Summary of CASA Compact Elements
1, Just Cause Eviction policy
A regional agency (maybe MTC) or the State will determine whether Palo Alto should have Just Cause evictions which will be set by representatives you did not elect.
The CASA Compact committee members included the Mayors of San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland which are much larger and denser cities with high growth interests.
2. Rent Cap
A city should decided what is the appropriate Rent Cap.
3. Rent Assistance and Access to Legal Counsel
A regional agency will establish guidelines and policies to adminster the program and detemine eligibility.
Rent assistance and legal counsel funding will be generated by taxes levied upon property owners (see Element #9).
One of the funding mechanisms is a parcel tax, which may not seem like a large dollar amount, however the same dollar amount will be levied for a condominum homeowner (no land) and applies the same for an office park, such as Facebook HQ, which has a parcel of approximately 10+ acres.
4. Remove Regulatory Barriers to Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU)
This will eliminate all Single Family Residential zones, usually referred to as R-1 zones.
State laws already require a fair amount of regulations to permit ADUs and JADUs, however, this element looks to remove all regulations.
Removal of regulations include design review and standards. Buildings will be built closer to each other with setbacks eliminated.
Neighborhood streets will be impacted as parking for the ADUS or JADUs are forsaken or eliminated, as it is in Palo Alto.
5. Minimum Zoning near Transit
This element includes 3 components:
1) In neighborhoods served by "high quality" bus service, establish minimum zoning on all residential, commercial and institutional zones to allow "missing middle" housing types up to 36' tall.
2) In neighborhoods surrounding the region's major transit stops (rail stations and ferry terminals), establish minimum zoning to allow midrise residential housing up to 55' tall (75" tall with a density bonus).
3) Allow sensitive communities to defer rezoning for 3 years for above 36' while they develop context-sensitive plans. (Newer developments are usually developed for market rate).
This element supports high growth SF Senator Scott Weiner's former SB-827 which is returning as SB-50.
6. Good Government Reforms to Housing Approval Process
Concern with this element is the "historical sites". The proposal to lock in "historical status" at the time of application would pre-empt the right of cities, particularly Charter Cities, to enforce its rules pertaining to historical status and review. If a local jurisdiction for whatever reason is unable to designate a property, it is barred while the project is underway, paving the way for even more demolitions.
This element also will eliminate a jurisdiction's ability to impose building moratoria unless it is a health and safety hazard. What is defined as health and safety hazard?
7. Expedited Approvals and Financial Incentives for Select Housing
More expedited review process for building permit approval, including the granting of CEQA exemptions which will not address air quality, traffic congestion, de-watering,
Located in an existing urbanized area.
With regards to the proposed "Financial Incentives to Offset Costs" it includes capping impact fees at a "reasonable" level that will allow project feasibility: what constitutes "reasonable"?
The capping of impact fees would pre-empt local jurisdictions from being able to charge fees sufficient to offset the impacts of projects on local services (affordable housing, infrastructure, public safety, schools, parks, etc.)
This proposal automatically allows develops to elect to reduce parking by 50% of the local requirement. Cities should be able to determine its own specific cases pertaining to parking reductions or waivers appropriate subject to analysis and mitigations.
Blanket reductions are another "ONE SIZE FITS ALL" approach which results in a windfall to builders, but externalizes impacts on neighborhoods.
8. Unlock Public Land for Affordable Housing
City-owned land is scarce, therefore the use and zoning should be carefully planned.
Public land also belongs to jurisdiction's taxpayers and the use should benefit the public in the community.
Use of the public land should not be decided by un-elected regional body or by the State.
9. Funding and Financing the CASA Compact (Menu of Funding.PDF)
It pursues a variety of funding options, which includes Parcel tax, 1/4-cent Sales Tax, Head Tax, Vacant Home Tax, General Obligation Bonds, Revenue Sharing Contribution, Gross Receipts Tax, Commercial Linkage Fee, etc.
Some of these funding options, in particular Parcel Tax, Head Tax, Gross Receipts Tax, Bonds and Sales Tax measures could compete with a city's needs.
The proposed "Allocation Formula" does not include potential funding for infrastructure projects or transportation, while this Compact aggressively promotes new housing development, increasing impacts on roads, sewers and transit systems without funding to address the increased demands.
The "Distribution Formula" is flawed, very flawed. It distributes 75% of new revenues to the County of origin and distribution to cities will be subject to objective performance and standards set by the Regional Housing Enterprise, probably another bureaucratic body.
10. Regional Housing Enterprise
VTA, MTC, ABAG; how have they represented you? Creating another bureaucratic body and history has shown, reduces transparency and public involvement.
This Regional Housing Enterprise will be another bureaucratic agency overlooking the revenue appropriated away from local uses/needs. It will also dictate and determine if a city has performed according to the bureaucracy's standards which often times do not align with the different cities because the bureaucracy has an "ONE-SIZE FITS ALL" mentality.