On behalf of The Silicon Valley Organization (The SVO), I am writing to support your bill – SB 827, which would make it legal to build small and mid-rise developments by exempting transit-rich parcels from overly restrictive local zoning standards. By way of background, we are the Silicon Valley’s premier business advocacy organization representing 1,400+ companies that employ nearly 300,000 workers and we represent our membership as the region’s largest Chamber of Commerce.

In Silicon Valley, we have already seen how overly restrictive zoning standards have exacerbated our regional housing crisis. Local municipalities are not adhering to their fairshare requirements to build more housing within their own city, punting the responsibility to other cities to house our region’s growing population. As a result of this restricted housing supply, market demand for homes at all levels have skyrocketed. The Mercury News reports that San Jose’s median home value, as of January 2018, is already over $1 million. Furthermore, the article notes that the median rent, in the San Jose Metro Area, is $3,514/month. These prices are indicative of the strong and positive economic growth that drives up market demand for residential units in Silicon Valley. In order to sustain this growth, we need to address this crisis by significantly increasing housing supply to meet this demand.

SB 827 would achieve these goals by encouraging higher-density housing developments near high-quality transit lines. By creating density exemptions along major transit lines throughout California, we can take a significant step towards building more homes and driving down market prices to make it more affordable for residents to stay in the state. In Silicon Valley, we would see higher-density housing along BART, VTA Light Rail, Caltrain, and Amtrak transit lines. This would go a long way towards addressing our regional housing crisis and making it more affordable for our local residents.

The SVO supports SB 827 and your continued efforts to grow housing supply throughout California.

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