Builder’s Remedy: How California Cities Are Losing Control Over Housing Development | Lydia Kou

0:00 - What’s ‘Builder’s Remedy’, and How Does it Work?
1:32 - How Builder’s Remedy Could Transform Your Community
3:56 -Builder’s Remedy’s Impacts on Cost of Living in California
5:58 - What Legislators Are Missing in California’s Housing Market
In a recent interview, Palo Alto Council Member and Former Mayor Lydia Kou provided insightful perspectives on California’s ongoing housing crisis. Mrs. Kou outlined the challenges Palo Alto and other cities face in meeting unrealistic housing quotas imposed by the state.
While the intent of the quotas is to increase housing supply and affordability, Mrs. Kou argues cities were never meant to be the sole builders of housing. Unachievable targets have been set without necessary funding, essentially setting cities up to fail and lose local zoning control under the “builders remedy” provision.
Mrs. Kou cited a proposed luxury development using this provision in neighboring Menlo Park as an example of a project that may exacerbate traffic issues without meaningfully increasing affordable options. She called for a “reality check” to ensure infrastructure can reasonably support new developments.
Mrs. Kou also raised valid concerns about who new housing is being built for. With global demand driving up prices, more must be done to prioritize housing for California residents over foreign investors. Infrastructure upgrades to support growth will inevitably increase costs of living if ratepayers alone shoulder the burden.
*Views expressed in this video/article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of California Insider.
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