Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning (PASZ) have sent a letter to the Palo Alto City Council, City Manager and City Attorney requesting that the Council take immediate action to block implementation of the Regional Housing Needs Determination (RHND) recently announced by HCD and MTC/ABAG. The deadline for any appeal is July 10th.

The RHND presents an extremely serious problem for Palo Alto, and must be strongly and immediately addressed to protect our community.  Our concerns include:

  1. These agencies did not allow for appropriate public participation in the process as required by California Government Code.
  2. The new RHND numbers would unfairly and unreasonably impact Palo Alto and the Mid-Peninsula.  They are based on an aggressive job growth projection within an already congested Silicon Valley, and focus an increasing share of new jobs in these already jobs-rich areas while the share in the East Bay and San Jose continue to fall dramatically.
  3. The RHND jobs-based numbers require an unattainable housing solution by Palo Alto and the surrounding communities. The new RHND mandate more than DOUBLES the current new housing requirement in Palo Alto and surrounding communities, a demand that cannot be met given that median housing prices are already the highest in the country.
  4. The penalties for not meeting the goals associated with the RHND numbers are very destructive of local government … if Palo Alto  cannot meet these goals, we would lose control of local zoning to the State and to non-elected bodies like MTC/ABAG.  This is clearly overreach by State and Regional government and must be stopped.