Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

A Letter to the StanCoG Policy Board


StanCOG Policy Board

Official seal of County of Stanislaus

Official seal of County of Stanislaus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1111 “I” Street, Suite 308

Modesto, CA


RE:  Public Comments on RHNA Low Income Housing Mandate, its process, formulas, and Sustainable City Plan under SB 375



Dear Policy Board Members,


It is very clear that StanCOG is the responsible agency for the ultimate design of this region’s “sustainable cities” as mandated by SB 375 – a vision that is NOT embraced by all California residents, usurps local government control over land use, violates residents’ private property rights under the CA Constitution, and is adding to our national debt.


Reducing greenhouse gases is a noble effort – but not an effort that should force what type of housing California residents chose to live in or how they believe is the best mode of transportation for them.  Not everyone will ride a bus, carpool, take BART or CalTrain to work or for personal pleasure.  Not everyone wants to live in “stack and pack” or “compact” housing.  If given choice, most people and families prefer to live in single family residences with space and privacy.  Not everyone is 20-30 years old with using up every minute of their personal time with socialization and going out.


SB 375 and HCD’ related housing element in which to force residents into close living quarters of “compact” housing as the “housing of the future” –  violates the very freedom of  “Choice” that are at the foundations and personal liberties of Californians and others in the United States, under constitutional protection.


The amount of 25,608 low income high density “compact” housing units being mandated by HCD and forced upon our County will cause several social and economic problems for Modesto and Stanislaus County.  To date, StanCOG is in violation of not properly informing the public that the “Valley Vision Plan” for our sustainable cities is based upon building this large amount of low income housing!  I have attended two organizational seminars put on by Valley Vision to the Farm Bureau and the City Council, and there was NO mention that this compact housing was filling the RHNA low income housing mandate.  StanCOG is guilty of misrepresentation of such housing to the public.  Therefore, all of the public presentations have mislead the public since there was never adequate explanation of the RHNA mandate as part of the sustainable city plan.

Accepting such high number of low income housing will only bring social problems to the City of Modesto and Stanislaus County as other counties will “transfer” their Section 8 recipients to Modesto – a more affordable area for subsidized funding and the transferor county will enjoy higher real estate taxed property (after they get rid of their excess low income residents.)  Being an “affordable” area attracts undesirable persons to our communities (bringing in more crime, social dependency which strains our hospitals, schools, housing, water, and utilities).  A city with a high degree of low income housing opportunities is not a city in which successful businesses want to relocate – no matter how much new commercial building is available.  Developers will always paint the rosiest and attractive picture of their grandeous projects.


Modesto and Stanislaus County struggles with a 22% increase in violent crime, a police force extremely inadequate to its population, hot temperatures which will require more water and electricity, a documented gang population of 5,000 members (the Bee had a full 3 page article on this matter), a higher proportion of convicted felons being transferred or released into our county – with an additional 1,000 expected by year’s end, and an unemployment rate of 20%.  Now tell me why do you think any mid size employer would want to bring their company and their best intellectual capital here?  Would these 30 year old’s ever want to leave the Bay Area?  The answer is clearly “NO.”


This self-appointed governing council does not have to take our cities and county down a road of subsidization – just to bring “dollars” into its coffers.  This is the easy way and not real city planning and strategy for everyone.

Many city councils and government departments are questioning HCD’s low income housing formulas because they do not want an oversupply of low income housing in their cities which will hurt economic opportunities, resident’s real estate values, and the social fabrics of their societies.  Several Bay Area cities are getting together to challenge HCD.

I encourage you to join this effort.  Be pro-active and talk with other councils.


Low income housing – now matter how modernized it appears to be, is nothing more than low income housing.  Housing does NOT bring economic growth to a city – it just brings more housing.  What is needed is REAL economic opportunities – and the right way to build  “sustainable cities” that offer “choice” for everyone – not just one income segment of society.   The foundation for economic prosperity is not a federal low income handout. It’s called “JOB CREATION”  – and I don’t mean temporary (construction) jobs.




Donna M. Minighini

Modesto resident


Encl:  2/22/13 Palo Alto online article about city council and others, rejecting HCDs numbers:



A  Public Records Request

April 4, 2013 via US mail/with return
Housing Community Development
Attn: Ms. Angela Freitas, Housing Director
1010 10th Street
Modesto, CA
Housing Authority of the County of Stanislaus
1701 Robertson Road,
Modesto, CA 95352
RE: Requesting disclosure of all addresses of privately owned or county owned
existing and future “affordable” or “low income housing”, “section 8” housing, and
“special needs” housing, and those involving “Neighborhood Stabilization Program”
(NSP or NSP2), or other grant funds, in Stanislaus County.
Dear Ms. Freitas, (HCD), and Housing Authority of the County of Stanislaus,
Under the “California Public Records Act”, Section 6250, et al, the federal “Freedom of Information Act”, and government transparency compliance, I would like to have access to records, as well as obtaining your assistance in receiving the following information:
a. To date, provide information as to what is the total number of housing units (townhomes, condominiums, apartments, or single family homes, (or other residential buildings) located in Stanislaus County, currently being “rented to” and/or servicing low income, affordable housing, and housing for “special needs” persons (homeless, severe mentally ill, chronic abuse, veterans, persons with HIV/AIDS, domestic violence, unaccompanied youth, emancipated foster and transition age youth, elderly, developmentally disabled, alcohol/drug additions)?
b. Provide information as to the street addresses of these existing units?
(These property units would be either owned by private owners or any city or
county agency.)
c. Provide information as to how much in NSP or NSP2 funds has been spent to date
on all existing, newly built and “rehabbed” affordable, low income, or special
needs housing?
TO: Housing Community Development/Angela Freitas, and Housing Authority of the County of Stanislaus/April 4, 2013/ Page 2 of 2
Provide information as to project name, number of units, and street address.
Provide information as to who were payments made to, and how much was paid
out for each project?
2. FUTURE PROJECTS OR UNITS (for low income, affordable housing, or special needs persons):
a. Provide information as to how many “units” will be built?
b. Provide information as to what type of construction will units or project be? (SFRs, townhomes, mixed use, apartments, or other building type.)
c. Provide information as to what is project/s name/s?
d. Provide information as to what is street location of project/s?
e. Provide information as to when is construction going to begin?
f. Provide information as to who is the developer/s and/or Non-profit agency involved in project/s?
g. If NSP or NSP2 funds, or other funding sources are involved, provide source
of funding for each project.
h. Provide information as to how much in NSP, NSP2, or other grant funds, will be allocated and spent on such future unit/s or project, and paid to whom?
Thank you for contacting me at 209-522-5390 or by email at pttrs457@aol.com to obtain the information in this request.
Donna Minighini
Modesto resident



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