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NOT IN MY DOWNTOWN!

Los Gatos Town’s Affordable Housing Segregation Plan

Los Gatos, in order to provide affordable housing so as to meet its fair share of regional housing market, as required to certify its planning package, has elected to avoid re-zoning and instead adopted the AHOZ approach.

Exhibit 1 clearly illustrates how the Town’s Planning Commission is proposing to distribute affordable housing units:

The Commission wants the sliver of land north of SR-85 (representing about 3% of the Town’s land) to capture the great majority of new units at extremely low, very low, low, and moderate income levels; in this already dense area, the plan adds affordable housing at a rate of nearly 900 new units per square mile.

In the area immediately to the south of SR-85 and north of Lark Avenue (representing roughly 19% of the Town’s land), the Commission proposes about 100 new affordable units per square mile

The Commission leaves the remaining 78% of Los Gatos land with ZERO affordable units.

Exhibit 1: The Town’s Affordable Housing Segregation Plan – Overview

Showing Planning Commission’s proposed distribution of total extremely low, very low, low, and moderate category housing, per “Affordable Housing Overlay Zone” (AHOZ) specifications

Distribution of Land

North of 85 3% South of Lark 78% 19%
North
of 85
3%
South
of Lark
78%
19%

South of

85, North

of Lark

Distribution of New

Affordable Housing

South of

Lark 0%
Lark
0%

North of

85

61%

South of

85, North

of Lark

39%

Sources: Analysis of Planning Commission Staff Reports and U.S. Census (as reported by citi -data.com); land distribution is approximate

Sources: Analysis of Planning Commission Staff Reports and U.S. Census (as reported by citi -data.com); land distribution is approximate

The imbalance in the Planning Commission’s proposal is not a mere geographical slight-of-hand but reflects a demographic divide of the Town, which the Commission appears keen to deepen.

As Exhibit 2 illustrates, the Town’s Segregation Plan keeps future Affordable Housing away from the relatively high (or even medium) income sections of Los Gatos, and relegates future development to the lowest-income section of Town (as measured by median per-capita income).

Exhibit 2: The Town’s Affordable Housing Segregation Plan – Along Income Distribution (1)

Showing Planning Commission’s proposed distribution of total low, very low, and extremely low category housing; the percentages shown are the proportion of affordable housing proposed through AHOZ in each particular area

housing proposed through AHOZ in each particular area Sources: Planning Commission Staff Reports and U.S. Census

Sources: Planning Commission Staff Reports and U.S. Census (as reported by citi -data.com)

Exhibit 3 reinforces the same observation of bias in the distribution proposed by the Planning Commission, when arrayed against median family income. The Commission’s segregation plan is bound to increase income disparity across the Town, accentuating the spread between more- and less-affluent neighborhoods.

Exhibit 3: The Town’s Affordable Housing Segregation Plan – Along Income Distribution (2)

Showing Planning Commission’s proposed distribution of total low, very low, and extremely low category housing ; the percentages shown are the proportion of affordable housing proposed through AHOZ in each particular area

housing proposed through AHOZ in each particular area Sources: Planning Commission Staff Reports and U.S. Census

Sources: Planning Commission Staff Reports and U.S. Census (as reported by citi -data.com)

Exhibit 4 illustrates an additional dimension of bias in the proposal: The planned units are highly dense the plans for Courthouse and Southbay (including all the incentives and concessions approved by the Commission) create an average of more than 37 units per acre, or a rate of nearly 24,000 households per square mile. Yet the Planning Commission proposes to segregate this addition into what is already the DENSET section of town while most of Los Gatos continues at a density of less than 1,500 households per square mile. In other words, the Commission ensures keeping the low-income housing away from the sparsely-populated sections of Los Gatos.

Exhibit 4: The Town’s Affordable Housing Segregation Plan – Along Population Density

Showing Planning Commission’s proposed distribution of total low, very low, and extremely low category housing; the percentages shown are the proportion of affordable housing proposed through AHOZ in each particular area

housing proposed through AHOZ in each particular area Sources: Planning Commission Staff Reports and U.S. Census

Sources: Planning Commission Staff Reports and U.S. Census (as reported by citi -data.com)

Finally, Exhibit 5 illustrates what may be arguably the most unfortunate bias built into the Planning Commission’s proposal. The Town’s Segregation Plan keeps future Affordable Housing away from the areas of Los Gatos which are near-uniform from a racial diversity standpoint; while relegating the affordable housing units to the most racially-diverse sections of Town.

Exhibit 5: The Town’s Affordable Housing Segregation Plan – along Racial Diversity

Showing Planning Commission’s proposed distribution of total low, very low, and extremely low category housing ; the percentages shown are the proportion of affordable housing proposed through AHOZ in each particular area

housing proposed through AHOZ in each particular area Sources: Planning Commission Staff Reports and U.S. Census

Sources: Planning Commission Staff Reports and U.S. Census (as reported by citi -data.com)

Actions speak louder than words; one needs to judge programs by their outcomes. The outcomes

targeted by the current proposal are very clear:

low-income housing primarily into the “remote” parts of Los Gatos, counter to the spirit of local

development. While doing so, it

The Planning Commission’s proposal segregates

(1)

exacerbates income disparity, by keeping future affordable housing away from affluent parts of

(2)

town worsens congestion, by keeping future affordable ho using away from the less-dense parts of town

(3)

introduces a community divide, by maintaining future affordable housing away from the predominantly-white neighborhoods of town