San Francisco to Take Its Time Getting to Zero Waste

By J. Eric Miller : potreroview – excerpt

After a 2017 announcement by the Chinese government that it’d no longer accept shipments of recycled materials from foreign countries that contain more than one percent impurities, the world lost its largest market for recycled paper and plastic, driving prices down and turning trash back into garbage. Some cities, like Philadelphia and Memphis, have reduced or suspended their recycling efforts as a result. San Francisco, which in 2003 committed to achieving zero waste by 2020, has given itself significantly more time to reach that goal…

“China’s restrictions changed the marketplace,” SF Recology spokesperson Robert Reed noted. “China requires bales of recyclables, such as paper, and plastic such as detergent bottles and water bottles, contain less than one percent impurities. An almost impossible standard to meet. San Francisco has stepped up to work towards that standard.” … (more)

PG&E shutoffs now affecting 48,000 in Northern CA as some enter 3rd day without power

Tribune News Source : sfexaminer – excerpt

PG&E confirmed Wednesday morning that power was cut overnight to about 48,200 customers across seven Northern California counties. The outage will continue through most of Wednesday, as critical fire weather conditions linger in the Sierra Nevada foothills and North Bay.

The public safety power shutoff was initiated between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. Wednesday in Butte, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sonoma and Yuba counties, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said in a news release shortly after 6 a.m.

Who and what are being affected?

I bet the customers wish they had alternative energy now. Living off the grid cold become a way of life if the government helped those who help themselves by investing in those systems.

State rebate for electric cars may be tried again: Roadshow

By Gary Richards: mercurtynews – excerpt

Q: I am sad that Assemblyman Phil Ting’s bill to increase state rebates for EVs did not pass. We need to incentivize both purchases of EVs (especially the lower-priced ones) and the installation of more EV charging stations…

A: This is almost certain to come up again. Ting’s bill would set aside state money for this program. No need to rely on federal aid or Donald Trump…

More than 1.5 million electric vehicles will be on California roads by 2025, and 5 million by 2030.

Assembly Bill 1184 [AB 1046] would have created the California Electric Vehicle Initiative (CEVI). It would provide point-of-sale rebates to EV buyers, with the rebate value scaled-down as state EV sales hit certain milestones, up until 2030.

CEVI rebates would be redeemed at car dealerships, reducing the sale price right at the time of purchase and eliminating the need to file tax rebates with the state. They would be valued initially to make the cost of battery-powered vehicles comparable to similar models of gasoline-powered vehicles, after federal and other credits. Its $3 billion worth of incentives would come from a portfolio of taxpayer-neutral sources. Transportation accounts for 40 percent of California’s greenhouse gas emissions. California has set ambitious goals to reduce emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels in 2030…(more)

The article is referencing the wrong bill. The correct number of the 2019 Ting California Electric Vehicle Initiative is AB 1046.



Effort to make LA more eco-friendly means foreclosure for one homeowner

Hosted by Steve Chiotakis : kcrw – excerpt (includes audio)

By Anna Scott

Standing in her den, Gwendolyn Lang looks up at a faded family portrait on the wall. Taken in the late 1970s, it shows Lang and her late husband with five of their six children. “All except one,” she said, adding that the son missing from the photo “never liked being around all the other kids.”

Lang, 80, has lived in this small, beige house in Gardena for 50 years. Now, despite the framed photos still on display, she’s moving out. Half-packed cardboard boxes sit on the floor. Lang was foreclosed on earlier this year because of her participation in a program called Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, which provides LA County homeowners with no-money-down loans for eco-friendly home improvements. Borrowers repay the loans in installments that get rolled into their property taxes.

Critics of the program say lax lending standards have paved the way for predatory contractors to take advantage of elderly homeowners like Lang

Dotting the i’s

Cities and counties around the country have PACE programs. In California, PACE has funded more than $3 billion in efficiency upgrades in recent years, according to the state treasurer’s office. The way it works in Los Angeles, the county funds the program but contracts with private lenders to handle the financing. The ground-level work of finding participants and signing them up generally falls to home improvement contractors, sometimes going door-to-door. That’s how Lang met Frank Achuff in January of 2016… (more)

Not A CEQA “Project”? Not So Fast, Lead Agency!

Supreme Court Reverses Fourth District’s Decision That San Diego’s Adoption of Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ordinance Was Not A Project Requiring CEQA Review

Introduction And Overview

On August 19, 2019, the California Supreme Court issued its unanimous 38-page opinion, authored by Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye, in the CEQA “project definition” case we’ve been tracking with interest. Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, Inc. v. City of San Diego (California Coastal Commission, Real Party in Interest) (2019) ____ Cal.5th ____, Case No. S238563. As anticipated based on the high court’s questioning and remarks at oral argument (see “Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in CEQA Project Definition Case,” posted June 6, 2019), it reversed the Fourth District Court of Appeal’s decision that the City’s approval of the medical marijuana dispensary ordinance at issue was not a CEQA “project”; accordingly, it held that the City was required to treat it as such and “proceed to the next steps of the CEQA analysis.”…

…the City’s action adopting the dispensary ordinance was, indeed, a “project” under the test announced in its 2007 decision in Muzzy Ranch – “a proposed activity is a CEQA project if, by its general nature, the activity is capable of causing a direct or reasonably foreseeable indirect physical change in the environment.” …(more)

Governor Newsom will not sign SB1

According to the Sierra Club,

Governor Newsom has now told the press that he will not sign SB1 when it arrives on his desk. He will veto it. A Sierra Club spokesperson said, “He essentially sided with agriculture and certain water agencies that opposed the bill because of language that would clarify that the California Endangered Species Act would cover the Central Valley Project (which includes the upper Sacramento River).”

More details on SB1:

Massive Santa Clara project with tall towers blocked by FAA

By Janice Bitters : sanjosespotight – excerpt

One of the largest proposed developments in Santa Clara will get a shakeup this year after the Federal Aviation Administration raised red flags about the tall towers in the project, according to the developer, Kylli Inc.

The Chinese developer has been working since early 2018 on a tall, mixed-use proposal called Mission Point that would span around 10.6 million square feet with buildings reaching 370 feet tall or higher on a 49-acre property once owned by Yahoo. Now the FAA has told the developer that buildings taller than 61 feet — or about six stories — pose a problem on the site at 3005 Democracy Way because of concerns about radar interference.

“We think there’s a lot of room around that height,” Randi Gerson, vice president of real estate development for Kylli, said in an interview with San José Spotlight. “We know that if we work with our consultant and work with the FAA we can find a different height that is not 61 feet, but it’s not going to be 370 feet, either.”

Kylli is an American subsidiary of Chinese pharmaceuticals and real estate company Genzon…(more)

I’ve been wondering about that airport in the middle of downtown San Jose for a while. Looks like the FAA is finally starting to question the wisdom of adding more obstacles to the path of the planes and the probable wind tunnels that will have a major effect on the area as well.

California Wages War On Single-Family Homes

By Joel Kotkin : forbes – excerpt

In recent years, homeowners have been made to feel a bit like villains rather than the victims of hard times, Wall Street shenanigans and inept regulators. Instead of being praised for braving the elements, suburban homeowners have been made to feel responsible for everything from the Great Recession to obesity to global warming.

In California, the assault on the house has gained official sanction. Once the heartland of the American dream, the Golden State has begun implementing new planning laws designed to combat global warming. These draconian measures could lead to a ban on the construction of private residences, particularly on the suburban fringe. The new legislation’s goal is to cram future generations of Californians into multi-family apartment buildings, turning them from car-driving suburbanites into strap-hanging urbanistas…(more)

The author covers a number of errors, omissions, and misleading spin by the state and regional authorities.
One of my favorite urbanist myths is that they plan to reduce waste as they cram more people into smaller spaces, like the over-priced cramped quarters Hong Kong youth are protesting right now. If there is one thing all humans do it is create waste, and the pile is growing as the throw away and replace economy booms. They will never reduce waste.

100% Renewable Energy Requirements on new commercial Properties : (ncludes video link to the hearing)

Land Use and Transportation Committee presentation on proposed Ordinance 190708 Environment Code – 100% Renewable Energy Required for On-Site Electricity Demands in Nonresidential Buildings of 50,000 Square Feet or More. (Details)

If you can watch the one public comment at the end of the presentation. Around 14:14.


BART considers buying, upgrading new Oakland headquarters for $227 million

By Madeline Wells : sfgate – excerpt

Thought you were the only one struggling to keep up with the high cost of living in the Bay Area? Well, looks like even BART is getting priced out by sky-high rent increases. With its current headquarters’ lease at the Kaiser Center complex in Oakland expiring in 2021, the transit agency is facing a rent increase by more than 60 percent, according to a report Friday from the San Francisco Chronicle

This is where the BART money is going? Building is now the only goal of our transportation agencies?

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