Housing Shortage Continue to Plague East Bay, Silicon Valley

Local companies are feeling the pinch of the Bay Area’s unprecedented housing situation and even paying to move talent and expertise away from our cities.

The Guardian reported that

“Zapier, an automation company founded in 2011, has announced that it is offering new recruits a hefty “de-location package” if they’re willing to move away from the Bay Area, an unusual perk that offers yet another sign of the worsening housing crisis in northern California.

Zapier, where all employees work remotely, recently announced that if current Bay Area residents were interested in improving their “family’s standard of living” by relocating, the firm would provide $10,000 in moving reimbursements. Since CEO Wade Foster posted about the package last week, the uptick in applicants has been dramatic, he said in an interview.”

Read the full story from The Guardian

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Open Response to Kelly Cousins’ recent “Eastside Planning” Editorial


When I was a young boy, whenever I borrowed a friend’s bicycle, I was taught to return it in a better, shinier condition. As an East Bay native and resident, I want the same for the Pleasanton community. For the past ten years, I have owned the 320 acres of former quarry and non-hillside industrial land in East Pleasanton.

The City goal of planning East Pleasanton is not new. Since 1998 the City General plan has called out for this area to be planned for mixed use. I proudly served on the East Pleasanton Task Force, directed and appointed by City Council, from 2012 -2015. Our efforts there resulted in a super majority recommendation to approve zoning for 1,300 homes and approximately 1.6 million sf of commercial space. These carefully developed plans were later shelved by City Council, where they remain today.

Over the past year, I have presented to or met with hundreds of individuals and groups – sharing this opportunity and listening to the community’s comments, while providing an informational website for the public to learn more and contribute their thoughts for improvement. I’m not sure why Ms. Cousins would label that as misleading.

Based on our area’s robust employment growth, future State-mandated housing requirements are imminent. Ms. Cousins’ “wait and see” suggestion is a self-defeating prophecy. We know what happened the last time we tried to stop additional housing: $4 million dollars in a losing lawsuit and forced rezoning for over 2,000 housing units.

The next RHNA housing cycle starts in less than 5 years (2022). If City Council approves prioritization of planning, the current plan will take at least three more years of approvals before a shovel hits the ground, subsequent build-out would follow over the next ten or more years.

For Pleasantonians to control the desired results on the property, we need to commence immediately. This will ensure sufficient time to address the community’s prior concerns around water, traffic, schools, density, and amenities. Currently the plan includes over $120 million of owner funded public amenities, a list of which is on our website www.progressplanned.info. But if needed, let’s go ahead and solve any remaining issues now—that’s what planning is all about.

Without community action, an alternative plan could include heavy industrial development with its attendant noise and truck traffic, none of the privately funded amenities, and loss of the opportunity to annex and control valuable county land. The City would also lose the opportunity to use the land to accommodate any future state-mandated housing needs.

Managing growth isn’t a tin can you kick down the road – because that growth is happening now. I encourage residents to get involved in shaping how growth will affect our quality of life. Let’s come together and give a better, shinier city to our children and our grandchildren.

—Steve Dunn, Landowner


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Ironwood Q&A

On Wednesday, February 15th, approximately 40 residents of the Villages at Ironwood attended a presentation and Q&A by Steve Dunn of Steelwave. Steelwave answered a number of questions from the Ironwood residents. Those questions and responses are provided here.

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History of Planning for East Pleasanton

While the city has not been actively proceeding, a plan based on the last proposal generated by the city has been created. It includes a layout for the entire property, along with a phased development plan. The group will be taking its plan to the city council to ask it to place the East Pleasanton Specific Plan on its priority action list for the coming year.

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Proactive Planning Is The Only Way To Local Control

This article is another reminder that we have to be proactive if we don’t want careless developers dumping poorly planned projects in our community. Let’s prioritize planning together. We have to take control before we lose local control.

“California cities that are falling behind on housing production goals set by the state would be forced to remove some of their development restrictions under legislation from a Bay Area state senator.

State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) released new details in his bill, SB 35, Monday morning that would require cities to approve new housing in areas already zoned for high-density development provided developers set aside some units for low-income residents. The bill’s provisions would only apply in cities where growth isn’t keeping pace with housing production targets developed by the state every eight years that are designed to ensure California has enough homes for its growing population to live affordably.

Wiener, a former San Francisco supervisor, said California’s affordability crisis requires the state to involve itself more in housing development, which is primarily controlled by local governments.

‘Local control is about how a community achieves its housing goals, not whether it achieves those goals,” Wiener said in a statement. “SB 35 sets clear and reasonable standards to ensure that all communities are part of the solution by creating housing for our growing population.'”

CLICK HERE to learn more and let City Council know that you believe in the importance of carefully planned, amenity-rich communities!

Read the full story in the LA Times

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Bicycle Workshop Update

On Thursday, November 18th, approximately 20 Pleasanton bicycle advocates attended a workshop to review and provide feedback on the East Pleasanton plan and proposed bike infrastructure.


We’ve Updated our Bike and Trails Plan! Learn More!

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A California City Faces Its Housing Squeeze

If there is anything that just about every Californian agrees with, it is that it costs too much to live in the state. Over the last few years, the price of buying a home or renting an apartment has become so burdensome that it pervades almost every issue, from the state’s elevated poverty rate to the debate about multimillion-dollar tear-downs to the lines of recreational vehicles parked on Silicon Valley side streets.

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How to Solve Berkeley’s Housing Crisis? Two Leading Mayoral Candidates Don’t See Eye-to-Eye

It’s an issue that divides Berkeley’s political landscape: How to solve the city’s housing crisis. And this year’s top mayoral candidates are as split as anyone on the subject. Should the city build, build, build — and hope rents drop as the supply of market-rate units increases? Or does Berkeley first need to help those at the bottom by investing in more affordable housing?

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Making California Housing Affordable Again Will Require New Laws, More Avenues to Build

How can California increase the number of homes that people can afford? By giving more money to cities that build sufficient affordable housing, some said at a housing summit last week in Los Angeles. Or cutting off funding to those that don’t. Or by allowing developers to bypass the local process in cities and counties with insufficient affordable housing. Allowing single-family homeowners to build and rent out granny flats. And by streamlining the approval process for affordable housing projects.

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