December 5, 2019

Policy Rundown – December 5th, 2019


Welcome to SV@Home’s Policy Rundown, your need-to-know overview of important housing policy actions and developments from the past two weeks as well as key upcoming items where you can get engaged.

San Jose: Diridon Station

Work on the Diridon Station Plan continues to move forward, with the San Jose Council taking action this week on the Diridon Integrated Station Concept (DISC) Plan, which will determine the station alignment, the number of station entrances, and other features of the multi-modal station. While the Council supported staff recommendations, it requested further discussion of the southern track approach. In response, the City will hold a study session in January 2020 to dive into issues related to the southern approach, including a proposed elevated viaduct that would pass over neighborhoods south of the station as well as the potential impacts of this option on developable land in the Station Area. SV@Home continues to follow the DISC discussions carefully and we have made clear in our policy position that any proposed track re-alignments should not significantly impact land that could be used for residential development. 

There are a number of upcoming public meetings related to the Diridon Station Area and Google’s plan for Downtown West, which you can learn more about in our Public Meetings section below or the Events page of our website.

Palo Alto: Urgency Ordinance

On December 2nd, the Palo Alto City Council again delayed its proposed urgency ordinance to protect renters from no-cause eviction through the end of the year. With councilmember Liz Kniss recused, the ordinance would have required “yes” votes from all 6 remaining councilmembers (urgency ordinances require 4/5ths of present councilmembers to vote “yes”). The vote was 5-1, with councilmember Greg Tanaka indicating that he would not vote “yes” unless the vote was delayed for a week to allow further outreach and noticing. An amended motion to place the ordinance on next week’s consent calendar passed 6-0. SV@Home was there to speak in support of the urgency ordinance and urges the Council to pass the measure next week. See our letter here.

Sunnyvale: Tenant Protections and Just Cause Evictions

Joining several other regional jurisdictions in taking action, on Tuesday the Sunnyvale City Council voted to pass an emergency ordinance to protect renters from excessive rent hikes and no-cause eviction through the end of the year when AB 1482 takes effect in at the state level. SV@Home, along with several partner organizations, was there to support an emergency ordinance that would provide retroactive protections, as both data and stories showed an increase in tenant rent hikes and no-cause eviction after the bill was signed by Governor Newsom in October. With four affirmative votes for an ordinance that extends retroactive protections, the council was not able to meet the 4/5ths threshold required to pass an emergency ordinance. An amended ordinance without retroactive provisions passed 6-1. See our letter here.

Cupertino: Bond Measure

On November 25th, the Foothill-De Anza Community College District Board of Trustees voted unanimously to place two items on the March 2020 ballot, including a $898 million bond measure that would improve, add, and modernize facilities. This includes potential for staff and student housing on district land in Cupertino, Los Altos Hills, and Sunnyvale. SV@Home is excited about this prospect and will continue to track and provide updates on the issue as it moves forward.