Affordable Housing

Among the major topics on Affordable Housing are the lack of an ordinance for “Accessory Dwelling Units” (ADUs or “Granny Units”) and one to fully implement the California Density Bonus law.

More than 80% of Los Altos residents are individual homeowners who live in homes they own. A “granny unit” at every home–if the unit were rented out to a couple, for example–could double the population of Los Altos. That could double the traffic, double the parking and double the services needed, without doubling the property taxes paid.

The Density Bonus Law impacted city decisions on the multi-family development at 4880 El Camino, and a draft ordinance with a menu of developer options was finally reviewed at the Planning and Transportation Commission on June 1, 2017. The PTC directed staff to incorporate commissioners’ and public comments and bring back a revision for recommendation to City Council. Read more here. 

Other affordable housing items the city council is considering:

  • Imposing “linkage fees” on development (potentially all commercial and residential development) to fund affordable housing.
    Staff report is here.
  • Policy options to increase affordable housing, based on the “Housing Element” of the General Plan. This is one of council’s priorities for 2017.
    Staff report is here, and the Housing Element of the General Plan can be found here.

Want to make a difference? Write the Los Altos City Council on this important issue. Email them at council@losaltosca.gov. Short, clear letters are best and can really make a difference.

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