Urgent Message from the Board
Updated: Feb 7, 2022
Let’s begin with some context. Your SMPNA Board avoids delving into politics except when the neighborhood’s essential character is under threat. Pending State and City of San Mateo legislation each pose such a serious threat that we feel it is urgent to notify you to take action. After all, our neighborhood association was first founded to prevent unwise legislative actions from ruining the character of The Park and the City at large. This said, two things need your quick attention and action:
ADUs - Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are allowed on every property here by recent State law.
The open issue now under review is how the City will regulate these structures. See next page.
SB 9 and SB 10 – these State bills have not yet been enacted but are moving through the State legislature. They each override local control over development and they essentially end single-family zoning – both statewide and in The Park. Continued below.
The Homeowners Association Board is recommending our members take action to oppose these two housing bills and to provide feedback in the City’s deliberations over ADU regulation. This communication aims to inform you and to make taking action as easy as possible. We are asking Park neighbors to get informed and to speak up, urgently and loudly to our elected representatives.
Senate bills 9 and 10 override single family zoning in The Park and statewide in a variety of ways. Recent provisions include allowing home parcels to be split and developed into multi-family housing – up to 4, 6 or even 10 units on a previously zoned single-family site. And while more housing is much needed, neither bill requires nor subsidizes any affordable housing in their high-density housing mix.
These bills are big, complicated and evolving. Sacramento can feel far away and hard to move; full of top down, one-size-fits-all directives. But these bills can be defeated, if we speak up. Rest assured that the proponents of these bills are out in force and vocal. Here is how you can weigh in and make a difference:
1. Contact our elected representatives to voice your opposition specifically to SB9 and SB10.
2. Learn more and join petitions in opposition when available at Livable California’s website.
Thank you for your support and participation!
Your SMPNA Board:
Bill Yang, Dave Pearson, David Long, Linda Bogue, Virginia McIsaac, Margaret Miley
City Council to set height limits for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
ADUs provide additional housing while providing income for their property owners – goals we’re in favor of. Unfortunately our current City Council is considering a significant loosening of rules for ADUs: allowing them to be as tall as primary homes and allowing them to closely abut property lines. These and related matters will determine how ADUs are built and can affect your property and its value.
Park residents speak up now, urgently: time is running out. Let Council know the standards for ADU development which best address our needs and concerns. Here are two ways we ask you to weigh in:
City Survey QR Code:
1. Take this City survey before Aug. 22 at: https://tinyurl.com/ysps8at9.
2. Write via email or snail mail (also before Aug. 22) to our Council and Planning Department. Compose your own letter to each member below, or feel free to copy/adapt this language:
Dear (Rick), ADUs, while offering opportunities for needed additional housing, need not intrude on neighbors’ privacy and enjoyment of their properties. For R1A zoned areas, we strongly urge that you use the discretion allowed by the State to:
- Limit height to the 16 ft. required by State law
- Adopt design standards that are sensitive to the close proximity some units have to property lines, overlooking private, neighboring backyards
- Understanding that one size does not fit all at the State OR local level, allow San Mateo’s neighborhoods input about how new housing development will be built to wisely blend into each distinct neighborhood.
I feel strongly that San Mateo needs SMART growth, not unmanaged growth.
You may be asking, What are the QR Codes in this document? QR (Quick Response) Codes can be read and understood by your mobile device. Hold your smartphone camera over a QR code to take you directly to a weblink or an email address without your need to key in a lengthy website or email address. We’ve done that part of the work for you. Great for printed material delivered to a busy neighborhood!