Since I wrote the first blog on affordable housing in August 2020, Gilroy has made strides to plan and promote affordable housing. We have developed interim objective design standards with the full document to be approved later this year in compliance with SB 330, you can build an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) on any residential property in the city, staff's work plan includes developing an inclusionary housing ordinance, and staff will begin working on the next Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) cycle for 2023-2031. That process will require us to look at some modest re-zoning of our General Plan 2040 in order to accommodate the affordable housing that is needed for the future. This next RHNA cycle is going to take some creativity on housing production, and that includes small projects to big ones. We can't grow when a majority of our land is zoned for single family homes. It has already been mentioned in meetings that we need to look at missing middle housing (duplexes, triplexes, and four-plexes).
With the recent adoption of our City’s General Plan 2040, we as a community called for bold actions that include providing high density housing options, affordable housing for all, and continuing to promote cleaner modes of transportation. We encourage existing and proposed development to incorporate Transportation Demand Management (TDM) measures such as car-sharing, transit passes, and unbundling of parking (requiring separate purchase or lease of a parking space) where such measures will result in a reduction in vehicle miles traveled, reduction of required amount of parking or an increase in the use of alternate transportation modes.
The City Council has made a bold statement in our strategic goals that we are committed to safe and affordable housing for all Gilroy residents and followed that up with a multi-year contract with HouseKeys to manage our below market rate housing units. HouseKeys will play a key role in advising city hall on programs and policies that we can implement to further strengthen our below market housing portfolio.
Valley Transportation Agency (VTA) has hosted three community meetings regarding their Transit Oriented Development (TOD) project in Downtown Gilroy. Projects that are transit-oriented allow people to live and work near public transportation, which helps clear the air, ease traffic, and adds infrastructure investments to the community. We are creating more walkable/bikeable places to live that don't require you to own a car, and providing much needed housing for our graduating high school seniors, teachers, city employees other than managers/directors, and college grads to come home to. According to a timeline presented at the meeting, the VTA Board could choose a developer for the project by the end of this year, with design work continuing into 2024. Construction could begin by mid-2024 and end in 2026.