My Turn Find an affordable model that works | SierraSun.com

My Turn Find an affordable model that works

Al Turne

The Placer County Redevelopment Agency has known for several years that there is an affordable housing model (solution) that works. So why are they pushing the Vista Village project when past experience shows that this model does not work? Lets examine a couple of models that do work, and then take a hard look at the Vista Village project. One, Truckees got it right with the Spring Creek project: They have a mix of affordable- and market-rate housing and they followed the state guidelines of 15 percent mix of affordable- to market-rate housing. It works. It will be there for the long haul and will not turn into a ghetto. Two, mixed use: Whats mixed use? Its Commercial, Retail and Affordable Workforce housing combined. This is what we need in the Kings Beach Core Area. Example: Try Pleasant Hills next to Walnut Creek.With Vista Village, we wont discuss the environmental reasons why the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency should not violate their mandate; well stick with the social reasons. With the extremely high reverse ratio of affordable- to market-rate housing, you get the feeling that theyre sticking their finger in our eye. Sixty-four affordable rental units and eight market-rate units. Sounds like one-stop-shopping for the local sheriff. Use the projects in San Francisco and Chicago as examples. The crime rate in Chicago is so bad the police will not even go in, and San Francisco has since torn theirs down for the same reasons. Locally we have Grass Valley; they had trouble renting theirs, so Social Services filled the project with welfare recipients, and you guessed it their crime rate is up. Youre probably telling yourself that this guy is a bigot. Not so, say I. Ill buy into the low-cost, affordable, workforce housing when the redevelopment agency gets it right. In order to move forward with this project, they have to get the county board of supervisors and TRPA to allow a zoning change from R-1 (one residential unit per parcel) to M-14 (which is 14 units per acre) on the 12-acre parcel. Rather than create new lots, just rezone the upper portions of King Beach from residential to multiple and lower the IPES score to make them more attractive to builders. Then the redevelopment agency can offer incentives to redevelop King Beach, which by the way is the prime redevelopment area at the lake. Example: Walnut Creek. They have ongoing redevelopment. Their model is tear out the old and come back in with cluster housing. My advice to the redevelopment agency is to think small, just because you have the money does not mean you have to go out in a ball of fire and spend it in one place. For those who know me, the old serge has gone to guns.Al Turner is a Carnelian Bay resident.