by George Wooding : westsideobserver – excerpt
If you want to protect your neighborhood, street, or house, it’s time to defeat or mitigate State Senator Scott Wiener’s SB-50 legislation.
Wiener and his allies want to replace the single-family housing stock throughout California with dense/multi-family housing. These structures will derisively be called Wienervilles and will feature many of the same sized and structural components as Hoovervilles.
SB 50 will ruin cherished neighborhoods, severely gentrify working-class areas, significantly worsen housing affordability, and displace thousands of San Franciscans.
SB-50 is designed to add housing density at the expense of residential neighborhoods. The least expensive housing is housing that is already built. This bill will impact 100% of San Francisco’s residential housing stock.
Wiener’s goal is to get rid of residential housing by upzoning all of San Francisco. State legislated upzoning encourages development by offering entitlements to developers. Upzoning avoids any serious planning in neighborhoods, or in the city as a whole. Local residents and businesses will not be able to address serious concerns with everything from housing needs to traffic because upzoning regulations are limited to use and density controls…
…developers will only be constructing market rate housing—not affordable housing—under Wiener’s misguided belief market-rate housing will magically trickle down to affordable housing. This will result in housing price increases, but no increase in housing supply and a city filled with eyesores: Wienerville units. Thanks, Scott, and co-author Phil Ting. ” …
Below is a sample of existing local development standards and planning tools. SB 50 will let developers toss out up to three of them at their discretion, including height limits:
• Setbacks: Areas for trees, green belts, and side yards can be eliminated.
• Floor area ratio: Building size/density can grow 47% to 297%. This means developers can build 85-foot structures next to your house and you can’t do a thing.
• Parking: Developers can build apartment towers with no parking.
• Environmental sustainability: Any development standard adopted by a city that isn’t state law can be ignored by developers.
• Onsite open-space: Courtyards and balconies can be killed.
• Historic buildings/zones: Developers can demolish buildings not on the state’s Registry of Historic Resources….(more)
We all have a California Dream of our own. One-Size-Fits-All legislation does not fit every city or situation in the state and kills most of our California Dreams. How did we get to the point where a handful of elected officials can come close to killing our dreams and limiting our personal freedoms to make way for rich millionaires and billionaires to “eat us alive”, as the New York Times put it. Will the new wealthy tech titans rush to buy homes when they cash in their stock after the companies go public as many predict?
California is no better than any other state at protecting our vulnerable citizens when state officials allow corporations to throw them onto the streets to make room for the wealthy carpetbaggers swarming in for the kill. Landlords and banks are to blame for the homeless crisis. They are erasing affordable housing through foreclosures and evictions to make room for the wealthy now. Wiener’s rush to up zone for them will only make matters worse.
Why do Sacramento legislators and agencies. bend over backyards to accommodate the job-killing tactics of the tech giants? Why do government officials always support the corporations against the will of the taxpaying voters, forcing the public to hire private council and experts to defend against the wealthy investors supported by the state?
Why do our elected officials protect the rights of the wealthy instead of the voters and taxpayers who put them in office? As tech companies are poised to expand their power and control over our lives, we must ask ourselves, where is the humanity in California and who has the right to sell our California dream?