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?

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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.

 

 

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.

Ballot Measure Battle Royale, Episode 1: Charter Amendments

by Diego Aguilar-Canabal : thebaycitybeacon – excerpt

What is a charter amendment, and which could end up on your next ballot?

Charter Amendments are explicit changes to the city charter, which must be approved by a citywide vote. These are the hardest-sought ballot measures that can have the most meaningful impact on how city government operates. Some of these are spats between factions or rivalries, while others represent more significant power struggles between the Executive and Legislative branches of government. Others may be more mundane or popular issues that, for whatever reason, can only be addressed through the city charter.

Whether the Board of Supervisors votes to put it on the ballot, or activists gather thousands of signatures to qualify, here’s an exhaustive list of all the proposed charter amendments under consideration: … (more)

A lot of readers are asking these questions. If you do not understand how the local government operates you will be confused by what is going on at City Hall. This article describes this year’s list of ballot initiatives up for consideration.

Opinion: $3 toll hike probably won’t deliver reliable commute

By Marc Joffe : mercurynews – excerpt

Anyone hoping that a $9 rush-hour toll on the Bay Bridge will fix BART and alleviate commuting misery should take a trip to the Big Apple.

It now costs $12.50 to cross the Hudson River into Manhattan ($15.00 if you don’t have New York’s FasTrak equivalent), but public transit is deteriorating. Subways are crowded and frequently delayed; service disruptions — both scheduled and unscheduled — are common.

Meanwhile, Penn Station — the city’s primary intermodal transportation facility — is the “Most Awful Transit Center in America,” according to a recent Bloomberg story. Not only is the station itself unpleasant, but the 107-year-old Hudson River tunnels serving the facility are severely corroded and in danger of collapse… (more)

Marc Joffe, a Walnut Creek resident, is a senior policy analyst at Reason Foundation.

Charter Amendment – Jurisdiction Within City Government Over Parking and Traffic Matters

Here is the first draft of the language put forth to as a proposal to amend the charter that establishes the authority of the SFMTA, referred to as the SFMTA Charter Amendment ballot initiative. Please review this and let your supervisors know how you feel about this amendment. Contacts are here.  Read FILE NO. 171309 and follow the updates here.

LEGISLATIVE DIGEST
(First Draft, 12/12/2017)

[Charter Amendment – Jurisdiction Within City Government Over Parking and Traffic Matters]

Describing and setting forth a proposal to the voters at an election to be held on June 5, 2018, to amend the Charter of the City and County of San Francisco to eliminate the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s jurisdiction over parking and traffic regulations; to grant the legislative authority over parking and traffic to the Board of Supervisors; to create a new Livable Streets Commission and Department to manage parking and traffic; and affirming the Planning Department’s determination under the California Environmental Quality Act.

Existing Law

Currently the Charter grants the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) exclusive jurisdiction over local public transportation, taxis, and a variety of parking and traffic related functions. The SFMTA Board has legislative authority to adopt regulations related to parking and traffic. The SFMTA Board also serves as the Parking Authority Board with responsibility over a number of garages.

Amendments to Current Law

The proposed Charter Amendment would eliminate the SFMTA’s exclusive jurisdiction over parking and traffic issues, and taxis. It would create a new Livable Streets Commission and Department that would have authority over parking and traffic functions and taxis. The Livable Streets Commission would be comprised of the members of the Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors. The Board of Supervisors would have legislative authority over parking and traffic. Under the amendment parking and traffic functions under the responsibility of the Livable Streets Commission include:

  • Setting rates for off-street and on-street parking, and all other, rates, fees, fines, penalties and charges for services provided or functions performed by the Department;
  • Controlling the flow and direction of motor vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic;
  • Designing, selecting, locating, installing, operating, maintaining and removing all official traffic control devices, signs, roadway features and pavement markings;
  • Limiting parking, stopping, standing or loading as provided by state law and establishing parking privileges and locations subject to such privileges for categories of people or vehicles as provided by state law;
  • Establishing parking meter zones, setting parking rates, and selecting, installing, locating and maintaining systems and equipment for payment of parking fees;
  • Establishing policies for the enforcement of regulations limiting parking, stopping, standing or loading and the collection of parking-related revenues and, along with the Police Department, have authority to enforce parking, stopping, standing or loading regulations;
  • Cooperating with and assisting the Police Department in the promotion of traffic safety, among other things;
  • Having authority over taxi-related functions and taxi-related fares, fees, charges, budgets, and personnel; and
  • Coordinating the City’s efforts to address emerging mobility services.

The proposed Charter Amendment also provides that the Livable Streets Commission would serve as the members of the the Parking Authority Commission. The Livable Streets Commission would have authority over City-owned off-street public parking facilities, except those specified as under the jurisdiction of other City departments.

The proposed Charter Amendment provides for an operative date for the transfer of jurisdiction and the creation of the Livable Streets Commission of July 1, 2019.

(First Draft, 12/12/2017)

The two related stories below describe why government agencies are expanding public transportation programs. It is not about cars, parking, transportation or affordable housing. It is about controlling public access to housing and transportation while increasing land values.

RELATED:

Transportation gentrification: How Bus Rapid Transit is displacing East Oakland

SB 827 (Skinner, D-Berkeley) will destroy local land use control

“…A dramatic increase in new housing near transit stations could be on its way across California under new legislation proposed by a Bay Area legislator. Subject to some limitations, the measure would eliminate restrictions on the number of houses allowed to be built within a half-mile of train, light-rail, …

A Return to the Ballot

By Nuala Sawyer : sfweekly – excerpt

June’s local election was expected to be a quiet one — but then the mayor died, the YIMBY party drafted a ballot measure, SFPD pushed for tasers, and an eviction law was introduced that could change the future for every renter in the city…

With only a couple weeks left to file for mayor and the Feb. 3 signature deadline looming for ballot measures, our hilly city is officially in election season. Here’s a quick guide to some of what’s coming…

Leading the pack is Mark Leno, who had already announced his intention to run in 2019… He pledges to fight for “regular San Franciscans — the immigrants, tenants, homeowners, and small businesses.”…

Currently, the other candidate of note is Sup. Jane Kim. As one of the progressives on the Board of Supervisors, Kim offers a stark contrast to Sup. London Breed — should the latter decide to run. Although she’s got less political experience than Leno, as a current supervisor and candidate for the state Senate in 2016, Kim arguably has more city name recognition…

Two other women of note who signed applications so far are Angela Allioto and Amy Farah Weiss. The link to watch for updates: http://sfgov.org/elections/candidates

Potential Ballot initiatives for the June 2018 ballot:

No Eviction Without Representation Initiative: More information can be found at sfrighttocounsel.com

Muni Department Split: Supes. Aaron Peskin and Ahsha Safai are behind this measure, which would split the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency into two separate agencies. One side would handle Muni, and the other would oversee San Francisco’s parking and streets. Added on would be the ability for supervisors to appoint the Board of Directors, a right that the mayor currently holds…

YIMBY Automatic City Housing Approval: The YIMBY — Yes in My Backyard — party launched its own ballot measure this year, cheerfully titled the “Affordable and Teacher Housing Now Initiative.” More information is at prop.yimbyaction.org...

Flavored Tobacco Repeal: Sup. Malia Cohen spearheaded a ban on flavored tobacco products earlier this year, citing statistics that 80 percent of Black smokers consume menthol cigarettes…

San Francisco Arts and Family Funding: A revival of 2016’s failed Proposition S, this ballot measure would retain part of the city’s hotel tax to fund the arts — particularly the Cultural Equity Endowment, granted to artists and organizations that cater to underserved populations...

Relocation of Professional Sports Teams Initiative: this measure would give San Franciscans a voice for future relocation of professional sports teams. More information can be found at goodneighbor-coalition.org...

SFPD and Tasers: Last but not least is this controversial measure, which would bring the San Francisco Police Department’s desire for Tasers to the voters…(more)