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Draft housing element would bring multifamily housing to Atherton | News

Atherton may even see townhouses for the primary time in its historical past, with strain mounting to zone for extra properties underneath the state-mandated housing component replace.

Though there may be school and scholar housing at some colleges on the town, multifamily housing has by no means been seen outdoors of these slender makes use of.

The Metropolis Council reviewed its draft 2023-31 housing component at a Wednesday, June 15, assembly. City workers launched the draft for public touch upon June 10.

The city should plan for the event of 348 new housing models, a big bounce from its designation of 93 models in the course of the earlier eight-year cycle. The proposal additionally features a buffer, bringing the full models deliberate to 462.

Cities and cities additionally face important publicity to legal responsibility, in line with the state. Courts could revoke the native authorities’s land use and planning authority, and native authorities companies determine out of compliance could also be topic to judgments and fines of as much as $100,000 per 30 days.

However recognizing the “excessive housing scarcity” in California and the Peninsula, the city desires to do its half in assembly the assigned RHNA manufacturing, whereas sustaining the prevailing city character and preserving heritage timber, in line with the draft component.

Councilman Bob Polito mentioned that some residents assume the housing component is a “vindictive plan” by the council and metropolis supervisor, and that it is not.

Except there’s a referendum that takes management of native jurisdictions away from the state, cities must comply, he mentioned. Some residents have demanded the city refuse to create a housing component.

On the June 15 assembly, some residents requested that the city’s basic land use plan be up to date (it was final revised two years in the past) earlier than continuing with a housing component. Additionally they introduced up considerations about new multifamily housing bringing site visitors and crime to Atherton.

“We’ve got an issue if we submit a plan to HCD that is not religion plan,” Polito mentioned. “These guys aren’t going to place up with any baloney.”

New housing overlays

At a Might 24 assembly, council members have been divided on the place to place multifamily zoning overlays. They settled on the next websites:

One of many advisable modifications that workers will advocate on July 20 will likely be to take away 290 Polhemus Ave. As a possible overlay zone candidate as a result of the property proprietor is not taken with creating it, DeGolia informed The Almanac.

DeGolia, who mentioned he is acquired about 100 emails just lately on the housing component, famous ultimately week’s assembly that he’s personally towards creating the property as a result of a hill on Alameda de Las Pulgas makes it inconceivable for individuals to see coming site visitors after they flip off Polhemus . He mentioned he did not know this till he visited the location.

“We made errors on Might 24,” he mentioned. “We added three properties and elevated density. I might have favored to have vetted these items extra.”

DeGolia mentioned he additionally is aware of that owners don’t help improvement on the Polhemus and Santiago areas.


Menlo Facultyat 1000 El Camino Actual, at present has 21 housing models for school and workers and is “very ” in offering extra housing on campus, in line with workers.

If the college buys adjoining parcels, the city would strongly take into account together with these parcels inside the newly created multifamily overlay zones. This is able to allow the colleges to develop housing for lecturers and workers, in addition to for a income stream for the colleges ought to the models be rented to the general public.

Menlo Faculty broke floor on a $20 million 288-bed residence corridor in spring 2021. The varsity is within the remaining levels of building on the mission now, mentioned Angela Schmiede, vice chairman for scholar success & strategic planning chair for the faculty. Menlo Faculty plans to host a ribbon slicing in August for the brand new dorms, she mentioned.

The dorms will not rely towards the city’s RHNA targets as a result of they don’t seem to be thought-about everlasting housing, City Planner Lisa Costa Sanders mentioned final yr.

Menlo Collegeat 50 Valparaiso Ave., has expressed curiosity in buying land adjoining to the college and creating 10 to twenty models inside this housing component cycle.

Sacred Coronary heart Faculties, situated at 150 Valparaiso Ave., at present has 5 residences on campus for retired nuns. The varsity expects to renovate the constructing within the subsequent 15 to twenty years to accommodate school housing, which falls outdoors of the present RHNA cycle.

CalWater Bear Gulch Reservoir

CalWater owns and operates 99 acres on the Bear Gulch Reservoir, 120 Reservoir Rd., and is taken with establishing 4 new reasonably priced housing models at this web site to assist retain and recruit new workers, in line with the draft housing component.

This current zoning for the property permits for caretaker housing with a conditional use allow. The city plans to amend the zoning to permit low- and moderate-income multifamily housing by proper.

Underutilized parcels

City workers created an inventory of 65 residential parcels which are “underutilized” since they’re of enough dimension to be additional subdivided, to the draft component.

For instance, underneath the state’s new duplex regulation Senate Invoice 9, 59 parcels could possibly be cut up into two authorized parcels, and every parcel may must models every. This might result in as much as 118 models.

The city has acquired 4 purposes for SB 9 lot splits — at 78 Cebalo Lane, 2 Lowery Drive, 125 Glenwood Ave. and 94 Palmer Lane — thus far. There are three pending purposes, at 47 Santiago Ave., 190 Selby Lane and 197 Glenwood Ave. Atherton expects to see about 9 to 32 internet new dwelling models per yr with SB 9, in line with workers.

Southern California cities and cities are forward of Northern California within the housing component cycle. As of June 15, solely eight of the 124 jurisdictions in Los Angeles and Orange counties have been present in compliance, in line with City Supervisor George Rodericks in a weblog submit. The rest are nonetheless within the strategy of assessment and approval with the state’s division of Housing and Neighborhood Improvement, in line with Rodericks.

“This stage of strain and exhausting engagement by the state within the sixth cycle course of is, to make use of an unlucky phrase, advance,” he wrote.

Land shortage and excessive actual property costs are essentially the most important constraints to reasonably priced housing in Atherton, in line with the draft housing component, which should establish and tackle the hurdles impacting housing progress. There are nearly no vacant heaps in Atherton.

Land at present sells for about $8 million per acre and may solely be acquired by buy of a developed parcel or by subdividing the property, which additionally probably entails the elimination of an current house, in line with the city.

The stock of web sites appropriate for residential improvement exhibits a possible of roughly 110 new parcels that may be created by subdividing current developed parcels.

The general public has till July 11 to touch upon the draft component. The Planning Fee will assessment the plan at a June 23 assembly at 1 pm

On the shut of the remark interval, the Metropolis Council will assessment the draft component and any submitted feedback at its July 20 assembly. The draft will then be despatched to HCD for assessment.

Extra info on the housing component may be discovered on-line.

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