Woodside could have been a “sanctuary” for mountain lions…
And, most importantly, the rich NIMBY folx who live there.
According to SFGate, the city reversed its controversial argument against more affordable housing.
The town had originally filed for an exemption under SB9, arguing new developments could endanger the already threatened Mountain Lions on the Peninsula.
While Mountain Lions are protected under the state’s Endangered Species act, they’re technically “Threatened.”
Many politicians, influencers, and media figures criticized the city’s decision, including State Senator Scott Weiner, one of the architects of SB9.
Woodside announced it’s exempt from state housing law because of … mountain lions.
I’m all for mountain lions. I’m also for people. You know, the ones who need homes.
Can’t wait for the lawsuit against Woodside for this brazen violation of state law. https://t.co/Ig5Zc4Dik3
— Senator Scott Wiener (@Scott_Wiener) February 2, 2022
But in the end, it always comes down to lawsuits.
California AG Rob Bonta sent a rather fiery letter to the city, threatening legal action.
“There is no valid basis to claim that the entirety of Woodside is a habitat for mountain lions, a candidate for protection under the California Endangered Species Act… “
Bonta’s letter continued:
“Habitat is land that has the capacity to support that species, including providing food and shelter. Land that is already developed with, for example a single-family home is not, by definition, habitat. That mountain lions appear in Woodside from time to time does not make any of its individual parcels mountain lion habitat.”
And just like that, Woodside reversed their decision.
Last week, a report from San Francisco found that there were over 40,000 vacant homes in the city.
So with rent and the cost of living ever on the rise…
It may not be enough to perfectly alleviate our growing housing crisis in the Bay Area.
But every new development still helps!