Category Archives: Housing

HIP Housing Flyers: May 2018

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If you have questions or would like to make an appointment call (650) 348-6660 or visit the website HIP Housing’s Home Sharing Program.


Downtown Project – Choose between 2 developers this Mon, April 16th

Background: The City owns two properties in Downtown San Mateo, 480 E. 4th Avenue and 400 E. 5th Avenue, which were originally purchased by the City of San Mateo Redevelopment Agency. The sites are currently surface public parking lots and jointly contain 235 parking spaces. The 400 E. 5th Avenue site also houses the Worker Resource Center. As part of the redevelopment dissolution process, the State approved the transfer of the sites to the City in March 2015 with the requirement that the City use these sites for development. As a result, the City is required to seek development proposals for the sites and to enter into a compensation agreement with the other taxing entities in San Mateo County to distribute the proceeds from the disposition of the sites (be it land sale proceeds or ground lease revenues). (Reference: Downtown Opportunity Site RFP)

Community Input Requested: On Monday, April 16th, the San Mateo City Council will decide between two developers that were selected by Staff: MidPen Housing and Raintree Investments. Please review the Administrative Report with Staff Recommendation and related RFP and materials. Contact the City Council to share your input by Monday, April 16th!


Car-Light Housing: More Affordability, Less Traffic Discussion

We need to address the housing affordability crisis, but we don’t want to make it harder to get around town or harm the climate. Join Friends of Caltrain for this discussion to:

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  • Learn about the connections between housing affordability, traffic reduction, and climate change.
  • Hear what neighboring communities are doing to reduce the need to drive.
  • See how you can help make your community more walkable, affordable, and transit-friendly.


  • Nina Rizzo manages GreenTRIP Certifications at TransForm. The GreenTRIP program supports multi-family residential developments that implement strategies to reduce traffic, parking and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Nevada Merriman of MidPen Housing is designing and developing affordable housing where residents can reduce their reliance on cars
  • Elaine Breeze of SummerHill Apartments works on “smart growth” multi-family rental housing and mixed use developments


TransForm, Housing Leadership Council, Home for All, Silicon Valley Climate Action Alliance, OneSanMateo, Imagine San Mateo, Friends of Caltrain

When: Monday, March 26th from 6:30-8pm
Where: San Mateo Downtown Library
Address: 55 W 3rd Ave, San Mateo
Visit Link to RSVP

What is the fuss about Measure P?

Today The Daily Journal published two opposing views on Measure P.


On December 15th, 2004 San Mateo City voters approved Measure P (17,151 / 68.7% Yes votes and 7,826 / 31.3% No votes) below is summary of the impartial analysis of measure that was published on

Measure P extended the allowable height and density standards for new developments in the City of San Mateo that were established by Measure H in 1991. Measure P expires in 2020.

Background on Measure H: In 1991, San Mateo voters enacted Measure H, an initiative amending the City’s general plan. Measure H changed standards concerning allowable height and density for development and added requirements for affordable housing in new residential projects.

  • Measure H reduced allowable heights for commercial and multi-family residential structures. Before Measure H, buildings as high as 120 feet were allowed. Measure H established a 55 foot height limit for most areas zoned for commercial and multi-family projects. Measure H allows buildings up to 75 feet in certain areas with the provision of special “public benefits.”
  • Measure H reduced allowable building density. The prior general plan allowed for floor area ratios in the Downtown up to 8.0 and for multi-family densities up to 124 units per acre. Measure H reduced maximum Downtown ratio to 3.0 and reduced maximum multi-family density to 50 units per acre. Measure H allows for densities up to 75 units per acre in limited acres with special public benefits.
  • Measure H required residential projects with more than 10 units to restrict 10% of the units for affordable housing.

Summary of Measure P:

  • Measure P clarified issues that have arisen in implementing Measure H. After Measure H was adopted, the question arose as to whether the height map described in the measure would prevent the City Council from changing a property’s planned land use to a land use that would allow a range of heights greater than those designated on the map. The City’s past practice has been to allow such changes. Measure P would sanction this past practice if certain findings supporting the reclassification are made. Another clarification authorized the City Council to establish an inclusionary requirement higher than the current 10%, and to authorize the Council to establish a requirement that developers pay a fee in lieu of units for fractional affordable unit requirements.
  • Measure P made limited modifications to the policies established in Measure H. For example, Measure H limited remodels at the Hillsdale Shopping Center to 55 feet, even though some existing buildings are 60 feet high. Measure P authorized building heights up to 60 feet at the center. Measure P also authorized the City Council to establish new land use classifications in the general plan but limited the building heights in such areas to no more than 55 feet.

(Full text is available: Impartial Analysis from Shawn M. Mason, City Attorney – City of San Mateo:

Upcoming City meetings

Friday, November 3rd – KFC Neighborhood Meeting for proposed interior and exterior upgrades.  6:00 – 8:00 PM at KFC (406 E. Third Avenue).

Monday, December 11th – San Mateo Planning Commission Public Hearing (public comments, discussion, and a vote) on the Bay Meadows Phase Two affordable housing proposal.  7:30 PM at City Hall Council Chambers.

Early 2018, date to be determined – San Mateo City Council to hear the Appeal to the Planning Commission’s Denial of 4 W. Santa Inez Condominiums (10 units).