Citizens against more housing: Foster City residents upset with state mandates, considering citizens initiative for moratorium

Citizens against more housing: Foster City residents upset with state mandates, considering citizens initiative for moratorium

Daily Journal | Samantha Weigel | posted: 1/14/2015

While San Mateo County cities prepare plans for growth to help address the area’s lack of housing, a group of Foster City residents want officials to consider a moratorium on such developments.

The city is in the midst of updating its housing element, a state document outlining a city’s ability to support projected population growth and affordable housing needs through 2023.

Foster City currently has 826 housing units either approved or under construction, however, it must create 430 additional units in the next eight years to meet its regional housing needs allocation, issued by the state through the Association of Bay Area Governments.

The remainder of Foster City’s housing requirement is for very low-, low- and moderate-income units; but with the loss of redevelopment agencies, cities are often left relying on developers to contribute a certain percentage of new projects as affordable. In turn, city staff has estimated building 311 affordable units would actually require constructing 756 units.

While the Planning Commission prepares to review the final draft update, the newly-formed Foster City Residents for Responsible Development have submitted arguments outlining a litany of negative impacts such as increased traffic and overcrowded schools.

The group of approximately 15 residents who’ve received thousands of petition signatures want the city to hold off on updating the housing element and said they have enough support to create a citizens initiative to ban more units from being developed.

Complete article here.