Affordable Housing in Our BackyardJan 17, 2020
NIMBYs be damned. The City of Agoura Hills purchased a 1.7 Acre piece of land, consisting of 3 parcels on Driver Ave., with the intent of designating the site for affordable housing. The City credits Nona Green of Nona Green & Associates, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, with introducing them to the property listing. Green recalls, “When asked about the city purchase, with trepidation, I admit to pitching the site to the City. I know I will be vilified – some people have misconceptions about affordable housing. Yet it just made sense. I had attended Linda Northrup’s Breakfast with the Mayor, where the Mayor said designating a site for affordable housing was on the City’s priority list. When the three parcels came up for sale, I thought the site was not the optimal location for 1 to 3 single-family homes as it was on a busy corner. There are better locations in Old Agoura for about the same price.”
Partly to comply with California state mandates, the City passed an affordable housing ordinance as early as 2008. The law required residential developments to include a percentage of low-cost or very low-cost housing units. Or, developers could pay an in-lieu fee. The City used those in-lieu fees to purchase the 1.7-acre site on Driver.
Green continues, “The apartments that may go up on this site are slated to go to low or very low-income tenants. They may be our parents, our children, our kid’s tutors, or our dental hygienists, or the people who bag our groceries. Not having to drive so far to get to work will cut down on traffic and pollution. My realty team recently visited one of the sites built and maintained in Thousand Oaks by Many Mansions, a not-for-profit charity. The site was clean and well maintained. Our host, Anne Sturman, explained that tenants earn no more than $50,000 per year income, and there is a 3-5 year waiting list. She said tenants are grateful, and that a harmonious and helpful attitude prevails.”
Present zoning would allow up to 9 residences on the site. Any additional residences would require a zoning change subject to a vote. Hence, neighbors and other affected parties will have an opportunity to weigh in.
Information used in this article is from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed.