gmhTODAY 20 gmhToday June July 2018 - Page 33

the initial infrastructure but not the ongoing costs . Commercial and industrial development does a better job of sustaining city services . Gilroy has an advantage over many local cities because of the sales tax generated by the Gilroy Outlets and auto dealers . It is further estimated that cities need to have at least some growth just to maintain services and to generate enough local sales tax to maintain city services .

The complications of growth continue . Municipalities , elected officials , and residents all react to out-of-control growth . The infrastructure lags behind . Schools go on double sessions . Cities slap tight restrictions on growth until infrastructure for streets , water and sewage can catch up with demand . Unfortunately , all of these things happened locally . Morgan Hill went to double sessions at the high school level . Gilroy moved to a yearround schedule to accommodate more students . The City of Gilroy put tight restrictions on growth until the local wastewater plant could meet demands . In the mid ’ 70s voters enacted the first of several growth control measures in Morgan Hill ( Measure E ). The City Council responded by implementing the RDCS ( Residential Development Control System ) in 1977 . In the ’ 80s Gilroy launched the RDO ( Residential Development Ordinance ) which was formally implemented in 1994 . Both RDCS and RDO are point-based growth control systems . Builders and developers submit applications for allocations , which are evaluated based on a point system .
Now this is where it gets really complicated . First , bear in mind that , a city itself does not build homes or businesses . The city does , however , determine how the land can be used or zoned . This is usually seen in a general plan which lays out zoning requirements for the next 20 years or so . A builder / developer submits their plans for a project and completes an application requesting an allocation from the RDCS or RDO . Once the builder / developer gets the allocation they must submit their detailed plans to the city for approval .


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General Plan
All of this can take time — sometimes years of time . Secondly , allocations are often banked until a developer has enough allocations to build economically . Another issue that can add delays are the ups and downs of the economy . The 2008-09 recession put many allocated and approved projects on hold . It is not unusual for lags to occur between the time allocations are awarded to the time the project gets a building permit and is eventually built . A good example of this is the large 1655-unit Glen Loma project on the east side of Santa Teresa Boulevard in Gilroy . The first thirty RDO allocations for the Glen Loma development were issued in 1999 . Today , nineteen years later , only about one-third of the total allocations are ready for occupancy and it will be several more years before the remaining units will be built . Once Glen Loma completes its build out , there are no new projects in the pipeline .
Other complications arise when developers present specific plans that include unique features and interpretations of land use . For example , the Hecker Pass Specific Plan called for the preservation of the agricultural and scenic elements of the area . Glen Loma ’ s Specific Plan called for seventeen specific “ neighborhoods ” within the 392 acres along with 145 acres of open space and parks . These plan elements harmonize with the reasons why people move to the area —


CITY OF MORGAN HILL | ADOPTED JULY 27 , 2016 we have neighborhoods — we have open space .
In both the RDCS and RDO there are some exceptions that further complicate things . Certain areas , like the Downtown , low-income housing or infill projects might be excluded from the basic allocation numbers or receive special consideration . So , while the RDCS or RDO process might allocate about 200 units per year , the exceptions might increase that number . Morgan Hill has put additional restrictions on the number of allocations to keep the total population below certain targets . In addition to all this there are additional state and federal requirements for low and moderate incomehousing options . Currently in Morgan Hill one in eight new units is affordable . Recently the State of California introduced legislation to force some cities to build additional homes , rentals and / or affordable housing . This is a disturbing trend that has many cities anxious . For example , Assembly Bill 2923 , which would force more housing around BART stations ; and the failed Senate Bill 827 ; which would have changed plans and penalties for the lack of regional housing .
Then there ’ s LAFCO ( Local Area Formation Commission ). LAFCO can and does restrict growth by controlling changes in city boundaries . For example : Without additional
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