Members approve Economic Blueprint, OK new software for city’s website

Published in the May 10 – 23, 2017 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Staff Report

Steve Rymer

Morgan City Manager Steve Rymer updated attendees at the Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce May 4 breakfast on recent actions taken by the Morgan Hill City Council on local housing and job development.

Voters in November passed Measure S, an update of the city’s Residential Development Control System which reduced the maximum number of allotments a year for development permits from 250 to 215. At the May 3 council meeting, the councilmembers voted to reduce that number to 195.

“The new measure allows them, based on multiple variables, that if they think they can lower that number, then they can — and they did,” Rymer said. “That’s the competition that will take place this year. Those are houses that will be built in two years out.”

Increasing affordable housing and bringing in high-paying jobs is also a major issue of concern for the city, he said.
“Many of you know that Morgan Hill leads the state in affordable housing integrated throughout our community. About one in eight units are considerable affordable,” he said. “That being said, there’s a lot of work to do. It’s a very high-priced marketing and housing for our teachers and government employees and other employees is still something that we have to keep working on and making sure that we can get the price of housing where people can be able to afford to live and work here.”

During that same meeting, the city council approved the Economic Blueprint, a guide focusing on ways that the city, the community, the Chamber of Commerce and other entities can work together to find ways to develop higher-paying jobs here that allow people to live and work in Morgan Hill as well as reduce traffic congestion and pollution.
The first step to implement the blueprint was the approval of the Open Counter website application to build user-friendly interfaces to complex regulatory procedures, Rymer said.

“It’s a software package that will literally make our development services open 24 hours a day to people who potentially want to develop here. So you just go on to our website and basically what you’re going to do is walk through a questionnaire that’s linked to our zoning code,” Rymer said. “It’s very straight forward.”

Once a developer fills out the various parameters that are in the interface, the program will tell them the locations available to build. It will also estimate development fees and provide additional information.

“It’s really a way to provide people with easier access and help us with an efficiency standpoint,” Rymer said.