September 21, 2017

9-21-17 Newsletter



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Awaiting the Governor’s Signature

We are still in a state of astonishment over the size and impact of the housing package approved by the Legislature last week.  Now comes the wait for the Governor’s signature.  Happily, we hear that the Governor has indicated his intention to sign all bills in the package.  If you haven’t yet signed the petition to support the bills, here is the link.

Keep a Pulse on Housing Events in Santa Clara County via SV@Home’s Website!

Given that housing is Silicon Valley’s most pressing issue, you can find several housing-related events and public meetings taking place in Santa Clara County every week.  To stay up-to-date on the all of these happenings, visit SV@Home’s Events Calendar, where we regularly post information on upcoming City Council meetings, community meetings,  partner events, and recurring SV@Home events, such as our Lunchtime Forums and Happy Housers Mixers.  If your organization is hosting an event related to housing that you’d like to share via our Events Calendar, send an email to Nicole Montojo at!

Limited Edition Membership Drive Perk – SV@Home Hoodies!

SV@Home now has hoodies available for our members! Become an individual member of SV@Home at the Friend level today and get an SV@Home hoodie! You can pick up your hoodie at one of our events, like this Friday’s Happy Housers with Jim Beall.

Any questions about membership can be directed to

New Members

Thank you to our newest 2018 members, Jennifer Loving, Kathy Flood, Linda Davis, Kevin Zwick, Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, Bank of America, City National Bank, and Fortbay!

Our 2018 membership drive is happening now. Join or renew today!

Policy Updates

Mountain View Hosts Study Session on Affordable Housing Issues

On Tuesday, September 12th, the City Council provided staff direction on a strategic framework for achieving the City’s goals to house lower- and middle-income households. Among the approaches discussed in the staff memo were potential strategies to increase homeownership opportunities, broaden applicability of the City’s Below Market Rate Program, and expand the tools that currently fund the creation of homes for low and very low-income households.

Stay tuned for a comprehensive update in future newsletters. In the meantime, you can see feedback provided to the City Council and staff through this comment letter.

Santa Clara City Council Responds to Residents’ Concerns Over San Jose’s Urban Village Plans

San Jose’s Stevens Creek Urban Village. Photo Credit: City of San Jose

On September 12th, the Santa Clara City Council held a study session on the City of San Jose’s recently approved Urban Village plans for Stevens Creek and Winchester Boulevard.  The session was agendized in response to a petition submitted by a resident organization called United Communities for Sensible Development, which requested that the Council conduct a study session to evaluate the Plan’s impacts on Santa Clara residents as well as the possibility for the City  to “take legal action on the San Jose’s EIRs for development policies that ignore traffic and underfund transportation infrastructure.”  At the end of the session, the Council voted unanimously to create a task force that would develop recommendations on how the City should coordinate with its bordering jurisdictions to more proactively weigh in on their plans.

As advocates for region-wide planning through cross-jurisdictional collaboration, we think cities should talk to one another regarding each other’s plans for development — as long these discussions are driven by a shared goal of advancing policies and plans that address the regional housing affordability crisis affecting every city.  Visit SV@Home’s blog to read our latest post on this issue,  Who “Lives” Here? Rethinking the Power of City Limits.

In response, SV@Home calls for a new conversation on how we engage across city boundaries. As Emily Badger explains, where we “live” is not defined solely by our place of residence, but by all of the places where we spend our lives.  But at the center of all of this, we must move past individualism and parochialism so that we can prioritize the well-being of everyone who spends any part of their day in the Bay Area.

Los Altos City Council Defers Action on its Density Bonus Ordinance and Commercial Thoroughfare Ordinance

On September 12th, the Los Altos City Council held a public hearing to discuss its density bonus ordinance and to discuss height limit and setback requirements, and other proposed amendments to the city’s Commercial Thoroughfare (CT) Zone District ordinance, which would affect the City’s commercial thoroughfare zone along the El Camino Real. After 5 hours of deliberation, the four members of the Los Altos City Council in attendance (Vice Mayor Jean Mordo was absent) were unable to reach a consensus. Thus, the public hearing will be continued at its next meeting on Tuesday, September 26th. See details below.

In addition to a potential density bonus ordinance and amendments to the CT zoning district ordinance, SV@Home is urging the Council to broaden the City’s suite of affordable housing tools by:

  • Revising its existing inclusionary ordinance to address lower-income housing needs and to allow alternative compliance to its on-site inclusionary requirement.

  • Prioritizing affordable housing development on City-owned land.

  • Allowing denser, mixed-income and mixed use developments along key transportation corridors like El Camino Real.

Join us in urging the Council to support affordable housing in Los Altos by speaking up on September 26th or by sending an email to Mayor Prochnow and the Los Altos City Council.

With the “Palmer Fix” headed to the Governor’s Desk, Plans to Adopt Affordable Housing Impact Fees are Uncertain

Last week, the State Legislature sent AB 1505 to the Governor’s Desk.  AB 1505, also known as the “Palmer Fix” bill, confirms the authority of jurisdictions to require that a percentage of the homes in new rental housing developments be affordable (e.g., inclusionary zoning or inclusionary housing).  Inclusionary requirements were put on hold as a result of a 2009 court decision known as Palmer v. the City of Los Angeles.  In response to that decision, many cities and counties turned to Housing Impact Fees to create opportunities for affordable housing.  In Santa Clara County, Cupertino, Palo Alto, Mountain View, San Jose, and Sunnyvale have adopted Housing Impact Fee ordinances.

If signed by the Governor, as expected, many local governments will likely choose to resume their inclusionary zoning ordinances rather than continue to implement Housing Impact Fee ordinances.  San Jose dropped a Council action this week that recommended changes to its Housing Impact Fee pending the Governor’s action.  The expectation is that the City would choose to implement its existing inclusionary ordinance and no longer implement its Housing Impact Fee ordinance.  Other jurisdictions currently considering new impact fee policies — Santa Clara, Milpitas, Los Altos, and the County — may decide not to proceed and instead reactivate their inclusionary programs.  SV@Home will keep you informed as we learn more.

SV@Home Events

Happy Housers with State Senator Jim Beall Tomorrow at 5:30pm!

Friday, September 22nd from 5:30-7:00pm
Piazza Piccola Italia
350 W Julian St, San Jose

Our next Happy Housers will feature special guest Senator Jim Beall, one of the greatest allies of affordable housing in the CA legislature. This year, Senator Beall  authored SB 3, a $4 billion housing bond that was passed by the legislature last week and will be on the November 2018 ballot. Please RSVP here to celebrate the passage of the State housing package with Senator Beall and SV@Home!

Save the Date: SV@Home Member Holiday Party

Wednesday, December 13th from 5:30-8:00 PM
Silicon Valley Capital Club
50 West San Fernando, San Jose

Join us for our annual holiday party on Wednesday, December 13th at the Silicon Valley Capital Club!  This is a great opportunity to meet and mingle with others determined to make housing affordable throughout Silicon Valley.

Note: This event is for SV@Home members only, so make sure to become a member before you RSVP. If you are not sure whether or not you are a member, please email

Not a member yet? Sign up now to become a 2017 member and attend the rest of our 2016 events, including the holiday party, for free! Click here for more information on becoming an SV@Home member and click here  for the membership form.

We hope to see you on December 13th! You can RSVP on the eventbrite page.

Partner Events

NPH Fall Conference: Standing Together

October 6, 2017, 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Hilton San Francisco Union Square
Hosted by Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California

From NPH: “Our theme for this year – “Standing Together” – reflects our commitment to standing with our members, partners, and allies and the broader community to create an equitable, sustainable, and vibrant region and state through creating and preserving affordable homes. Our Conference will provide you with the tools, knowledge, and networks to do just that.”

See the full details on NPH’s website.

On the House

October 16, 2017, 5:30-7:30 PM
SP2 Communal Bar + Restaurant
72 Almaden Avenue, San Jose
Hosted by Housing Trust Silicon Valley

Housing Trust Silicon Valley is excited to invite you to our fall event, On the House! Join us downtown at SP2 Communal Bar and Restaurant on October 16 to enjoy food and drinks and spend an evening networking with your friends and colleagues – all while celebrating a year of creating affordable housing opportunities in Silicon Valley!

Individual tickets are available at $35, and sponsors of Investor Briefing 2018 receive five free tickets to On the House! Become a sponsor today!

Upcoming Public Meetings

Check our website’s Events Calendar for more details about each of these meetings and other upcoming events!

Los Altos City Council: Commercial Thoroughfare Zoning Code Amendments

Tuesday, September 26th @ 7 PM
Los Altos City Hall
1 N. San Antonio Road

Following up on an ongoing conversation about amendments to the City’s zoning code that impact development along Commercial thoroughfares, at its September 26th meeting the City Council will consider putting into “place standards that result in development that is best suited to the area, minimize impacts to adjacent residential uses, and address the unique circumstances present along the El Camino Real Corridor.  These standards include: modified height limits, setback requirements, open space requirements, standards for mechanical parking systems, standards for on-site areas to accommodate delivery and service vehicles, and standards for rooftop uses.  Additionally, the City will consider adopting zoning code amendments to both ensure that the Municipal Code is consistent with State legislation and “provide a framework for the exceptions to development standards that can be sought as incentives or waivers for a project seeking density bonus units.”  See the summary of the last meeting above.

Santa Clara City Council: Inclusionary Housing and Housing Impact Fees (TENTATIVE)

Tuesday, October 10th, 7:00 p.m.
City of Santa Clara City Hall
1500 Warburton Avenue, Santa Clara

On July 11, 2017, the Santa Clara City Council directed staff to come back with revisions to the City’s existing Inclusionary Housing policy and to implement a new Housing Impact Fee ordinance.  The Council’s consideration of the draft ordinance and inclusionary policy has been tentatively scheduled for October 10th.  As discussed above, due to the likely passage of AB 1505, there is a chance that this item will be postponed.  Stay tuned for more details.

San Jose City Council: Mobilehome Parks

Tuesday, October 3rd @ 1:30 PM
San Jose City Hall – 200 E. Santa Clara Street

As a follow up to Council direction from May, San Jose’s Departments of Housing and Planning, Building and Code Enforcement will bring forward recommendations regarding mobilehome parks at the Council’s October 3rd meeting.  The staff was asked to analyze the potential for a General Plan amendment to create a single land use designation that would serve to protect mobilehome parks.  Additionally, the staff was asked to evaluate and make recommendations regarding a list of recommendations proposed by the Law Foundation. In its September 9th report, staff did not recommend moving forward with a single land use designation for mobilehome parks and agreed with some, but not all of the Law Foundation recommendations. This included several minor General Plan text amendments.  A supplemental memo is anticipated prior to the meeting.  We will provide once available.

Contact Us

350 W Julian St. #5
San Jose, California 95110

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