Breed calls for public power study in wake of PG&E bankruptcy announcement

By Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

Following the announcement that PG&E is filing for bankruptcy, Mayor London Breed assured residents Monday there will be no impacts to their power service and asked the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to study possible responses — including transitioning to a public power system.

Options to be considered include buying the existing electrical infrastructure outright, according to city officials.

PG&E announced early Monday morning that it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, as the San Francisco-based utility company faces an estimated $30 billion liability for damages from deadly Northern California fires during the past two years… (more)

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Lawsuit filed challenging San Francisco’s new Central SoMa zoning plan

A nonprofit housing group has filed the first of what is expected to be several lawsuits challenging the rezoning of San Francisco’s Central South of Market area, suits that could significantly delay the development of more than 6 million square feet of office space and thousands of housing units.

In the lawsuit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court on Monday, the Yerba Buena Neighborhood Consortium, the legal arm of the affordable housing group Todco, argues that the plan’s environmental study was inadequate because it didn’t take into account the impact the neighborhood changes would have on public services such as police, fire and recreation…

The deadline for filing a legal challenge to the plan’s environmental study is Thursday, and as many as three other lawsuits could be coming…

Even if there were no lawsuits, the realities of the time required for approvals and permitting in San Francisco means it’s unlikely that any construction would start before 2020. Elberling added that delays beyond that could be avoided if the city agrees to community demands.

“It’s up to the city. If the city wanted to work with us and address the problems, it would be finished this year,” he said. “If we resolve the problems this year, we could drop our lawsuit.”… (more)

More Below Market Rate Housing Found Rented Out Illegally

by Joe Kukura : sfist – excerpt

We know you don’t always watch the little news video reports we embed in these posts, but you really ought to watch the CBS 5 report above on homeowners scamming the system and renting out Below Market Rate housing units illegally. “Get away! Get! Get! Get away!” shouts one woman as she is busted at a residence other than the one she was granted by San Francisco’s Below Market Rate (BMR) Ownership Program. “Stop recording. I’m going to call my attorney right now,” says another, found in Redwood City though she rents out her BMR condo at the Embarcadero. The illegal renting of BMR units has long been a problem, and CBS 5’s Susie Steimle does some fantastic journalist pounding of the pavement to find several homeowners who’d been awarded low-cost BMR housing, but were advertising these units as rentals on Airbnb and Craigslist in violation of the law(more)

Thanks to Joe Fitz for letting us know that sfist is back. This story comes to us from them. Perfect article to follow the last one, that claims, “Latest data shows you can’t bring prices down by building more housing. A major problem with writing legislation to produce affordable housing is the lack of enforcement, chronicled here. Enforcement is complaint driven. If you see something suspicious, it is up to you to inform the authorities. There is no tracking system to make sure the affordable housing is going to the people who need it.

In 2018, San Francisco made choices. In 2019, we’ll deal with them.

By Joe Eskenazi : missionlocal – excerpt

It’s difficult to come up with a valediction for 2018, an overstuffed year that was to San Francisco political developments what Buca di Beppo is to portion size and sensible interior decor.

n short, there was so much loaded onto our plates that, by the time we were halfway through with one course, we’d forgotten what came only just before. There was just too much to get through; it left us all feeling a bit sick…

We made our decisions. In the coming year, for good or ill, we will live with them…

The board of supervisors likely hasn’t had this much potential leverage and power since 2001, following a progressive sweep of Mayor Willie Brown’s handpicked slate. It remains to be seen how this board will govern and what issues our legislators will take up, but this much seems clear — a majority of them owe Mayor Breed nothing…(more)

Mission Joins Citywide Allies for Two Days of Transit Justice Actions

missionwordsf – excerpt

Supervisor hearing calls on SFMTA to keep red bus lanes for public buses, paratransit, and taxis; Community demands SFMTA board adopt transit justice first policy.

Residents from the Mission, SoMa, Richmond, and other San Francisco neighborhoods converged on City Hall for two days of actions December 3rd-4th, demanding the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority (SFMTA) end the corporate use of the red bus lanes, improve access and service to buses, and commit to community planning and other equity processes to keep the Mission and other vulnerable communities safe.

On Monday, December 3rd, approximately 50 residents joined a special hearing item called by Supervisors Fewer and Ronen at the Board of Supervisors’ Land Use Committee. The meeting called SFMTA officials out to the meeting to answer concerns regarding the private use of these lanes…

Fewer closed the hearing by calling on the SFMTA to commit to working with her office towards removing the private buses and shuttles from the red lanes. The SFMTA officials agreed to Fewer’s request…

The following Tuesday afternoon of December 4th, citywide advocates rose from their seats at the SFMTA’s semi-monthly board meeting as Carlos Bocanegra of United to Save the Mission delivered the transit justice first demands from a coalition of advocates from the Mission, SoMa, Excelsior, and Richmond districts…

The community is suffering and the merchants are suffering,” Edwan said. “We are losing customers and we are losing our businesses due to the red lanes.”

In a 2018 survey by the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) of more than 100 Mission Street businesses, 39.5% of the merchants surveyed said they have concerns about the impacts the red lanes are having on their businesses…. (more)

We have some ideas on how to solve a few of the problems that we will be sharing soon. Some of them involve a few changes in Sacramento. Stay tuned.

Let’s not forget the switchbacks on Third Street that are cutting off rides to people in the Bay View and Hunter’s Point and other points south along the T-Line. This is also a classic case of transit injustice.

Number one complaint about the SFMA is “They never listen to the anyone or do anything people ask them to do.” This needs to change.

Housing crisis plan discussed in luxury; Marin supervisor not sold on proposed solutions

By Richard Halstead : marinij – excerpt

CASA has three main objectives: to increase housing production at all levels of affordability, preserve existing affordable housing, and protect vulnerable populations from housing instability and displacement.

The committee has come up with 10 actions to achieve these goals: a just-cause eviction policy, an emergency rent cap, access to legal counsel and emergency rent assistance, removal of regulatory barriers to accessory dwelling units and tiny homes, minimum zoning for housing near transit, improvements to state housing streamlining laws, public land for housing production, streamlining of the local housing approval process, new revenue to implement the compact, and creation of a “Regional Housing Enterprise” to manage and allocate the new revenue.

Under the current version of the plan, taxpayers would contribute $400 million in the first year through a new quarter-cent sales tax and another $100 million by approving a five-year general obligation bond.

Property owners would contribute $100 million through a new vacant homes tax of 1 percent of assessed value and another $100 million through a new $48-per-year parcel tax.

Developers would contribute $400 million through two new fees linked to new construction. Employers would contribute $200 million through a new gross receipts tax and another $200 million through a new employee head tax.

Local governments would contribute $100 million through a 20 percent revenue sharing agreement from future property tax growth and $200 million through a 25 percent contribution from revenue set aside for redevelopment.

MTC critics are circulating a video outtake from a CASA meeting in October that has MTC’s Heminger saying, “I doubt that you could put five of these suckers on the same ballot and expect to pass any one of them. So I think No. 1 we’re going to have to be selective. No. 2, as I said earlier some of these may not require voter approval. That is indeed helpful if that is true.”

Hall said, “They’re boasting they can do this without putting it to a vote, and then they’re meeting at a luxury resort to talk about it. I find it counter to democratic values and transparency.”

Susan Kirsch of Mill Valley, founder of Livable California and a vocal critic of Plan Bay Area, said, “CASA is not a group that has had representation from community leaders.”.. (more)

Will our large city communities have to rely on the outlying suburbs and rural area legislators to protect us from the overly heavy hand of the state over our local planning and zoning and rights to determine our taxes? It is beginning to appear that that is the case.

Thanks to Assemblymember Damon Connolly for pushing back on CASA / MTC / Scott Wiener and SB827 one-size fits all policies. Note that this is one of many articles that expresses disapproval of the choice of venues for this CASA presentation.

 

Once more unto the breach: The fate of Prop. C is now wholly in the lawyers’ hands

By : missionlocal – excerpt

Mayor Breed’s gesture aiding Prop. C, the homeless measure she opposed means less than you think. But, also, more.

The election is over. The winners have won, the losers have receded, and, as is the tradition, the losers’ backers will now make donations to the winners. This is how politicos who bet on the wrong horse get their phone calls answered and winning candidates chip away at their debts.

There are, however, some debts that can’t be repaid with mere money… (more)