Finding a place for 500 new homes: LAH thinks about the inventory of housing sites | New

The The City of Los Altos Hills reviewed an inventory of sites for its housing component at a meeting Monday, held after the town crier’s print deadline.

The previous draft of the site list, submitted March 24, revealed Los Altos Hills’ attempt to balance two mandates – the city’s 1-acre lot size minimums defined in its founding “green sheets” by compared to the nearly 500 units that state housing authorities are requesting. the city to consider in its updated housing plan.

City officials’ strategy early in the process was to limit new multi-family housing to sites currently in non-residential use. At the March 24 meeting, city staff and consultants proposed such an approach to avoid zoning single-family neighborhoods and largely maintain one-acre lot minimums.

The city’s strategy is still evolving, according to planning director Sofia Mangalam.

“We haven’t gotten to a point where we have a draft for public review,” she said, noting that the list presented on Monday was by no means final. “It’s a constantly running list.”

Like many other cities, including neighboring cities of Los Altos and Mountain View, Los Altos Hills may face questions as to whether its proposed sites have any real chance of seeing housing development within the next eight years. . Although the list of March sites is preliminary, representatives of some of the organizations whose lands were included said they had not heard of their inclusion from the city.

Parts of the Gardner Bullis School campus were on the city’s initial list of potential sites, but new Los Altos School District Superintendent Sandra McGonagle said she hasn’t heard from them yet. the city.

“We saw our name on the list, but that’s it,” McGonagle told the town crier.

McGonagle added that the land sale issue has yet to come before the LASD board, and the prospect of selling part of the campus would be “an important and deep conversation that hasn’t even yet started”.

St. Nicholas Catholic School, also listed in the city’s potential sites as of March 24, has already considered adding accommodation to its property, but has yet to hear from city officials. Diocese of San Jose spokeswoman Cynthia Shaw told the Town Crier that the diocese had identified a vacant lot along El Monte Road as a potential site for housing in the past and was discussing the possibility of building housing for several years.

Still, she said there was “no way to predict” whether housing could realistically be built within the state-mandated time window of 2023-2031.

The city’s preliminary list also included two parking lots on the Foothill College campus and land owned by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, as well as two city-owned parcels.

A spokesperson for the Foothill-De Anza Community College district told the town crier that the city and district are in contact. They plan to meet next month to discuss “the designation of housing sites at Foothill”.

For follow-up coverage from Monday’s meeting, see this week’s email alert.