The PDA is about High Density Housing (not Affordable Housing)

We’ve heard – and are likely to hear today – from affordable housing advocates who will ask that you approve the Strawberry PDA designation.

We’re heard that Strawberry residents don’t understand the PDA.  We’d say affordable housing advocates don’t understand the PDA.  It’s not about affordable housing, it’s about housing density.

It’s about opening the door to developers to change the nature of our neighborhood, and neutering the community, CEQA or most any other remaining objections we might have to ensure compliance with our community plan.

It’s about the uncertainty that comes with this novel designation that has already been adopted to have new meaning under Plan Bay Area than it did when initially created.

Affordable housing advocates in Marin are a hammer seeing every problem as a nail.  There is broad support for affordable housing among those in Strawberry.  We already have more than 60% renter-occupied housing, most of it multi-family.  We have some of the lowest rental costs in the 101 corridor, along with areas of San Rafael, Novato and Marin City.

If you think new development is the answer, how is the Macfarlane building at Tamal Vista working? Only 18 of 180 units are designated as affordable.  Your lobbying would be better served to increase the percentage of affordable units in current construction, rather than pushing for Strawberry to be designated for aggressive growth.

If you want to push for affordable housing, then push for affordable housing – don’t just push for dense housing.  Communities on the peninsula are rezoning to better promote 2nd units, or other healthier, more distributed affordable housing.   Let’s be more creative than lobbying for big construction projects along the highway, in which big-time, for-profit developers end up buying their way out of providing affordable housing anyway.

Supervisors, don’t be swayed by affordable housing advocates who are effectively pushing for a PDA in someone else’s neighborhood that won’t solve their problems and will only create high density problems for Strawberry.  We ask you to vote today to rescind the Strawberry PDA designation IN ITS ENTIRETY.