7 developments would add 40,000 jobs but only 11,424 homes

BY EMILY MIBACH : padailypost – excerpt

The Mid-Peninsula will possibly see a 10.1 million-square-foot increase in office space in coming years.

That number comes from just seven projects proposed in Menlo Park, Mountain View, East Palo Alto, Stanford and Redwood City.

This would bring nearly 40,000 new jobs to the area, further exacerbating the already expensive housing market. Of the seven projects, five include housing, but together they wouldn’t provide enough homes to equal the number of new jobs.
The five would result in 11,424 homes.

With 40,000 new jobs, that’s a jobs-housing ratio of 3 to 1…(more)

Senate Bill 50 is a one size fits all solution to housing

By Thomas D. Elias : pe – excerpt

As they consider Senate Bill 50, many who are aware of the latest attempt by San Francisco’s Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener to solve California’s housing shortage believe the plan treats this state as if it were monochromatic.

Wiener offers the same basic solution for everyplace in this vast state of 58 counties and 482 cities, many of which are quite unique. Will the same tactics create significant amounts of new housing in Corona and Chico, Torrance and Trinity County?

Yes, the bill’s author says many things would still be under local discretion, like building setbacks and design. But not density. The entire premise is that making housing dense will make it more affordable.

Wiener would force cities to permit three- and four-story housing within a quarter-mile of all rapid transit stops in the state. Never mind that BART stops along the 580 freeway east of San Francisco don’t look or function like Gold Line stops between Pasadena and downtown Los Angeles…

Some SB50 assumptions are simply incorrect, even if sustainability purists believe in them. New rail lines opened in recent years by the Los Angeles area’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, for example, have not significantly increased overall regional transit ridership. There is also no evidence that the mentally ill, a significant portion of California’s homeless populace, are either interested in or financially able to move into small new apartments.

SB50 essentially glosses over these and other realities. But a new white paper from the South Bay Cities Council of Governments, made up of 16 cities in southwestern Los Angeles County, offers a different perspective…

The question: Can SB50 be altered enough to defuse the sense that it’s monolithic and dictatorial? If not, count on resistance to this major proposal if it passes, along with a ballot referendum, and possible repeal. Which would leave California’s very serious housing problems back at Square 1… (more)

Give your opinion about the fate of the greenhouse property!

By Elisa Laird-Metke : portolaplanet – excerpt

Many in the neighborhood are strongly in favor of the vision put forward by The Greenhouse Project for an urban farm on the site. The Friends of 770 Woolsey Street came together once the property was acquired by the developers, to unite and amplify the neighborhood’s belief in preserving our Garden District history at the site–the last of what used to be 21 such local nurseries (the other 20 are all now housing). The developers’ first meeting was held Thanksgiving week, and even during the holidays, 90 Portola residents showed up. The collective opposition expressed to the condo development was strong, and the developers went back to the drawing board.

Even if you don’t believe the greenhouses will succeed, if you don’t like the fact that there will be 63 homes on the block (most blocks in the Portola have around 33), or that they would only offer one parking space for each unit (even the 3 and 4 bedrooms), or that they would be three stories tall and look completely out of character with the surrounding homes, or that they will greatly increase traffic neighborhood-wide, or that only a tiny fraction of the 63 units will be priced low enough for regular San Franciscans to afford, then you should come give the speculators that feedback, so they know they’ll need to adjust their designs. This is your opportunity to be heard, before their plans are finalized!

Free dinner, too! See you there!…(more)

Rare bee species makes comeback

appress – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A rare species of sand-loving bees is making a comeback in San Francisco’s Presidio for the first time in about a century.

The San Francisco Chron­icle reports Friday ecologists spotted hun­dreds of silver digger bees in the park last week while surveying a dune res­to­ration project in the park.

Experts believe the re­moval of invasive plants and the restoration of dunes and grasses at the former military base helped bring back the bees. They said the bees were com­mon in San Francisco as late as the 1920s but began to disappear when the coastal prairie on the western side of the city was paved over for development…(more)

Good news on the environmental front? Friendly bees making a comeback in San Francisco?

Taxpayers Group Can’t Find Link Between Spending, Homelessness Decline

by Debbie L. Sklar : timesofsandiegoby – excerpt

While government spending on local homeless services has dramatically increased throughout the county over the last decade, the effect of that spending is difficult to quantify, according to a report released Tuesday by the San Diego Taxpayers Educational Foundation.

Each of the county’s jurisdictions does a poor job of tracking homelessness data points such as use of homeless services, according to the SDTEF, the research arm of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association.

Because of the poor data collection, it is difficult to determine just how much homeless spending affects local homelessness populations, according to the report, which notes that countywide spending on homelessness services increased by more than 2,000 percent between 2009 and 2018.

“As long as cities within San Diego County continue to use different methods to measure the impact of homelessness services, we don’t know what we don’t know,” said SDCTA President and CEO Haney Hong. “Government spending on homelessness reduction efforts has steadily increased over the past decade, but our research shows that homelessness has not steadily decreased.”… (more)

Cities, not Congress, are clipping Big Tech’s wings

By Stephen Frank : axios – excerpt

Big tech companies like Alphabet and Amazon are finding that the most active efforts to rein them in are coming not from Congress but from the cities they want to call home.

Why it matters: Major cities have experienced the bulk of the tech industry’s growth. That’s brought jobs and wealth, as well as gentrification and skyrocketing housing prices.

What’s happening: “All the action is in the cities,” said Bradley Tusk, a prominent campaign operative who now invests in and advises startups, in an email…(more)

Political Punch: Hard times away from California’s coast are a problem for politicians

By John Wildermuth : sfchronicle – excerpt (via email)

The state’s latest employment figures are chock full of good news for the Bay Area and Southern California, but bring more of the same dismal message to the Central Valley.
That could be worrisome for a pair of Democrats who swept into Congress in November on the nationwide blue wave and now have to show voters they can provide the local help that’s desperately needed.
Rep. T.J. Cox of Bakersfield finds his district at very bottom of the state’s jobs well, with an 11 percent unemployment rate in February that was the highest of any of California’s 53 congressional districts. Rep. Josh Harder’s Modesto-area district is also hurting, at 6.8 percent. Both are much higher than California’s overall 4.2 percent.
They’re not alone, and it’s not just a Democratic problem. Of the 10 congressional districts with the highest unemployment rates, seven are in the Central Valley. They include the homes of Tulare Republican Rep. Devin Nunes at 8.6 percent and Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, the House GOP leader, at 8.2 percent.
It’s a simple fact of economic life in California, said Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable, which produces a monthly report on the state’s employment figures.
“From the counties where you can’t see the ocean, it’s high unemployment and a completely different job picture” than along the coast, he said.

The new numbers reinforce that picture. Five Bay Area districts sport the state’s lowest unemployment numbers, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco district at 2.3 percent. The next five are all in coastal Southern California.
That’s great news for three Southern California Democrats who flipped GOP-held congressional seats in November. Reps. Mike Levin of Oceanside (San Diego County), Katie Porter of Irvine (Orange County) and Harley Rouda of Newport Beach (Orange County) all represent prosperous, job-heavy areas where the unemployment rate now is 2.8 percent or lower. That gives them one less thing to worry about in their 2020 re-election campaigns.
The geography of the jobs’ gap also shows up in the Legislature. The state’s lowest unemployment rates are seen in Democratic state Sen. Jerry Hill’s Peninsula district (2.1 percent) and in San Mateo Democratic Assemblyman Kevin Mullin’s (2.0 percent).
On the wrong end of the job scale? It’s a pair of Central Valley Democrats, state Sen. Melissa Hurtado of Sanger (Fresno County) at 12.2 percent and Assemblyman Rudy Salas of Bakersfield at 11.2 percent… (more)

There is no reason to continue to pour more money and jobs onto the coast that is struggling to keep up with the increase in jobs and housing when there are vast amounts of land, housing and labor inland that has recieved none of the attention from the high tech firms, or financing for badly needed medical and educational facilities. Send the jobs to the workers and the housing. Quit pouring more inot the coast citiees.

Bay Area Polls: Housing and Traffic Misery Abound — But Many Are Ready to Help Pay for (Part of) the Fix

By Ryan Levi, Buy Marzorati, Dan Brekke : kqed (audio track)


A number of polls are out on this subject. These issues regarding housing and traffic may effect the outcome of the next election. These are national problems that effect the entire country not just California. Quality of life decisions and local control are huge issues that should be part of the presidential platform.

Bay Area voters: ‘Yes, we’ll pay to fix traffic’ but middling support for housing plan Ev en though the ‘cost of housing’ topped the list of their cocerns

By Erin Baldassari : mercurynews – excerpt

They’re the twin demons plaguing Bay Area residents: the never-ending grind of bumper-to-bumper traffic and the ever-climbing cost of housing.

But in a recent poll, voters said that when it comes to tackling those most vexing issues, they are far more willing to open their wallets to fix traffic problems than they are to support a wide-ranging plan to bring down high housing costs…(more)

Could it be the public isn’t buying the rhetoric and reasoning behind the CASA Compact and SB50?

Lori Droste’s “Missing Middle” Housing Proposal Needs a Reality Check (PUBLIC COMMENT)

By Zelda Bronstein : berkeleydailyplanet – excerpt

Item 22 on the council’s March 26 agenda is a proposal to allow “missing-middle” housing—“duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, courtyard apartments, bungalow courts, townhouses, etc.”—“across Berkeley.” The measure is sponsored by Councilmembers Droste and endorsed by Councilmembers Bartlett, Kaserwani, and Robinson, with Droste taking the lead.

In her memo, Droste argues that extensive residential densification would

· remedy the city’s legacy of racial discrimination;

· “encourage] greater socioeconomic diversity”;

· and “potentially reduce greenhouse gas consumption” by “allowing the production of more homes near jobs centers and transit”

To back up these claims, Droste cites letters of support from UC Berkeley Professor Karen Chapple, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, and a laudatory March 11 op-ed in the Chronicle by State Senator Nancy Skinner…

We just heard from people who tried to ask Senator Skinner’s office staffs some questions about SB50. It seems that her staff did not have many answers. We need to concern ourselves over any complex legislation that the Senator’s staff cannot explain.

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