Land Use and Housing
On Tuesday, Sept. 4, the East Palo Alto City Council approved the Ravenswood Business District Specific Plan (the Plan) after hundreds of hours of community meetings, workshops, public hearings and informational meetings.
For more than three years, the Envision-Transform-Build East Palo Alto Coalition, consisting of Community Development Institute (CDI), Peninsula Interfaith Action (PIA) , Youth United for Community (YUCA) , and Urban Habitat (through the Great Communities Collaborative), has been engaging East Palo Alto residents to work on the Plan process.
The stretch of land in the northeastern portion of East Palo Alto is mostly industrial with various vacant parcels strewn throughout the area. It is the last large swath of land that can be developed in a community that is already built out.
Jobs paying less than $50,000 a year make up the majority of Silicon Valley’s projected employment growth, according to a 2012 report, and that means many more workers will commute long distances because they can’t afford to live in the valley.
In a housing market inflated by high-salary technology jobs, the median price of a single-family residence in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties remains at nearly $700,000.
The cost of renting is often out of reach as well. The report, released by the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California and Urban Habitat, shows that the average Silicon Valley bank teller, paramedic, waiter or retail employee falls well short of the annual salary needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment: $69,560 in Santa Clara County and $82,400 in San Mateo County.
As a result, 98,000 cars commute to and from the valley each day, and more than one-third of the workers driving them earn less than $40,000 annually, the report said.
Some commute from Stockton or Modesto (both almost two hours east of Silicon Valley), others from Hercules (more than an hour north). Even though housing is much cheaper there, these long-distance commuters pay in other ways: They spend a big chunk of their income on transportation and also lose time with their families.
Case Study Says Housing and Transit Inequities Add to Regional Problems; Offers Answers
OAKLAND, CA -- Long-distance commuting isn’t healthy for workers or the environment. That's one of the conclusions by Urban Habitat and the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California in their new study, "Moving Silicon Valley Forward." The study, which focuses on the costs of inequitable development in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, also offers insight and policy recommendations for Silicon Valley jurisdictions.
“Moving Silicon Valley Forward” asserts that the lack of affordable housing and reliable local transit in the Bay Area region, especially in Silicon Valley, is both an economic and environmental issue. Research conducted over several years outlines the impact on low-income workers when they are forced to commute long distances by auto because they cannot afford to live near their jobs and because reliable transit alternatives are not available.
The City of El Cerrito Environmental Quality Committee Presents: The New Metropolis, Building a Sustainable and Healthy Bay Area in the Age of Global Warming
Saturday, February 4, 2012,10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Program starts at Rialto Cinemas Cerrito
10070 San Pablo Avenue. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.
Come to a FREE SHOWING of this documentary about America’s "first suburbs and join in the community dialog. It will bring together policy makers and community members to discuss strategies for urban and suburban revitalization and environmental sustainability in the Bay Area.
The New Metropolis illustrates how many of America’s original suburbs are now facing crisis: a dwindling tax base, population and business loss, decaying infrastructure, increased demographic tensions and middle class !ight. Hear from award-winning filmmaker Andrea Torrice, local political leaders and other guest speakers in a discussion about local responses to the topics raised in the film.
Torrice will show segments from her recent PBS series, The New Metropolis, as well as premiere a new segment about the Bay Area, including a clip on Urban Habitat and Pleasanton.
Following the screening join the community discussion at Nong Thon restaurant at 10086 San Pablo Avenue.
Please RSVP to 510-215-4350 or email@example.com
PLEASANTON -- The debate over where to rezone land to accommodate nearly 2,300 affordable housing units focused Tuesday more on sites left off the city's list than those included.
The city's planning commission and City Council met Tuesday to provide input on nine of 17 sites Pleasanton submitted to the state in July as part of its housing element and to comply with a legal settlement.
After a year of meetings, meetings and more meetings, city officials have finally come up with an affordable housing blueprint that, fingers crossed, will satisfy state rules about providing homes for low-income families.
The City Council unanimously approved a plan Tuesday night that will yield 2,000 affordable units throughout Pleasanton, hopefully putting an end to a legal battle and scoldings from the state.
* Learn more about the Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS)/Plan Bay Area
* Take part in a conversation about what it means for your community
* Brainstorm ideas about how you and your networks can get involved
When: Wednesday, June 1, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Portable classroom, Peter Pan Avenue, Capitol Park, San Jose
For more information: Email or call, Vu-Bang Nguyen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-839-9510 x318
Hosted by: Greenbelt Alliance, Public Advocates, Sierra Club, Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, TransForm, Urban Habitat, Working Partnerships
Food and refreshments provided.
Urban Habitat is teaming up with Vietnamese Voluntary Foundation (VIVO) to effectively advocate for affordable housing and transportation equity for low-income communities and communities of color in Eastside San Jose.
Please attend the first meeting of a Sustainable Communities Strategy presentation by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission at VIVO on Tuesday May 10, 2010: 2260 Quimby Road, San Jose, CA 95122.
This film series explores how sprawl replaced traditional neighborhoods and what can be done to bring back community and sustainability to our cities and towns. The Films start at 7 PM, Laurel Room, Sunnyvale Community Center, 550 East Remington. Doors open at 6:45. FREE.
May 6: Save Our Land, Save Our Towns (1 hr)
Small town newsman Tom Hylton explores why America's towns have declined and what we can do to revive them. Philadelphia Daily News praises, “Development and zoning issues normally make the eyes glaze...Tom Hylton makes them downright fascinating."
May 13: Creating Places We Want to Live
Portland: A Sense of Place (Design e2 Episode) (30 minutes) 2008
Thanks to a progressive public transportation portfolio that includes train, streetcar, bus and aerial tram, Portland has become one of the most livable cities in the US.
Community by Design (26 minutes) 1997
Learn about the key role that design plays in building community from some leading progressive thinkers on the subject.
By Gen Fujioka
The following article originally appeared in The Planner's Network and is reposted here with permission from the author, Gen Fujioka (Senior Policy Advocate at the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development).
Transit-oriented development (TOD) has become a leading policy prescription for reversing America’s sprawling path of growth. The Obama administration, through its Sustainable Communities Initiative, state and local agencies and progressive think-tanks all emphasize TOD as a means to achieve housing, transportation and environmental goals, often through public-private partnerships. But as TOD has been justifiably promoted as the cleaner alternative to auto-dependent development, gaps have appeared in the discourse that understate its costs. This report seeks to fill in some of those gaps with snapshots from four communities of color that have been impacted by various stages of TOD in the cities of Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Minneapolis–Saint Paul.