What the city new housing policy will mean

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Mission-Bay-at-Third

This photo was taken a few years ago when the sky was visible on Third Street. That sky is now obscured by towering properties going up on all sides, that supposedly take advantage of the “rich transit areas” near the Third Street T-Line. The neighbors beg to differ. They do not feel “enough” is being done to mitigate the effects of the additional traffic. No one has the answer to solving that problem, but adding more buildings without parking has not worked yet. Commuting Uber and Lyfts have replaced the privately owned cars. Many feel we were better off with our off-street parking than with the new on-call vehicles. Photo by zrants.

It’s way better than the original plan. But community groups are still going to demand more from developers

San Francisco wound up with a sweeping new affordable housing policy this week, one that will encourage the demolition of some existing low-rise commercial buildings housing neighborhood businesses, increase density in many parts of town, and set affordability levels lower than what the voters approved last year but higher than what some supervisors wanted.

It’s a compromise that is going to shape housing policy for the immediate future – and is aimed overall at encouraging somewhere around 30,000 new housing units without any discussion of how the city will pay for the infrastructure to support them… (more)

Fine Dust Linked to Asthma, Cancer and Heart Attacks

Investigations by Jaxon Van Derbeken, Robert Campos, Jeremy Carroll, and Michael Horn : nbcbayarea – excerpt (includes video)

San Francisco’s political and spiritual leaders recently hailed the city’s newest tallest building, the 61-story Salesforce tower, as the centerpiece of its ongoing building boom. But residents who live three miles away are left to wonder whether the boom is taking a toll on their health…

At San Francisco General’s child asthma clinic, Dr. Robert Blount, a lung specialist, suspects that bad air is contributing to the Bayview-Hunter’s Point asthma epidemic….. (more)

Westside San Franciscans are none too happy about new water mix

By Rachel Swan : sfchronicle – excerpt

Tap-Water.jpg

What is coming out of your water? For now, where you live and work will determine the answer. Photo by zrants

San Franciscans take pride in drinking pristine water from Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, which they treasure as among the purest in the nation.

So a recent move by the Public Utilities Commission to introduce ground water gradually into the city’s drinking supply prompted anxiety and suspicion.

“How will this affect my grandaughter? I feel like she’s the guinea pig,” said Ingrid Eggers, a Mission District resident who spoke at a Wednesday hearing before the Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee.

Eggers was among dozens of residents who had concerns about nitrates, pesticide runoff, sewage, artificial turf particulate and traces of pharmaceutical drugs possibly contaminating the blended water, which will go to about 60 percent of San Francisco residents, mostly on the west side.

City water officials began pumping the new mix in March from wells that draw from an acquifer about 400 feet below ground. They plan to add more ground water over the next four years, but it will allow for more than 15 percent of the mixture…

Supervisor Norman Yee, who called the hearing, asked the PUC to perform new quality tests and return with a new analysis… (more)

A lot of questions remain, especially for people with compromised immune systems and chemical sensitivities. You can’t fault people for drinking bottled water as that will be the preference for many, much to the dismay of the water expert, who was “was actually mildly shocked to hear that, ‘Oh my God, people will obviously turn to bottled water’.”

No doubt many will choose bottled water at a time when there is great concern about increasing bottles in our environment. The issues must be weighed and a balance found. Are we going to increase the use of pesticides into our drinking water and increase the number of bottles to recycles or can we return to clean pure Hetch Hetchy water coming out of the taps?

Rec and Park did not show up to explain their use of poisons on our parks that will end up in our water and neither did the health department official. They will be asked to come to the next hearing along with some answers and new data on the actual tests results since the blend was initiated, not based on questionable forecast data.

RELATED:

City Hall flooded with complaints over SF’s new mixed drinking waterCity Hall flooded with complaints over SF’s new mixed drinking water

by Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

Yee vowed that the board’s Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee will hold a follow-up hearing…(more)

Homeless housing proposal near AT&T Park in San Francisco worries homeowners

kron4 – excerpt (includes video)

New buildings going up on Third Street near Giants Stadium photo by Zrants

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A homeless housing proposal in San Francisco just blocks away from AT&T park has fired up homeowners in the area.

On Thursday night, residents held a meeting to tell city officials they do not want the complex up in their neighborhood.

Mission Bay homeowners are upset, saying they paid high prices to live there and shouldn’t have to worry about their safety if homeless people with mental health issues move into the area. They planned Thursday’s meeting that went on until 8:30 p.m.

It is a full house. Many people showed up to share their concerns about the proposed complex that would go up in a lot behind the police headquarters on China Basin Street…

OCII presenters also pointed out there are several projects just like this proposal already working well throughout the city.

They offer tours for people to see for themselves…(more)

This project must have been the best kept secret at City Hall. We personally checked with various city agencies using the information available to the public on the planning web site and spoke to people in the supervisor’s office, the Mayor’s office and non-profits working with the homeless, and no one claimed knowledge about this project. When we used the block number and asked specifically about this project. The only way we could access the plans was through the information the neighbors dug up. The “new” address is not listed by block number on the Planning Department property map. The only way you could find it was to type in the address. This 197 page RFP is what the neighbors had to go by. The address, 410 China Basin Street, brings up different information each time I try to access it.

Bay-Map.jpg

At some point I found a map that shows with Blocks 9 and 9A listed as 166 Affordable Units, under the OCII. This looks like an old map as Pierpoint Lane is no longer exists.

We have a real problem of communication at City Hall between departments and within the planning department.It is hard to believe that the people who are running the navigation centers don’t know about a project of this magnitude being planned for one of the hottest real estate markets in town, between two sports arenas, next to the newest public service centers with both police and fire departments on Third Street. There has been a lot of talk and discussion about the Navigation Centers and how there is no where for the homeless to go after their 30 day stay at the navigation centers. Here is a planned development project that may solve some of those issues that no one knew about until the neighbors demanded a hearing, or so it seems.

 

San Francisco cannot be run like this.

We need a much more robust communication system that requires more public debate and more involvement in the running of our city. Let’s start with a map of the projects they claim are working well throughout the city. Must we wait for a tour date? Where are they so we can examine them for ourselves?

 

City Hall needs to work on a new notification process.

Probably half of all complaints would be avoided if the citizens trusted the government to share their plans before millions of dollars are spent on projects residents don’t want or don’t want to pay for. Almost all complaints start with claims that there was no notification or proper notification regarding the project that is being opposed. We need to figure out a new notification process.

 

The reason people are upset with the Mayor and City Hall is not based on the facts, it is largely based on the lack of information and transparency. If we trusted City Hall to keep us informed, we might be more inclined to support what they are doing. Being lied to and kept in the dark is most irritating.

 

If anyone has any more information on this project, or knows what the process may be to move it forward, please let us know.

Supervisors Reach Compromise On Affordable Housing Mandates

by Shane Downing : hoodline – excerpt

Last night, moderates and progressives on the Board of Supervisors reached a compromise on how much affordable housing to require in new market-rate developments, an agreement that both prioritizes low-income families and caters to middle-class San Franciscans who don’t usually qualify for subsidized housing.

Last night’s compromise between Supervisors London Breed, Jane Kim, Aaron Peskin, Ahsha Safai and Katy Tang was a year in the making, as progressives and moderates previously locked horns on how much affordable housing to mandate in new market-rate developments.

Whereas Breed, Safai and Tang had supported legislation requiring a 18 percent requirement that targeted middle-class families, progressives Kim and Peskin pushed for a 24 percent set-aside for lower-income families…

The compromise addresses issues that were raised in 2016’s Proposition C, which required developers to sell or rent 25 percent of their new units at below-market rates. Implementing the ballot measure hinged on a yet-to-be-released feasibility study from the controller’s office…

In a related matter, supervisors unanimously voted on Tuesday to approve amendments to a proposed density bonus and height law to make it more family-friendly and take into account varying property values across San Francisco’s neighborhoods… (more)

Plan Bay Area 2040 Draft Plan

If you are one of the unhappy San Francisco residents or a middle class citizen this plan will not please you.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) will host an open house to receive comments regarding Plan Bay Area 2040.  The open house is Wednesday, May 17, 2017 between 6:30pm and 8:30pm at the MTC headquarters at 375 Beal Street ( about a 10 minute walk for Embarcadero Station). DRAFT PLAN LINK

The Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) is now available; comment on the DEIR and the Draft Plan through June 1.

Some statistics include:
*  501,000 jobs added between 2011 and 2015
*  65,000 housing units built between 2011 and 2015
*  Regionally 1 house built for every 8 jobs created.

HOUSING
Where will the region plan for the 820,000 new households forecasted between 2010 and 2040.  Regionally by 2040, 3.4 million households are forecasted. 46% will be in the “Big 3 Cities”  — SF, Oakland, San Jose.

JOBS
1.3 million new jobs  (36% in the Big  3 Cities)

So what does it all mean?  Climate Change, Housing costs and displacement, Economic Development and Environmental Impact and Transportation.

A question raised at a recent MTC committee meeting was: Should cities seeking economic development take responsibility for housing?  (Think the Menlo Park Facebook Expansion).  The local Menlo Park approval for 6,000 more jobs has regional impact.

No mention of a Public Regional Express Bus System to move the population.   More Private Commuter buses operating on your residential street?

Draft Plan and Draft EIR at Plan Bay Area 2040 Draft Plan

RELATED:

It’s not surprising that President Donald Trump’s proposed tax plan would hollow out the middle class. Income tax reductions will be robust for corporations and those in the highest income brackets. Others won’t fare so well.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren warns of the demise of the middle class in her book, “This Fight is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class.” She writes about growing up in the 1950s, when minimum wage supported a family of four. In 2017, minimum wage can’t support a household of two.

But hold on a minute before simply bashing Trump. Are you surprised that progressive California Democrats are implementing strategies that increase economic inequality?…

Now Plan Bay Area 2040’s “Regional Forecast of Jobs, Population and Housing” shows the rich and the poor growing to the highest numbers, but not the middle. The historic bell-shaped curve is inverted…

The plan forecasts: “The ‘hollowing out’ of the middle is projected to continue over the next 25 years. Household growth will be strongest in the highest income category, reflecting the expected strength of growth in high-wage sectors combined with non-wage income — interest, dividends, capital gains, transfers.”…

Further: “Household growth will also be high in the lowest-wage category, reflecting occupational shifts, wages stagnation, as well as the retirement of seniors without pension assets.”…(more)

 

Robots could soon become skilled enough to do white collar jobs

http://abc7news.com/video/embed/?pid=1982365

Robots are becoming so skilled, some experts believe nearly half of all human jobs could be at risk in the decades ahead.

“The most important thing we should understand is that this is potentially an enormous disruption,” says Bay Area futurist Martin Ford.

Ford predicted as much in his bestselling book, “Rise of the Robots.”

“The key thing that makes a job vulnerable is the nature of the work. Is it something that’s fundamentally routine and predictable,” he says.