Can Big Tech Be Tamed?

by Gary Kamiya : modernluxury – excerpt
(includes Photo-illustrations of Tech Titans by Clark Miller)

As the tech industry grows to unfathomable proportions, San Francisco needs to grow to match it. A call to arms for a city under siege.

I. A MIGHTY RIVER

Cities, it’s been said, are like rivers, and San Francisco has always been a leaping, unpredictable one, constantly jumping its banks and fed by the most varied and unlikely springs. I’ve been splashing in this unruly current for almost half a century. But several years ago, something happened upstream. A great deluge of money of a magnitude not seen since the bonanzas of the 19th century began to crumble our protective levees, hoisting San Francisco’s skyline, swamping its housing, stalling its traffic, and profoundly altering its character…

The combined market value of Apple, Facebook, and Google’s parent company, Alphabet, all headquartered within 40 miles of downtown San Francisco, is more than $2.2 trillion—about the same as the gross domestic product of Italy, the eighth-largest economy in the world… (more)

 

 

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We don’t need to destroy the Sunset to save San Francisco

By Jane Kim : medium – excerpt

State politicians have been rushing forward a “transit oriented” housing proposal that will allow virtually unlimited construction of luxury condos throughout San Francisco.

The proposal is Senate Bill 827 (SB 827) and it allows developers to build up to 8 stories of luxury housing in areas that meet “minimum levels of transit service.” 96% of San Francisco’s parcels, including the Sunset, Richmond, Excelsior and Chinatown meet this standard. And the proposal upzones our entire City without increasing developer contribution to transit, parks, schools or other services critical to sustaining our neighborhoods. This is not how we build housing or grow livable cities…

Meanwhile, the cities who refuse to invest in public transit aren’t required to build any new housing. In fact, SB 827 rewards bad actors who refuse to build public transit or housing — sorely needed throughout the region. The Sierra Club California opposes this “pro-environment” bill writing, “While infill development near transit is the most desirable option, we believe that [SB 827] is a heavy-handed approach to encourage development that will ultimately lead to less transit being offered and more pollution generated, among other unintended consequences.”…

This plan is a failure. We can build more housing without destroying our neighborhoods...(more)

 

No Vacancy for the Homeless

By Joe Eskenazi ; sfpublicpress – excerpt (includes audio link and graphs)

Dozens of Residential Hotels Have Rooms to Spare, but Officials Cannot Force Owners to Rent

Every night, thousands of San Franciscans have no place to sleep. And yet, every night hundreds — possibly thousands — of single-room occupancy hotel units are left empty.

According to the latest count, 4,353 people were living unsheltered in our city. Among them, 1,020 were between 18 and 24 years old. If, by some alchemy, the city could beam them into these empty rooms, the entire population of homeless youths and a decent number of older adults could be indoors by nightfall…

Over the past 20 years, San Francisco has underwritten the price of thousands of formerly homeless residents’ rooms in private hotels run by nonprofits. But now it is a seller’s market. Hotel owners can charge upward of $2,000 for rooms in hotels formerly occupied by the down and out. Other owners are holding those rooms empty, perhaps in search of an even bigger payout down the road when they sell their buildings…(more)

 

SF mayoral hopefuls, minus Breed, hold heated housing debate

One candidate in the San Francisco mayor’s race wants to shake out the pockets of real estate developers. Another wants to sue speculators who he said are putting people out on the street. A third called for a rigorous analysis of the city’s housing stock… (more)

The mayoral candidates have some good ideas to share. Let’s hope that whoever wins, these ideas are considered for development. Please comment on the source if you can.

Campaign trail: Wiener’s upzoning bill becomes issue in SF mayor’s race

by tim redmond : 48hills – excerpt

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

Most of San Francisco would be up-zoned to by SB 827, as indicated by the orange areas on this map, supplied by the Planning Department.

Kim takes a strong stand against measure that would raise height limits and density all over town

Scott Wiener’s bill to strip cities of local zoning and allow more housing density is becoming an issue in the SF mayoral campaign…

Sup. Jane Kim held a rally this morning in West Portal, with neighborhood leaders denouncing SB 827.

Her move comes after Supervisor Aaron Peskin put forward a resolution urging significant amendments that may lead to a statement of formal opposition.

The Planning Commission heard a presentation on the bill this afternoon.

Wiener appeared on KQED’s Forum this morning, saying that his bill is about “un-banning apartment buildings” near transit stations…

Kim told me today that she can’t envision any amendments that would make the measure acceptable…

So far, London Breed is a full supporter of SB 827.

Mark Leno says he can’t support the measure as it’s currently written, but is open to amendments:…

The supes will vote on the Peskin measure soon. The Los Angeles County Democratic Party voted unanimously to oppose it. This one isn’t going away…(more)

San Francisco mayoral debate: Candidates promise housing, axe for planning department

Adam Brinklow : curbed – excerpt (including video)\

At debate organized by YIMBY groups, Breed, Leno, and Alioto pitch housing and take aim at department heads

Mayoral candidates London Breed (current president of the Board of Supervisors, former acting mayor), Angela Alioto (former supervisor), and Mark Leno (former supervisor, state assemblyman, and state senator) convened with YIMBY Action and San Francisco Housing Action Coalition at the Swedish American Hall Monday night to debate housing, win over YIMBY voters, and address what moderator J.K. Dineen called the city’s “pathetic track record of building housing.”

All three candidates promised more housing to one degree or another and all made a point of criticizing San Francisco’s long and difficult entitlements process and, if elected, promised less red tape. (They also took time out to joust at each other over how each finances his or her campaign, drawing occasional boos from the packed house.)… (more)

Mayoral Debate. 3.5.18

Fear and Loathing of L.A. and S.F. on the Campaign Trail

By Joe Mathews : zocalopublicsquare – excerpt

Our Gubernatorial Race Could Turn on Which City Californians Resent Most

Which city—San Francisco or Los Angeles—do you love to hate more?

This is shaping up to be California’s question for 2018. Each of the two top contenders for governor is a former mayor of one of those cities, with each embodying certain grievances that Californians hold about their hometowns. And so their campaigns—and the many moneyed interests with a stake in the outcome—are already playing to resentments about these two places.

Gavin Newsom, like San Francisco, is derided as too wealthy, too white, too progressive, too cerebral, too cold, and so focused on a culturally liberal agenda that you might call him out of touch. Antonio Villaraigosa, like Los Angeles, is portrayed as too street, too Latino, too instinctual, too warm, and so unfocused in his economically liberal ideas that you might say he lacks a center…(more)

“Which city—San Francisco or Los Angeles—do you love to hate more?”

That would depend whichever city you reside in. San Francisco was sued by former Mayor Newsom, who came to his senses and agreed to settle. If he does become Governor there is no guarantee he will not continue to attempt to undermine his former home town. There is not widespread support for him among those in the know about the case.

No sure how Los Angeles feels about their former Mayor. Do most enough pepole blame him for the traffic and stack and pack housing that is gentrifying their neighborhoods to bother to vote against him?

After years of anti-car legislation and a failed attempt to get people out of their cars? It seems the more dollars cities pour into fighting cars the more cars their are. Maybe the best solution is to do nothing and see what happens. Given the higher power and more time, will either of these former mayors quit beating that dead horse?

The state Democratic Convention delegates failed to anoint anyone, showing just how divided the party is and leading one to believe that other candidates may stand a chance. Stay tuned…

 

 

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