(ironically, page under construction)
Someone asked me how can someone get a place here without selling a Bay Area home. "Well, right now? Inherit it." It's sad that many cannot afford to live in their home county. With a cutthroat "middle housing" market, frequently just 1 to 2 vacancies are available in all of District 5. Despite our friends and neighbors working hard, many are stuck living with family or in undesirable living arrangements unable to move out and move on. People are moving here, but the population is stagnant because our local people are being priced out.
Housing insecurity is an issue I've faced intimately, and it must be addressed.
It's not rocket science that people can only live here if they have affordable places to live. This goes especially for family age and working people who want reasonable commutes and homes that fit their needs. I believe housing is a right and it is the County's duty to set policy that sees this need fulfilled. Since Airbnb debuted, our rental market has never recovered and the proportion of out-of-area vacation homeowners continues to increase. It's not a new problem, but a solution hasn't been implemented.
If you ask why, the answer from our elected officials is a dismissive "nothing we can do." I refuse to accept that because there is a lot we can do.
We plan and zone (called euclidean zoning) in such a way that sharply diverges from the traditions that make downtowns so walkable, livable, and vibrant. We've seen county leadership look on while lawsuits raged between developers and preservationists. We've seen ambitious projects fail while the slow piece-meal chunking of neighborhoods continues on. We've seen ordinances, and a lack thereof, which have left every innovative housing idea untried. We've seen planning commissions disbanded eliminating local leaders' ability to self-determine the path for our towns. And we haven't seen this issue in the political sphere until this campaign put it front and center.
- Tiny home zoning is a compelling solution for many workers and fixed-income seniors
- Yurts and other "alternative structures" should be legalized as low-cost options to improve properties, provide emergency housing, and allow for luxurious home additions [Check these out]
- An auxiliary dwelling unit (ADUs) affirming ordinance to standardize, legitimize, and make easier the building of these supplemental structures
- Creation of a collaborative workgroup modeled after the success of Yosemite Stanislaus Solutions (YSS) so developers, TCAR (realtors), environmental groups, historians, and community representatives can find common ground.
- Remove the moratorium on renting "recreational vehicles" like 5th-wheels and RVs. Currently, you have to move them every 14 days. It's rent for homeowners facing insurance hikes and cheap rent for those on a budget. Not glamorous, but functional.
- Actually hitting the pavement to build support and gather feedback for important developments such as an apartment. The supervisor is not a spectator role!
- Spread awareness of the Mills Act for those in historic buildings.
- Bring together Adventist Health Sonora, Columbia College, and other employers needing attractive housing for their skilled staff with TCAR, the Housing Loan Review Committee, and developers to see where we can find ways to attract and retain these groups.
- It should not take so long or be as difficult as it is to go through our building department. I want to bring you in to identify pain points and how we can improve.
- I support the idea of form-based codes that standardize the architectural elements which remind us of our community. For non-historic areas, ensure an easy, less discretionary review process but include expectations like "walls along sidewalks will have a frontage" and "incorporate 3 historic elements into the design." Protecting our sense of place.