Lets stay Local !

Supporting local interests includes ensuring that our local zoning code stays in our control.

Supporting local interests includes ensuring that our local zoning code stays in our control.

LOCAL ZonING CODE: what does it do for us?

The zoning code represents the collective wisdom of our elected representatives over years of deliberative consideration regarding how to lay out our city: commercial and residential districts and, for example, how setback and height limitations buffer each from the other.


On August 11th, Los Altos City Council Member Anita Enander, our local expert on California's history of affordable housing legislative efforts, provided a thorough and educational housing bill presentation. She illuminated how and why SB-50, SB-592 and other CA Senate Bills will affect local and communities California wide. She educated us on the housing bills, key players, and the significant impact on our neighborhoods and city. During the 45-minute presentation and Q and A, Anita talked about local housing and density issues and what neighborhoods can do to fight these initiatives. Read her summary notes and access the many helpful resources here.

On September 22nd, Council Member Enander will give a follow up presentation outlining the housing bills that finally made their way through both legislative chambers to the governor’s desk awaiting his signature. Anita will educate us about the effects of these bills on Los Altos and on our right to control our city’s growth. Please join us on Sunday, September 22, 5:15pm - 6:45pm, Los Altos Library Orchard Room. Sponsored by Los Altos Residents


Regardless of where you live, in a single family home or in a condominium near downtown, all residents deserve to be heard regarding whether and how our neighborhoods are developed. It’s just good representative democracy that makes the best use of local expertise accumulated over years of considered decision making guided by resident input. Years of smart decisions determining where high density and affordable housing can be accommodated should not be ignored.

The high market prices of housing does indeed have recognized and significant adverse effects on our city and state. Residents in Los Altos almost universally understand and feel the pain of teachers, police and other service providers that endure hour-long commutes from areas with affordable housing that exist well beyond the urbanized regions of the Bay Area.

But to react by prohibiting residents from having a say regarding local zoning in order to increase the housing stock denies residents their right to representation about their property and their city. Furthermore, residents are saying not only do they want to retain local control of how their neighborhoods are developed, but they are becoming aware of the negative impact of haphazard growth to their property values.

A better approach that brings all parties to the table is needed. We seek to educate residents about the numerous proposed bills in the state senate and assembly that, if passed, will potentially affect the future of their home, their city, and the Bay Area.


Find a summary here of the over 200 bills in the state assembly and senate under review. These would all have the effect of blocking or limiting local control of housing development.

Livable California is an organization that promotes local control, see more about them here: www.livablecalifornia.org 

A Better Way Forward to House California is a new Political Action Committee (PAC), formed to challenge housing bills (like SB50, SB592, SB330) that would block or limit local zoning control and could put an end to single-family neighborhoods. www.sustainablecommunitiesinitiative.org

Find an LAR prepared list here of the top most impactful legislative activities happening now.