Below please see a memo that Palo Alto City Manager Jim Keene has sent to the City Council regarding the set aside of $8 million in affordable housing funds specifically for use in conjunction with the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park, if the Council should so choose to move in that direction after the pending appeal has been resolved.
To: Mayor Holman and City Council
From: City Manager
Date: February 19, 2015
Department: City Manager
Subject: Reservation of $8 Million in City Affordable Housing Funds
Mayor Holman & City Councilmembers,
As the Council prepares for your April hearing on the Buena Vista residents' appeal of the hearing officer's decision on the park owner's application to close the park, community members have expressed concerns about the potential impacts to the residents and the loss of affordable housing. As you are aware, the Council has a responsibility to impartially evaluate all of the issues and refrain from advocating - or appearing to advocate - on any side of this matter.
In light of these constraints on the Council, I am directing staff to set aside $8 million in affordable housing funds specifically for use in conjunction with the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park if the Council should so direct after the pending appeal has been resolved. These funds are generated by development impact fees. I am directing that the staff segregate the $8 million in a separate fund to preserve them for Council action at a future time.
It is my hope that this action - following on the County's recent pledge of an equal amount - will inspire those who are concerned about the future of affordable housing in Silicon Valley and Palo Alto specifically, to come together and work toward a solution that will work for all.
Finally, I intend to reach out to the County for their continued assistance on options related to the future of the park. Their staffs experience with mobile home parks and affordable housing can be helpful to all concerned parties, especially during this period prior to Council's decision on the appeal.
Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions.