Housing bill SB50 called ‘terrifying’


Daily Post Staff Writer

San Carlos residents and the city’s mayor are weighing in on the controversial housing bill SB50, which could pre-empt city zoning rules and result in denser housing projects.

Council Monday (April 8) discussed local, state and regional efforts to add housing and regulate building in the city.

Mayor Mark Olbert said he does not like SB50, noting that it “steamrolls local control.”

Resident Josh Wallace said under SB50, San Carlos’ slogan would change from the “city of good living” to the “metropolis of good living.”

Resident Sandy Althouse claimed that seven-to eight-story buildings could be constructed near the train station, which could be “terrifying” for the area.

Resident Ben Fuller said he has been working with people in Palo Alto, along with the mayors of Cupertino and Los Altos and state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, to come up with ways to change or oppose the bill.

But many residents, such as Michelle Nayfack and Jean Daner, said they want to see more housing built so people who work in the city can find a place to live there.

Others on Monday spoke about different ways to increase housing or at least limit job growth in San Carlos.

Resident David Crabb floated the idea of a moratorium on office buildings bigger than 10,000 to 20,000 square feet.

Both councilwomen Laura Parmer Lohan and Sara McDowell asked if there is a way to force developers to build low-income housing as part of projects and not just pay fees.

Olbert indicated that the council will be talking about housing laws and regulations at the council’s next meeting later this month.


  1. Why would more housing be “terrifying”? How about “wonderful”? I own a home in Palo Alto but my children will never be able to afford to live on the peninsula because there is not enough housing. The people are here; let’s build more places for them to live!

    • It’s terrifying because it might bring people who are poor or black or latino to neighborhoods of wealthy white men and their asian wives. So terrifying!

      The unwritten words:

      Awful for existing residents who want to stay [in an enclave of only other wealthy white men with asian wives]

      Not everyone [of every race and means] deserves to live here just because they want to.

  2. SB 50 would authorize developers to build 4-8 story luxury condos for hundreds of thousands of hightech employees near frequent bus stops (that can be added anywhere) OR in “jobs-rich” cities and counties – with little or no onsite parking required. “Wonderful” for developers and hightech corporations. Awful for existing residents who want to stay.

  3. >I own a home in Palo Alto but my children will never be able to afford to
    >live on the peninsula because there is not enough housing.

    Keith apparently can’t look beyond his own nose. Does he realize what may be good for him and his children may not be for the rest of the community around him? If what is important for him is to live in a place where his children can also afford to live in, and their children, and so on, I wonder which place on this Earth would qualify!

    >The people are here; let’s build more places for them to live!
    “The people are here” because City Councils permitted unprecedented job growth without proportional housing growth. If the jobs had been compelled to move out, say inward, the “people” would be “there” and the housing, transportation burdens more evenly distributed.

    The very reasons Keith moved to this area years ago–the quality of life, ease of getting around, etc.–have already been significantly affected to the negative and would only worsen even more, irrecoverably so, if we were to follow Keith’s formula for a disaster: “The people are here; let’s build more places for them to live!”

  4. What’s best for the area is for Keith’s children to move to another location, and build that up the way Keith and those before him built up the Bay Area. Not everyone deserves to live here just because they want to.

  5. Keith’s point is: I own a home. My children should be able to afford a home in the same area. SB 50 permits that so I’m for it.

    Since when has it become a necessity for children to own homes near their parents? It smacks of a sense of privileged entitlement where the likes of Keith would rather destroy the quality of life where they own a home for some purported entitlement they feel they have a right to.

    What reasonable and practical people would do: sell the home they have, buy something smaller in the area or move out, and use the considerable spare change as down payments for their children.

    This just goes to show those backing SB 50 are willing to destroy what they have and need for what they don’t have and don’t need.

  6. Local control is more important than any housing shortage. SB50 would destroy local democracy and turn beautiful towns into high-rise, stack’em and pack’em cities.

    The loss of local control is too high a price to pay so developers can build luxury condos for white tech bros.

  7. Terrifying! The thought that average home prices will take 10 years to hit 5M instead of merely 5. How the heck will you afford your second yacht in such conditions.

    Oh, and don’t get me started on the idea of sharing the school with mere 10%-ers versus the 1%-ers. That’s just too much to bear.

  8. > don’t get me started on the idea of sharing the school with mere 10%-ers
    >versus the 1%-ers.

    Now where ever did you get the notion SB 50 would help the 10%-ers any?
    If affordable housing is the game you are trying to hang your hat on, remember there are lots more of the indigent that deserve and need the help before the 10%-ers.

    Simply put, Aaron, don’t you get me started on the idea that the 10%-ers need help and SB 50 would help them (or even the far more indigent and deserving). If anything it is the 1%-ers that would benefit even more so from SB 50 and if you believe otherwise, I have a bridge to sell you and shall toss one in for free as well. Both connecting San Francisco. Interested?

  9. The air is unhealthy to breathe in cities. More urban development would mean more car exhaust for kids to breathe on their way to school.

    The EPA states that anyone living within 0.3 miles of a stop sign or major roadway is at risk to develop cancer, cardiovascular disease, and dementia. All of us are suffering from car pollution

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