http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2012/01/20/low-income-housing-here-isnt-really-all-that-low


Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - January 20, 2012

Low income housing here isn't really all that 'low'

While city officials await final approval from Alameda County Superior Court, the Urban Habitat affordable housing coalition and the state's Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) on their recent action rezoning 73 acres here for high density, so-called affordable housing, it might help to point out that some of the very-low to low-income units that could be built on these sites are not all that "low" to start with. The City Council was compelled to rezone the sites to comply with orders stemming from a successful suit by Urban Habitat and the state Attorney General (Governor Brown at the time) to make land available for more workforce or affordable housing.

State guidelines, as recommended by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) call for a jobs-to-housing ratio in residential development. Pleasanton, with its successful business parks, has been woefully short of the types of housing ABAG and the state deem necessary to accommodate a reasonable number of employees in these jobs. That means too many have been commuting here from cities as far as Modesto, which Brown as Attorney General called environmentally wasteful. The city's 1996 voter-approved 29,000-unit housing cap didn't help, so the court not only ruled that an unlawful restriction but also ordered Pleasanton to add more affordable housing. With its recent rezonings, the city has now made enough land available to accommodate high density developments to provide 3,300 more apartments, which the council and planning staff believe will pass muster.

Pleasanton has been providing "affordable" housing for more than a decade in apartment and housing complexes such as Civic Square apartments across from City Hall to Archstone and the newer Birch Terrace homes on Vineyard Avenue. The city's inclusionary zoning ordinance has been in place since November 2000, stipulating that at least 15% of all housing units in any single development must be affordable, usually in perpetuity. In many developments, some pay market rate rents that range from $3,254 for a three-bedroom unit to $1,356 at a very low income rate for the same apartment next door. Unless tenants share that information, nobody knows who's in the "moderate" or "very low" category.

Even though 73 acres have been rezoned for high density apartments, along with 650 units to be built by BRE in the Hacienda Business Park, these complexes will have roughly the same mix of moderate to very low income tenants. "Very low," by the way, isn't really all that low. A family of four earning $46,750 a year qualifies in 2012. A lot of working families in Pleasanton could make this cut. Many are probably already among our neighbors.

Comments

Posted by george, a resident of Foothill High School
on Jan 20, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Hi,
Since most low income housing close to i-580, Does that mean
hart middle school and Foothill High school, Donlon Elementary
will have overload and forced to create new ele/Mid/HS in the
near future? any ideas ?? what impacts...

Thanks,

george


Posted by Pete , a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 20, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Then you'll be welcome too, "C"harity,"H"andouts,"O"live branch,"L"ove and "O"fferings. Cholopianville, are your eyes closed Cholo? The berm along 580, southside, will light up the sky, to all incoming aircraft and ground travel... for all to experiance... your vision. All your little cholo's will stand on top of the berm and wave...and wave...and wave. That's all for today, Cholo. Pay the receptionist $300 on the way out. Hope you feel better...