Point Reyes lawsuit settlement harms dairies, climate change fight

By Albert Straus : sfchronicle – excerpt

Photos of Marin Seashore by zrants

The Point Reyes National Seashore is at a turning point. The settlement agreement in U.S. District Court pits environmentalists and farmers against one another by requiring the national park to consider reducing or eliminating the historic ranches that have been on the land for more than 100 years.

As the son of farmers and environmentalists who helped create the park, I believe that this divide is misguided. Eliminating the park’s cattle ranches and dairies would remove six out of 25 organic dairy operations in Marin County. As a lifelong dairyman, I have spent the past four decades building a successful model for organic and sustainable dairy production. In fact, organic farming and ranching, combined with carbon farming practices, are a critical step in the urgent fight against climate change…

UC Berkeley scientists have spent a decade on a large-scale research project here in Marin County. They found that if one-quarter inch of compost were applied over just 5 percent of the state’s grazing lands, the soil could capture the equivalent of a year’s worth of greenhouse gas emissions from California’s farm and forestry industries…(more)

Why would anyone want to remove working family farms that produce the high value quality food California residents like to eat? What do they have in mind for this land that is not near any city jobs and is a tourist favorite? Is someone planning to construct a “transit rich” development project here? Fog Tower at the beach?


How affordable housing mandates make housing more expensive

 : latimes – excerpt

This month the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether to hear a legal challenge to San Jose’s controversial inclusionary housing ordinance. Enacted in 2010 and upheld by California’s top court in June, this zoning law requires housing developers of 20 or more units to sell 15% of them at prices far below their market value or pay a six-figure fee instead…(more)

Wiener’s Even More Onerous Senate Bill 828

While Senate Bill 827 is getting all the attention it deserves, sitting in its’ shadow is another equally onerous Senate Bill proposed by Scott Wiener and likely authored again his partner in crime Brian Hanlon – See Senate Bill 828 with the innocuous title “Land Use: Housing Element”

For decades every city and county in California has been given a housing quota, or “Regional Housing Needs Assessment” allocation (RHNA, often pronounced ree-na) that it must plan for. Cities don’t build housing or submit housing proposals (a fatal flaw in Wiener’s Senate Bill 828 we’ll come back to) but these quotas require that cities and counties produce specific numbers of units at different income levels.

These quotas are calculated by a number of regional government bodies such as the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), and the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG)…

Senate Bills 35 and 828 – A deadly cocktail

The fundamental flaw of Senate Bill 35 is that cities do not control how many development proposals are submitted for approval. Yet, SB 35 holds cities accountable for how many units they approve. Anyone can easily understand this disconnect. Wiener and Hanlon who authored SB35 chose not to…

SB 828 dramatically increases RHNA quotas(more)

Thankfully a lot of California cities and counties are demanding their state reps oppose this bill. NO amendment will work when the intent is to overturn local jurisdiction over land use and zoning, as these bills are doing. Either you are for centralized government and the state control of your city or not.


MTC Pledges $10 Million for New Fund to Preserve Affordable Housing

mtc – excerpt

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) today committed $10 million to establish a new revolving loan fund known as the Bay Area Preservation Pilot Fund to help nonprofit developers finance the acquisition and preservation of existing multifamily housing properties that are located in areas with high-frequency transit service and are considered affordable for lower- and moderate-income renters. The Commission’s stake will be supplemented by an additional $39 million from Preservation Pilot managers Enterprise Community Loan Fund (ECLF) and Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) to make a total of $49 million available for new loans…

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 Contact: John Goodwin, (415) 778-5262… (more)

Who is not involved in real estate? How does financing housing relate to the mission of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission? Please comment at the source if you can.



The Top Talent of Tech Disruptors and Titans

paysa – excerpt

I asked if anyone has any data on how long tech workers stay in their jobs, since we are building homes for them to shorten their commutes. I was directed to this article. Please share this with credit to the source.

How Long Do Employees Stay?

… We already know Amazon’s turnover rate is among the highest but what about other tech disruptors and titans? Whose employees stick around the longest, and whose are heading for the hills?

Facebook had the highest average employee tenure at just over two years, with Google and Oracle not far behind (at just under two years). But here’s a surprise: The highest turnover rate didn’t belong to Amazon. It was Uber that lead the race to the bottom, with 1.2 years of the average employee tenure…(more)

If the average stay at a tech job is less than two years, how can we build housing that cuts commute times for workers who move every two years and why are we disrupting and displacing our communities to make room for a temporary work force?

Please share with credits as follows: Fair Use Statement: Want to share our content for noncommercial purposes? Feel free to share and geek out on the data with us, just link your readers back to this page.


CEQA isn’t stopping housing, it’s protecting health

: sacbee – excerpt

California needs affordable housing. But legislators must follow the data, not anecdotal evidence from monied interests, to find a legislative fix that will encourage development consistent with California’s priorities.

Communities throughout the state, particularly poor and minority neighborhoods, need permanent housing without risking health or increasing carbon emissions.

Some profit-focused developers point a finger at the California Environmental Quality Act as a key obstacle to building more housing. The facts tell a different story. Today’s streamlined CEQA protects public health and natural resources while giving voice to disadvantaged communities.

Multiple recent studies show that CEQA is not a significant barrier to development. Since its adoption in 1970, CEQA has been updated regularly. Senate Bill 226 in 2011 simplified the review of urban infill projects and affordable housing near public transit…

The 2016 proposal put forth by the governor, for example, offered exemptions to high-priced housing units, favoring developers while clearing the way for projects that would have increased air pollution and encouraged sprawl.

There is a disturbing trend in national politics to substitute falsehoods for facts. We can’t let that happen with the laws that protect our natural resources, public health and economy. CEQA keeps the Golden State clean and green by promoting transparency and public accountability.

Allen Hernandez is executive director of the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice in Riverside. He can be contacted at Allen.H@CCAEJ.org(more)

The Top Talent of Tech Disruptors and Titans





Muni train platform redesign for new Warriors arena balloons to $33 million

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

A train stop by the Warriors’ new stadium in Mission Bay is set to double in size to accommodate the championship team’s ever-growing fanbase, but the cost to rebuild that stop has also grown by $6 million…

When the Chase Center opens in 2019, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency hopes to rebuild the 160-foot-long light-rail platform at the site to 320 feet long to accommodate more trains and throngs of blue-and-yellow-clad passengers. Officially dubbed the UCSF Platform and Track Improvement Project, the station is also across from UC San Francisco Medical Center at Mission Bay.

The project will include not only the lengthened platform, but the installation of new rail for the T-Third line and train detection and control systems, utility work above and below ground on sewers and electrical lines and street and sidewalk improvements…

“Due to recent bid environment and additional scope, the Project currently has an overall project shortfall of $17.6M,” SFMTA staff wrote. The SFMTA has been working with The Mayor’s Office to identify potential fund sources to address the shortfall.

The Mayor’s Office said no additional dollars from The City’s general fund would be used for the project… (more)


New housing bill to add housing near transit has residents worried about the ‘Manhattan-ization’ of the Bay Area

By Riley McDermid : bizjournal – excerpt

A new bill aimed at fixing at least part of the state’s housing crisis has some Bay Area residents worried about the “Manhattan-ization” of the region, as it looks to add more housing units at potentially higher heights to projects near transit hubs.

Sponsored by Sen. Scott Wiener, (D-San Francisco), Senate Bill 827 wants to allow more housing near rail, BART and Caltrain stations, with more housing added within a half mile of those stops. Units added would also be allowed to be higher than they currently are in many cases, from four to eight stories, and possibly even taller if they were closer to transit hubs.

Proponents of the bill say California’s preference for single-family neighborhoods has put a bottleneck on building supply for housing-starved neighborhoods, while those against it say turning to building housing in taller structure could lead to a forest of apartment towers…(more)

The list of cities opposing this bill, in the San Francisco Bay Area, where Senator Wiener’s constituents are most appalled, has many hoping this will not pass. In spite of recent amendments meant to appease some affordable housing advocates, the bill remains unpopular.


Westwood group sues, files petition against proposed UCLA housing project

By Jacob Preal : dailybruin – excerpt

A Westwood group is suing the University of California and UCLA over a proposed student-housing project in Westwood Village.

The Westwood History and Architecture Association and Steve Sann, chair of the Westwood Community Council, filed a petition Wednesday ordering UCLA to halt a building project at the UCLA Extension site building on Le Conte Avenue. The suit claims that UCLA and the UC have not adequately followed California Environmental Quality Act guidelines.

The act requires building projects adhere to the rules of state and local agencies regarding their possible environmental impacts. The UC’s CEQA handbook requires that UC campuses make their buildings compatible with their surroundings…(more)


Meet the Lawyer Suing Equifax and Apple

By Peter Lawrence Kane : sfweekly – excerpt

Scott Cole is an Alameda attorney on a crusade against corporate malfeasance. Why take on just one giant and not two?

In September, the credit bureau Equifax revealed that a data breach exposed 143 million people to potential credit fraud — and that the company had known about it for weeks before taking action. In that time, several executives unloaded their company stock, and when Equifax finally tried making amends, it did so by feigning contrition and trying to trick people into forfeiting their right to a class-action lawsuit. It was, and is, maddening.

Enter Scott Cole, a class-action attorney who specializes in employment- and environmental-law cases and whose firm, Scott Cole & Associates is located in Alameda. Cole is well-known among his peers for his work in the 1994 case in which Crockett, Calif., sued Unocal over weeks of toxic emissions that left the East Bay town a well-known cancer cluster. (The company currently exists only as a subsidiary of Chevron.) Cole’s forthcoming book Fallout chronicles this history... (more)