Regional Housing Plan Trumps Growth Control Ordinances

A court has ruled that, contrary to its zoning laws, the bedroom community of Pleasanton must add more bedrooms. The ruling wipes out local, voter-approved growth control ordinances.

"The ruling strikes me as very important -- but not quite as important as some people might think. It's not such a big deal because this was a Superior Court ruling that applies only to one city. Unless the case is appealed and a Court of Appeal publishes a similar decision, no legal precedent for any other city has been established."

"Still, the ruling is a big deal for two reasons: It emboldens affordable housing advocates, and it may portend future skirmishes as regional planning imperatives continue to take hold in California."

"Despite studies and promises, city officials never zoned adequate land to accommodate the RHNA housing numbers. The Department of Housing and Community Development refused to certify the city's 2003 housing element update."

Thanks to Josh Stephens

Full Story: Regional Planning Scores Victory Over Local Control In Pleasanton



Irvin Dawid's picture

Pleasanton court ruling the topic of 30-minute radio forum "

KQED (NPR affiliate in Bay Area) Forum:
Pleasanton's Housing Cap
Wed, Mar 17, 2010 -- 9:30 AM-10AM

"A recent ruling has struck down a 1996 initiative, approved by Pleasanton voters, which capped residential units in the town. The decision is also the first of its kind to bar a city from issuing building permits until more land is set aside for high density housing. We discuss the ruling and possible implications for other California towns."
Host: Michael Krasny
- Richard A. Marcantonio, lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the Pleasanton case and managing attorney at Public Advocates, Inc., a nonprofit law firm and advocacy organization
- Tom Pico, former mayor of Pleasanton (2000-2004)

Many callers phoned-in with good questions. Most interesting. ENJOY!
Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

Irvin Dawid's picture

Powerful Editorial Rejects 'NIMBYism'

This Oakland Tribune editorial did not mince words: "The judge's decision means that NIMBYism must give way to greater societal needs."

Here's the context in which it was written:
"Affordable housing requires higher-density construction. That means that cities must set aside larger parcels near transportation hubs so builders can take advantage of economies of scale to erect reasonably priced homes. Planners call this "smart growth." Locals often disdain it and fight to block it.

Clearly, we need more of it if we hope to reduce car travel and provide housing for future generations. The judge's decision means that NIMBYism must give way to greater societal needs."
Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

Correct me if I'm wrong, but...

I'm interpreting this article to mean that the court is making the city add more single-family, detached housing, and, thus, more low-density, car-dependent suburban sprawl, NOT compact, walkable, multistory urban development.

Am I wrong?

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