Editorial: BART housing bill exposes lots of hypocrisy

Chronicle editorial board : sfchronicle – excerpt

People’s parking: The North Berkeley BART station’s locally beloved expanse of asphalt. The Berkeley City Council went on record Tuesday solemnly urging the governor to declare homelessness a statewide emergency while noting its own “comprehensive” efforts to grapple with the housing shortage. At the same time, the council formally objected to legislation that might allow new apartments to encroach on the ocean of asphalt surrounding the North Berkeley BART Station…

Judging by some cities’ reactions to the Chiu-Grayson bill, AB2923, that’s no accident. Berkeley’s council narrowly voted to join Hayward, Concord, Lafayette and the League of California Cities in opposing the legislation. Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín, who is among the bill’s detractors, insisted that he “strongly” supports housing at the North Berkeley station but wants to retain “control over shaping our future.”… (more)

Anti-state overreach efforts have reached a high note, as more government officials join the ranks of the disillusioned. A state charter amendment is being prepared that could override much of the legislation that California legislators are feverishly trying to pass while Governor Brown is still in office. The citizens are getting restless and demanding new solutions to the housing crisis as they tire of watching the parade of homeless tents being shoved from block to block. The old supply and demand arguments are fading fast.

One thought on “Editorial: BART housing bill exposes lots of hypocrisy

  1. In the SF Chronicle editorial of May 31, “BART housing bill exposes lots of hypocrisy” regarding the Berkeley City Council’s rejection of Chiu-Grayson bill, AB2923, It does not recognize the real issues that local cities must face. According to Chiu and Grayson, their bill would “encourage affordable and market-rate housing development on vacant BART property and limit cities’ power to obstruct it.” Berkeley City Council’s opposition was concern over the responsibilities that accompany the development of housing.

    We in Berkeley are NOT nimby’s; we recognize the need to increase density and have done so. But this legislation does not take into account the city’s burden of increased traffic, need for better public transportation, influx of more school students, increased water consumption, sewer expansion, garbage collection, and infrastructure maintenance. Berkeley right now is suffering from traffic congestion, low BART capacity, housing the homeless and other issues. In this poorly designed legislation, affordable housing is for people of $78,000 a year or more. We want housing for people of low and ordinary income as well as students. And funding to accommodate the services that increased density would require.

    This legislation would dump housing for the rich on our city without guaranteeing housing for students and low income people or provide funds for increased city expenses. We in Berkeley would like to retain the power to get the kind of housing needed by our people and work for legislation that includes funding the expenses and responsibilities that go along with increased density.


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