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.

 

Scott Wiener’s housing straw man

By Calvin Welch : 48hills – excerpt

The senator misses the point — and the facts — when he attacks people who don’t think the private market will solve our woes

State Senator Scott Wiener, in a recent blog posting, attacked nameless critics of his efforts to produce more market-rate housing by removing local governments from the approval process if those local areas failed to meet regionally determined “housing needs.” Since all localities in the state currently fail to meet these needs, his legislation would, in effect, deregulate housing development all over California, since most housing regulations exist at the local level…

What Does Work? The voters of San Francisco and the Bay Area have an answer: market controls to keep existing housing within reach and public subsidies to build new housing they and their neighbors can afford. As argued earlier on these pages, the passage of more than $1 billion in bonds and sales taxes to build homes affordable to moderate income earners and people at risk of homelessness or homeless is sound public policy. Moreover, the passage of rent control measures is a rational response to a red hot real estate market. Continued effort to regulate Airbnb and other short term rentals is critical — the 10,000 STR’s in San Francisco just about equals the current vacancy rate for apartments. Imagine what would happen to rents if the vacancy rate were doubled because un-registered Airbnb listings were placed back on the rental market…. (more)

Might it be cheaper and easier to give landlords a reason to stay in the game? What would it take to make being a landlord easier and less stressful? Money is not the only thing that motivates people. Onerous laws and regulations and jumping through hoops gets old real fast, convincing many people to get out of the rental business and just sit on the property. As long as the values are going up, why sell?

The Hidden Systems at Work Behind Gentrification

By Corin Faife : motherboard – excerpt

The cafes and craft breweries are just pawns in a much bigger game.

“Someone who learned about gentrification solely through newspaper articles might come away believing that gentrification is just the culmination of several hundred thousand people’s individual wills to open coffee shops and cute boutiques, grow mustaches and buy records. But those are the signs of gentrification, not its causes.”

So writes journalist Peter Moskovitz in How To Kill A City, a book on gentrification in America, published this week. It’s a study of four cities—New York, Detroit, San Francisco and New Orleans—that are all in the process of coming to terms with widespread gentrification, which in the case of the latter three has happened at dramatic speed…

“The most surprising takeaway I had [when writing the book] was how unsecretive and how blatant politicians had been in the past with pro-gentrification policy, especially in New Orleans and Detroit,” says Moskovitz. “The economic czar of the Detroit government actually said, ‘please bring on gentrification we need more of it’. It would sound like a conspiracy if it wasn’t laid out in plain English.”…

Part of the aim for the book, Moskovitz says, was to try and steer the conversation around housing in the US towards that which can be found in parts of Europe, where rent control measures and pro-squatting movements are more common. Towards this end, having set up gentrification as a powerful systemic force, the book closes by chronicling various resistance tactics, and outlining policy-based strategies for working towards a less gentrified future.

“I’m optimistic when I meet with activists who’ve been doing this for a long time,” says Moskovitz. “Gentrification might be a new term, but housing inequality has been going on for hundreds of years. People have been coming up up with new and inventive tactics to fight these systems for so long, and that gives me hope that these people know what they’re doing. What remains to be seen is how we can motivate all the people who haven’t started to do that work.”

How To Kill A City is out now published by Nation Books/Perseus/Hachette…(more)

 

Neighbors Ask UCSF to Help Pay for Mission Bay Growing Pains

By Noah Aroyo : sfpublicpress – excerpt

Looking to improve the quality of daily life in Mission Bay, local groups are pressing for more bike lanes, new bus routes and more green space as the city’s newest neighborhood grows.

Rather than lobby developers or City Hall, residents want the area’s dominant presence — the University of California-San Francisco — to help pick up the tab, which could be tens of millions of dollars.

UCSF will soon expand its Mission Bay campus, further crowding streets and public transit. Normally, the city would charge a private developer tens of millions of dollars in fees and taxes to pay for offsetting the long-term impact of the construction — more traffic, less parking and crowded public buses and streetcars. But because UCSF is a public institution, it is exempt from such levies. It also pays no property taxes, like all government entities and nonprofit organizations.

Residents of Dogpatch want better Muni service, more parkland, a community center and parking structures to relieve the daily scramble for streetside spaces. Top on the list: more buses…

Since September, the Dogpatch Community Task Force — community groups and staff from UCSF and City Hall agencies — have met monthly to find agreement.

The university will respond with “a comprehensive offer” at the next public meeting, Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in Genentech Hall at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus, said Barbara French, Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications and University Relations. She declined to provide details, but said that the task force would be able to “help to shape the final plan.”…

UCSF’s discussions with the task force are required as part of the real estate development process. The last meeting is slated for March 21.

If UCSF sticks to its schedule, the housing project will be finished by summer 2019 and the clinic by spring 2020. 777 Mariposa St. is still under its previous owner’s lease until 2018, the earliest that UCSF can assume ownership…(more)

SF supervisors OK first affordable building with extra height

By Emily Green : sfgate – excerpt

San Francisco supervisors unanimously approved a nine-story building to house low-income seniors in the Mission District on Tuesday, rejecting an appeal by some neighborhood residents who criticized the project as being too tall, for lacking any parking spaces, and being out of character with the neighborhood.

The project at 1296 Shotwell St. is the first to take advantage of legislation by Supervisor Katy Tang passed last year that allows 100 percent affordable housing projects in San Francisco to have three extra stories…

Despite the supervisors’ unanimous support for the project, the law that allowed it to gain three extra stories was controversial. When the bill came before the board last year, Supervisor Aaron Peskin pushed a counterproposal that would have subjected those projects to a more rigorous and time-consuming approval process.

One of the next debates before the board will center on whether to allow developments that are not 100 percent affordable, but provide a certain threshold of low-income housing, to exceed zoning limits and become taller and denser…(more)

Yesterday we heard that Kay Tang is resurrecting the Affordable Bonus Housing Plan that the residents opposed the last time they tried to sell it. Be on the lookout for major amendments coming to the General Plan. When that happens there is no more arguing over projects. They have won. The only step left is to change the people in office who are not representing us and join the other cities who are fighting this battle. A ballot initiative in LA will be decided on March 7. Details on that initiative are here: yesonsla.org

Big move, big bucks: SF Department of Public Health plans to relocate

By Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

The Department of Public Health is considering moving from its headquarters at 101 Grove St., pictured left, to both Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, pictured right, and Laguna Honda.

San Francisco may have found a cure for its seismically unsafe Health Department offices in the Civic Center area: moving.

To that end, the department is considering relocating from its headquarters and other buildings in the Civic Center area at a cost of tens of millions of dollars.

The moving day discussions — it would, in fact, take a decade — come as The City is finalizing its 10-year capital plan due out March 1 and as discussions about the move have been ongoing for months among city officials.

The department is currently spread out in nine different buildings — some publicly owned while others are leased — in the Civic Center area, including the department’s main headquarters at The City’s 101 Grove St. public building across the street from City Hall, a building described as seismically unsafe.

The most recent cost estimate of the move is $60 million, which would be borrowed using certificates of participation and paid back over time plus interest.

The move would relocate the department to both the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Laguna Honda campuses. No final decisions have been made about the move, but plans show executive offices moving into ZSFG Building 9 and into vacant wings at Laguna Honda… (more)

Why is the mayor cracking down on pot growers?

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

The mayor wants to make it harder to grow pot indoors in the city’s industrial districts. The proposed resolution, which you can read here, would require a Conditional Use permit for any indoor ag cultivation (and let’s face it, we’re talking almost entirely cannabis here.)

I say interesting because there are a couple of factors going on. I have heard – anecdotally, but still persuasively – that indoor cannabis farms are driving up the price of Production, Distribution, and Repair space, not as intensely as tech offices but still, potentially crowding out other uses.

On the other hand, it’s a thriving industry – not one that requires a huge workforce, but there are people working in the biz and you don’t need a college degree to do it, and it pays, I am told, relatively well. It’s certainly “production.”…(more)

There are many ways to limit artists in the Bay Area for people who don’t like them.

RELATED:
The Oakland fire spurs crackdown on arts spaces