Marin supervisors push back against huge state housing mandate

By  : marinij – excerpt
Only Mill Valley, Corte Madera built enough during last 8 years to be exempt
Marin supervisors said this week they are gravely concerned about a looming state mandate to build over 14,000 new housing units throughout the county between 2022 and 2030.

“Marin County recognizes the need for more affordable housing. We are pursuing a number of strategies to achieve that goal,” Supervisor Damon Connolly said. “But residents are justified in being alarmed by these numbers that we’re seeing out of the state.

“Marin is not alone,” Connolly said. “Jurisdictions both large and small from around the region are pushing back. Most recently even San Francisco.”

Connolly made his comments after county supervisors were briefed Tuesday about the status of the mandates… (more)

What if the counties said “no thanks, you can keep your transit funds”? What could the state do other than cut off the funds for the public transit systems they are pushing to force more housing development? Would they run less buses, quit building bike lanes, removing traffic lanes and parking if the funds were cut? rick

More Building, Lending Catapult San Francisco Office

By Lisa Brown : globest – excerpt

Construction-to-permanent financing of $93 million was recently secured for One De Haro, a four-story 60-foot tall building with two-thirds office and one-third light industrial uses totaling 133,427 square feet.

SAN FRANCISCO—Construction continues in the city, in an attempt to satisfy growing demand. One project in specific, One De Haro, is located at the intersection of SOMA, Potrero Hill and Showplace Square districts. Designed by Pfau Long Architecture, the project is a four-story 60-foot tall building which will have two-thirds office and one-third light industrial uses for a total of 133,427 square feet.

Construction-to-permanent financing of $93 million was recently secured for the mixed-use building. A NorthMarq team led by managing director Dennis Williams and vice president Briana Harney secured the funding through a life insurance company relationship on behalf of the Sponsor, SKS Partners of San Francisco…

Even with the delivery of the fully leased 750,000-square-foot Park Tower, San Francisco supply is exhausted trying to keep up with the ever-increasing tech demand, according to a first quarter report by Avison Young. The first quarter closed with a total of 3.8 million square feet of available space on the market. However, with total tenant demand of 8.8 million square feet and new construction deliveries 67% preleased, this amount of space will not satisfy the overall appetite.…(more)

San Francisco Libertarians File an Election Contest to Invalidate November’s Proposition A Election Due To Violations of New Law

by: Michael Denny : lips – excerpt

The complaint was filed in the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco, Friday April 5, 2019. This is an independent action taken by two members of the Libertarian Party of San Francisco, Note: This is an independent action taken by two members of the Libertarian Party of San Francisco, Michael Denny and Nicholas Smith, in a citizen’s effort to check the power of Government. The LPSF itself is not listed nor eligible to be listed as a complainant on the suit.

San Francisco Libertarians File an Election Contest to Invalidate November’s Proposition A Election Due To Violations of New Law

There has been an ongoing problem of collusion between government officials and municipal bond advisors who often actually write the bond bills for profit. And then deceptively work with government to sell them to an unsuspecting public. To address this issue, the California State Assembly passed AB-195 which was approved by Governor Jerry Brown and on January 1, 2018 became Law. Sections of that law governs the way local governments can present bond measures on ballots:

  1. Measure shall be a true and impartial synopsis of the purpose of the proposed measure,
  2. and shall be in language that is neither argumentative nor likely to create prejudice for or against the measure.
  3. If the proposed measure imposes a tax or raises the rate of a tax, the ballot shall include in the statement of the measure to be voted on the amount of money to be raised annually and the rate and duration of the tax to be levied.

Section 18401 of the California Elections Code says election officials who allow non-compliant ballots to be put before the public are criminally liable…(more)

Fremont Councilman Bacon to run for Alameda County supervisor

By Joseph Geha : eastbaytimes – excerpt

District 1 incumbent Scott Haggerty has been unopposed since 2000

FREMONT — Fremont City Councilman Vinnie Bacon is planning a 2020 run for Alameda County Supervisor in District 1, offering a challenge to longtime incumbent Scott Haggerty, who hasn’t faced an opponent for nearly two decades.

“If you want someone new, here I am,” Bacon said Sunday in an interview with this news organization.

“We need debate,” he said. “It’s just wrong for anybody to go into office without a challenger.”…

Bacon said he’s hoping to win over voters with a platform focused on evening out the jobs-housing imbalance and limiting what he called overdevelopment, which he said have led to cascading effects of untenable traffic congestion and school overcrowding.

“I think my ability to argue for better planning and development that doesn’t lead to all the traffic problems we have, I think that is my experience in Fremont, and it is applicable to a more regional office like that,” he said… (more)

There Are 2 Vacant Investor-Owned Homes for Every Homeless Person in America

By: Carl Gibson : gritpost – excerpt

The difference between the greed of the wealthy and the precariousness of American workers is painfully stark when looking at vacant homes.

2016 figures from ATTOM Data Solutions — which publishes comprehensive housing data — show that wealthy investors are buying up more and more real estate as a moneymaking venture while housing prices and homelessness continue to skyrocket across America.

According to ATTOM, 76 percent of all vacant homes in America are owned by investors — amounting to approximately 1.1 million vacant residential investment properties. Many of these vacant homes are in economically distressed Rust Belt cities with high poverty rates, like Detroit, Michigan, neighboring Flint, and Youngstown, Ohio. The states with the highest investment property vacancy rate also have high poverty rates. Michigan leads the pack with 10.3 percent vacancy, Indiana at 9.8 percent, Alabama at 6.9 percent, and Mississippi at 6.6 percent… (more)

Guest opinion: Battle for the soul of Mountain View

by Lenny Siegel : mv-voice – excerpt

New housing shouldn’t displace residents

There is a battle underway for the soul of Mountain View. For decades the Mountain View community has treasured diversity. We have long accepted people regardless of ethnic background, political or religious beliefs, or economic condition. In turn, they have helped build our community, performing jobs that we all need.

But the fabric that holds Mountain View together is at risk. Our extraordinary economic growth is causing gentrification and the displacement of many low- and middle-income residents. When we turn a blind eye, we lose part of our soul as a community…

We do need new housing in Mountain View, but we don’t have to displace people to build it. The city is encouraging both apartment and ownership housing construction on land that is currently in commercial use. We can’t legally force the owners of old apartments to stay in business, but we can eliminate their incentive to demolish by denying redevelopments that displace low- and moderate-income tenants…

If you value our apartment dwellers, vehicle residents, and mobile-home owners, please join me in signing the Soul of Mountain View petition at The soul of our community is at stake… (more)

Dick Spotswood: Larkspur ferry parking structure stalled by ideology

By Dick Spotswood : marinij – excerpt

Golden Gate Ferry statistics show that peak-period boats are at capacity. Likewise, the ferry terminal parking lot off Sir Francis Drake Boulevard is jammed. Significantly, there’s demand for increased ferry service on the existing route to the San Francisco Ferry Building and, given water transit’s rising popularity, a new route to South of Market/Mission Bay would be well-patronized.

Expansion of both ferry capacity and parking would enable more commuters to leave their cars before enjoying quick trans-bay travel on new high-speed catamaran ferries. To make that progress happen, an essential component is a new multi-story ferry terminal parking facility. It’ll cost about $35 million. Finance it by issuing bonds and paying them back from parking lot revenue.

It hasn‘t happened because Marin County’s transportation pooh-bahs don’t want it to happen. They dream that new ferry riders will elect to bike to the terminal or take under-utilized but inconvenient ferry feeder buses. The idea of enabling commuters to drive to the ferry is anathema to their purist ideology… (more)

The numbers are in. Public transit is losing ridership. It is time to replace the anti-car attitude and failed system with a user-friendly “the customer is always right” management style. Try catering to the public instead of steering them. If people want parking near transit stations give them parking.

Parking Near Transit Increases Ridership During Peak Commute Hours

By Tom Rubin­

Transit is not always an alternative to parking capacity.

The ridership for the Los Angeles Subway (now Red and Purple Lines) was
projected at 298,000 in 2000, the year it opened. In the best years, the
total barely got over half of that. What is interesting is that the stations South of the Hollywood Hills have always been far under their projections, but the two in the San Fernando Valley have far exceeded theirs. The ONLY stations with parking are the two in the Valley and Union Station and Metro had to increase parking in North Hollywood, and charge for it.

Sound Transit (greater Seattle) constructed its first light rail line without any parking, under the belief it was not necessary, because those that wanted to use transit would walk, bicycle, take a bus, or kiss-and-ride.  Unfortunately, initial ridership was far under the projections.

Parking is important to make transit work.

Particularly for suburban commuter rail stations, parking is essential. There is simply no way to run transit through low-density single-family detached subdivisions that can offer low-walk distance, frequent service to stations. If there is no parking, people will simply not use transit.

It is very fair to charge for parking at transit stations because such parking can be very expensive to build and operate.  However, if the charge is too high, it may restrict demand. A frequent tactic is to start with “free” parking, but announce that this will be reconsidered based on demand. It is very common to have to, or at least want to, add parking at transit stations as demand builds. Sometimes this is possible, sometimes it is very difficult or very expensive, or both, but, parking capacity should be part of the consideration when the transit line is first planned and approved. For older lines with demand, see what can be done and do what can be done.

If there is not enough parking at a transit station, drivers will make do by parking anywhere they can find a place to park nearby, in shopping center lots, on residential streets, and any and all other places you can think of. This tends to make the neighbors and businesses upset, so, it is important to understand that as demand increases you need to have a plan in place to respond.

This is a different way to think about pubic transit. Focus on reducing commute traffic during peak hours by increasing parking capacity at the stations. That was the thinking behind the parking garage hubs. Let people drive themselves home. How many double parked delivery vehicles could be eliminated if people did their own shopping on the way home? More people might go out at night if it was less of a challenge to get around.


Making the Most of Transit: Density, Employment Growth, and Ridership around New Stations

By Jed Kolko, with research support from Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Davin Reed, and Eric Schiff : (excerpt) Public Policy Institute (pages 21-22)

Summary In 2008 California adopted Senate Bill (SB) 375, which requires the integration of land use and transportation planning to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicle miles traveled (VMT). A prime example of such activities is transit-oriented development (TOD), the targeting of residential, commercial, or mixed-used development to areas around transit stations…

“Employment Patterns Affect Transit Use More Than Residential Patterns Do”(more)

Continue reading “Parking Near Transit Increases Ridership During Peak Commute Hours”

Three Top Regional Government VPs/Presidents get De Throned for lack of disclosure.

From a concerned citizen:

Susan Adams Marin County Supervisor,ABAG Vice President voted out of office when the people of her district discovered that she recommended her community for a Priority Development Area and then denied it. He duplicity to the voters was repaid with recall campaign and landslide loss in 2014.

Steve Kinsey, Marin County Supervisor, MTC President resigned in 2016 while the subject of massive breach of ethics for 200+ meetings with developers while also serving on the California Coastal Commission. He was sued for $5 million dollars but settled for a lower amount with taxpayers footing the bill.

Jake MacKenzie, Rohnert Park Councilman current MTC chairman , de throned on 1/22/2019 after his fellow councilpersons discovered that he had failed to report about the CASA Compact which may cost his community $15 million dollars in housing funds. He then did not report back the concerns of his community to ABAG where he also serves on the CASA Committee.

LESSON: Represent the best interests of your local community and be honest and transparent in your dealings lest you “get the boot”. Serving regional interests is the shortest path to political oblivion.

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