“Homeowner invokes ‘builders remedy’ in brazen plan to build 20-unit housing complex in Los Altos Hills.”

So reads the headline of a news story in the San Jose Mercury News, January 13. The homeowner involved is Sasha Zbrozek.

Brazen? Wow! What does Zbrozek want to do with the housing complex? Rent it to dealers in illegal drugs, perhaps? Or make it a house of ill repute?

If so, the Mercury writers, Ethan Varian and Aldo Toledo, forgot to mention it.

No, the plan is brazen because it would, gasp, allow more apartments in a city devoted mainly to large expensive houses.

Interestingly, Zbrozek didn’t start out with that plan. Varian writes:

Zbrozek said he got the idea to use the builder’s remedy during what he describes as an ongoing nightmare trying to get the necessary approvals and permits to repair his home after it was severely water damaged by storms in 2019 not long after he bought it. So soon after the January housing plan deadline passed, he filed the proposal with the town’s planning department.

As the late Ayn Rand would have said, “Brothers, you asked for it.”

Note: For more on the “builder’s remedy,” see this. In essence, the builder’s remedy would allow developers to build any size residential building as long as a portion of the units are under price controls. It would apply only if city governments fail to get plans approved by the state government for allowing more housing. As Varian writes:

As of Saturday afternoon, Los Altos Hills was just one of the 105 of 109 Bay Area cities and counties that hadn’t gotten the state to sign off on their every-eight-year plans due Jan. 31.

Further note: The pic above is of part of a brazen building plan, more commonly referred to as an apartment block.