Just as Joe Friday insisted upon “just the facts” so many years ago, is an organization that wants the Novato community to stick to “just the facts.”
It is disturbing to read destructive misinformation and mischaracterization about our organization’s work for reasonably priced housing. This is not the Novato we know.
Almost a year ago, several neighborhood groups emerged of certain sites as part of the city’s Housing Element update. We realized that a loud, vocal group of residents were speaking from a certain vantage point and that many other voices were left out.
Stand Up for Neighborly Novato was born to give a voice to the many residents who support a variety of housing options for our seniors, persons with disabilities and working families.
The support we’ve received shows that a voice of reason, respect and inclusion was needed in this debate.
We have been by more than 500 Novato residents, and the list grows every day. These residents are not as loud and boisterous as others in this debate, but their support for more reasonably priced housing is strong. County Supervisors Judy Arnold, Steve Kinsey and Susan Adams, the League of Women Voters, the North Bay Labor Council, the Novato Democratic Club, Sustainable Novato and others are also behind us.
We encourage you to call and thank these Novato leaders and organizations for supporting reasonably priced housing and advocating for a brighter future for Novato.
And that’s just the beginning. We believe there are thousands of Novato residents who are not aware of the impact of our upcoming decisions on housing. So we sent out a mailer to encourage them to learn more about Stand Up for Neighborly Novato and reasonably priced housing, give them an opportunity to join us, ask them to encourage the City Council to support more reasonably priced housing options and give residents “just the facts.”
This was necessary in part because recent posts and a have done a disservice to Novato by spreading falsehoods about Stand Up for Neighborly Novato and affordable housing in general. So here are the facts:
* Stand Up for Neighborly Novato is not advocating for any particular density across‐the‐board on all sites selected. Rather, we support careful analysis of the constraints of each possible site, which likely will result in a range of units for each individual site. For instance, for a site adjacent to single‐family, detached homes, the number of units likely might be lower than the number of units in a commercial area or where there are other multi‐family developments. In fact, one of Stand Up for Neighborly Novato’s co-founders went to Sacramento to advocate for lowering the default density to allow for a more flexible approach. It’s misleading for anyone to say we only support high-density housing.
* Stand Up for Neighborly Novato knows that there is a large need for reasonably priced housing in Novato, a well-documented fact per the Marin Housing Authority. It’s inaccurate to say “we’ve done our fair share.” It’s not about what we’ve done, it’s about the great demand we have now and what kind of future we want. For example, more than 9,000 Novato workers commute here every day but can’t afford to live here. That’s not good for the community on many levels.
* Stand Up for Neighborly Novato supports collaboration within the City Manager’s Ad Hoc Working Group to recommend new Housing Element policies and programs to optimize affordable housing opportunities (such as a city jobs/housing mitigation fee, reduced city fees for second units, streamlined permit processing for affordable housing, etc.).
* Stand Up for Neighborly Novato rejects the use of fear tactics and misleading information in this housing debate. We have read and heard mischaracterizations of our organization and affordable housing. We believe a respectful fact‐based dialogue reflects the character of Novato, will encourage opinions and ideas from all of our neighborhoods and will contribute to a housing element that best reflects the needs of our community.
To read more and get to know us and the facts, go to www.neighborlynovato.org. It is all there in black and white. Just the facts.