Monday, November 10, 2008

Showdown on Santa Clara Street...

Monday was somewhat of a show-down at the Council Chambers on Santa Clara Street in San Jose. The issue: Inclusionary Zoning for affordable housing, or IZ, if you are truly a land-use/housing geek...

Opposing Memos were flying in advance of the meeting. The entire thing was kicked off months ago by Councilmember Sam Liccardo.

Then on October 24, Councilmembers Pete Constant and Pierluigi Oliverio wrote their Memo trying to stop the issue and keep IZ only in Redevelopment areas -- where it currently exists. Their motives? Pierluigi is presumably trying to keep affordable housing out of his District and Pete was trying to be the staunch home builders' guy on the Council. That's what the Merc. thinks also. Look how they described Constant's reason for opposing IZ, they say it is because he is: "...the council's lone Republican, who often aligns himself with business interests..." (Bad week to be a Republican?)

In response to the Pete and Pier Show, Councilmember Sam Liccardo did his best David Letterman impression and put forward a 10 Myths About Inclusionary Memo earlier today.

Not to be left out of the Memo flurry, Vice Mayor/Supervisor-Elect Dave Cortese put out his own Memo on the issue. He likes may come as a surprise to the Chamber-types who supported his recent campaign.

Today's special meeting was essentially held to see if IZ should move forward or be killed.

It is moving forward, and with a sizable and predictable 8-2 vote. The two NO votes were obviously Oliverio and Constant. (Councilmember Williams was not there, apparently he was getting his resume together for Supervisor Gage's internship program...fingers crossed for Intern-in-Waiting Williams...)

Other notable others who weighed in today (according to Watch Dog spies):

...on the YES side: Shiloh Ballard (wonk) with the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins chief at South Bay Labor Council

...on the NO side: Jennifer Rodriguez (fresh off the Sarah Palin Express) from the Home Builders Association and Pat Dando from the Chamber.

What's next?

The whole issue comes back to the Council on December 9th. Expect posturing, threats, and wild accusations about the impact of IZ. Then, after all this back and forth, expect it to pass...

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