The Town Council met for 3 hrs at the Town Meeting Hall at 201 Front Street last night (Tuesday, Dec 15) to consider how Danville can stay in compliance with state regulations requiring that our community increase the number of low income and very low income residence. More than 120 people were in attendance.
Our representatives in Sacramento have determined, by law, that all communities in California must be composed of citizens from all income ranges and they have empowered the California Department of Housing and Community Development (CDHCD) to enforce their social engineering aims. Using coercive tactics such as withholding funds remitted from local sales taxes and possible direct intervention to rezone property directly (without input from the town) the current legislators in Sacramento have caused our town planners to determine that Danville has a shortfall in its "Regional Housing Needs Allocation" (RHNA) in the low income, extremely low income, and very low income housing.
Using guidance from the CDHCD the town planner determined that Danville must formally admit to the state that we are deficient in our low income housing opportunity that we should increase the number of extremely low and very low income housing units by 187 and the number of low income housing units by 34.
The town planner presented a plan to the town council to allow studies to proceed to consider rezoning several properties, most within blocks of downtown Danville, to be rezoned for high-density, low income, housing (25-35 units per acre). 25 parcels, comprising approximately 35 acres, were considered with an eventual goal of targeting 9.5 acres for redevelopment.
Testimony during 2hrs of public hearings was overwhelmingly, and often emotionally, pleading, demanding, begging, etc. the town to reconsider several of the individual parcels. One individual, and owner of one of the parcels, wanted to develop his property and spoke out in favor of the resolution and in favor of inclusion of his property in the consideration of rezoning.
The Town Council pledged to maintain the character of Danville throughout this process but the City Planner was clear that the only way to stay in compliance with state mandates was to, eventually, develop 9.5 acres of property into very high density housing (25-35 units per acre).
Although many of the testimonies were pleas were requests to remove this particular lot, or that particular lot, the bigger question is the compliance with state mandates. The state is using intrusive and coercive tactics and their goal is to specifically change the character of towns like Danville. The state collects all of the local sales taxes and only returns "our share" if we comply with their various social engineering goals. The law allows individual community organizers (groups like ACORN) to sue towns like Danville if they believe that we do not have enough low income residents to suit their vision of the world.
Whether a particular parcel near our homes are removed from the list, the general consensus of the attendees of this meeting was that no parcels should be on the list and that the state should keep out of the business of socially re-engineering our town.
This goal of retaining community independence will only be achieved if we replace the current representatives in Sacramento. Those who have raised our taxes (most sales taxes are now at 10%), coercively borrowed an additional 10% of our income, use those funds to staff departments such as the California Department of Housing and Community Development, and use threat of withholding the return of some of the confiscated tax funds. The Town Council is a victim of state intrusion and is trying to do the best they can with a bad situation. We all know which of the political factions in Sacramento back these sort of programs and we have that chance to replace them in November. If we do not, and we are forced to put in 187 to 221 apartment units in downtown Danville to comply with this state intrusion then we have only ourselves to blame.