Friday evening’s forum in Palo Alto on S.B. 50 was a sham and a bust as a voter education event, but it was an outstanding opportunity to see Scott Wiener demonstrate his unethical persuasion techniques in person. Here were some of the lowlights of his comments.
Mischaracterize the status quo
Wiener described the current system of land use planning as “pure local control.” That’s false.
His own S.B. 35 enables developers to bypass the local planning process and environmental reviews if they commit build specified percentages of affordable housing units and pay “prevailing wages” on the project.
Cities and counties are required by state law to meet housing goals under a formula established by the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA). Cities that have failed to meet these goals such as Menlo Park and Pleasanton have been successfully sued by groups such as Urban Habitat at a cost of millions.
The state also mandates density bonuses that override height and density limits established by localities. Senator Wiener mysteriously forgets to account for the effect of state density bonuses when he talks about the height and density limits created by his bills. Why? The effect of those bonuses is to allow even higher and denser buildings than he wants to acknowledge…(more)
Good news regarding the journalism industry is hard to find these days.
Newspapers and magazines are going kaput seemingly every day, and even Pulitzer-winning newsrooms have had to lay off employees. This news website is itself still figuring out how to survive far into the future.
But there is a ray of hope.
The San Francisco Public Press, a quarterly paper featuring in-depth investigative reports, is in the process of launching a brand-new radio station: KSFP 102.5 FM in San Francisco. It will feature original journalism produced by the Public Press team, including a weekly political podcast called “Civic.” It will also feature programming from other local stations, and eventually a space to promote up-and-coming podcasters… (more)
The debate on solving California’s housing affordability crisis has reached a fever pitch, and the level of noise is drowning out solutions. We are facing a push to indiscriminately force density on neighborhoods and a war on single-family housing, which some in Sacramento paint as inherently “racist” and “immoral.”
As Sacramento politicians spin their wheels on the highway to nowhere, we have an opportunity to find sensible, community-friendly measures to meet the housing affordability challenges here in California and across America.
The fundamental question: do we want to create affordable housing or do we want to promote housing as an investment vehicle? Wall Street, corporate developers and their Sacramento politician friends espouse “trickle down” housing theories which in reality promote luxury development which we have in abundance. The goal of non-profit affordable housing developers is: housing itself…(more)
Somehow the verbiage is getting in the way and it need to be simplified. The article lists some rather aggressive ideas on how to balance the powers that need it. Right now we not only have a glut of luxury housing compared to affordable, we also have a jobs housing imbalance that is equally damaging to our society. As hard as some of our communities try to address the problem, governments love to grow the economy and the tax base. The problem is the tax base never catches up with the needs of the community when it is growing out of sync.
Not many people are so naive as to think that trickle down economics is more than a reality show talking point. The same goes for trickle down housing and opportunities of all kinds. People are by nature too greedy to allow anything to trickle out of their hands when they have it. We need to plan for a balanced economy and a housing balance.
Another concept that needs to be deleted from our vocabulary is the idea that one can mitigate the damage caused by the government when the trickle down effect fails to materialize as promised. Instead of pretending like you can patch any wound caused by government folly, we should return to the “do no harm” concept and eliminate the homeless by eliminating the causes for homeless such as evictions. Eliminate the damage and there is no need to mitigate.
Critics say Ocean Ave project has too little affordable housing and not enough room for working-class families.
On Sunday afternoon, Excelsior residents and community-based organizations gathered to march, drum, chant, perform, and express their collective anger and distress over the rise of luxury development that has started to seize the largely immigrant and working-class neighborhood of the Excelsior.
The development site in question is at 65 Ocean Avenue, which was formerly home to Crayon Box Preschool and Little Bear Preschool. The site is located down the block from Balboa Park and is spearheaded by Presidio Bay Ventures, a real estate investment and development firm. Of the 193 units included in this development, 75 percent will be priced at market rate and 25 percent will be offered below market…(more)
Add the Excelsior to the list of neighborhoods being trashed by zealots. Residents from the Mission to Laurel Heights are fighting what they perceive as bad plans for their neighborhood. The city is on fire and the natives are ready to put the fire out. The list of organizations here is an indication of more unity to come. From noise and constant traffic jams to rising concerns about the lack of fire protection and threats of power shutdowns, the natives are stressed and restless. Opposition to the constant state of construction does not follow party lines. Everyone wants a break. Some people feel the best solution is to stop building office space. There may be a Charter Amendment in the works that would do just that. Hang on. It is going to be a bumpy ride.
“Three of our Pit Stops will provide 24-hour service (as part of a pilot program) beginning Monday, Aug. 12,” Public Works spokesperson Jennifer Blot said in an email to the San Francisco Examiner Tuesday…(more)
I talked to Kopp, who is also a retired judge, this week and he told me he is completely serious. At 91, he’s ready to run another major campaign. “And people are already calling me up saying they want to donate money,” he said… (more)
Wiener is fast losing support among his constituents, who are weary of fighting to retain their rear yards, open space, parking, and views. You may claim no one has a right to a view, parking, or a pleasant quiet lifestyle, but removing them does not make you a popular politician. Forcing dense noisy, dirty development projects on people who bought quiet, clean, green, semi-secluded homes in a quiet, semi-suburban neighborhood does not make you popular. Change is not good when you object to it, as some politicians may soon discover.