The City of Millbrae filed a petition this week asking the San Mateo County Superior Court if Article 34 of the California Constitution requires a vote of the residents of Millbrae before San Mateo County’s La Quinta acquisition can proceed. The petition was filed in response to residents raising this question with the City on multiple occasions.
Approved by the voters through a statewide ballot proposition in 1950, Article 34 states that “No low rent housing project shall hereafter be… acquired in any manner by any state [and local] public body until, a majority of the qualified electors of the city, town or county… in which it is proposed to develop… approve such project by voting in favor thereof.”
The City knows that Article 34 is considered controversial and that voters statewide may be asked to vote on whether to remove Article 34 from the California Constitution as soon as the November 2024 election.
The question before the City, however, is whether Article 34 guarantees residents a vote now. The City concluded that the most responsible course of action is to ask a court to determine if an Article 34 vote is required on the La Quinta proposal.
The City also acknowledges that Article 34 can be used to block new housing projects. That is not the City's intention here. Indeed, in recent years, Millbrae has approved the construction of 1,261 units of housing within the City. Of those, 143 are affordable. Millbrae’s recently approved Housing Element also calls for the construction of 3,861 additional units by 2031 and the City is working to that end.
Contact: City Manager Tom Williams