State agency drops objection to city rules on waterfront development

By Kurtis Alexander : sfchronicle – excerpt

San Francisco’s Proposition B, which gives voters a say in waterfront development, will remain in effect under a settlement announced Wednesday that ends a state lawsuit challenging the measure.

The State Lands Commission, which sued the city over the proposition — approved by voters four years ago — agreed to let the measure’s checks on high-rise buildings stand. In exchange, city officials offered to guarantee that future projects would benefit not only San Francisco but all state residents…

Newsom, a former mayor of San Francisco and now candidate for governor, was widely criticized for going to battle with the city. He maintained that, as a state officeholder, he had the responsibility to look out for the interests of all of California… (more)

Did Newsom really think suing the city would win him votes for Governor?

Advertisements

Progressive debate offers a bit of candidate clarity

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt (video on facebook so far)

Suddenly everyone’s against the Wiener housing bill…

Sup. London Breed skipped the event…

There was, like the first debate, a lot of agreement: All the candidates who showed up support a tax on vacant apartments and storefronts. They all support a municipal bank. They all want to see the city reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. They all want to see “dark money” out of politics and want better disclosure rules for superPACs. Leno and Kim both said that addressing the homeless problem starts with preventing evictions.

This is something the left in the city should cheer: Many of the ideas that progressives have been pushing for years are now in the mainstream of the debate…

Leno offered an alternative to arresting mentally ill people and putting them in jail. And he said that he would sue speculators who are using the Ellis Act over and over again to clear buildings of rent-controlled tenants and flipping them for profit…(more)

Please watch the recording of the event and draw your own conclusions.

 

 

San Francisco delays Mission housing over potentially historic laundromat

By

“We do not know for certain how long that will take,” says Supervisor Hillary Ronen

Laundry is a waiting game, and now the the owner of the Wash Land laundromat at 2918 Mission will have to wait even longer to find out if he can raze the circa-1924 building in favor of a 75-unit housing development, after the Board of Supervisors put off a vote on the project to determine whether or not the facility is historically significant.

The housing proposal, in the works since 2014 and approved by the Planning Commission in December, invokes California’s state density bonus law to go over and above the zoning for the block…

The planning code states to grant a conditional use the’ project is necessary, desirable and compatible with the neighborhood. This project has none of the above(more)

Bill Aims to Help Homeless Suffering From Severe Mental Illness, Drug Addiction

: KQED – excerpt

It’s not uncommon for visitors to San Francisco to leave town shocked by all the homeless people roaming the streets, many with visibly severe mental health problems.

Now, state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-S.F.) is teaming up with state Sen. Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park) on legislation to give counties more options for getting homeless people off the streets and into services.

SB 1045 is a shell of a bill at the moment, but Sen. Wiener is hoping to write it with homeless advocates to address concerns about civil liberties and other issues… (more)

SF planners blast Wiener housing bill that would upzone entire city

Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Even a pro-growth, pro-development department has to admit that Wiener’s latest housing bill goes way too far (and does nothing for the affordable housing crisis)

Screen-Shot-2018-02-11-at-8.07.12-PM.png

The areas in orange and yellow are the places Scott Wiener’s bill would upzone. It’s pretty much the entire city. SF Planning Dept. map

The San Francisco Planning Department – which is not known for its anti-development tendencies – has issued a blistering critique of state Sen. Scott Wiener’s new housing bill that points to a long list of problems the legislation would have for the senator’s home town…

When the San Francisco City Planning Department says that a bill is huge giveaway to a handful of developers and property owners, it’s a signal that this is beyond even the normal neo-liberal policy that governs land use in this city and state… (more)

No one in California is safe from SB 827. Read the analysis of the bill here:  SB 827.  If you feel this is a bad idea let your local city representatives know you oppose SB 827. Any developer can order a bus stop in front of their project to make it “transit rich”. The bus stop may not last but the 10 story or higher building will stand for a long time. Oh, and SB 827, written by Yimbys, already has cousins, SB 828, and 829 that will alter the numbers to capture more areas. Some fear that passage of the bill will bring more Yimby lawsuits against cities that approve less dense projects, as they have in Lafayette and San Francisco already.

 

Midtown: Broken Promises and The Ghosts of Redevelopment

By Tyler Walicek : medium – excerpt

On the evening of October 18th, citizens and activists packed the cafeteria of Gateway High School, intent on speaking out against certain injustices that have been visited upon the residents of the Midtown Park Apartments. Addressing the crowd were a somber set of officials. Some spoke for the Mayor’s Office of Housing, while others were representing Mercy Housing, the massive, development-oriented nonprofit…

Conspicuously absent from the high school meeting was Supervisor London Breed, a supporter of Mercy’s new designs for Midtown…

A Brief History of Midtown[1]

Shortly after Midtown opened, its original developer went belly-up and defaulted on the loan. The lenders soon came calling; in order to keep the property afloat, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) stepped in and negotiated for the City to take over the property. Shortly thereafter, in 1968, the City gave a 40-year lease for the property to the Midtown Park Corporation, a nonprofit established by tenants to oversee the upkeep of the grounds

To recap: the City claimed to own Midtown. The City promised Midtown residents rent control. Midtown tenants struggled to meet the rising costs of maintenance. The City vetoed proposed rent increases, citing rent control protections for Midtown. Without increased revenue or support from its owner, the City, the complex fell into disrepair. Now that a backroom deal has granted control of the property to Mercy Housing, the City is looking the other way as rent control protections are destroyed. Midtown’s tenants are facing an injustice in triplicate: the City’s failure to help them maintain the buildings, the revocation of rent control, and, if the City gets its way, the complete demolition of their homes…

[1] For more detailed history, check out Natalia Kresich’s article on 48 Hills and the Save Midtown website (more)

 

Ethics, supes in showdown over reforms

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Can we reform local politics in a Citizens United era? Or will some reforms just make things worse?

The San Francisco Ethics Commission could be facing a showdown with the Board of Supes in the next two weeks over a detailed, complex set of changes to the city’s campaign rules that board members first reviewed last week – but that the commission could put on the ballot without changes Feb. 16.

The commission in November, after months of discussion, sent a package to the board that finally got a hearing in the Budget and Finance Committee last week…

And the way the City Charter works, the supes can either adopt the rules pretty much as they are – or the Ethics Commission can vote Feb. 16 to place the measure on the June 5 ballot.

“The commission has put the board in a tough spot,” Peskin said. “It’s hard to get this right in a handful of days.”…(more)

As I noted earlier, the major public opposition to the Ethic’s Commission bill came from the big non-profits connected to the development community. This bills will win or lose based on the emotional appeal of the concept. Voters will not be reading the fine print on this one.