In the midst of the unprecedented COVID-19 shelter-in-place with all its disastrous consequences — some of which will significantly impact future planning for the Region — MTC/ABAG is nonetheless rushing ahead to assign “housing needs” numbers to our cities this summer, without any input from the affected communities. We have never needed fair, effective, and thoughtful regional growth planning as much as we do today. Our very lifestyle and the quality of that lifestyle depend on it. It is essential that we have a planning process for our future in which everyone who is critically impacted by this growth can take part in decisions that affect them deeply.
Increasingly, citizens in the West Bay are demanding to understand the full impacts of new policies and to know the costs of full mitigation! And, specifically, they are asking for an opportunity to have open public discussions of goals and real input to resulting policy decisions. The global COVID-19 pandemic has and will continue to affect planning profoundly -- many assumptions will need rethinking!
Please do not let unelected agencies like MTC/ABAG and Big Business usurp our City Council’s rightful roll as the focus and driving influence of effective and balanced local zoning and spending decisions. They are rightly the voice of the people that these plans will impact.
But, the City of Palo Alto City Manager and Council majority will not agree have a public study session or discussion about MTC/ABAG’s Plan Bay Area 2050 and Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA), so I have been following other cities’ when they have theirs. I want to alert you to an opportunity to learn more about the growth that is planned for Palo Alto by regional entities.
Next Tuesday, May 19th, Cupertino City Council will be conducting a Study Session on the Plan Bay Area 2050 and Regional Housing Needs Allocations (RHNA). It includes impact of Jobs-Housing Balance and Jobs-Housing Fit to RHNA.
May 19th, 2020 regular meeting starts at 6:45pm. It is Agenda item 22.
- The MTC/ABAG has adopted Growth Geographies for each city: basically areas within 1/2 mile of bus lines with 15 min frequency of service during peak time and 1/4 mile of bus lines of 16-30 mins during peak time.
- The City has an opportunity to nominate new/expanded Growth Geographies through May 31, 2020. (Note the wording... the City can only ADD to what MTC/ABAG has already adopted.)
- Particularly since SB 375 does not require a local jurisdiction’s General Plan to be consistent with the regional plan. => Meaning... MTC/ABAG's regional plan could violate a local jurisdiction’s General Plan => The regional plan supersedes the local General Plan?
- MTC and ABAG staff has been discussing the form of development envisioned in the different Growth Geographies. For example, in the HRA’s with a basic bus service, multifamily development in the form of two-story tri- and four-plexes are envisioned while in TRA’s, larger multi-family development in the form of three- to five- story buildings are envisioned
May 31st is the deadline for the Cities to respond on the MTC/ABAG adopted Growth Geographies.