By Michael Smolens : sandiegouniontribune – excerpt
The shortage of affordable housing in cities across the nation is often described as a crisis, particularly in California.
But within the next 15 years or so, this likely will happen: Baby boomers are expected to put more than 20 million existing homes on the market.
That could have a dramatic effect on the supply and raise long-term questions about current proposals aimed at accelerating housing construction.
The notion of having an eventual overstock of homes seems counterintuitive when these days are filled with horror stories about ridiculously high housing prices that make it hard, if not impossible, for middle-income families to live in San Diego and elsewhere…(more)
by Lee Ohanian : capoliticalreview – excerpt
Is California heading for a recession? According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were fewer people working in October 2019 than in October 2018.
In contrast to the rest of the country, economic expansion has stalled in California, and recession may be on the way. Nationwide, non-farm employment has grown by more than 2.2 million workers. If California’s economy had followed the national trend, we would have added 300,000 new workers to state payrolls over the last year.
Why is California an economic outlier? It is because of economic policies that depress living standards. After decades of some awful policies, the chickens have come home to roost. And despite continued deterioration of quality of life for most Californians, state and local lawmakers are pushing full steam ahead with more policies that depress freedom of choice and economic opportunity… (more)
Host Peter B Collins interviews Susan Kirsch about problems with preemption over local control and MTC’s weak public engagement plan for Plan Bay Area 2050. Show airs Wednesday, December 25th, 6:00-6:30 pm and Thursday, December 26, 11:30 am on MarinTV-Channel 26. Or use this link to watch the show, forward to others, leave a comment, or post to another website. http://184.108.40.206/CablecastPublicSite/show/20934?channel=1
by Janice Bitters : sanjosespotlight – excerpt
A trio of Bay Area planning and business leaders are ramping up efforts to promote a years-long initiative to get a $100 billion tax measure for transit investment on the ballot in Nov. 2020, as opponents of the measure start to push back.
The measure, called FASTER Bay Area, is backed by The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the Bay Area Council and nonprofit urban planning thinktank SPUR, and would increase sales taxes in the nine county Bay Area by 1 percent to raise $100 billion over 40 years for transportation projects.
Before the measure can appear on ballots across the region, the state legislators in both the Senate and Assembly would have to agree in a two-thirds vote to allow residents to cast their own vote. Sen. Jim Beall, (D-San Jose) has agreed to author the legislation that state leaders will vote on next month…
Gladwyn D’Souza, a spokesperson for No Mega Tax, a group that opposes the ballot measure, agrees that the current system isn’t working. But he and the group, made up of what he describes as environmentalists, good governance advocates and anti-tax people, says the responsibility to fix the transportation issues should fall more prominently on large employers’ shoulders.
“The businesses that are putting these projects together are the cause of the problem,” D’Souza said. “They are the ones attracting the jobs in this area, driving the price of housing up so people have to move to Tracy and commute here. Then they are trying to put together this grab bag of projects so the public takes on the problem of trying to fix this mess…(more)
Of course they need more money now that the MTC is going into the development business. There is no limit to how much money they can demand. When does the public say ENUF?
By Laura Waxmann : sfexaminer – excerpt
After publicly criticizing the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection and allegedly violating tenant law, Planning Commissioner Dennis Richards will be taking a leave of absence from his duties on the commission, the San Francisco Examiner has learned.
Richards has not been present for the last two meetings of the commission, which is currently in the midst of vetting candidates for the vacant position of planning department director, a spokesperson for the department confirmed…
In regard to the open question of whether Richards should step down due to a possible conflict of interest, Yee said that Richards’ leave of absence “provides breathing room for me to think about that.”
“There are allegations, but you don’t want to base a decision just on allegations,” he said… (more)
By Sasha Perigo : hoodline – excerpt
On Thursday, a tentative map of priority sites for developing housing in San Francisco over the next 30 years went before the Planning Commission for review.
For the first time, the map aims to prioritize housing growth on the city’s west side, creating the potential to upzone parts of the Sunset District and Richmond District.
The plan has drawn criticism from some westside residents, notably Jake McGoldrick, the former District 1 Supervisor who represented the Richmond District from 2001 to 2009.
“The western side of the city should not be raped — in terms — to somehow or other accommodate some sort of ideology that says those folks aren’t doing their fair share,” McGoldrick told the Planning Commission in November. (A reporter attempted to contact him to clarify these remarks, but he did not respond by press time.)…(more)
The economic divide ha turned the country into a battlefield between the 1% and everyone else. Hopefully there will be room at the small table for the many diverse groups of disenfranchised citizens, including the shrinking middle class, including single family homeowners. No one wants to be up zoned unless they own the property and don’t live on it. That would be the banks, corporations, developers, and others who benefit from land they do not live on when the values rise. Small landowners are under the same threats that tenants are. Most are living on debt and do not stand to walk away with a fraction of the reported values of their homes or want to turn a profit. Most are just living from day to day same as renters. Pushing them out does not serve the public good, it serves the greed cycle by increasing land values.
December 9, 2019
re: Consider Legislation to protect installed solar rooftop systems
Please consider legislation to protect installed solar rooftop systems as you move forward legislation to required them.
As we celebrate the record number of solar panel installations in California, we need to consider what can to done legislatively to protect the installed systems and keep them functioning at the most efficient levels possible.
Solar works in the fog and the rain and cold but it doesn’t wok in shade. We understand their are newer systems function better under partial shade conditions than the traditional ones, but the ones in operation now do not.
Please consider the importance of keeping the solar systems functioning as you work on legislation to require installations. We have done some investigations and discovered legislation written and in use for years by the city of Santa Cruz. We can share our findings with you if that will help move San Francisco legislation forward.
Please share message with your colleagues and staff. Expanding solar installations and local energy grid systems should be considered as a primary method to remove the threat of wildfires and cut the use of non-renewal fuels.
Mari Eliza, concerned citizen and long-time solar panel owner
By Susan Kirsch : marinpost – excerpt
MTC has devised a frivolous and virtually meaningless two-month public participation process that failed to identify a range of stakeholders or identify appropriately geared activities to engage them. They cheerily call their report Pop-Up Events Get People Talking About Bay Area’s Future.
If you want to good laugh (or cry), go to the Plan Bay Area 2050 website and check out their summary of the results of the pop-ups, called Comments from Plan Bay Area 2050 Fall 2019 Pop-up Events…(more)
Opinion by Dick Spotswood : marinij – excerpt
On its face, a recent lawsuit against the city of Mill Valley seems preposterous. “Mill Valley Residents for the Protection of Wildlife” filed an action in Marin County Superior Court to enjoin the city from enforcing its newly enacted vegetation management ordinance. The suit’s basis is the city’s failure to perform a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) analysis.
The city contends its action is exempt from CEQA.
Given that the greatest threat to Marin life and property comes from wildland fire, the suit’s implications, if successful and upheld on appeal, are dire. No public entity could take rational steps to protect its citizens unless the time-consuming CEQA process is pursued. Even controlled burns — a key weapon in reducing runaway wildfires — will be stymied if the full CEQA drill needs be pursued.
Given the plaintiff’s name, there’s an impression the suit was filed by an established nonprofit.
Mill Valley Residents for the Protection of Wildlife is an unincorporated association…
If SB 632 doesn’t do the trick, the state needs to categorically exempt all vegetation management efforts from CEQA. Simultaneously the Legislature should modify CEQA to require showing environmental impacts if proposed actions are not taken.… (more)