July 5, 2018

Palo Alto Community Talks Housing


One June 28th, the City of Palo Alto hosted a community conversation to give residents the opportunity to provide input on Palo Alto’s Housing Work Plan, Housing Element, and comprehensive plan housing policies. Topics included housing density and development standards, the City’s project review process, parking requirements, and mixed-use development. With the theme of increasing the affordable housing supply, City leaders are exploring and implementing a number of new policies, including the recently approved Affordable Housing Combining District, “a new zoning designation that will loosen development standards for affordable-housing projects, granting them greater density, higher heights and less stringent parking regulations.”

A stakeholder group of organizations well versed in housing issues has been assembled to provide feedback to City staff.  SV@Home is pleased to be included. Among the issues raised by the stakeholder group to date are constraints like density and parking. Several members noted the that the current zoning as written does not support the City’s stated housing goals.

After gathering community input, hosting stakeholder meetings, and conducting staff analysis, the staff is expected to come forward with a zoning ordinance that increases opportunities for housing development throughout the City. The Planning and Transportation Commission (PTC) will hold a study session on August 29th where it will discuss a framework for the ordinance prior to making its final recommendations.  The Council is expected to consider the final PTC recommendation in November.