The city of Los Altos recently submitted a draft of its housing element to state officials for review. You may have seen signs around town or read articles and wondered how this could affect you. Based on state projections, Los Altos is required to plan for 1,958 new housing units to be built in the next eight years, including 1,115 that can be developed as affordable to people making less than 120% of the area median income (AMI) – $181,550 for a family of four).

Our first task was to identify sites that have a potential for new housing. After a year of hard work by staff and commissions – and significant input from residents – we submitted our draft to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). All those involved were elated to reach this challenging milestone! Parking plazas 7 and 8 were identified as sites that could accommodate new development, including affordable housing. We also proposed adding housing as an accepted use in some areas where only business and commercial uses are permitted today. The good news: We propose to meet state mandates without putting multi-family developments in single-family neighborhoods.

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