Note: an update on the Town Council's decision is at the bottom of this article.
The staff report on Moraga’s “Housing Element” that was intended to create zoning in compliance with State-mandated housing stock requirements is a disaster waiting to happen.
Instead of simply complying with heavy-handed mandates from Sacramento - which until now Staff and the Town Council had indicated was the intent - primarily by “upzoning” for apartments and condos in the town centers (Moraga and Rheem), staff somehow has landed on a proposition to alter Moraga’s general plan and fundamental character.
Staff recommendations now include actively going far beyond state requirements, including:
Redefining or eliminating critical scenic corridors that have protected views and open space
Reducing setbacks to allow buildings even closer to sidewalks and roadways
Providing developer subsidies and fee waivers (thus having existing residents subsidize building activity, something that isn't required)
Blindly committing to future bond measures and associated taxes to further subsidize building (also not required)
None of these is required by the state, and each conflicts with Moraga’s general plan and previous direction of the town council. It’s virtually the opposite of what Moraga should be doing.
The town council needs to set staff straight. Right away.
We suggest you email them with your thoughts (link part way down this page), objecting to the needless abandonment of Moraga's values and decades-long effort to preserve critical views and the Town's character.
Update: At its meetings and as a result of significant resident input via letters and testimony (thank you to those who chimed in), The Town Council directed staff to address the majority of the items we highlighted above.
The Town Council will be meeting on July 11 and 13 to discuss. The entire housing element document is located at this link (most important part is Chapter 6).
NextDoor discussion has additional info: click here