Opinion: How big should SF be — and for whom?

By Mayor Art Agnos :48hills – excerpt

A former mayor has some advice for the next mayor — and the people of the city

This is a critical time for our city. There are a lot of important issues at stake that matter to all of us. Income inequality. Homelessness. Drugs. Auto burglaries. Educational reform. The list goes on and they are all important.

From my perspective as a former mayor, though, the biggest issue that is to be decided in San Francisco is this question:

“How big does SF want to be, and who do we want to build for and where?”

The answer will determine where most people like us or their families will be able live here in the future…

How big do we want to be – and for whom?

We can seek a requirement for a Prop B like citywide vote on projects over a certain size.as we did on the waterfront.

We can seek a requirement to decentralize the Planning Department to support neighborhood planning committees like those in New York city and Washington DC.

No matter who is in charge of City Hall, the ultimate power resides with us, the people of San Francisco.

No one can take it. But we can lose it by not staying informed, organized, and engaged every step of the way…(more) 

 

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Which SF High-Rises Could Collapse in an Earthquake

By Joe Kukura : sfweekly – excerpt (includes list of 39 at risk buildings)

Transamerica Pyramid and Embarcadero Center towers are among nearly 40 high-rises at risk of collapse in an earthquake, according to a new study.

This ridiculous image from the 2015 San Andreas movie poster may have an ounce of truth to it, according to a recent study from the U.S. Geological Survey. The Transamerica Pyramid is among 39 San Francisco high-rise buildings that could collapse in an earthquake the magnitude of the 1906 quake, according to a new report the New York Times.

If you live or work in a downtown high-rise, you might want to immediately scroll down to the bottom of this article to see if your building is one of the 39 San Francisco high-rises built with an engineering technique that is now considered flawed… (more)

Maybe San Francisco is not such a great place to up-zone. No mention here of the fires that accompany earthquakes, or the power outage that will make all the electric systems obsolete, including banking and the public transportation systems.

Newsom strategy: Face Republican in the fall by knocking Dems out in June

By Matier and Ross : sfchronicle – excerpt

Gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom is firing off a double-barrel blast of TV attack ads aimed at fellow Democratic rivals Antonio Villaraigosa and John Chiang, all with the goal of helping Republican John Cox win the No. 2 slot in the upcoming primary.

“We are trying to keep them pinned on the mat,” said Newsom campaign spokesman Nathan Click…. (more)

Trusting the polls has been known to fail recently. Newsom should talk to Hillary Clinton about how well it worked for her. There are a lot more people in Southern California than in the Bay Area and they can easily take back control of Sacramento if they vote in larger numbers than they have recently. There are are also a lot of voters who have dropped out of the parties, making it harder to predict how they will vote. Negative campaigning could bite Gavin.

Resolution Opposing SB 827

April 21, 2018

Open Letter to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors:

Re: Resolution Opposing SB 827

Thank you for supporting the resolution opposing Senator Wiener’s SB 827 that would take control of development decisions from local communities and allow the state legislature to remove the options of opposing inappropriate controversial development projects and eliminate the possibility of improving them.

There are many reasons to oppose this bill, but, the major concern shared by opponents is the loss of local control over development decisions. This power must remain in the hands of local authorities. SB 827 establishes a policy of state control over local communities that is dangerous and unwelcome by citizens concerned about the centralization of an overly aggressive state government. At a time when our state policies are threatened by the national government it makes no sense for the state to use similar tactics on our local communities. In plain English, the state needs to leave us alone and protect our interests, not disrupt our lives.

A one-size-fits-all development policy does not work in California. Our state contains a wide range of natural geographic features and natural treasures that need to be protected not exploited. The California deserts, snow-capped mountain peaks, dense redwood forests, and sweeping ocean views have drawn world-wide attention and visitors for over a century. Travelers come for the unparalleled views, not the sports arenas. Taming this land is not in the best interest of our state or humanity. As grand as the land, it is unstable and we have limited resources for unlimited population growth. Some areas are best left to growing crops and raising livestock, not building dense cities.

No one wants to be disrupted or have their lives turned upside down by people whose goal in life is to suck the gold out of the land in a quest for wealth based on changing society. We have seen the results of allowing disruptive industries to grow and thrive unchecked, and we are now trying to reign them in. We cannot make that mistake by overdeveloping the entire state.

Thanks to our local government officials for helping the concerned citizens of California opposing SB 827 and all the other bills that remove local power and hand it over to the state. We appreciate you more than you know.

Sincerely,

Concerned citizens of San Francisco

UPDATE on SB 827: Thanks to the unprecedented opposition to this bill by city and county leaders and citizens all over the state that are now aware of the attempts to undermine the balance of powers by some state representatives in Sacramento, it appears that SB 827 may be dead this year. We understand that the Transportation and Housing Committee members received thousands of letter and requests to oppose the bill. Thanks to everyone who helped kill SB 827. There are more of those coming. Find out about the methods our state representatives are using to push these bills through and how you can stop them.

Come to the SB 827 and Beyond event sponsored by CSFN. Find out how your can protect the sunset from up-zoning by state edict.

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Saturday, April 28, 10 AM, in the Koret Auditorium at the Main SF Library at 100 Larkin Street. Next to Civic Center BART stop.

The Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods will sponsor a forum on the Scott Wiener legislation that is shaking up the state of California. This will be a great opportunity to learn the real facts behind SB 827 and other controversial attempts to change the way California cities are developed.

Find out why people want to protect the local planning process now controlled by our local communities. Speakers: Art Agnos, Former SF Mayor; Zelda Bronstein, Former Berkeley Planning Commissioner; Calvin Welsh, Affordable Housing Advocate; Sophie Maxwell, Former SF Supervisor.

Co-sponsors include: West of Twin Peaks Council, Stand Up for San Francisco, Noe Valley Neighborhood Council, SF Neighborhood Network, Van Ness Corridor Neighborhoods, Livable California.

Due to recent events there may be other speakers and new information on the efforts our state legislation that our representatives are pushing in Sacramento to override our local planning processes.

RSVP : http://evite.me/Cepn64gPT6

RELATED:
Letters to the Editor: California Legislature was right to reject transit-housing bill

SF mayoral hopefuls, minus Breed, hold heated housing debate

One candidate in the San Francisco mayor’s race wants to shake out the pockets of real estate developers. Another wants to sue speculators who he said are putting people out on the street. A third called for a rigorous analysis of the city’s housing stock… (more)

The mayoral candidates have some good ideas to share. Let’s hope that whoever wins, these ideas are considered for development. Please comment on the source if you can.

Fear and Loathing of L.A. and S.F. on the Campaign Trail

By Joe Mathews : zocalopublicsquare – excerpt

Our Gubernatorial Race Could Turn on Which City Californians Resent Most

Which city—San Francisco or Los Angeles—do you love to hate more?

This is shaping up to be California’s question for 2018. Each of the two top contenders for governor is a former mayor of one of those cities, with each embodying certain grievances that Californians hold about their hometowns. And so their campaigns—and the many moneyed interests with a stake in the outcome—are already playing to resentments about these two places.

Gavin Newsom, like San Francisco, is derided as too wealthy, too white, too progressive, too cerebral, too cold, and so focused on a culturally liberal agenda that you might call him out of touch. Antonio Villaraigosa, like Los Angeles, is portrayed as too street, too Latino, too instinctual, too warm, and so unfocused in his economically liberal ideas that you might say he lacks a center…(more)

“Which city—San Francisco or Los Angeles—do you love to hate more?”

That would depend whichever city you reside in. San Francisco was sued by former Mayor Newsom, who came to his senses and agreed to settle. If he does become Governor there is no guarantee he will not continue to attempt to undermine his former home town. There is not widespread support for him among those in the know about the case.

No sure how Los Angeles feels about their former Mayor. Do most enough pepole blame him for the traffic and stack and pack housing that is gentrifying their neighborhoods to bother to vote against him?

After years of anti-car legislation and a failed attempt to get people out of their cars? It seems the more dollars cities pour into fighting cars the more cars their are. Maybe the best solution is to do nothing and see what happens. Given the higher power and more time, will either of these former mayors quit beating that dead horse?

The state Democratic Convention delegates failed to anoint anyone, showing just how divided the party is and leading one to believe that other candidates may stand a chance. Stay tuned…

 

 

Housing bill raising local control fight

By Austin Walsh : smdailyjournal – excerpt

San Francisco senator’s most recent bill drawing mixed perspectives from elected officials, others

The ongoing battle between local control advocates and a lawmaker seeking to overhaul state housing policy ramped up over a recent proposal seeking to incentivize residential development near public transportation.

Senate Bill 827, authored by state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, served as the most recent catalyst for debate between the local legislator and those wishing to preserve the authority of local elected officials when considering housing proposals.

Wiener, who represents San Francisco and a slice of northern San Mateo County, said the bill loosening density regulations near public transit stops could combat the state’s affordability crisis. Most notably, the bill aims to boost allowable building height limits in certain cases to a maximum 85 feet, while also exempting qualified projects from local parking and density limits…

Critics though claim the proposal merely seeks to take away the ability of city councils, planning departments and other local representatives traditionally charged with guiding community development.

“The biggest issue is stripping away planning documents and handing this decision over to developers,” said Jason Rhine, a legislative representative with the League of California Cities…

Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, lent his support to Wiener’s most recent effort, while also noting the need to keep an eye to local control…

Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto, meanwhile was reticent to lend his support to Wiener’s bill while it is still in its formative stages…

State Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, also was reticent to take a position on the most recent bill, with an assumption it will continue to take shape over the coming weeks and months…(more)

You may want to contact the above representative with your concerns about SB 827. Emails according to the format are linked above.

 

 

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