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.

Opposing bad housing plan isn’t being NIMBY

By Melinda Stefan

Regarding “YIMBYs love to hate her. Inside one Bay Area mayor’s anti-housing campaign” (Bay Area,, June 4): I followed the link in this report to a Palo Alto Weekly article about Mayor Lydia Kou. I learned that she has championed protections for renters, worked to address airplane noise and led the effort to establish Palo Alto’s first safe-parking program for
vehicle dwellers.

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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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Arizona Limits Construction Around Phoenix as Its Water Supply Dwindles

By Christopher Flavelle and Jack Healy
New York Times

Arizona has determined that there is not enough groundwater for all of the housing construction that has already been approved in the Phoenix area, and will stop developers from building some new subdivisions, a sign of looming trouble in the West and other places where overuse, drought and climate change are straining water supplies.

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Consequences mount as Palo Alto’s housing element hangs in limbo

Alec Regimbal, SFGATE

The city of Palo Alto is waiting on state officials to approve the second version of a plan that maps out how the city will make way for more than 6,000 new housing units between now and 2031. Until the state approves that blueprint, however, the city has opened itself up to a string of consequences stemming from its failure to get a formal housing plan approved by state officials by the January deadline.

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How the game is played in Sacramento

By SUSAN SHELLEY | | Los Angeles Daily News

The California Legislature is a waste of money and space.
Every year, the Legislature goes through the motions of passing laws through its regular process, appearing to be a deliberative body. Actually, it’s a dead body. The real decisions are made in back rooms and regulatory agencies, where the public is excluded or ignored.

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