We undersigned residents of Los Altos Hills and its adjacent neighborhoods OPPOSE SB 9 and SB 10 -- proposals to rezone virtually all parcels within single family residential zones in California, forcing local governments to approve plans for 4+ homes per lot (SB 10 encourages 10 homes), with 4-foot setbacks.
SB 9 would force towns into rubber stamp project approval no matter the side effects: to the environment, to roads and other infrastructure, or to neighboring residents. Increased density would worsen our already-high wildland fire danger and destroy our privacy and choice of semi-rural lifestyle.
Specific problems with these bills are:
o Four times the noise, parked cars, and traffic, plus loss of back-yard privacy
o Increased demand on schools, water, power grid
o Increased fire danger. California is suing counties to stop new housing in certain high-risk wildfire areas but now proposes 4-times denser building in our high-risk area! The fire district requires us to have 30-foot defensible space -- not possible with 4-foot setbacks. Four-times density would strain our narrow evacuation and first-responder routes.
o Threatens the environment: more smog, urban sprawl into suburban areas and green belts, allows politicians to override voter open space initiatives.
o Removes rights of residents: What kind of environment to live in, ability to influence next-door developments.
These bills would be a boon to developers without providing affordable housing. There are better alternatives:
o Give existing accessory dwelling unit policies time to work.
o Convert commercial structures like hotels and vacant big-box stores to housing, and reclaim blighted areas.
o Consider using public lands that are not designated as open space / parks
o Target development near transit hubs
o Enact policies promoting distance working and satellite work sites, to relieve pressure on job-rich areas.