BARF! Density-loving Sonja Trauss is running for District 6 supervisor

By joe fitzgerald rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

A lot of interesting headlines come to mind with this announcement

BARF — it’s not just a gross-out verb, anymore. It’s a movement.

The San Francisco Bay Area Renters Federation has (ahem) induced headlines from the New York Times to The Atlantic, all while clashing mightily with neighborhood groups here at home, as the group encourages city officials to build, build, build.

Now, the pro-density movement is shifting from advocacy to realpolitik:

BARF leader Sonja Trauss is running for supervisor. She filed to run July 5, according to the Department of Elections, though the race isn’t until November 2018…

Oddly, she’s running to represent what are among the most housing-dense neighborhoods in San Francisco: District 6, which includes South of Market and the Tenderloin.

They’ve got apartments sprouting out their ears. So what good is her running?…

“Trauss really stuck her foot in her mouth last year, when she argued in a public meeting that resistance against tech workers gentrifying San Francisco is akin to racism against Latino immigrants”…

(more)

For starters, she likely to promote more tech disruptions in the city. Developers want to promote more Airbnb, Ubers, and Lyfts and Scoots and other, anti-human robotic corporations that will not only make life. Now they are all going to take the money and invest in real estate, the real winner in this game of Grab-and-Go politics.

Google and Facebook are already announcing they are building small cities in the Peninsula. They used to call them “company towns.” When the air goes out of the unicorn startup balloons, they will be sitting on a lot of prime real estate. It is called diversification and the techies are fast at work diversifying by becoming real estate magnates.

The BARFers are the forefront of the next wave of takeovers coming to the Bay Area. Good news is we have some time to get out the story to stop the movement. As Joe points out, Trauss has already discredited herself among most of the affordable housing advocates and especially in District Six, where the residents are already up in arms over the changes they are dealing with and the new population of homeless at their feet.

None of the city’s programs have brought the number of homeless down yet.

 

 

Newsom’s lawyer says voters can’t be trusted

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

In stunning argument, Lite Gov’s legal team says land use decisions should be taken away from voters — and that the Port’s future should be all about big-money development

It leaves Newsom, who is running for governor, in the odd political position of saying that the voters can’t be trusted.

Deputy Attorney General Joel Jacobs also argued that the main issue at hand was money – how much the Port could make from commercial development. In essence, he said that the five commissioners, all appointed by the mayor, should be allowed to approve whatever sort of tall buildings they wanted if it would bring money into the agency, and the rest of San Francisco should have no check on their decisions.

“The more revenue generated by profit-making projects, the more the Port can do to promote other uses,” he said… (more)

IF THEY DON’T TRUST US HOW CAN WE TRUST THEM?

While our readers are pondering that amazing claim, we are working to put together a list of all the bills currently running through Sacramento that are base on one theme: Removing voters’ rights to determine how the state government functions by changing the laws that limit the state’s rights to decide for them. These claims prove that the state legislature does not trust us. Why should we trust them?

There is a long list of bills. Let’s start with AB 943, authored by Santiago, that raises the bar for referendums on developments in California by requiring a 2/3rds majority to pass. This bill has already bee passed by the Assembly and was sent to the Senate Governance and Finance Committee this week.

Find out who voted for this bill and let them know you are onto them. Call or write the Senate members to stop them from passing this one. Meanwhile, stay tuned for more bills to fight.

Is California about to Clobber Local Planning Control?

By Zelda Bronstein : citywatch – excerpt

PLANNING–The gradual decimation of local voice in planning has become accepted policy in Sacramento. The State Senate is now considering two dangerous bills, SB 35 and SB 167, that together severely curtail democratic control of housing.

SB 35: Housing Accountability and Affordability Act (Wiener)

SB 35 is pro-traffic congestion. It would prohibit cities from requiring parking in a “streamlined development approved pursuant” to SB 35, located within a half-mile of public transit, in an architecturally and historically significant historic district, when on-street parking permits are required but not offered to the occupants of the project, and when there is a car share vehicle located within one block of the development. Other projects approved under the measure would be limited to one space per unit…

Supporters include Bay Area Council, the lobby shop of the Bay Area’s biggest employers; BAC’s Silicon Valley counterpart, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group; the San Francisco and LA Chambers of Commerce; the Council of Infill Builders; several nonprofit housing organizations, including the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California and BRIDGE Housing; the Natural Resources Defense Council; the California League of Conservation Voters; and a panoply of YIMBY groups, including East Bay Forward and YIMBY Action.

Opponents include the Sierra Club; the League of California Cities; the Council of Community Housing Organizations; the California Fire Chiefs Association; the Fire Districts Association of California; a handful of cities, including Hayward, Pasadena, and Santa Rosa; the Marin County Council of Mayors and Councilmembers; and many building trades organizations, including IBEW Locals 1245, 18, 465 and 551, and the Western States Council of Sheet Metal Workers…

If these bills—especially SB 35—become law, Californians will have lost a good deal of their right to a say the life and governance of the communities in which they live.

(Zelda Bronstein, a journalist and a former chair of the Berkeley Planning Commission, writes about politics and culture in the Bay Area and beyond. This piece was first published in Berkeley Daily Planet and Marin Post and most recently at New Geography) ... (more)

Please consider signing this Petition to Oppose SB35:
https://www.change.org/p/assem blymember-aquiar-curry-oppose-sb-35-unless-amended

And write letters if you can to the Assemblymembers listed here: http://assembly.ca.gov/assemblymembers

Sample message:

OPPOSE SB35 – PROTECT LOCAL CONTROL OVER ZONING. California citizens oppose by-right laws that override our local zoning and use policies and guidelines. Our city government has spent a lot of time and energy to create a specific plan and the citizens have had a hand in the decision-making process. It is not right for the state to step in and override our efforts. Many cities want to opt out of the by-right rules. That should tell you SB35 is not popular. We oppose this legislation.

Sincerely,

(signature), Concerned Citizen

SB 167: Housing Accountability Act (Skinner)

This bill, introduced by State Senator Nancy Skinner, who represents Berkeley and other East Bay cities, and sponsored by the Bay Area Renters Federation (BARF), is a companion to SB 35. It would prohibit cities from disapproving a housing project containing units affordable to very low-, low- or moderate-income renters, or conditioning the approval in a manner that renders the project financially infeasible, unless, among other things, the city has met or exceeded its share of regional housing needs for the relevant income category. (As of November 2016, HUD defined a moderate-income household of four people in Alameda County as one earning under $112,300 a year.)… (more)

RELATED:
LA Homelessness … and Rents … Will Skyrocket Under New Housing Proposals

 

Westside San Franciscans are none too happy about new water mix

By Rachel Swan : sfchronicle – excerpt

Tap-Water.jpg

What is coming out of your water? For now, where you live and work will determine the answer. Photo by zrants

San Franciscans take pride in drinking pristine water from Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, which they treasure as among the purest in the nation.

So a recent move by the Public Utilities Commission to introduce ground water gradually into the city’s drinking supply prompted anxiety and suspicion.

“How will this affect my grandaughter? I feel like she’s the guinea pig,” said Ingrid Eggers, a Mission District resident who spoke at a Wednesday hearing before the Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee.

Eggers was among dozens of residents who had concerns about nitrates, pesticide runoff, sewage, artificial turf particulate and traces of pharmaceutical drugs possibly contaminating the blended water, which will go to about 60 percent of San Francisco residents, mostly on the west side.

City water officials began pumping the new mix in March from wells that draw from an acquifer about 400 feet below ground. They plan to add more ground water over the next four years, but it will allow for more than 15 percent of the mixture…

Supervisor Norman Yee, who called the hearing, asked the PUC to perform new quality tests and return with a new analysis… (more)

A lot of questions remain, especially for people with compromised immune systems and chemical sensitivities. You can’t fault people for drinking bottled water as that will be the preference for many, much to the dismay of the water expert, who was “was actually mildly shocked to hear that, ‘Oh my God, people will obviously turn to bottled water’.”

No doubt many will choose bottled water at a time when there is great concern about increasing bottles in our environment. The issues must be weighed and a balance found. Are we going to increase the use of pesticides into our drinking water and increase the number of bottles to recycles or can we return to clean pure Hetch Hetchy water coming out of the taps?

Rec and Park did not show up to explain their use of poisons on our parks that will end up in our water and neither did the health department official. They will be asked to come to the next hearing along with some answers and new data on the actual tests results since the blend was initiated, not based on questionable forecast data.

RELATED:

City Hall flooded with complaints over SF’s new mixed drinking waterCity Hall flooded with complaints over SF’s new mixed drinking water

by Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

Yee vowed that the board’s Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee will hold a follow-up hearing…(more)

Plan Bay Area 2040 Draft Plan

If you are one of the unhappy San Francisco residents or a middle class citizen this plan will not please you.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) will host an open house to receive comments regarding Plan Bay Area 2040.  The open house is Wednesday, May 17, 2017 between 6:30pm and 8:30pm at the MTC headquarters at 375 Beal Street ( about a 10 minute walk for Embarcadero Station). DRAFT PLAN LINK

The Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) is now available; comment on the DEIR and the Draft Plan through June 1.

Some statistics include:
*  501,000 jobs added between 2011 and 2015
*  65,000 housing units built between 2011 and 2015
*  Regionally 1 house built for every 8 jobs created.

HOUSING
Where will the region plan for the 820,000 new households forecasted between 2010 and 2040.  Regionally by 2040, 3.4 million households are forecasted. 46% will be in the “Big 3 Cities”  — SF, Oakland, San Jose.

JOBS
1.3 million new jobs  (36% in the Big  3 Cities)

So what does it all mean?  Climate Change, Housing costs and displacement, Economic Development and Environmental Impact and Transportation.

A question raised at a recent MTC committee meeting was: Should cities seeking economic development take responsibility for housing?  (Think the Menlo Park Facebook Expansion).  The local Menlo Park approval for 6,000 more jobs has regional impact.

No mention of a Public Regional Express Bus System to move the population.   More Private Commuter buses operating on your residential street?

Draft Plan and Draft EIR at Plan Bay Area 2040 Draft Plan

RELATED:

It’s not surprising that President Donald Trump’s proposed tax plan would hollow out the middle class. Income tax reductions will be robust for corporations and those in the highest income brackets. Others won’t fare so well.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren warns of the demise of the middle class in her book, “This Fight is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class.” She writes about growing up in the 1950s, when minimum wage supported a family of four. In 2017, minimum wage can’t support a household of two.

But hold on a minute before simply bashing Trump. Are you surprised that progressive California Democrats are implementing strategies that increase economic inequality?…

Now Plan Bay Area 2040’s “Regional Forecast of Jobs, Population and Housing” shows the rich and the poor growing to the highest numbers, but not the middle. The historic bell-shaped curve is inverted…

The plan forecasts: “The ‘hollowing out’ of the middle is projected to continue over the next 25 years. Household growth will be strongest in the highest income category, reflecting the expected strength of growth in high-wage sectors combined with non-wage income — interest, dividends, capital gains, transfers.”…

Further: “Household growth will also be high in the lowest-wage category, reflecting occupational shifts, wages stagnation, as well as the retirement of seniors without pension assets.”…(more)

 

Longtime San Francisco residents unhappy with city, says poll

by : curbed – excerpt

SF-skyline

San Francisco’s view-killing wall on the waterfront seen from the bay is unpopular with many long-term residents – photo by Zrants

The longer you’ve been living in San Francisco, the less likely you are to be happy with it.

That’s one of the lessons from the 2017 San Francisco City Survey released Tuesday, in which those with more than 30 years of San Francisco living under their belts generally gave City Hall a thumbs down.

The controller’s office conducts the survey every two years to measure general satisfaction with public services.

Overall, public opinion seems fairly mellow this time; most of the 2,166 randomly selected phone respondents gave the city either a B or a B- grade on things like public safety, transit, and parks. Libraries got a B+.

The public ranked homelessness as the city’s biggest problem, with 33 percent of responses highlighting it as their top concern… (more)

What is to like about a city that sold its soul for a few buckets of gold. People used to come for art, culture, social equality and other non-material qualities of life because there was no money. The new San Francisco draws get-rich-quick schemers who believe their virtual reality and future vision is more important than anyone or anything else and can’t wait to kick us out of our homes.

 

Feinstein no fan of Millennium Tower, SF’s new skyline

By Matier and Ross : sfchronicle – excerpt

Growing skyline under City Hall density plan photo by Zrants

A San Francisco Chamber of Commerce delegation making the rounds in Washington last week to push for federal funds for a new seawall and Caltrain electrification got more than it bargained for in a meeting with Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

“All she wanted to talk about was the downtown Millennium Tower and why it’s leaning, and how could it be fixed?” said one person who met with the state’s senior senator Thursday. “She also talked about how much she hates the city’s new skyline.”

Feinstein peppered a contractor who was part of the delegation about the Millennium’s safety, even revealing that she had toured its water-seeping garage and voicing suspicions that the tower’s developer had cut corners.

Feinstein was also annoyed that high-rises such as the Millennium and Salesforce Tower are soaring far above the downtown height limits she pushed for as mayor…(more)

A lot of former Mayors seem to be opposed to the direction City Hall is heading now. How did we get so out of proportion? Does it correlate with the high taxes and high cost of government seen in our 9 billion dollar plus budget? There may be a few more people living and working in SF now than there were, but not enough to warrant the increase in spending we are witnessing. What are WE the taxpayers buying with that 9 billion dollars? Do we want it?