, they will also be outdated even before they’re issued.

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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

Housing density rebellion has a chance

By Thomas D. Elias
August 30, 2023

A new study reveals that the vast majority of California’s most regular voters have a large stake in matters of preserving neighborhood character and ambiance. Stock image
Every poll shows most California adults favor the housing density laws that have emerged from the state Legislature with great regularity and fanfare over the last three years.
Despite those findings, often showing 60% or more in favor, the rebellion against those laws has a decent chance of success.
It’s a matter of what’s at stake and who will eventually vote on the potential landmark initiative to cancel out the new laws where they conflict with local land use ballot measures passed in many cities and counties.

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With new laws, inadequate analysis yields unintended consequences

by Thomas D. Elias
August 23, 2023

Here’s a reality that needs to soak into the consciousness of California lawmakers, the governor and voters who put them in office: This state needs far better analysis and vetting of new laws if it’s to avoid negative unintended consequences.
And when we get solid analysis and reliable predictions of some consequences, we need to pay heed, not ignore reality.

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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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