In the Jan. 17 article ("Builders sue over ag element," Page B-1) regarding the Building Industry Association's lawsuit against the county's agricultural element update, the BIA stated that the plan stifles their efforts to provide affordable housing.
The BIA is asserting that the preservation of farmland aspect of the agricultural element update, approved Dec. 18 by the Board of Supervisors, will "conflict with affordable housing goals in county and state law." New home listings in Sunday's paper listed one builder, Pacific Union Homes. The smallest home they have for sale in Oakdale is a four-bedroom, three-bath, 2,568-square-foot house listed at $358,864. These types of houses have become the norm of new home building over the last few years.
During my 12 years on the Salida Municipal Advisory Council (1987-1999), each developer came in to let us know of their affordable housing plan along with their more expensive houses. Somehow the plans always needed tweaking and the affordable housing element lost out.
To the outside observer, it seems as if farmland preservation is just another excuse developers are latching onto to explain a lack of building affordable housing.