Portola Valley

Housing Element Status
Rent Burden
rent burdened
Affordable Housing Production
affordable permits issued
Housing Policies and Programs
total policies

Proposed Policies and Programs

Housing policies and programs are the strategies and laws that cities and counties legally have at their disposal to produce more and preserve existing affordable housing, as well as protect existing residents from getting displaced from their homes and communities.

5th Cycle Programs and Policies

policies and programs

Local housing policies and programs, as part of a housing element, have significant impacts on a city or county reaching its affordable housing goals. Each additional housing policy has a significant impact on the residents who are most in need of affordable housing. However, the number of policies or programs that a jurisdiction includes in their housing element is not meant to imply how well a city or county is addressing local housing needs since the quality and impact of each will need to be determined as well. Policies and programs listed here from jurisdictions’ Housing Elements are intended to allow readers to review the text themselves and see if a city or county is doing all they can to reach their affordable housing goals.

Historic 2018 Policies and Programs Categorization

To further policy innovation and local action, the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) contacted all of the region's jurisdictions to track the adoption of key housing policies throughout the nine county Bay Area in four major categories Protect, Preserve, Produce, and Prevent. This data is from ABAG’s Policies and Program list and was last updated in 2018/2019.

By-Right Strategies
Home Sharing Programs
Implementation of SB743
Inclusionary Housing Ordinance
In-Lieu Fees (Inclusionary Zoning)
Streamlined Permitting Process
Surplus Public Lands Act
Commercial Development Impact Fee
Condominium Conversion Ordinance
Flexible Parking Requirements
Form-Based Codes
General Fund Allocation
Graduated Density Bonus
Homeowner Repair or Rehabilitation
Housing Development Impact Fee
Housing Overlay Zones
Just Cause Eviction
Locally-Funded Homebuyer Assistance
Mobile Homes Conversion Ordinance
One-to-One Replacement
Preservation of Mobile Homes (Rent Stabilization Ordinance)
Reduced Fees or Permit Waivers
Rent Stabilization
SRO Preservation Ordinance
Tenant-Based Assistance
Portola Valley's Recorded Housing Policies

The California Department of Housing and Community Development tracks all of the ongoing and completed programs from 2018 onward and can be seen in the table below.

Affiliated Housing
Work with owners of the three properties to encourage housing to be built
Priory School completed construction on six units of housing in 2021. Stanford’s 39 unit housing project (inclusive of 12 BMR units) for the Wedge Property is currently in review. The Sequoias conducted geologic feasibility studies and is considering a project with additional senior units and workforce housing. The Town Council voted to expand the Affiliated Housing Program to add two additional partners.
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
Energy Conservation and Sustainability
Continue green and energy conservation measures, revising them and developing new ones as necessary
Town Council approved the Green Building Ordinance in 2020 and staff has been reviewing applications for compliance since it went into effect. The Town Council recently held study sessions and provided feedback for another update to the Green Building Ordinance.
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
Explore Future Housing Needs and Potential Housing Programs
Analyze housing needs and trends and explore potential programs to meet future housing needs
Council identified housing as a significant priority three years in a row. In 2019, the Ad Hoc Housing on Town-Owned Property Committee reviewed properties owned by the Town that may be suitable for housing and reported back to Council. That process was valuable and resulted in a list of sites that have been used in the Housing Element Update process. Communications with residents on housing topics continued at a high level in 2022 and resulted in the draft 6th Cycle Housing Element.
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
Shared Housing
Continue to work with HIP Housing to impove publicity of its home-sharing program to residents and employees
The Housing Element calls for the Town to work with HIP Housing to publicize their home sharing program to help increase resident participation. HIP Housing is a non-profit organization based in San Mateo County that seeks to invest in human potential by improving housing and lives. Staff helped promote the program by providing a booth at the Farmers’ Market and forwarding their informational fliers to the PV Forum. Information on HIP’s program is also available at Town Hall and the library, and on the Town’s website. Staff plans to expand exposure to the program by including it in future discussions, coordinate with neighboring cities to establish a shared housing staff person, and promote ADUs and housing options.
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
Fair Housing
Continue to publicize County-wide program
The Town has publicized the County-wide fair housing program Project Sentinel, a housing counseling agency, by making brochures and handouts available at both Town Hall and the library. Information on Project Sentinel is available on the Town website.
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
Inclusionary Housing
Amend the inclusionary housing program to make it more effective
The Town Council adopted the Housing Strategic Plan in 2016 and the implementation is ongoing. At that time, Council postponed additional work on the inclusionary housing program to ensure the approach was comprehensive in light of other housing efforts. In late 2018, Council formed a Subcommittee to discuss the potential changes to the Inclusionary Housing Program and how to use the existing funds. That work was postponed by the pandemic. The Town Council recognized that the increase in the Town’s RHNA for the 2023-2031 Housing Element Update (6th Cycle) would be significant and that more broad housing solutions would be necessary to meet the Town’s housing obligations in coming years. The 6th Cycle Housing Element, drafted in 2022, will include a goal to amend the zoning ordinance to establish inclusionary housing requirements for new multi-family developments to complement the existing inclusionary requirements for projects with subdivisions.
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
Second Units (Accessory Dwelling Units)
Amend the zoning ordinance to encourage second units. Monitor the program and take additional steps to increase second unit production if necessary.
Town Council approved the amendments outlined in the Housing Element in 2015. Additional amendments were adopted in compliance with 2017 State law changes. In 2017, the Town received a grant from Home for All to conduct community workshops on housing topics, which were held in 2018. Accessory Dwelling Units became a focus of that effort. In fall of 2018, additional zoning code amendments were considered to further encourage ADUs and allow ADUs in all zoning districts. The ordinance was adopted in early 2019. In 2021, the Town adopted another set of amendments for compliance with State law.
Initial amendments completed in 2015. Continuing updates.
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
Transitional & Supportive Housing Ordinance Amendment
Amend the zoning ordinance to fully comply with State law relative to transitional and supportive housing
The Transitional and Supportive Housing Code amendments have been drafted and will be reviewed by the Planning Commission and Town Council in summer 2022. In December 2021, the Town approved a Supportive Housing project with 11 units for adults with developmental delays.
5th cycle, 2013 to 2022
Let us know if we got something wrong.

Take action and get involved

Right now, we have a once-in-a-decade chance to address current housing problems, invest in our communities, and create better housing options for all. Sign up with your email to stay connected!