One camp in Novato's ongoing affordable housing debate favored flat-out ignoring of mandates from the state that forced the city to zone for future housing developments.
The Do Nothing plan — intentional noncompliance with guidelines set by state and regional agencies — gained some favor with Novato residents fighting against high-density complexes that they said would be havens for crime and reduce surrounding property values.
But look what happened in Pleasanton. Before the City Council down there approved the housing element portion of the city's general plan update this week, legal bills had totaled $3.9 million as it repeatedly lost lawsuits filed by affordable housing coalitions. Check out this story in the Pleasanton Weekly.
Novato is moving forward with its housing element, sending a draft version to the state office of Housing and Community Development for review. Residents spent about two years hammering city employees and the Association of Bay Area Governments about the lack of local control over what is done with property within the city limits. Quotas be damned, they said, often at high volume.
But the Pleasanton lesson is profound. What's your viewpoint on compliance with the state and regional authorities about housing plans? Is it worth challenging with gusto or is it a risk no longer worth taking? Add a comment below.