The San Jose City Council met last week to discuss and prioritize certain ordinances the city should pursue in the coming year. Creating an ordinance requires staff time from the department that the ordinance will affect and, as always, time from the City Attorney’s office. In many cases, outreach for ordinances must be done to garner resident and stakeholder input which takes time and staff facilitating the public meetings.
In a quest for even more affordable housing in San Jose, the City Council voted 10-1 to amend the North San Jose Area Development Policy. I voted no. Remember that San Jose has been the leader in providing affordable housing in the state of California, while other cities have done very little. As I wrote about on a prior blog, affordable housing must be a shared goal and not just in San Jose.
In past blogs I have expressed my concern about the cost to our city of too much housing. Specifically, housing that does not pay its own share of revenue. One example I have pointed out—and constantly been the lone vote against—is affordable housing.
Since Sept. 7 was the Labor Day holiday, the City did not have a regular city council meeting. So, instead the Council had a “study session” on the Greenprint, which is a vision for our parks and community centers.
The city has grown in square footage both in parks and community centers. However San Jose still ranks lower then many cities in its ratio of parks to people, even when you include school property (which is where I used to play as a kid). By 2020 we will be 1,124 acres short of our goal/vision. In fact, we exacerbate this ratio every week by approving affordable housing that is exempt from park fees or land dedication.