By Kathleen Pender : sfchronicle – excerpt
The owner of the Rite Aid Pharmacy in San Mateo is suing the developer of a large office complex under construction nearby, saying that dewatering at the project caused the store’s floor to sink up to 9 inches in some places, resulting in extensive damage.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because the developer of the Millennium Tower in downtown San Francisco has said the 58-story condominium building sank more than expected because of dewatering at the neighboring Transbay Transit Center. The Transbay Joint Powers Authority rejected those claims, saying the sinking began before the dewatering started and that other nearby buildings were not affected.
Dewatering involves temporarily removing water from the ground around a construction site. If you dig a hole deeper than the water table, the hole will fill up with water, like it would if you dug a hole in the sand near the ocean.
When builders excavate below the groundwater table, they often first sink small wells around the perimeter of the hole to lift water out of the soil. That lowers the water table in the construction site and prevents the excavation from filling up with water. Depending on the type of soil and geology under the sites, it can also cause settling under neighboring buildings…
“It’s a real phenomenon, and it has caused real damage to buildings in the past,” said Alan Kropp, a geotechnical engineer in Berkeley.
Property owners sometimes blame damage on construction dewatering, but it can be hard to prove because other things can cause settling, such as pile driving. If a building sits on what’s known as expansive soil, it could subside during a drought… (more)
By Randal O’Toole : cato – excerpt (includes graphs)
(This article appeared in Washington Post on October 13, 2016.)
The only real solution is to repeal the state laws and local plans that created the problem in the first place.
Housing prices are rapidly rising in many urban areas. Prices in the San Francisco Bay Area are higher today — even after adjusting for inflation — than they were at the height of the 2006 bubble. Data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency bears this out:..
Yet this is not a nationwide problem. Prices in many other areas remain quite reasonable. Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth are the nation’s fastest-growing urban areas, yet they remain affordable (which is one reason they are growing so fast). Here are home prices for areas that don’t try to control urban sprawl (again, the data comes from the Federal Housing Finance Agency):…
The difference is that the urban areas with high housing prices have almost all tried to contain urban “sprawl” by limiting the amount of land around the cities that can be developed, using policies such as urban-growth boundaries, urban-service boundaries or concurrency requirements that limit new growth until infrastructure is totally financed. Anyone who understands supply and demand knows that limiting supply in the face of rising demand leads to higher prices…
The only real solution is to repeal the state laws and local plans that created the problem in the first place. That means abolishing growth boundaries and other constraints and allowing developers to build and sell homes outside of existing urban areas.
There is a growing opposition to the dense development theme. SF has ballot initiatives and LA is preparing a moratorium initiative. People do not like living in crowded conditions and do not like being told how to live.
If the Democrats do not take back the Senate maybe they will start to listen to what the citizens are saying instead of telling us how we must change. It is time for Congress to change.