Parking-space spat may halt $400 million tower

By J.K. Dineen : sfchronicle – excerpt

Van Ness and Market is the location of the One Oak Street Project. This intersection is known for its powerful winds that sweep through the wide intersection. Photos by google.

The tower proposed for the northwest corner of Market Street and Van Ness Avenue is big and bold in every respect. It would rise 40 stories. It would cost more than $400 million to build. It would bring a European-style piazza, an expansive restaurant with 30-foot glass walls and 304 luxury condos to one of the city’s busiest crossroads…

In the case of the One Oak Street tower, which goes before the Planning Commission on Thursday for approvals, the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association is pushing the developer to trim the number of parking spaces by 60 spots, from 136 to 76. This would represent a reduction from .45 to .25 parking spaces per unit, or from nearly 1 for every 2 to 1 for 4…

“It’s a marketing tool,” Yarne said. “Nobody, myself included, expects people in this building to be driving everywhere. We don’t. But the marketing professionals will tell you until the cows come home that people want the option.”…

“We are in challenging times in San Francisco because construction costs are high and sales prices have flattened,” Yarne said…

If the Planning Department approves the development, it goes to the Board of Supervisors’ Land Use and Transportation Committee in July and later to the full board for final approval… (more)

The more famous SF becomes for being a parking nightmare the more people will demand parking, but this project sounds like it has more than just parking issues. The idea that the public space will be cleaner and more well-kept than most is the real page turner since this is ground zero for the needle brigade. Stay tuned…

After a short deliberation the Planning Commissioners approved the higher number of parking spaces. Commissioner Hillis said that he know of only one family in his childrens’ school that did not own a car. One assumes that his is not that family. AS they voted to approve the project the Commissions admitted that some day condos may be built without parking spaces but that day has not yet come. One need only look at the numbers of requests for parking to verify that is true.

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.

 

The peculiar priorities of Mayor Ed Lee

by Susan Dyer Reynolds : marinatimes – excerpt

Tents in the Mission photo by zrants

According to recent data compiled by American City Business Journals, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is the highest paid mayor in America with an annual salary of $289,000. I guess with a $9.6 billion budget, that’s a drop in the proverbial bucket. It’s certainly not merit-based: As San Franciscans grow angrier about the condition of their once fair city, Lee’s approval number has plummeted to the low 40s, with those who “strongly approve” of his performance in single digits.

Perpetually perched atop glorious lists such as “best places to visit,” San Francisco now takes titles like “worst roads in the nation.” A November 2016 study by the National Transportation Research Group found that 71 percent of San Francisco’s roads are in poor condition — that’s worse than any other city with a population of 500,000 or more. Drivers here pay nearly $1,000 on average for auto damage caused by those rough rides. Lee’s answer is of course to add another layer of bureaucracy called “the fix-it team,” with a “fix-it director” (yes, that’s the official title) who reports directly to him. Are you telling me with a budget bigger than the nations of Haiti, Belize, Aruba, Jamaica, Cuba, and the Bahamas combined, bigger than 13 U.S. states, bigger than every U.S. city per capita except Washington, D.C., that we can’t get potholes fixed without creating another six-figure middle management job?(more)

A lot to think about. San Francisco has a lot of priorities lining up for a handout. The public needs to be involved in priority discussions, as there will be cuts coming soon. A hiring freeze would be a good place to start. We don’t need any more six figure staff. We also need to admit which of the experiments on our streets are not working. The figured out that removing trash cans was leading to more trash on the street so they are returning the cans. How much money did we spend on that experiment?

What Is The Market Demand For Micro Housing In San Francisco?

By Scott Beyer : forbes – excerpt

San Francisco, CA–There’s no doubt that the demand for living in San Francisco would, under an open market, create far more housing; this, in essence, is what the high prices and Nimby battles are all about. But one remaining mystery would be—void of the regulatory barriers, what type of housing would all this demand create? Existing data and anecdotal observation suggests that a lot of it would be micro housing.

Indeed, micro units—which vary by definition, but are generally thought to be studio apartments of under 300 square feet—are taking off in U.S. cities. Before Seattle’s government effectively regulated them away, they were accounting for a quarter of the city’s new housing starts. Other prominent projects have gone up in New York City, Austin, Denver, and other places where density and high prices require smaller living arrangements. The nation’s largest micro-unit project is even being built near downtown Houston, a city where big, cheap sprawl housing is still readily available, even close in (although some of the project’s units have since been converted to condo hotels)… (more)

Flurry of State Bills Introduced, Likely Backed by Oil Industry, to Penalize Electric Car Drivers

States across the U.S. have been introducing legislation that would punish people for switching to electric vehicles. Since the start of 2017, six states (Indiana, South Carolina, Kansas, Tennessee, New Hampshire, and Montana) have introduced legislation that would require EV owners to pay a fee of up to $180 a year.

Sadly, this isn’t the first time people have been penalized for driving green. Wyoming, Colorado, Virginia, Nebraska, Missouri, Washington, North Carolina, Idaho, Georgia, and Michigan have all implemented yearly fees on electric and hybrid vehicles that vary from $50 to $300 per driver per year.  Arizona’s and Arkansas’ respective Department of Transportations are also suggesting  legislators cast a fee for EV ownership. Georgia, formerly the state with the second most EV sales, used to offer a tax credit of up to $5,000, but replaced the program with a $200 yearly fee that led to an 80 percent drop in EV sales… (more)

“EV Drivers Under Attack: Cleaner, greener, and fun to drive, electric vehicles are, not surprisingly, rising in popularity. Yet states across the U.S. have been introducing legislation that would punish people for switching to EVs. Already this year, six states have introduced legislation that would require EV owners to pay a fee of up to $180 a year. Learn more and find out how we can fight back.”

The map does not yet include California, however, if the Governor can get a super majority to agree to it, the state could charge EV owners higher fees and remove some of their incentives and exceptions, such as free use of HOV lanes. Will Sierra Club continue to protect EV drivers in California? If you are a member you should let them know how you feel about this. You should also let your state reps know how your feel about keeping these incentives alive.

For once we have an industry that is cleaning itself up and the last thing we need to do is make it harder for them to do that. For an idea on how important this is to the world wide new car market, take a look at the Sierra Club guide of EV plug-ins.

When we get the details on the legislation that is being developed to remove the EV incentives in California, we will post it. If you have that info and care to share it, please do in a comment here.

RELATED:

Urge your governor to support the transition to electric vehicles

“As long as there’s demand for oil, oil companies will try to drill anywhere they can — including the Arctic, Canada’s tar sands, or fracked oil from North Dakota’s Bakken shale. Moving from gas guzzlers to electric vehicles will help take a big bite out of demand for this polluting, climate-harming oil.

Electric vehicles are better for the environment than conventional cars, even factoring in the emissions from the electricity used to power them. They are also cheaper to maintain and fuel than conventional vehicles. That’s why sales of electric cars are growing every year, but we need more EV-friendly policies to encourage a faster transition to an electrified transportation system.

Many of the most effective policies are at the state level. Take a moment to urge your governor to support EV-friendly policies that will make electric vehicles cheaper and more convenient in your state!.. (more)

Transportation Demand Management Program Takes Effect in SF: How Will Your Project Comply?

by Daniel Gershwin : jdsupra – excerpt – (graphic included)

On February 7th, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the implementing ordinance for San Francisco’s Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Program. Pending the Mayor’s approval, the TDM Program will take effect in March. What does this mean for project sponsors?

Developers must now incorporate TDM features into their projects, chosen from a menu of options in the City’s adopted TDM Program Standards. As the number of on-site parking spaces proposed for a project increases, developers must include more TDM features  such as bicycle parking and amenities, car-share parking, and vanpool programs.

Menu of Options from TDM Program Standards:

To see how these new requirements would apply to your project, check out the Planning Department’s interactive web-based tool (soon to be updated to include the amendments to the TDM Standards discussed below), or its Excel tool (already updated to include amendments)… (more)