Abodu ADU Installation

An accessory dwelling unit from the company Abodu is installed in a Los Altos backyard. Los Altos officials are working on a new housing element that encourages development of new housing, include accessory dwelling units.

The Los Altos City Council Tuesday (June 8) gave the go-ahead for a consultant to work with the city to develop a new housing element covering housing needs over the next decade.

Following lengthy discussion that focused on a proper process for community education and input, the council approved a $600,228 agreement with Lisa Wise Consulting for planning services. As part of the general plan, the housing element provides an analysis of housing needs and strategies to provide for those needs.

The city is working against a deadline of January 2023, when the housing element must be approved by the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development. All cities are assigned Regional Housing Needs Allocation targets for new housing, both market rate and affordable. In Los Altos, that current number is 1,958 new units by January 2031.

Unresolved is direction on how to involve the public in the housing element process. In a second motion, the council directed city staff to review outreach tasks and possible budget changes in the contract and agendize the formation of a council subcommittee, led by Vice Mayor Anita Enander and Councilmember Sally Meadows, to work on a community engagement process.

For more on the story, read next week’s print edition.