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BMR Inclusionary Housing Report (Agenda Topic H-5)

From: domainremoved <Lynne>
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2018 11:51:29 -0500

Hello Council,

I have some comments/questions regarding staff report #18-180-CC:
1)The report cites only one developer's complaint that triggered the
report. The report should have detailed the source of the public comment
for full transparency and a historical record. The public has a right to
see who is influencing the spending of the public's money and taking up
staff time. The consulting firm (for more work) estimates a cost of
$31,665. Unless I missed something, the staff recommendations in this
report are basically to retain the status quo. Based on the report, I agree
with the recommendations. Did we need to take relatively prompt action
based on one developer's complaint?

2) I do not see consistency regarding Council/staff reaction to public
complaints. This report appears to be an example of one person's compliant
that triggered the writing of a staff report and the hiring of a consulting
firm. Since I started attending City meetings, I've heard many public
complaints, and made some of my own, that saw no action. I see a need for
better guidelines related to consistency and responsiveness as it pertains
to public input. Having a community-based strategic plan in place, based on
a community-led process, would also give Council a needed decision-making
framework that reduced the influence of special interests in our local

3) The report should have been submitted to the Housing Commission for
discussion before it went to Council. Too often, our advisory commissions
learn about these reports AFTER they go to Council. This does not serve the
public good or honor the role of those serving. The Housing Commission
should have discussed the report and their recommendations included. Will
you establish the expectation that staff reports must first be reviewed by
the most relevant commissions before they go to Council? Naturally, there
could be exceptions for appropriate situations. Having the item as a
commission/committee agenda topic would also increase public notice and
public engagement.

4) For the next report on the topic of BMR Housing, can it include: A) A
listing of total BMR and affordable housing per district. Many of us would
like to see where this housing is currently located. This would help Menlo
Park to set priorities for new BMR housing. Concentrating it in one area
(such as Belle Haven) is a violation of the Fair Housing Law. B) Details as
to who exactly is monitoring compliance with BMR Housing over time. In
other words, if someone leaves the BMR unit can it revert to a full price
one? If so, who tracks that? C) Who monitors compliance with the community
amenities aspect associated with BMR Housing. I've heard members of the
Belle Haven Community ask for more oversight for this fund and I'm not sure
of the current status. I'd also like to know.

Lynne Bramlett
Received on Tue Oct 09 2018 - 09:50:05 PDT

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