New amendments to Scott Wiener’s SB-827 are here

This the latest edition of Amendments to SB-827. We are still concerned with many aspects of the bill.

http://sd11.senate.ca.gov/sites/sd11.senate.ca.gov/files/sb_827_amendments_022718.pdf

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Local inclusionary %affordable requirements apply (anticipated this, doesn’t really change anything)
  2. Rent controlled homes cannot be demolished for SB 827 without local govt demo permit; every displaced tenant will have a Right to Remain Guarantee – which is really only a right of first refusal upon completion at the rent previously “enjoyed” by the tenant in their demolished unit (see #4)
  3. Local demo permit process shall remain
  4. Displacement protections: moving expenses & 42 months rental assistance for comparable unit in the area; right of first refusal…
  5. Local setback and yard requirements remain enforceable
  6. State density bonuses may be added
  7. Transit rich projects only qualify within 1/4 of a transit stop on a corridor; not the corridor itself
  8. Street width changes from curb to curb to property line to property line; the width threshold for the taller heights is now 75 feet instead of 45 feet.
  9. Parcels affected are residential and mixed use; not industrial
  10. SB827 projects may be eligible for SB35 streamlining

This really doesn’t change much. It’s still a power grab, and the heights didn’t change, if anything state density bonus impact is confirmed. We always anticipated the local inclusionary requirement would be present.

No easy fix seen for Bay Area traffic, housing woes

SANTA CLARA – Solutions to the Bay Area’s increasingly brutal traffic and housing woes won’t necessarily arrive with ease, said business, government and political leaders Friday, at a conference focusing on Silicon Valley’s ability to compete against other innovation hubs.

The Silicon Valley Competitiveness and Innovation Project conference, held in Santa Clara, focused primarily on solutions to the region’s toughest challenges, but also brought sobering revelations about the area’s difficulties.

“For the first time ever, we are seeing more people leaving Silicon Valley than are migrating into this area,” said Brian Brennan, a senior vice president with the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, which sponsored the conference.

During 2016, Silicon Valley and several other innovation hubs experienced a net exodus of residents, according to U.S. Census Bureau population estimates. Silicon Valley endured the departure of an average 42 residents a month… (more)

If we look back a few years into past history we can see that a lot of promises to bring jobs into the Bay Area were made and a lot of “good deals” to employers succeeded in bringing high tech jobs here. Assumptions were made that enough money would come in to pay for all the structural changes that fast population growth would bring with it. Studies prove how unrealistic assumptions can be.

Just 23 in-law units built after two years as SF seeks to iron out approval process

By Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

Two years after San Francisco passed a law intended to encourage property owners to add accessory dwelling units to help ease the housing crisis, snags in the approval process are calling into question the program’s effectiveness.

The most recent data shows there have been 109 permits issued for construction of new accessory dwelling units — sometimes called garden apartments, granny units or in-laws — and only 23 units have been built as a result of The City passing legislation in 2016 to allow their construction citywide.

Accessory dwelling units, which are added within a building’s existing envelope, are hailed as a cost-effective way to create affordable housing and are covered by rent-control laws when added to existing rent-controlled buildings.

Applicants, however, are expressing frustration over the approval process and say they are running into obstacles when it comes to passing requirements like the fire code, according to a hearing at the Building Inspection Commission last week… (more)

The program is based on the assumption that a lot of homeowners want to invest in their property to build a new unit to rent out for added income. Why would they want to disrupt their lives and spend a lot of time and money when they like their life the way it is? There are few empty garages in SF and you can’t trust the city to allow you to park outside your home. Why give up your off-street parking space?

These conflicting ideas are not working because you can’t incentivize people to do things they don’t want to do. Maybe instead of hiring consultants to dream up incentive programs, people ignore, City Hall should ask the public to suggest changes they want, and the Planning Department should make it happen for them. If they can work for the developers, they can work for everyone else.

Will California’s Water Wars Create A Constitutional Conundrum?

: KQED – excerpt

With nearly half the state back in drought, California’s water regulator held a contentious hearing in Sacramento on Tuesday on whether to make permanent the temporary water bans enacted by Governor Jerry Brown during the 2014-2017 drought.

The board announced it will revisit the proposed measures in March while it makes some minor revisions to the draft proposals.

Some of the proposed measures relate to restrictions against over watering lawns; hosing down driveways and sidewalks;  washing vehicles with hoses not equipped with a shut-off nozzle; and running non-recirculated water in an ornamental fountain. Certain exceptions would apply for public health and safety reasons or commercial agricultural purposes… (more)

 

Billionaire petitions US Supreme Court to keep people off beach

By : curbed – excerpt

Vinod Khoslas, the billionaire founder of Sun Microsystems, is trying to take his ten-year battle to get exclusive access to one of the Bay Area’s most beautiful and coveted public beaches all the way to the US Supreme Court.

The San Jose Mercury News reported Thursday that Khosla has appealed a unanimous ruling of the First District Court of Appeals against him last August, which held that Khosla has habitually violated California law by trying to bar the only gate to Martins Beach in San Mateo County… (more)

When someone buys property under certain conditions do they have the right to sue to change those condiitions?

New rules to ban jitneys from competing with Muni

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

The City is on the cusp of approving new regulations that will officially bar private transit service Chariot — and similar jitney services, should they arise — from directly competing with existing Muni routes.

Late last year, The City approved its first-ever comprehensive regulations of jitneys, which chiefly govern San Francisco’s only remaining private mass-transit service, Chariot… (more)

Fragranced products to blame for smog as much as cars, study finds

The study, by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and UC Davis, establishes a stronger link than ever before between air pollution and the lotions, perfumes, hair sprays, and other grooming and cleaning products that Bay Area residents use every day…(more)

I am posting this for my friends who are particularly sensitive to anything scented. Cigarettes were early targets but, now scientists are reporting problems with many household products. Construction dust and cleaning supplies are huge contributors to the particulate matter in the air.

Why A Laundromat Might be Considered ‘Historic’

By Joe Kukura : sfweekly – excerpt

A large housing project is delayed because a laundromat is being considered a “historic resource,” so we looked to see if this claim holds any water.

Some San Franciscans’ eyeballs were rolling on spin cycle last week when a 75-unit housing development was delayed four months, so the Board of Supervisors could consider whether the Wash Club laundromat (above) should be considered a “historic resource.” How in the heck could a laundromat constitute a valuable piece of San Francisco history? Why is the history of a laundromat holding up a development project in the midst of a housing crisis? SF Weekly dug through documents submitted to the Planning Commission, to iron out why a laundromat is being evaluated for possible historic significance… (more)

The arguments for historical significance are not what you would expect, but, are indicative of the creative minds working to preserve the SF Mission District for existing residents and businesses. The residents of the Mission stress quality of life over quantity of housing units.

Housing bill could result in 85-foot tall buildings on El Camino

By Elaine Goodman : dailypost – excerpt

A bill introduced in the California Legislature would ease restrictions on housing projects built near transit — bypassing some of the controls over such development by the cities in which they would be built.

Senate Bill 827, introduced last month by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, would remove density limits and parking requirements for housing built close to transit.

It would also set minimum height limits that cities could impose for such development, ranging from 45 feet to 85 feet in some circumstances. A city could increase that height but not go below it…

According to Wiener’s website, the bill is sponsored by a group called California YIMBY, which stands for “Yes in my backyard.”….

City governments oppose the bill

The League of California Cities opposes SB 827, saying it would undermine locally developed general plans (called the Comp Plan in Palo Alto), housing plans and development restrictions… (more)

Opposition from irate citizens around the state convinced the senator to amend SB827, but Many people object to any further interference from the state in local zoning and planning matters under local jurisdiction. Stay tuned for updates as more bills are pouring in. (Technically, the 85 foot buildings could be over 100 feet if the state density bonus is applied to the 85 feet.)

Lawsuit blocks Measure B funds

Local transit projects delayed by legal challenge

Santa Clara County’s new Measure B sales tax has already collected tens of millions of dollars for a multitude of transportation upgrades, but that money is now embargoed from being spent.

An appellate lawsuit filed by Mountain View attorney Gary Wesley on behalf of Saratoga resident Cheriel Jensen is blocking the Valley Transportation Authority from spending any of the $6.5 billion in revenues expected to come from the new tax. For local communities, this means a series of crucial projects — such as plan for Caltrain grade separation and new bikeways — could be on hold for up to two years before the suit is resolved.

The suit seeks to dismantle the sales tax by arguing that the language of Measure B was overly broad and lacked specifics as to how the money would be spent…

Prior to the election, the sales tax raised some political controversy, especially in the northern areas of the county. Elected officials from Palo Alto, Mountain View and other neighboring cities complained that San Jose officials held too much sway on the VTA board. A coalition of nine cities demanded restrictions on how the money would be spent, particularly on how much would be spent bringing a BART extension to San Jose…(more)

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