Housing Concessions, HOA’s on Council Agenda

Council meets informally to discuss a number of issues
Gilroy – Councilmen this week will discuss if the city is getting shorted by a zoning policy that allows developers greater flexibility on housing projects. They also will decide if the growing number of homeowner associations in Gilroy are capable of keeping up with landscaping and other responsibilities that normally fall to the city.

Council member Roland Velasco will ask colleagues at a Friday council retreat if the city is receiving its fair share of concessions in exchange for approving a growing number of planned unit developments – a zoning status that allows developers to sidestep certain land-use restrictions.

For instance, councilmen in the spring approved a PUD on Miller Avenue that allowed the creation of a cul-de-sac between two properties.

Without council approval of a cul-de-sac below standards for city roads, the developers would not be able to build six homes where two now stand.

“In order to grant the planned unit development standard, there has to be some sort of benefit to the city,” Velasco said. “Maybe they’re putting in a park. Maybe the homes are up to some sort of architectural standard. All I’m trying to do now is ask the council – is that a good thing? Are we achieving what we’re supposed to be achieving or should we be asking for more?”

Velasco also wants to discuss the status of homeowner association’s, or HOAs, which are taking on increasing responsibility for maintenance and repairs in planned neighborhoods throughout the city.

“My concern is, in the long term, over the next 15, 20, 25 years that this HOA is in existence, is it going to be able to keep up with the cost of maintenance and repairs?” Velasco asked.

In addition to Velasco’s issues, council will discuss issues related to emergency operations, the Gilroy Museum, traffic circulation on the city’s east side and sidewalk repair.

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