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

Just Posted

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler, pictured in July at Oracle Park, says team members simultaneously can be “measured and calm” and “looking to push the accelerator.” (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
How Gabe Kapler sets the tone for Giants’ success with strategy, mindset

‘There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the hands-down manager of the year’

Artist Agnieszka Pilat, pictured with Spot the Robot Dog from Boston Robotics, has a gallery show opening at Modernism. (Courtesy Agnieszka Pilat)
Screenshots of VCs, Kanye and tech parties by the Bay

In this week’s roundup, Ben Horowitz’s surprising hip-hop knowledge and the chic tech crowd at Shack15

If he secured a full term in the Senate, Newsom would become the most powerful Californian Democrat since Phil Burton at the height of his career, or maybe ever. <ins>(Kevin Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Firefighters extinguish burning material near Lake Tahoe on Sept. 3 in the wake of the Caldor Fire; environmental scientists say the huge fire is bringing to light deficiencies in forest management. <ins>(Max Whittaker/New York Times)</ins>
Cal Fire, timber industry must face an inconvenient truth

We are logging further into the wildfire and climate crisis

Speaker of the Parliament of Mongolia Gombojav Zandanshatar said his country and San Francisco face similar challenges on issues including COVID recovery and climate change.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Mongolian leaders meet with tech, film leaders on city tour

‘I really want San Franciscans to meet the new Mongolian generation’

Most Read