Zach Hilton
Zach Hilton

I am proud of the future housing plan that the Gilroy City Council, Planning Commission, staff and the public have approved. 

We committed to advancing the 40 opportunity sites for multi-family homes, downtown expansion district and First Street mixed-use corridor flexibility program, 429 corner lots for the middle-income housing program, housing for farmworkers program, inclusionary housing ordinance and other programs. Through incentives, funding and programs we can offer with other partners, this will further a Gilroy that’s livable for all. 

Gilroy places a high priority on providing quality housing opportunities for all residents. The creation of a focused division within the Community Development Department, and establishing the Housing and Community Services Manager position, will enable the city to make more concentrated efforts on affordable housing production, preservation and protection of residents. The Housing and Community Services Manager will provide a higher level of expertise and lead a division focusing on housing functions. With the division consisting of the manager and technician position, the division will implement projects and programs to address housing needs for a diverse community and provide assistance to families and individuals that are experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.

Now is where the true work and evaluation will take place. Empowered through our local control, we will implement these programs and follow through with what we have promised to our residents. By doing this we will become eligible for funding toward implementing our programs and provide housing for all. 

We are now pulling in the same direction as our regional partners, too. The region’s long-range plan for housing, transportation, economy and the environment is known as Plan Bay Area 2050. It calls for creating compact walkable communities by promoting high-density housing and mixed-use development near transit stations and in existing urban areas. This aligns the state to local level planning and it’s developed by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Association of Bay Area Governments, which is made up of our local and regional electeds.

Through Valley Transportation Authority, which is made up of our local electeds, Gilroy’s programs will work to advance all three business lines in VTA’s Strategic Plan through growth in ridership and farebox revenues that support increased transit service and generate funding to sustain enhanced service in Gilroy. Our General Plan 2040 Mobility Element and VTA’s Parking Policy aim to grow ridership through ensuring properly sized parking, facilitating access for all mobility needs, and maximizing multimodal access to transit stations through tools that encourage alternatives to the automobile. 

Transit-oriented communities enable people to use transit more often by centering housing, jobs, services and shopping around public transit.

The City must monitor and report on the results of these and other programs through the annual progress report. State Housing and Community Development will review any action or failure to act by a local government that it determines inconsistent with an adopted housing element or housing element law. This includes failure to implement program actions included in the housing element. HCD may revoke housing element compliance if the local government’s actions do not comply with state law. 

Gilroy must continue timely and effective implementation of all programs, which include:

• Program A-1 (No Net Loss Inventory and Monitoring)

• Program A-2 (Surplus Lands/Affordable Housing on City-Owned Sites)

• Program A-3 (By-Right Approval on “Reused” RHNA Sites)

• Programs A-6 through A-9 and A-15 (Facilitate ADU Production)

• Program A-10 (Facilitate Missing Middle)

• Program A-11 (Inclusionary Housing Policy)

• Program B-3 (SB 35 Permit Processing)

• Program B-6 (Objective Standards)

• Programs C-1 and C-6 (Monitoring and Preservation of At-Risk Units)

• Program E-3 (Emergency Shelter Standards)

• Program E-4 (Low Barrier Navigation Centers)

• Program E-7 (Development and Conservation of Housing for Farmworkers)

• Program E-10 (Housing for Persons with Disabilities)

• Program E-11 (Extremely Low Income and Special Needs Households)

• Program E-13 (Permanent Supportive Housing)

• Program F-3 (Place-Based Improvements in Downtown Gilroy)

• Program F-4 (Housing Mobility and Choice in Higher Opportunity Areas)

Zach Hilton is a Gilroy City Councilmember.

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