Peninsula cities disagree on housing-quota issue

Despite joining hands to share the burden of building up to 18,000 new housing units countywide, some San Mateo County cities are showing signs of discord about the new cooperative experiment.

Local cities becamethe first in California to take advantage of new housing laws that allow jurisdictions to work together to share housing quotas. Now, as they determine the exact formula by which the region’s housing needs will be determined, some cities are opposing that formula.

Roughly every seven years, the Association of Bay Area Governments creates recommendations for the construction of new housing. New numbers, due later this month, will be based for the first time on a number of weighted factors: 40 percent on a city’s household growth, 20 percent on existing employment, 20 percent on employment growth, 10 percent on job growth near transit and 10 percent on housing growth near transit.

Although most local cities agreed with that formula, Millbrae, Colma and Belmont voted against it.

“It’s a noble idea to put housing close to transit, but … our issue is the fact that we have cemetery land within this area that can’t be developed,” said Andrea Ouse, planning director in Colma. “It does not consider the viability.”

But the cooperative process among San Mateo County cities is designed to alleviate the burden on cities like Colma in which space is short, and allows the group to negotiate for a slightly lower quota, said Rich Napier, director of the City/County Association of Governments.

“If they go directly to ABAG [for their quota] they’re going to get a higher number than what they will get from us,” Napier said. “I think the issues [from objecting cities] will be able to be addressed.”

While Millbrae’s opposing vote was an accident on the part of City Councilwoman Gina Papan, according to planner Ralph Petty, Belmont objects to the prospect of building so much housing when California is facing water shortages.

“We just got a notice from the Mid-Peninsula Water District saying we’re going to have a water shortage,” Belmont Mayor Coralin Feierbach said. “Meanwhile, cities arerequired to build housing — if we’re going to be restricted, how are we going to make up for that?”

ABAG is accepting input on the formula through May 17.

“They are more than seriously considered,” Cha said. “A lot of feedback goes into this process.”

bwinegarner@examiner.com

businessBusiness & Real EstateLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The City has struggled to conduct outreach in some neighborhoods as it works to expand Slow Streets — such as this section of Page Street in the Lower Haight — to underserved neighborhoods. <ins>(Jordi Molina/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
SFMTA delays vote on Bayview Slow Streets, approves five others in ‘underserved’ areas

SFMTA struggles to conduct outreach in neighborhoods with lower internet access

Stern Grove Festival organizers are planning to bring back the popular summer concert series — The Isley Brothers show in 2019 is pictured — with limited audience capacity. (Ming Vong/S.F. Examiner)
Indoor shows won’t be flooding SF stages soon but Stern Grove might be back in June

While San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced that live performances may resume… Continue reading

San Francisco Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto  (47) started on Opening Day against the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park on April 9, 2021. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Giants welcome fans back with strong performance by Cueto

By Ethan Kassel Special to S.F. Examiner ORACLE PARK — The first… Continue reading

James Harbor appears in court after he was arrested on charges in the July 4th shooting death of 6-year-old Jace Young on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Murder case heads to trial over killing of 6-year-old Jace Young

Hearing reveals new details in ‘horrific’ Fourth of July shooting

BART passengers may see more frequent service by this fall. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
BART service increases possible as soon as September

Proposal would double weekday, daytime trains and extend system operating hours

Most Read