Silicon Valley is notorious for its high-priced homes, largely thanks to the tech boom and its highly paid execs and developers who can afford them.
Palo Alto Planning and Transportaion Commission chair Adrian Fine wants to change that by running for city council. He currently rents in Palo Alto with his fiancee and can't afford to buy a home and raise a family there - a plight not uncommon in California. His campaign centers on the idea to roll back housing regulation that prevents developers from building more homes at a reasonable cost. Fine also proposes to use the extra property taxes to fund roads, schools and parks in Palo Alto.
Vox reporter Timothy Lee spoke with Fine earlier this week about Palo Alto's average home price of $2.5 million and what reducing regulation could do to help:
AF: We are predominantly zoned R1, which is the classification for single-family detached homes. We have minimum parking requirements and minimum lot sizes. There are a number of rules that really limit the diversity of housing production, not only as a matter of affordability but also as a matter of housing types.
Between 2007 and 2014, the city only allowed people to build 38 percent of its projected housing needs — and that projection was probably too low to begin with. If you keep building a fraction of the housing you plan for, you’re going to have housing shortages and affordability issues.