Winds of change at Clipper Cove

By Hunter Cutting : sfexaminer – excerpt

The ascendancy of President Donald Trump has validated and normalized the politics of greed in Washington, D.C., while turning the White House into a strategic asset in the Trump business empire. And the effects appear to be rippling across the country, all the way to San Francisco. While San Francisco is no stranger to greed-driven political deals, the latest entrant to the political arena, a luxury mega-marina proposal by local political powerhouse Darius Anderson, is a stunningly audacious asset grab, one worthy of President Trump himself.

For his scheme, Anderson has targeted San Francisco’s largest and most-valuable open water cove. Clipper Cove lies next to the Bay Bridge, cradled between the arms of Treasure Island and Yerba Buena Island…

Unfortunately, the very qualities that make Clipper Cove a stellar attraction for small boat recreation also make it a prime location for a luxury marina…

Late last month, the Treasure Island Development Authority heard Anderson’s plan to demolish the existing small-boat marina in Clipper Cove and replace it with a sprawling luxury marina dedicated exclusively to very large yachts running 40 to 80 feet in length…(more)

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Artists working to live and work in safer spaces in Oakland after Ghost Ship

ktvu – excerpt (includes video)

Tanya Retherford took KTVU inside a 90-year-old warehouse in West Oakland where she is working with the city of Oakland on a first-of-its-kind project to build a live-work space completely up to code at 30th West Street, with a special variance from the planning department.

Retherford is the architect and a future tenant of the flagship project.

“This is going to be an artist’s, co-living working space when it’s completed with 13 residential spaces and studio space, dance floor, and workshop,” Retherford said.

She was part of an art collective at another warehouse that was evicted by their landlord immediately after the Ghost Ship fire took 36 lives in Dec. 2, 2016.

“What we’re trying to do is shift the paradigm so that people can develop spaces like this and work with the city,” Retherford said.

With numerous people living in non-permitted commercial spaces, two non-profit organizations are offering support.

The Oakland Warehouse Coalition and Safer DIY Spaces are two groups whose goal is try to bring properties up to code, while fighting to keep residents in their homes.

Jonah Strauss, executive director of the Oakland Warehouse Coalition, said the organization was formed after immediately in the wake of Ghost Ship…

At the beginning of the year, Mayor Libby Schaaf issued an executive order to improve safety at unpermitted buildings. It aimed to prevent unnecessary displacement, among other things. Strauss and Keenan said city leaders are supportive of making spaces safer, but the order has largely been ignored by code enforcement (more)

It would be nice if more cities chose to help artist stay in place while they take care of safety problems as a response to dangerous living conditions rather than evict them and or fine them. Do it Yourself (DIY) projects are at the hart of the artists movements and have been for decades. Our city leaders should encourage that spirit of freedom to express ourselves instead of damping it down as they have done for as along as we can remember. This is the newest and only pioneering option we have left in this country, and any action to improve one’s life should be embraced. Make sure to share this with your local officials as a good way to combat dangerous living conditions without evicting people and adding to the homeless crisis

Sheehy, Breed try to pre-empt (or copy?) tenant ballot measure

By Tim Redmond : 8hills – excerpt

Supervisors Jeff and London Breed held a press conference this morning to announce legislation that would provide legal assistance to tenants facing eviction – a clear response to a ballot measure that was filed less than two weeks ago.

That came a day after announced the legislation at a candidate debate.

But at this point, the press release, the statements at the press conference, and ’s comments at the debate are very different from the proposed legislation that has been sent to the city attorney. The sponsors aren’t on the same page. So it’s not clear what will emerge from the legislative process… (more)

You have to read this to get the full picture. You may even find it amusing. I did.

 

Proposal calls for every renter facing eviction to have the right to a lawyer

By Tim Redmond :48hills – excerpt

Ballot measure for June, 2018 could be litmus test for local politicians

A coalition of renters and advocates, led by Dean Preston, who ran for supervisor last year, filed the paperwork today for a ballot measure that would guarantee every tenant facing eviction in San Francisco the right to a lawyer.

“This will go a long way toward improving the eviction problem,” Preston said. “Tenants who go to court without a lawyer almost always lose.”… (more)

Tenants find stability under Eviction Protections 2.0

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

The rent is too damn high!

That may still be true, but at least the evictions aren’t too damn high.

The latest numbers from the San Francisco Rent Board show a steady two-year decline in filed evictions since 2015. What’s behind the decline, you may ask?

Did landlords become less greedy? Have rent prices cooled? With an average two bedroom rental price of $3,400, according to Curbed, I think we can safely say no.

What has happened, say tenant advocates, is a handy suite of protections passed in 2015 are kicking in. Eviction Protections 2.0, the wonky rewrite of San Francisco’s rent-control law, is working…

a coalition of tenants rights advocates on Tuesday took the first step toward creating a ballot initiative to provide a right to legal counsel for victims of evictions in San Francisco… (more)

Transit, Vision Zero, Livable Streets, and other Highlights of the “Focus on the Future” Conference

: streetsblog – excerpt

hat if San Francisco becomes the next Detroit?” asked Jonathan Miranda, Director of Strategy at Salesforce.com, during a keynote speech this morning at the “Focus on the Future” conference in downtown San Francisco. Given the region’s meteoric growth, that may seem far fetched–but no more so than Detroit’s fall after the booming years of the auto industry. He said that given San Francisco’s inability to build sufficient housing, that’s a real possibility. “Companies are moving to Austin, Denver, Seattle–what happens if software and Silicon Valley start looking for a different place?”

Miranda’s warning was part of a theme at the conference about how important it is for the Bay Area to address issues such as housing costs, transportation, and the safety and livability of our streets. The conference is run by the “Self-Help Coalition,” an organization of 24 different California transportation authorities and government organizations which share planning and policy intel. The event also featured tours of the Central Subway, the Transbay Transit Center, and a discussion of the Better Market Street plan. (more)

GENTRIFICATION is the word that is making the rounds these days to describe the economic disparity that is plaguing the nation. Pretty much everyone is concerned about it but no one is attempting to solve the problem of extreme cost of living increases that are exasperating the homeless crisis and causing much of the stress in our cities.

GROWTH has limits and inviting disruptive high tech industries to experiment with our society is exacerbating the conflicts between the top and bottom levels of society as everyone scrambles for empty units like empty seats in a game of musical chairs.

DISRUPTION is not a game to be taken lightly, but, it is the new tech mantra that is being sold to cities that want to partake in the technology revolution. Citizens get no say in the matter and many are unaware that they are being sacrificed on the corporate alter of progress until it is too late.

COMPANY TOWN is the title of a movie that Investigates Tech Industry’s impact on tow of SF’s most vulnerable neighborhoods. There is a new attempt to mitigate some of the housing crisis by creating “company towns” that include housing on the corporate campus to alleviate some of the housing crunch.

To stop monster homes, legalize apartments

By Scott Feeny : sfexaminer – excerpt

In San Francisco’s ritziest neighborhoods, from Corona Heights to Noe Valley to Potrero Hill, there’s an epidemic going around: monster homes. Someone will buy a tiny, rundown, single-family home for a mere $1.5 million, then replace or add on to make it a gigantic single-family home or duplex that sells for $4.5 million.

The planning bureaucracy is responding tepidly with a new proposal, “Residential Expansion Threshold,” that pays lip service to housing production needs, but mostly offers NIMBYs concessions. It seeks to maximize allowable density, for example, by incentivizing building a duplex instead of a single-family home in Noe Valley. It’s a reasonable goal, but inadequate given existing zoning. Duplexes are illegal to build in much of The City, so the RET does little for us…

At the same time, the program aims to reduce building mass to “respect neighborhood character,” a thinly disguised segregationist dog whistle. Respecting neighborhood character means keeping residential neighborhoods the same: single-family homes that are low-density and unaffordable…(more)