Menlo Park ballot initiative seeks to put single-family rezoning to a vote

By Cameron Rebosio : Almanac – excerpt

An initiative proposed by local group Menlo Balance seeks to make rezoning single-family neighborhoods in Menlo Park require a vote at the ballot box, but critics say that it’s trying to fend off a threat that doesn’t exist.

Menlo Balance was founded by residents Nicole Chessari and Tim Yaeger to pass an initiative restricting the redesignation of single-family residential zones in the city. The group gathered 3,000 signatures in just three weeks in order to qualify it to be on the ballot in Menlo Park this year…(more)

California communities, threatened by new state laws have turned to ballot initiatives and lawsuits this year in an effort to push back against the state legislation passed last year to remove single family zoning, overturning what many believe to be the state constitutional right of local communities cities to determine local zoning needs of their communities. The state is pushing for more density and less cars at a time when the state is reeling from blackouts, threatened water rationing for he current population. Voters are fast losing faith in the government. A lot of politicians are dropping out so this is the time for new talent to surface. The results of lawsuits and ballot initiatives could be pivotal.

The need for the aggressive housing polities to meet the housing demand is being questioned on a number of levels:

Independent analysis by Gab Layton of the Embarcadero Institute, determined the that methodology used by the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) YIMBY, Sacramento politicians, and Governor Newsom had resulted in double counting.

California Alliance of Local Electeds (CALA), convinced Senators Portatino and Glazer among others in Sacramento to joined forces with pubic citizens questioning the RHNA numbers and their actions resulted in an audit by Michel S. Tilden, the Acting State Controller

The Controller found major problems with the RHNA process that were widely reported by the press. These reports are being used as evidence in the cases that are being filed agains the anti single family housing bills.

California State Auditor Releases Scathing Report on RHNA Process, Report Finds Housing Goals are Not Supported by Evidence

The real test will come when the authors of the bills next run for office.

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