Hard work needed to meet RHNA targets
Thank you to the Town Crier for the editorial highlighting the dire need for additional housing in Los Altos (“Magic needed to meet RHNA quota,” June 23).
The editorial stated that “magic is what it may take to meet the new RHNA targets.” I suggest that it’s not magic, but hard work, planning and new policies that are needed to reach the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA). We’re starting to meet those targets with two housing developments: 330 Distel Circle will have at least 90 affordable units, and 5150 El Camino Real could provide 196 new units. Also, Los Altos permitted 22 accessory dwelling units last year.
If the city streamlines the process and adds preapproved plans, we could see 240 ADUs added in this eight-year RHNA cycle. By rezoning El Camino Real and parts of San Antonio Road for higher density, Los Altos could develop multifamily units and offer much needed affordable apartments convenient to transit.
Strategies like these enable our town to comply with state goals and achieve the new RHNA targets without dramatically changing the character of Los Altos.
There’s opportunity to build new homes
Bruce Barton’s June 30 article “Los Altos to appeal mandated number of new homes” states that our city council knows the appeal will fail, suggesting that the council is acting in bad faith. I agree.
Since we have not built our fair share of housing for decades, there are many opportunities for development now: El Camino Real, San Antonio Road, downtown Los Altos, Loyola Corners, Sherwood Avenue and Lucky’s oversized parking lot.
Higher density in these areas could allow us to accommodate the missing middle-income workers.
Adding lower-income housing will enable us to become more diverse. There are beautiful multifamily homes that would fit in with our ranch architecture to maintain the character of Los Altos.
By building inclusive neighborhoods, we eliminate many long commutes that are a large contributor to climate change.
Reject fearmongering on state housing bill
California Senate Bill 9 is the proposed law that would allow a homeowner to put two homes on one lot, and to split the lot into two separate lots.
SB 9 opponents have a bad tendency to misrepresent it. In her July 7 letter to the editor, Pat Marriott provides two purported nightmare scenarios: A builder, Marriott falsely claims, could split a lot and put a house, an accessory dwelling unity (ADU) and a junior ADU on each side! A builder, Marriott mistakenly writes, could put two houses, an ADU and a JADU on each side of a lot split! Oh no!
Both of these scenarios are explicitly prohibited by SB 9. Section 2 (66411.7) (i) states that if a lot is split, up to two housing units must be permitted on each side of the split. That includes houses, ADUs and JADUs. No more than two units. Not three, not four, but two only.
Two, that’s it.
Town Crier readers, check this out for yourselves; the legislation is online at tinyurl.com/8mkfecyw.
We must reject fearmongering based on falsehoods.