Moms 4 Housing spurs right-to-purchase law in Oakland

By Sam Lew : 48hills – excerpt

City Council to consider bill that would give renters the right to buy their units to prevent speculators from flipping

Homeless moms who garnered national support after taking over a home in West Oakland have spurred legislation to protect Oakland tenants through a first right of purchase for rental housing that goes on the market.

Oakland Councilmember Nikki Fortunato Bas introduced the aptly named the Moms 4 Housing Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act legislation Thursday…(more)

Easier commute, higher home prices?How better transit options impacts 3 hot neighborhoods

sfgate – excerpt

Bay Area traffic has gotten exponentially worse during the region’s housing boom. Major freeways and thoroughfares essentially become parking lots during commuting hours, causing some prospective homebuyers to start focusing on regions with strong public transportation.

Specifically, Point Richmond, which recently restarted ferry service to downtown San Francisco; Antioch, which opened a BART terminal in Spring of 2018; and Novato, whose Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit station has been operating since August of 2017…

Realtors from Point Richmond, Novato and Antioch all agree that home prices have increased in the immediate vicinity of these public transit hubs… (more)

Preston, advocates pressure major landlord to sell buildings to city or nonprofits

By David Horowitz : sfexaminer – excerpt

San Francisco’s largest owner of rent-controlled properties is unwilling to entertain demands made Monday to pause the company’s marketing and sale of 2,163 housing units to the private market, according to Juliana Bunim, a spokesperson for real estate giant Veritas Investments.

Supervisor Dean Preston and the Housing Rights Committee, which released a list of the 76 building addresses to the public on its Facebook page on Jan. 20, on Monday called for a 60-day pause in the proposed sales in order to allow The City or nonprofits more time to explore buying some or all of the units.

Preston said he sent a letter to Veritas Investments CEO Yat-Pang Au asking for the extra time, which could also help enable the creation of protections and long-term stability for the tenants whose units are for sale, as well as for the screening of potential buyers. He asked for an answer by Friday…

On Dec. 20, 2019, Veritas Investments listed the units exclusively to qualified nonprofits, giving them first right of refusal until Jan. 18, 2020 — the date the company could begin marketing to potential buyers. This period of exclusivity met the requirements of San Francisco’s new Community Opportunity to Purchase Act, approved by the Board of Supervisors last year, which is intended to make it easier for nonprofits to acquire buildings…(more)

Federal complaint alleges bribery, corruption schemes from Public Works boss Mohammed Nuru

By Joe Eskenazi : misisonlocal – excerpt

Mohammed Nuru faces 25 years for alleged corruption and allegedly lying to FBI about disclosing ongoing investigation after agreeing to cooperate; restaurateur Nick Bovis faces 20 years.

In announcing charges against Public Works director Mohammed Nuru and Lefty O’Doul’s owner Nick Bovis, U.S. Attorney David Anderson alleged “corruption is pouring into San Francisco from around the world.”

The 75-page complaint, unsealed today, alleges “corruption, bribery, and side deals by one of San Francisco’s highest-ranking public employees. San Francisco has been betrayed as alleged in the complaint.”

Nuru is facing 20 years incarceration on corruption charges. He is facing an additional five years because, after being initially arrested on Jan. 21, he purportedly agreed to cooperate in an ongoing FBI investigation and keep the existence of the investigation secret. He was yesterday re-arrested after allegedly breaking this promise and lying about doing so to the FBI…

Anderson and FBI special agent in charge Jack Bennett outlined “five schemes.” The charges stem from the first and the four others are “charged to show state of mind.” They are: 1. The Airport Scheme; 2. The Multimillion-Dollar Mixed-Use Development Scheme; 3. The Transbay Transit Center Scheme; 4. The Bathroom Trailer and Homeless Shelter Scheme; 5. The Vacation Home Scheme…(more)

Santa Barbara City Council Temporarily Bans Granny Flats in High Fire Zones

By Nick Walsh : independent – excerpt

Nearly two months after Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill to eliminate local controls that might hinder the development of new granny flats ​— ​otherwise known as accessory dwelling units (ADUs) ​— ​the Santa Barbara City Council voted unanimously to enact an emergency ban on new granny-flat applications in parts of town where steep and narrow roads make mass evacuations challenging if not impossible. This temporary ban also applies to historically significant properties that might be compromised by such development and could last for as long as a year.

In this time, the council and city staff will attempt to craft local ordinances that comply with the state’s radical new hands-off doctrine when it comes to housing regulations, while also addressing the health-and-safety concerns expressed by city Fire Marshal Joe Poiré and traffic engineer Derrick Bailey. They contend the potential onslaught of new granny flats in certain single-family neighborhoods could generate enough additional traffic and congestion ​— ​especially in times of fire ​— ​to constitute an imminent threat to public safety.

Whether it’s possible for the council to draft anything that meets the Legislature’s newfound sense of urgency when it comes to California’s housing crisis remains to be seen. But without the emergency measure enacted by the council, Santa Barbara’s own granny-flat ordinance would have been deemed null and void as of January 1. In its place would have been the state’s less-restrictive language…(more)

New Luxury Units Not ‘Workforce Housing,’ Says Sneddon

By Nick Welsh : independent – excerpt

Santa Barbara City Councilmember Calls Out New Anacapa Street Apartment Building

Housing costs have grown so astronomical throughout the South Coast that new luxury apartments in downtown Santa Barbara — going for as much as $5,250 a month for a two-bedroom unit — now fall within the definition of “workforce housing” for purposes of securing City Hall bonus density incentives designed to promote the creation of new rental units. That’s the case for the brand-new Casa Anatega building, located at the architecturally sensitive intersection of Anacapa and Ortega streets.

The new building, developed by Michael Rosenfeld and Austin Herlihy, offers 30 units of rental housing on top of a ground floor of still-to-be-determined retail or commercial space. Designed by architect Brian Cearnal, the building offers thick white stucco walls with enough Moroccan tile work, customized wrought-iron fixtures, and panoramic window views of the Riviera to qualify as Architectural Digest’s playmate of the month. The roof is covered with low-lying succulents designed to capture rain and funnel it through customized copper spouts into Moorishly tiled planter boxes nearly five feet high… (more)

Recology begins funding $4.5M ballot initiative to tax plastics in California

By ColeRosengren : wastedive – excerpt

Dive Brief:

  • Recology is continuing its push for a November ballot initiative in California that takes aim at the plastics industry, recently kicking in $600,000 of a planned $1 million contribution. Another $1 million is expected from The Nature Conservancy, plus $500,000 from the Plant Based Products Council, toward a $4.5 million goal.
  • The proposal would give the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) authority to require that producers of single-use plastic packaging and foodware make their products “reusable, recyclable or compostable” by 2030. Producers would also be tasked with reducing the amount of single-use packaging and foodware at least 25% by that date.
  • In addition, expanded polystyrene food containers would be banned statewide and retailer take-back programs would be established for relevant items. Finally, a sliding scale “Plastic Pollution Reduction Fee” of $0.01 or less would be applied to select products starting in 2022 as a way to pay for a range of new projects…(more)


How recycling has changed in all 50 states

AB 5 – Summary of Pending Litigation, Legislation and Initiatives

Compilations by Ben Ebbink, Fisher/Phillips (via email)

Litigation •

Trucking (FAAAA Preemption) California Trucking Association v. Becerra (S.D. Cal.)§ Preliminary injunction granted 1/16/2020.

California v. Cal Cartage Transportation (Los Angeles Superior Court)§ Preempted by FAAAA (1/8/2020).•

Uber/Postmates (Equal Protection, Due Process, Impairment of Contract) oOlson et. al v. State of California (C.D. Cal.)§ Preliminary injunction hearing 2/7/2020.•

Freelance Journalists American Society of Journalists and Authors v. Becerra (C.D. Cal).§ Preliminary injunction hearing 3/9/2020.•

Court Reporters (Equal Protection) Williams, Weisberg & Weisberg v. State of California (Sacramento Superior Court)


AB 1850 (Gonzalez) – placeholder bill •AB 1925 (Obernolte) – small business exemption •

AB 1928 (Kiley) – repeal AB 5; replace with Borello•ACA 19 (Kiley) – replace with Borello•

SB 806 (Grove) – placeholder bill •SB 867 (Bates) – newspaper delivery exemption •

SB 868 (Bates) – freelance journalist exemption •

SB 875 (Grove) – interpreters/translators exemption •

SB 881 (Jones) – musician exemption Initiative•“Changes Employment Classification Rules for App-Based Transportation and Delivery Drivers. Initiative Statute.”o Cleared for circulation (must gather 623,212 signatures by 6/30/2020 to qualify for the November 2020 ballot).

From Scott Lays “The Nooner”:

AB 5 (Gonzalez): A court reporting company has sued the state over the new limitations on independent contractors. The plaintiffs allege that the law as applied violates the equal protection clause of the California constitution as it applies to independent contractor court reporters, since similar licensed professions were given an exemption in AB 5. But the sweet spot of the pleading is that the firm — Williams, Weisburg & Weisburg, d/b/a Diamond Court Reports — lists several agencies with which they currently have contractors, including the California Department of Justice which will be defending the law.

Appetite for ‘warm meat’ drives risk of disease in Hong Kong and China

By Michael Standaert : theguardian – excerpt

A wet market, where animals are freshly slaughtered rather than chilled was identified as the source of the coronavirus outbreak. But experts have long warned of dangers…

For various reasons, the Chinese prefer freshly slaughtered pig, chicken and beef over chilled or frozen meat that has been slaughtered before being shipped.

That desire is at the heart of why diseases such as avian flu in poultry and ASF have been so difficult to eradicate, with huge movements of live animals from all over the country – from farm to slaughterhouse to market – on a daily basis making controlling the spread of disease incredibly difficult.

A recent coronavirus outbreak in China has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan, eastern China. Like other respiratory illnesses, the disease was initially transmitted from animal to human, but is now being passed human to human(more)

Opinion: California needs more ‘social housing’ to solve crisis

Opinion By Steven Hill : eastbayextress – excerpt

San Jose and Oakland are classic examples of a supply/demand market failure that SB 50 will not solve.

The affordable housing crisis continues to humble California policymakers. Sen. Scott Wiener’s bill, SB 50, is the latest attempt, but it fails to recognize that a major reason for this crisis is not simply a lack of overall housing supply. It’s a lack of the right kind of housing — affordable housing for the middle class.

San Jose and Oakland are classic examples of a supply/demand market failure that SB 50 will not solve. For every housing unit constructed, it is quickly snapped up by a highly paid tech or professional worker. With an inexhaustible flood of higher-income new arrivals, the for-profit housing market has failed to build sufficient housing for people with a range of incomes. Indeed, both San Jose and Oakland are on track to exceed their longer-term goals for “market rate” housing, but that’s not affordable for most individuals and families.

So how can we produce enough affordable housing for all Californians?.

In Vienna, Austria, a city of 2 million people, a whole new strategy has been utilized based on the concept of “social housing.” Social housing recognizes that overreliance on the for-profit housing sector often produces perverse results in an overheated housing market like California’s…(more)

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