Housing measure puts San Mateo in production quandary

By Sarah Klearman, CP&DR, December 6, 2020

“The narrow passage of Measure Y, a ballot item extending previously implemented height and density caps on developments in San Mateo, could hinder the city’s quest to build more housing and alleviate the severity of its housing crisis, critics say.

“Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco CEO Maureen Sedonaen, who publicly voiced her opposition to Measure Y, said of the height and density caps, ‘It’s sort of a collision of factors that in some ways make you feel you’re back in the 1980s. There’s all this demand (for housing). And we’ve built up all these industries, created all of these jobs — and we still have this suburban mindset driving decisions.’

“The vote comes against the backdrop of an aggressive push for housing from Sacramento, in the form of Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA).

“San Mateo’s Housing Manager Sandra Council said she was unsure of what Measure Y’s impact would be on the city’s ability to meet its new obligation for 3,300 units during the 2015-2023 RHNA cycle.

“‘What we do know is that we need to figure out where we are going to be able to accommodate that allocation,’ City Attorney Shawn Mason said.”

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