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

 

City Hall erupts in drama as budget negotiations hit impasse

Welcome to the $10 Billion dollar budget city that features a homeless encampment at City Hall while thousands of homes are sit empty, according to the latest studies. Those studies are not cheap.

by Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

Negotiations over San Francisco’s budget proposal fell apart Thursday night, despite an expected deal.

Among the main reasons cited was that Mayor Ed Lee refused to meet with Supervisor Aaron Peskin after being invited by Supervisor Malia Cohen to join talks with the mayor to try and wrap up budget negotiations, according to those involved in the process.

Peskin was kept waiting while the mayor met with Cohen, who chairs the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee, and would not meet with Peskin at all.

Peskin then simply left City Hall. Some attributed his departure to being offended — Peskin has had contentious relationships with past Mayors Willie Brown and Gavin Newsom even though they’d still managed to hammer out policies — and the budget negotiations, which many described as being rocky and tense since the morning, continued to unravel.

When reached for comment later at his home by the San Francisco Examiner, Peskin said, “When the mayor is not interested in negotiating, I’m not interested in sitting around wasting my time.”… (more)

Ambulance stuck in traffic at SF General Hospital

Please write a letter or comment requesting a continuance at the Board Meeting! Sample letter with recipients:

https://discoveryink.wordpress.com/letters-and-comments/potrero-avenue-plans/

Subject: Ambulance at General

Please share this video of the Ambulance stuck in traffic at General Hospital and if you can, shoot some of your own and send them to me.
I has come to our attention that the SFMTA did not “share” details of their plans to slow traffic by building traffic barriers around General Hospital.
SFMTA Board intends to “fix” an error they admitted to making at their Tuesday meeting. We are calling for a Continuance to alert the public and any other pertinent groups to this plan. As you can see from the video, this is not the place to slow traffic or remove traffic lanes.

If you can, please send us any video or pictures along with your explanation of emergency vehicles stuck in traffic.

If the link doesn’t work, paste it: https://discoveryink.wordpress.com/letters-and-comments/potrero-avenue-plans/

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.

Locked on the Bay Bridge, more red lanes, and street improvements shutter business

By Eve Batey : curbed – excerpt

Mission red lanes are killing businesses, gentrifying the neighborhood. Photo by zrants

Seeing red across SF

The SFMTA’s red carpet of transit-only lanes has been a controversial one, with some Mission District business owners claiming they’re bad for their coffers, while a study says that the lanes make things safer and faster (still others just ignore the lanes and drive wherever they want). And now the MTA says SF can expect even more of the brightly-painted streets, as they’ve gotten a federal nod to move forward.

According to a the SFMTA, the red painted lanes you’ll see downtown on (among others) stretches of Market, Third Street, Geary, and O’Farrell, as well as along a southern stretch of Mission Street, were “installed as an experiment sponsored by the California Traffic Control Devices Committee and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).”

After the FHWA got a chance to evaluate the SFMTA’s “Red Transit Lanes Final Evaluation Report” (read it here), they agreed to let the MTA add even more lanes to the “pilot,” likely along Van Ness Avenue and the western stretch of Geary Boulevard, as well as “others in the Muni Forward Rapid Network.”

Street improvements allegedly kill business

We’ve been talking about the Department of Public Works streetscape improvement plan for Irving Street between 19th-26th Avenues since 2013, but now that it’s here, one business says it was the final nail in their coffin.

Hoodline reports that the Hard Wear store—a business specializing in SF-specific t-shirts and cult workwear fave brands like Carhart, Dickies, and Ben Davis—is closing after the store’s owner says that the lengthy construction period for the project “did us in.”

The store, located at the corner of 25th Avenue and Irving Street, has been in business for nine years, and had also struggled through a recessionary period that “burned through [owner Angela Tickler’s] personal credit.”

“I weathered a lot of stuff over a lot of years, but the streetscape project did us in,” Tickler told Hoodline. “Parking and traffic is always bad here, but when you add the construction, it became horrific. People wouldn’t come near the place, and it went on for a very, very long time.”…

The project, which has its own website here, includes the addition of curb ramps, the planting of trees, decorative crosswalks, sewer work, and these weird fake black rocks people are supposed to sit on.

According to Tickler, while businesses were told construction would only happen in front of their locations for a week, “Instead of all these projects happening simultaneously in an integrated way, they were happening in tandem, and it dragged things out for more than a year.” The store, says Tickler, will close at the end of June… (more)

 

 

DeJesus hearing becomes a debate on Tasers

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Police Commission nominee grilled over stun guns; Safai loses 2-1 vote

The Board of Supes Rules Committee moved forward the nomination of Petra DeJesus for another term on the Police Commission Thursday – but not before a lengthy hearing in which Sups. London Breed and Ahsha Safai challenged DeJesus repeatedly, particularly on the issue of arming cops with Tasers.

DeJesus was the only candidate for the job. Safai and Breed had tried to oust her and replace her with Olga Miranda, a political ally of Safai, but they clearly didn’t have the votes so Miranda withdrew…(more)