Monday Morning Thoughts: The Latest Phase of the Housing Crisis Will Tell Us Which Way Things Will Go

Photo by Marcus Lenk on Unsplash

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

We could be overly dramatic and declare that the future of the state of California rides on the response to the latest confrontation between the state and local governments over housing.

Hyperbole?  Perhaps.

On the other hand, unless the state finds a way to compel local governments and communities to build more housing, particularly, affordable housing, it’s hard to overstate the impact that will have overall on the affordability of living in this state.

All eyes are on the Bay Area where local governments had until January 31 to submit their housing plans and many of them missed it.

As columnist Dan Walters noted in his latest column: “While declaring state, regional and local housing needs has been underway for decades, until recently there was virtually no backlash for failure. However, the most recent version, aimed at adding 2.5 million housing units by 2030, a million of them affordable to low-income families, is different.”

As he points out the HCD “has embraced more critical oversight of the plans submitted by city and county officials, rejected those it deemed insufficient and threatened penalties for noncompliance, such as a loss of state housing funds.”

This pressure, he argues, “is clearly aimed at blunting the ability of local not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) activists to persuade local officials to resist the state quotas and/or impose conditions on housing projects that would make them unfeasible.”

Walters notes that this “syndrome” is most evidence in some of the Bay Areas “many small enclaves of wealthy families living in multi-million-dollar homes.”

He writes, “Simply put, their residents don’t want to have their neighborhoods’ bucolic ambience altered by apartment houses for what Victorian novelist and playwright Edward Bulwer-Lytton described as “the great unwashed”—ordinary folk lacking upper-class education and wealth.”

For example, Atherton adopted “with obvious reluctance” a plan for 348 new housing units. Walters writes: “It acted over the objections of many high-income NIMBYs, including Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen. Whether the plan will pass state muster is still uncertain.”

Then there’s Orinda.

Comically, he noted that “city officials were on the verge of adopting their 1,359-unit plan when it was revealed that one of the parcels it designated for housing was just one foot wide.”

Oops.

In response, pro-housing groups like YIMBY didn’t “just blow whistles.”  Walters noted, as we reported last week, “a few days after the Jan. 31 deadline passed, a coalition filed lawsuits against 12 local governments that had failed to meet it.

“There’s no excuse for these cities to be in violation of state law,” Sonja Trauss, executive director of one group, YIMBY Law, said. “Cities have had years to plan for this. They’ve also received resources and feedback from us, our volunteer watchdogs, and HCD. These cities are trying to push the responsibility onto other communities and avoid having to welcome new neighbors. It’s time for them to be held accountable.”

By contrast Davis has been relatively benign in its attempts to meet state housing requirements.

But don’t worry, those efforts are going to heat up soon enough in Davis as well.  By all accounts, Davis may well be in the clear for the current housing element, but we are about ready to see the battle for the next one heat up—if the council decides to put the first major revision to Measure J on the ballot.

Newly-elected Councilmember Bapu Vaitla said, “Peripheral, we can look at the RHNA numbers. It’s broken down in the Housing Element. We have potential, if everything goes very well, to satisfy a certain fraction of that with infill downtown.”

He continued, “Every development, every single parcel downtown becomes absolutely critical. We need to optimize for the amount affordable, but it’s also time to talk about affordable on the periphery.”

So he said, “It’s time to talk about an affordable exemption for Measure J/R/D. It’s time. So let’s open the community conversation. Let’s hear about it.”

At the same time, he noted, “We know that we have limited viable peripheral sites. We know that we want to protect as much agricultural and open space and habitat as possible. So we need to use every one of the sites that we have available judicially.”

He believes we need to maximize the amount of affordable, saying, “To me, the pathway to do that is to open the conversation about an affordable exemption to Measure J/R/D.”

His colleagues agreed with this approach.

So far, things have been calm in Davis, but that’s going to change as soon as this proposal actually comes forward to the community.

As I have expressed before—whether HCD approves the current plan or not, I have serious doubts as to whether the city can meet their housing obligations this time, but next time, it’s going to be very interesting.

Sadly, the community is probably not prepared for this discussion.  Unlike in places like San Francisco and Los Angeles where the major papers have had numerous editorials laying out the housing crisis, the local paper in Davis has had nothing.

The last editorial was from October 2 when they endorsed Partida and Vaitla for council, and before that was in May when they endorsed Reisig, Frerichs, Mike Thompson, and Tom Lopez in a series of op-eds.

In April, the Enterprise endorsed DiSC, which of course went down with a resounding thud.

The Enterprise has covered the statewide columns from people like Dan Walters, but have not kept up with the current housing debate locally.

On a broader level, however, how the state legislature, governor’s office, AG’s office and HCD determine how they will handle this current confrontation will tell us a lot about the future of the state in terms of whether there will be sufficient housing and whether the home ownership will be affordable for Californians of more modest means.

On a local level, whether our community is willing to tweak the rules could have a huge impact not only on the future of the community, but also whether the community maintains control over its own land use policies.

The coming weeks and months will be very interesting to follow.

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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30 Comments

  1. Keith Y Echols

     unless the state finds a way to compel local governments and communities to build more housing, particularly, affordable housing, it’s hard to overstate the impact that will have overall on the affordability of living in this state.

    I’m the only one that keeps bringing this up; why is the only solution for more housing to ram new housing requirements down cities’ throats?  Why isn’t there an option to create NEW Communities?  Require all new commercial and industrial development to have some amount of residential housing.  Create infrastructure new services districts on county property outside of cities and then plan for commercial, industrial and residential development.

    Did you see the sfgate article about how the city of Hillsborough has pushed for a kind of loophole solution to their affordable housing requirements.

     Gib (resident of Hillsborough) took the podium. He offered a rather specific plan: building housing for what he called “special needs” adults, whom the National Center on Disability and Journalism refers to as developmentally disabled adults, a group that includes “autism spectrum disorder, spina bifida, cerebral palsy and intellectual disabilities.”

    the very low- and low-income [housing units], a lot of those can be used up here by providing special needs housing for people here.”

    Gib said he believes that unlike other people who might qualify for low-income housing, developmentally disabled people “don’t commit crimes, they don’t bring drugs, they don’t bring trouble. They don’t bring all the lunatic stuff that goes along with it.” They also can’t drive, Gib claimed, “so you don’t have a whole bunch of extra cars and God knows what.”

    Similar proposals started popping up in the cities of Woodside and Portola Valley.  The need for housing for the developmentally disabled are significant as they are some of the most vulnerable population.  But because of the way the housing requirements are written, affordable housing for the developmentally disabled is coming at the cost of housing to other people with needs for affordable housing.

    “It is frustrating to see public entities use housing for people with certain types of disabilities as a way to circumvent housing element objectives and oppress other populations they perceive to be less desirable for their community,” Michelle Uzeta, senior counsel at Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, wrote in an email to SFGATE.

    The ideas tossed around in the Hillsborough and Woodside council meetings constitute segregated housing, because they propose putting a group of developmentally disabled adults in one building or cluster of buildings apart from others.

    1. Richard_McCann

      Why isn’t there an option to create NEW Communities? 

      Probably because most households now have more than one worker and they work at multiple locations. Plus most businesses expand existing facilities rather than build new ones. Those new communities have few to none of the amenities of existing ones, most importantly inadequate schools. One only needs to look at the stalled development of the “new” community around UC Merced to see how this strategy is likely to fail.

      All of those communities you list in the Bay Area are privileged white enclaves wanting to keep the riff raff out. If they have a good excuse, it’s that they are amidst environmentally sensitive ecosystems that are already stressed. Davis doesn’t have that excuse. (Sorry, but if we don’t build next to us, the farmland next to Woodland, Vacaville  or Elk Grove will be consumed instead, probably in larger amounts.)

      1. Walter Shwe

        Truth be told, I like places like Orinda, Lafayette, Atherton, and Tiburon just the way they are (even though I’m effectively “locked out” of them, myself).
        Those places are more important that “me” or any other individual. I’d gladly protest in support of those cities, but they may (mistakenly) throw a jar of Grey Poupon at me – thinking I’m one of the riff-raff. Which I may be, but perhaps an unusual one regarding my views.
        Regardless, I don’t want to see those places destroyed.

        Atherton destroyed by a single housing development? Give me a break please.

        1. Ron Oertel

          Not be a “single” housing development (and not something I said).  Might ruin Steph Curry’s privacy, though.

          Nor would a “single” housing development lead to “equity” (or whatever the supposed goal is).  Actually, whatever the implied goal is has nothing to do with the reality of what they’re pushing.

          If folks don’t like “wealthy” areas (or think that housing costs should be the same in all communities), they’ve got a problem with capitalism, itself.

          And yet, the YIMBYs are embracing capitalism, to solve a problem created by capitalism.

          Doesn’t make much sense to me. Unless perhaps you look at who is supporting YIMBYs, Californians for Homeownership, etc. (“Disguised capitalism” at its finest – at the expense of communities.

          It’s really quite ingenuous, the way that they’ve been able to tap-into “social equity” concerns. Whomever was behind that should be in high demand at any advertising agency. I tip my hat to them.

    2. David Greenwald

      “I’m the only one that keeps bringing this up; why is the only solution for more housing to ram new housing requirements down cities’ throats? Why isn’t there an option to create NEW Communities?”

      That seems like a lot of other difficulties to avoid butting up against existing residents.

      It might be instructive to look into why Yolo’s proposal to create a huge new community at Dunnigan ultimately failed.

          1. David Greenwald

            Basically they attempted to create a newly incorporated city in Dunnigan to accommodate substantial new growth, and the articles laid out the reasons why it failed.

        1. Keith Y Echols

           Dunnigan to accommodate substantial new growth, and the articles laid out the reasons why it failed.

          That’s my question to you.  Why did it fail? And is it relevant to my comments about the benefits of new community development?  It’s behind a paywall so I can’t/won’t read the article.

          1. Don Shor

            Here are excerpts:

            ….
            Developers have had their sights set on Dunnigan — a farming community of around 1,000 people — for the past seven years, which had they gone into effect could have led to the community’s incorporation and possibly a population of more than 4,000.
            However, Yolo County planners, supervisors and residents had other ideas, specifically not creating a “bedroom community” where residents had to travel to their jobs.
            The 834 acres that make up existing Dunnigan, east of Interstate 5 on the border with Colusa County, had the land-use potential to grow to 3,110 acres northwest of the I-5 and I-505 interchange.

            The Doherty family, which originally owned about 75 percent of that land, had partnered with three developers to comprise the Dunnigan Landowners Group, to create the Dunnigan Specific Plan.
            But few outside Dunnigan seemed interested in building new homes without accompanying jobs, of which there were no guarantees, despite the fact that residents had shown an interest in schools, parks, a library and sheriff’s sub-station. There is already a fire station in Dunnigan and it could have been upgraded from volunteers to paid-professional firefighters had the community incorporated.
            However, under the county’s General Plan, there needs to be 1,200 jobs for every 1,000 new homes built, and those numbers didn’t pencil out.
            As well, planning guidelines dictate that infrastructure for sewer, water, roads as well as electricity must first be established before even a small number of homes could be built.
            Water use was also problem for planners, who had to consider providing for an envisioned 9,000 homes and 8.2 million square feet of commercial and industrial space. Dunnigan’s water supply has always come from a combination of ground water, surface water from The Tehama-Colusa Canal, and the conservation and reuse of water. New state rules to provide for recharging the aquifer below Dunnigan would also have made the thousands of homes and other construction unachievable.
            Further, the federal government owns rights to the Tehama-Colusa Canal, and had the power to restrict usage during dry years.

        2. Keith Y Echols

          Thanks for the summary.  So it’s somewhat of an apples to oranges comparison to what I’m proposing. So I don’t see how it applies.

          “Bedroom Community” – I’ve proposed that industrial and commercial be planned to go along with residential development.  So jobs and homes.

          Also, most of what I’ve proposed is that these new communities be developed near or adjacent to existing cities.

          Infrastructure.  As I’ve already said, infrastructure would have to be built out.  I think infrastructure for development expansion is a far better use of the state’s funds to support new housing than what it does now.

          Water is an issue whatever the state chooses to do if it wants to encourage growth.  The state can force the issue with the counties and local municipalities if it really wants solutions to the housing issue.

          1. David Greenwald

            Not really apples to oranges, where are you planning to put the new communities? This is an example of them trying to do just that, and it not working. You are going to have issues of infrastructure, water, and jobs.

        3. Keith Y Echols

          Not really apples to oranges, where are you planning to put the new communities? This is an example of them trying to do just that, and it not working. You are going to have issues of infrastructure, water, and jobs.

          Holy Christ you’re not listening.

           where are you planning to put the new communities?

          Near or adjacent to existing cities. (I’ve said that 2-3 times now).  If you the state pushes a county to surround a city with planned growth, the city will likely think hard about doing the development itself.

          This is an example of them trying to do just that, and it not working.

          And I gave you reasons WHY IT DOESN’T APPLY.  Yet you seem stuck on giving this example as your rebuttal.  I’m fine if you come of with reasons why you think my ideas won’t work.  But you’re just holding up a past project as your rebuttal without any thought as to WHY that project failed and if it even applies to this discussion.  It’s a much different game when the state decides to get involved.  

           You are going to have issues of infrastructure, water, and jobs.

          AGAIN..YOU’RE NOT LISTENING/READING/COMPREHENDING.  I already stated that the state would have to push for infrastructure development.  It’s funding of it would be a much better use of funds than how it spends supporting efforts to push for growth and development.  Building out infrastructure isn’t some scary, mythical obstacle.  It can be done.  It has been done.  I also ALREADY STATED (multiple times) that you’d plan to have industrial and commercial development….so jobs to go with the residential development.  The commercial and industrial components might entice cities to annex the new development.

          Imagine if the original full sized DISC project (with all planned the residential units)  had the state backing it and just plopped right down next to Davis in Yolo County.  The state supported new infrastructure for future growth and build out.   What would the city of Davis do?

        4. Keith Y Echols

          Near or adjacent to existing cities.

          That’s the problem.
           

          How is that a problem?  County land.  Dictated to be developed by the state.  As far as legal authority?  So far the HCD is nearly undefeated in recent challenges to it’s authority.

          1. David Greenwald

            You’re proposing this as a way to facilitate housing, but how does your proposal do that? If you are talking about putting housing near or adjacent to existing cities, why is that any different than imposing housing on existing cities? You end up with the same resistance, plus you face litigation by cities who are having impacts imposed on them by the counties. I don’t see that as an improvement over the current situation.

        5. Keith Y Echols

          but how does your proposal do that? If you are talking about putting housing near or adjacent to existing cities, why is that any different than imposing housing on existing cities? You end up with the same resistance, plus you face litigation by cities who are having impacts imposed on them by the counties.

          MATH

          There are 482 Cities in California.  But only 58 Counties.  It’s easier to wage 58 battles than 482.

          Also, people/voters generally pay less attention to county issues than city ones.  So state mandates on counties would be harder to fight.

          Any mounted resistance would likely take cooperation between the cities and counties…which can be difficult to coordinate.

          Cities have the options of annexing new communities.  I suppose any city that meets it’s RHNA requirements could nullify any peripheral development plans by the county for a cycle.

          Finally there are counties that would welcome the ability to get around their charters that mandate development in cities and take away property tax revenue.

          1. Don Shor

            My guess is that the state will go after the cities that are not acting in good faith, private lawsuits and builders remedies will make further headway, and the cities will begin to realize that the state means business and will work to meet the requirements. And then some housing will get built where it wouldn’t have been built before, which is the point of this whole exercise.
            Davis can meet the requirements by allowing peripheral annexation for some new subdivisions. Infill isn’t going to do it. If the voters reject peripheral proposals, the state might step in. But there are three project proposals in their early stages right now, so with some infill and one or two peripheral projects, Davis can probably squeak through.

        6. Keith Y Echols

          My guess is that the state will go after the cities that are not acting in good faith, private lawsuits and builders remedies will make further headway, and the cities will begin the realize that the state means business and will work to meet the requirements.

          You are more optimistic than I am.  I see the state issuing more warnings and saying “this time I really mean it”!  And then it’ll all get bogged down in litigation.

          The Builder’s remedy doesn’t really remedy much.  More often than not an imposed affordable housing provision will make a new development financially infeasible…especially if you have to build infill or in cities that are already high priced  Also, most builders aren’t going to want to fight a city.  Most want to get along with them as much as possible.  A builder will fight if they already have a project that gets tied up.  But a builder won’t enter a project knowing there’s a good chance they’re going to fight the city.  So for every successful win a builder gets in the court of law over a project; there’s probably a dozen projects that don’t get built because builders don’t want enter into a project knowing they are likely going to have to fight the city

          Davis can meet the requirements by allowing peripheral annexation for some new subdivisions. Infill isn’t going to do it. If the voters reject peripheral proposals, the state might step in. But there are three project proposals in their early stages right now, so with some infill and one or two peripheral projects, Davis can probably squeak through.

          I have serious doubts about Davis’ ability to meet it’s RHNA requirements in this cycle and definitely in the next cycle.  And I don’t see peripheral development happening anytime soon.

        7. Ron Oertel

          Davis can mee the requirements by allowing peripheral annexation for some new subdivisions.

          Davis has already “met” the requirements, unlike the 85% of cities in the Bay Area who didn’t even submit housing elements prior to the deadline.  Probably none of which are expanding outward onto farmland (even prior to the latest RHNA requirements).

          Infill isn’t going to do it.

          Yes, it will – and that’s already the plan.  Infill is also the state’s intention. I am quite certain that Davis is not the primary locale that the state’s efforts are focused on.

          If the voters reject peripheral proposals, the state might step in.

          The “state” is monitoring Measure J elections, when determining future RHNA requirements?

          But there are three project proposals in their early stages right now, so with some infill and one or two peripheral projects, Davis can probably squeak through.

          It’s already “squeaked through”.  Actually, it kind of “walked-through”, compared to most cities.

          All of this is just a bunch of nonsense, in a state that’s no longer growing in the first place.

          And no – prices won’t continue to climb because of it. The state will just continue “not growing”, instead. That’s the free market at work.

          Growth will continue to occur in locales that encourage it, instead. But even so, the nation’s population is not growing very quickly, anymore. Places other than California have been losing population as well – including Oregon, surprisingly-enough. (I bring up Oregon because you might not expect that to be occurring, there. But other places have been losing population faster than that.)

          Good luck trying to force housing in places where the population is declining – especially “Affordable”‘ (subsidized) housing.

          In any case, I’m looking forward to places like Atherton and Orinda engaging in a fight with the state (and YIMBYs).

          1. Don Shor

            Davis has already “met” the requirements

            Davis is presently out of compliance. The housing element has been submitted and is under review by the state HCD. We’ll see whether they accept the city’s assumptions about the sites listed.

            The “state” is monitoring Measure J elections, when determining future RHNA requirements?

            From the HCD:

            Each jurisdiction (city council or board of supervisors) must prepare an annual progress report (APR) on the jurisdiction’s status and progress in implementing its housing element using forms and definitions adopted by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). (Government Code Section 65400.)

        8. Ron Oertel

          Davis is presently out of compliance. The housing element has been submitted and is under review by the state HCD. We’ll see whether they accept the city’s assumptions about the sites listed.

          Per what’s been reported on here, they almost certainly will.

          But really, one has to compare Davis’ relative rate of success with other cities (statewide).

          Each jurisdiction (city council or board of supervisors) must prepare an annual progress report (APR) on the jurisdiction’s status and progress in implementing its housing element using forms and definitions adopted by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). (Government Code Section 65400.)

          That sounds pretty different than what you first stated, above.

          But again, one has to compare whatever they determine in the future (regarding Davis) vs. every other city in the state.  The only people “worried” about this are the ones who “coincidentally” advocate for sprawl.

          I’ve already posted MANY articles showing that the state is not going to be able to force cities to comply (in terms of actual results).  Even David agrees with this.

          So unless the YIMBYs and state officials pick up a hammer (and join Habitat for Humanity), they’re going to fail.

          The “builder remedy” has its own Affordable requirements, and (if it actually goes forward in any significant way) is likely to occur in the cities which are already fighting the state. The “Orindas” and “Athertons” of California, as it were. (Should be fun to watch it unfold, and to see what reaction it ultimately causes.) For sure, it’s going to be tied up in courts, first.

          1. David Greenwald

            “Per what’s been reported on here, they almost certainly will.”

            The city believes they are in compliance and that HCD has told them so. I have said a number of times, I am skeptical about the downtown accommodating that amount of overall housing and in particular affordable housing.

            “The “builder remedy” has its own Affordable requirements”

            There is a general belief that by right development will sufficiently lower the costs and uncertainty in order to make a higher rate of affordable housing viable.

        9. Ron Oertel

          The city believes they are in compliance and that HCD has told them so. I have said a number of times, I am skeptical about the downtown accommodating that amount of overall housing and in particular affordable housing.

          I (and you) are skeptical that the amount of Affordable housing that the state is requiring (statewide) will actually be built.  “Skeptical” is too weak of a word regarding that in the first place.

          “The “builder remedy” has its own Affordable requirements”
          There is a general belief that by right development will sufficiently lower the costs and uncertainty in order to make a higher rate of affordable housing viable.

          Who told you that, and to what degree?

          Again, we’re talking about “penciling out” – which will first involve legal challenges.  Assuming that some of them are successful (before voters revolt, in mass), they then have to deal with the costs of infill (sometimes including demolition), connecting to existing utilities, whatever other obstacles that cities will throw at them, etc.

          And after all of that, the units have to be “affordable”.

          Good luck with that.  But again, should be fun to watch how it unfolds in some of the wealthier enclaves.

          I also found the example that Keith provided (regarding housing for developmentally-disabled individuals) to be “creative”, at least. (I read about that, as well.)

          Truth be told, I like places like Orinda, Lafayette, Atherton, and Tiburon just the way they are (even though I’m effectively “locked out” of them, myself).

          Those places are more important that “me” or any other individual. I’d gladly protest in support of those cities, but they may (mistakenly) throw a jar of Grey Poupon at me – thinking I’m one of the riff-raff. Which I may be, but perhaps an unusual one regarding my views.

          Regardless, I don’t want to see those places destroyed.

          1. David Greenwald

            To be clear on my position, I think the state is justified in pushing for the housing they are. But with interest rates and construction costs plus local resistance it’s going to be extremely unlikely those requirements get met.

            One thing that was interesting to learn during the Wiener press conference yesterday, most of the SB 35 by right approvals were 100 percent affordable.

    3. Keith Y Echols

      Probably because most households now have more than one worker and they work at multiple locations. Plus most businesses expand existing facilities rather than build new ones. Those new communities have few to none of the amenities of existing ones, most importantly inadequate schools.

      I do not understand how a newly built community would be effected by households that have more than one worker at multiple locations.

      What difference does that make?  If you build a new community close enough or adjacent to an existing one; then it has access to some of those amenities.  Often new communities have built in new amenities.

      As for schools, either build out new ones and create a new mini-district.  Extend an existing district to include the new one.  Or in Davis’ case they’d probably gladly bus in more nearby students that need a school district.

      All of those communities you list in the Bay Area are privileged white enclaves wanting to keep the riff raff out.

      Good god…why does race always have to be dragged into the conversation?  For Christ’s sakes one vocal opponents of new affordable housing in Hillsborough was STEPH CURRY.

      Sorry, but if we don’t build next to us, the farmland next to Woodland, Vacaville  or Elk Grove will be consumed instead, probably in larger amounts

      I really don’t get how this plays any part in the discussion.  For those who care, they care about how it impacts the LOCAL environment first and for most.

      One only needs to look at the stalled development of the “new” community around UC Merced to see how this strategy is likely to fail.

      I paid attention to UC Merced about 15+ years ago.  So what happened?  What happened there that has to do with new community development?

    4. Don Shor

      I wonder if “Gib” knows how poorly he comes across in those comments.
      Building new communities will not reduce the RHNA requirements for any existing cities.
      Just for the record, there was a proposal for a new city next to Winters back in the 1980s. It got voted down and is the reason Solano County now has a growth measure requiring a county-wide vote for any new development outside of existing cities. I’d be very surprised if a proposal for thousands of new residents in Yolo county anywhere would be acceptable to the nearby cities, to LAFCO, or pretty much anyone else. I grew up in San Diego, where those kinds of developments were quite common (Scripps Ranch, for example). They created huge issues with respect to traffic, nearby school districts, etc. They basically become regional planning nightmares.

      1. Keith Y Echols

        Building new communities will not reduce the RHNA requirements for any existing cities.

        I didn’t say it would.  But it would help the statewide housing needs.   And creating new communities would make a difference for future RHNA requirements.  Plus, cities that decide to annex in the new communities would probably get help towards their RHNA requirements.

         I’d be very surprised if a proposal for thousands of new residents in the county anywhere would be acceptable to the nearby cities, to LAFCO, or pretty much anyone else. I grew up in San Diego, where those kinds of developments were quite common (Scripps Ranch, for example). They created huge issues with respect to traffic, nearby school districts, etc. They basically become regional planning nightmares.

        Do you think states would have more success going after all these cities or the counties to produce housing?  Just on sheer numbers, I think it’d be easier to go after the counites.  Plus many counties may welcome the tax revenue generated.  And if you create a new community near or adjacent to an existing city, that city will think very hard about whether or not it would be in their best interest to annex the new community. 

        I scouted for new developable land in San Diego County about 20 years ago.  Those unincorporated communities were going to expand considerably.  I think in the end it worked out for San Diego.

  2. Ron Glick

    “Sadly, the community is probably not prepared for this discussion.  Unlike in places like San Francisco and Los Angeles where the major papers have had numerous editorials laying out the housing crisis, the local paper in Davis has had nothing.”

    What do you think I am, chopped liver? I guess you don’t realize the influence your own platform provides. Maybe that is why you have been slow to speak out and still support Measure J. Things are changing, the old guard, is well, old. The community is tired of having a stable housing supply in a place that is growing. The faith community is stepping up and leading with money from their own pockets. Maybe the community isn’t ready to throw out Measure J completely but it looks like my long game of consistently pounding away at Measure J is starting to pay off.

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