Regional Planning is Out of Whack

Regional planning had gone completely out of whack and essentially their goal, the way I see it, is to ensure cities and counties fail in its housing goals and obstruct cities to plan land use in a practical, realistic, and balanced manner.

MTC/ABAG had previously assigned Palo Alto to build 10,500+ housing units between 2023-2031 (8 years), later ABAG reduces the obligation to 6,058 housing units. This number is unreasonable when compared to the 1,988 housing units allocated between the years 2015-2023. This MTC/ABAG action is purposefully setting up cities and counties fail so that state laws can take over jurisdiction's land use, zoning and permitting process. MTC/ABAG’s action is strategic to cause divisiveness and to pit cities against cities.

Just as appalling is that ABAG has chosen not to challenge the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) exaggerated housing need by more than 900,000 housing units in SoCal, the Bay Area and the Sacramento area. Two reports https://embarcaderoinstitute.com/portfolio-items/double-counting-in-the-latest-housing-needs-assessment/ and http://www.freddiemac.com/research/insight/20200227-the-housing-supply-shortage.page disputes HCD’s housing need numbers.

And to top it off, there are those elected representatives, including the Governor, who are overreaching and placing punitive actions on cities and counties if these jurisdictions do not produce this unachievable housing production. With these overreaches…How does a town, city and county even plan its land use in a responsible manner so that it can foster a harmonious, convenient, and workable relationship among its land uses to help ensure the provision of adequate water, sewer, transportation, off-street parking and off-street loading facilities, drainage, parks, open space and other public and community facilities and institutions? How?

At a recent Council meeting, Palo Alto City Attorney Molly Stump was directed to reach out to Harper and Burns LLC, attorney William Curley III, who is representing some cities challenging their RHNA allocations. Mr. Curley is inviting any and all California cities to connect through him, so should there be an opportunity for statewide engagement, those identified cities can respond cohesively and quickly. Mr. Curley’s letter is here.