What the regional housing “compact” amounts to — so far

By Zelda Bronstein : 48hills – excerpt

Plenty of bills that will please developers and landlords; not so many for tenants and vulnerable communities.

The first installment of my CASA story listed bills introduced in the state Legislature on December 3, most notably Scott Wiener’s do-over of his failed SB 827, SB 50, that incorporate policies in the CASA Compact:

AB 4 (Chiu): Redevelopment 2.0
AB 68 and AB 69 (Ting): further loosen regulations on in-law units
SB 4 (McGuire and Beall): Limit local land use policies that restrict housing and encourage new housing near transit and job centers
SB 5 (McGuire and Beall): Redevelopment 2.0
SB 6 (Beall): Streamline housing production and penalize local planning that restricts production
SB 13 (Wieckowski): further loosen regulations on in-law units
SB 18 (Skinner): legal assistance for tenants
SB 50 (Wiener): upzoning near transit and job center
Plus AB 2065 (Ting): surplus public lands (introduced in 2018 and still live)
(more)

Please read the entire article for all the details and comment at the source. The more people who are aware of these plans and the details of these bills the better.

How to Sell Forced Densification to Libertarians

By The Antiplannerti – excerpt

When cities pass zoning rules (as Missoula, Portland, and many Portland suburbs have done) mandating minimum-density zoning — so that people are forced to either build high-density housing in existing low-density neighborhoods or build nothing at all — libertarians lead the charge against such rules. But urban planners have managed to achieve the same result, and gain the support of some who consider themselves libertarian, by:

  1. Drawing an urban-growth boundary or passing similar policies forbidding development outside the existing urban footprint;
  2. Waiting a few years for the resulting supply shorting to push up housing prices;
  3. Blaming high housing prices on residents of single-family neighborhoods who object to densification of their neighborhoods;
  4. Proposing a law or ordinance that effectively eliminates zoning in those single-family neighborhoods…..

Yet the reality is that every major American city except Houston has single-family zoning, but only a few are unaffordable — and those few all use urban-growth boundaries or otherwise restrict development of rural lands outside the existing urban areas… (more)

The Urban Humanism Manifesto: Putting Communities First

By John Mirisch : newgeography – excerpt

CEQA3

Construction comes with a high cost to residents’ health. All is not rosy for the residents of the new Mission Bay housing springing up along the San Francisco Bay who are getting a dose of dust and contaminants from the piles of excavated dirt blowing their way. Photo by zrants.

Urban planning exists to serve people and communities, not the other way around. Unfortunately, urban planners these days, perhaps under the influence of academic arrogance as well as the lure of developer dollars, seem to forget this simple truism.

A particularly invidious form of planning orthodoxy involves certain adherents of so-called “new urbanism,” which looks at density, more density and only density as the hallmark of the (for them) only acceptable form of urban living.

Without considering that people of all colors, stripes and ethnicities might like to have gardens, these urban planning densifiers support policies whose main aims are to eliminate low-density housing, without regard to preservation of the integrity of communities or without acknowledging that community character means anything.

The new urbanist density hawks also use other “arguments” apart from social justice to make their moral case for high-density, including, importantly, environmental considerations. Never mind the fact that even studies done by density advocates show that the supposed benefits of increased density on the environment would be marginal, at best. But that doesn’t dampen the rhetoric. Far from it. Some of the most strident density fetishists decry single-family neighborhoods as “the enemy” and proclaim homeowners to be nothing less than “zoo animals” and “bloodthirsty dinosaurs,” who are “angry, entitled, immoral, classist and racist.”… (more)

How livable are the new dense urban environments? How healthy are residents living in a perpetual construction zone?

Libertarian Foundation Uses CEQA to Litigate ‘Plan Bay Area’

Libertarian Foundation Uses CEQA to Litigate ‘Plan Bay Area’

by Irvin Dawid : planetizen – excerpt

The group, Bay Area Citizens, worried about loss of property values and quality of life, will be represented by the libertarian Pacific Legal Foundation, which will use CEQA as the basis of the lawsuit against regional agencies MTC and ABAG.

In what might be perceived as an ironic application of the landmark 1970 California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), written in part to reign-in the Golden State’s sprawling growth in that era, a libertarian foundation is using the law as the basis for a lawsuit challenging the July 18 approval of the regional growth plan known as Plan Bay Area by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (PDF).

The plan steers growth toward “Priority Development Areas“, determined by local jurisdictions, that are accessible to transit and services as opposed to promoting more exurban development, and away from “Priority Conservation Areas“.

Bay Area Citizens sees the plan as promoting dense growth that “restricts people’s ability to make their own choices”, according to its co-founder, Peter Singleton… (more)

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