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Public parking plazas a crucial opportunity for low-income affordable housing.

From: domainremoved <Karen>
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2018 09:23:41 -0700

Dear City Councilmembers,


I am out of town and unable to attend tonight’s study session on the downtown parking plazas. I attended the community meeting last week, and I was excited to hear so many people speak passionately in favor of affordable housing as a priority use for the downtown parking lots.


In addition to prioritizing affordable housing, some other inspiring suggestions were to use advanced technology such as: automated parking systems that work like elevators to park more cars in a smaller space; LED lights over parking spots to indicate availability, to reduce circling; and the encouragement to plan for a potential/likely future in which we need significantly less parking. Members of the community spoke in favor of prioritizing bringing PEOPLE downtown, not CARS, and ensuring that the additional parking capacity does not make it more difficult or dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists.


I was inspired by, and support, all of these forward-looking suggestions -- on their own merit and because they would facilitate the inclusion of even more affordable housing in the plan.


Low-income, affordable housing is a particularly important use for our public land, because of the prohibitively high cost of private land. This public land happens to be near transit, and in a high performing school district, which makes it even more valuable for low income housing. Being near transit, reduces traffic impacts (and for low-income residents the impact is significantly reduced, according to experts). In addition, low-income housing near services and in a high performing school district provides opportunity to those who need it most. Please do not entertain the “studio and one-bedrooms only” proposals other cities have embraced, which would limit the opportunity of children in low income families to live near to, and attend, our high performing schools. We can and must afford to make our excellent schools available to our children, regardless of their socio-economic status.


Thanks for making this a priority!
-Karen Grove

(housing commissioner, writing on my own behalf)


Received on Tue Apr 24 2018 - 09:25:21 PDT

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