Lafayette city manager quits over lack of movement on new housing

By Kimberly Veklerov : sfchronicle – excerpt

The top official of the small and affluent East Bay city of Lafayette last week announced his resignation because of residents’ intransigence on building more housing, saying he could not stay in the role he has held for three decades when his views diverge so sharply from the community’s…

City Manager Steven Falk is the latest Bay Area official to air his frustration at housing shortages and policies that slow development. He said Lafayette has an obligation to take regional needs into consideration in its city planning…

In his resignation letter, Falk pointed to two recent ballot measures he spearheaded that voters quashed. One, in 2016, would have enacted a 1 percent sales tax to pay for downtown parks, restoring a historic theater, protecting open spaces and increasing police patrols, among other services. The other would have authorized a project with up to 44 homes and new recreational facilities. Voters rejected that plan in June.

“Elections have consequences,” Falk said, “and one is that Lafayette residents deserve a city manager who is better aligned with their priorities.”…(more)

 

 

Sen. Glazer Fights for Local Control in Debate Over Who Can Authorize Housing Projects

Senator Glazer – excerpt (includes video) August 24

Senator Glazer on AB 2923

On Aug. 23, I made remarks on the Senate floor opposing AB 2923, which would shift authority for the approval process of housing projects from local government to the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).

“We are so much better here in the Legislature, as a state, as a nation, when we find ways to build partnerships, provide compromise, accommodation, collaboration. That’s what brings out the best in our lawmaking. But the bill before us does none of these things… It’s a sledgehammer. It tramples the rights of towns and cities with no good reasons. It’s unprecedented in scope. It stifles community engagement, increases distrust and animosity… (more)

 

Election 2018: Bay Area Voters to Consider $3 Bridge Toll Hike

By Michael Krasny : kqed – excerpt (includes audio)

Bay Area voters will consider a measure on the June 5 ballot that would raise tolls on the region’s seven state-owned bridges by $3 over six years. If approved, Regional Measure 3 would finance $4.5 billion in transit and highway projects, including a BART extension to Santa Clara. Supporters say the toll hike would ease traffic congestion and improve critical infrastructure. But opponents say the measure does little to encourage shared travel and unfairly burdens East Bay residents. We take up the debate… (more)

A multi-billion-dollar ‘mega measure’ to fix Bay Area traffic for good heading your way

By Erin Baldassar : mercurynews – excerpt

Imagine a Bay Area with highways that flow instead of grind to a halt. With trains that ring the bay, some running 24 hours a day. With ferries that stop at more than a handful of terminals and autonomous buses cruising in their own lanes, blasting past cars on the freeway.

If that sounds like a fantasy, just wait. The dream may be closer to reality than you think.

A coalition of Bay Area business leaders represented by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and the Bay Area Council, along with the urban planning think tank SPUR, say that dream is the answer to traffic congestion on Bay Area roads, which grew 84 percent between 2010 and 2016. The average commuter now spends more than 29 hours a year slogging through highways at speeds of 35 mph or slower.

“People are wasting hours of their life in traffic,” said Gabriel Metcalf, the president and CEO of SPUR. “Conversations started all over the Bay Area asking the question, can we do something at a bigger scale than we have done before? Big enough to actually solve the problem? Big enough to actually get us a different regional transportation system than we have today?”…

“The voting public has got to connect the dots that if they want the transportation issues solved, if they want access to housing solved, they’ve got to do this,” he said. “And they should want to do it, and they should even be excited about it.”...(more)

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