One San Mateo Kickoff


Join us for food and fellowship at our August 27th kickoff. There will be speakers, activities, and mingling…oh, and food. Did I mention food? This will be an opportunity to help build an organization to reshape San Mateo politics. When: August 27th, 5-7 p.m. Where: The Congregational Church of San Mateo, 225 Tilton Avenue, conveniently … Continue reading One San Mateo Kickoff

City seeks developers for prime downtown lots


The dissolution of redevelopment agencies in California left many cities grasping at straws to hold on to properties that could be used to help squelch the affordable housing crisis. Now, San Mateo is inching closer to leveraging its own land as it considers a range of ideas submitted by 10 interested developers.

The City Council meets in closed session Monday to discuss preliminary proposals for two parcels well-situated near downtown and the Caltrain line that were purchased with former redevelopment agency funds nearly two decades ago. 

Affordable housing and parking are top priorities for the growing city, but balancing demands while working within a limited budget is a challenge officials must ultimately face. With that in mind, the council appealed to the development community for ideas as well as how to finance them.

City gives up affordable housing fees


San Mateo will forgo millions of dollars in developer-paid fees to address the affordable housing crisis in a move the city’s mayor called shocking and hypocritical.

Just months after approving linkage fees commercial developers would pay to help offset the impacts to the regional housing crisis, the city was asked to make concessions and provide a discount for five projects. Staff and the majority of the council described amendment to the city’s ordinance as a clarification and in fairness to developers that already had projects in the pipeline when the new fees were approved.

But Mayor David Lim said he was shocked and opposed to “spot legislation” that would cater to just a handful of developers.

“I know this is strong language, but it’s basically kowtowing to developers. We’re going to lose $2.9 million to $3.9 million that we could use for affordable housing,” Lim said. “I think this is one of the worst decisions I’ve ever seen the council make.”

San Mateo’s rental rates keep rising


Reports: Most expensive in area with growth outpacing rest of the nation It is shaping up to be a long, hot summer for San Mateo renters as monthly fees due to landlords ticked up by nearly 4 percent in last year, continuing a steady incline for the past six months, according to a recent report. … Continue reading San Mateo’s rental rates keep rising

San Mateo Housing Story #4: Barbara O’ Neil’s Story


When I moved to the Bay Area 35 years ago, I knew that this was where I wanted to spend the rest of my life. But as a veteran middle school teacher in the San Mateo/Foster City School District, and the victim of a 60% rent increase, living in San Mateo is no longer affordable. I am voting yes on Measure Q so that our schools will be able to attract new teachers, and to stop the loss of so many dedicated teaching professionals and school staff who are leaving the district due to the high cost of housing in the area.

San Mateo Housing Story #3: Dian Fjelstad’s Story


Fifteen years ago I moved to San Mateo from Palo Alto and found that the rich diversity of the community confirmed my reasons for living here. Over the last few years, however, I’ve watched the city’s demographics rapidly change as residents and renters have been pushed out due to financial greed. When my own rent was raised by 54% last year, my budget, as a retired social worker became what economists’ label as cost-burdened for housing. It was then that I learned that renters like myself have no legal protections from massive rent increases and can be evicted for no reason. I support Measure Q because it’s a reasonable and fair way to achieve balance between business and people’s needs for housing security.