SF officials clash with Bayview residents over community center

By Dominic Fracassa : sfchronicle – excerpt

Residents in San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood are dismayed by what they see as a covert effort by city officials and a private developer to muscle a mixed-use, affordable housing project onto the site of a long-planned community center at 1550 Evans Ave…

The recently released emails also came as a surprise to city PUC officials, who say they were largely cut out of the city’s deliberations about the site. The agency said it is not inclined to tear up its designs for the community facility to add housing.

“When I saw the (emails) I got really upset,” PUC General Manager Harlan Kelly said.

He had been approached by city officials in the past, including Lee and District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen, who represents the Bayview, about developing housing at 1550 Evans, but said he was clear he had reservations. Kelly thought the matter had been settled and said he was blindsided to see the emails, some sent as recently as last month, showing that other city departments had not given up on the housing idea…

Rahaim agreed that Build Inc.’s conceptual drawings for the space were problematic.

“Frankly, it’s not very good, and it’s not a plan that I would support,” he said.

The PUC may own 1550 Evans, but it needs Planning Commission approval to build the community center. Rahaim said the Planning Department received the PUC’s preliminary paperwork for the community center project “two or three weeks ago.”…(more)

Looks like there are a lot of plans for this piece of real estate owned by the PUC that were earmarked for a new community center with educational facilities. A lot of city agencies appear to be involved, which raises the question, “How many agencies does it take to change a light bulb these days?” Too many.

RELATED:

CCSF weighs partnership with school district, SFSU for proposed education center in the Bayview

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is seeking a partner to build an “academic and skill-building center” next to a proposed 40,000-square-foot Southeast Community Facility at 1550 Evans Ave., where a currently vacant building will be razed. The project also includes a 5,000-square-foot pavilion, an educational center and more than 100,000 square feet of public open space.

The proposed community center will replace an existing facility at 1800 Oakdale Ave. That center and its adjacent greenhouses were constructed with community partners to compensate for the environmental and social impacts following the expansion of the Southeast Treatment Plant in the 1970s and ’80s, according to the PUC website…

Both Rizzo and Trustee Rafael Mandelman pointed out that the construction of the SECF at 1800 Oakdale Ave. came in response to the sewer plant expansion, which drew criticism from residents of the neighborhood. They suggested that the PUC should foot the bill for the new community center at 1550 Evans Ave., which will be replacing it.…(more)

Advertisements

Does Senate Bill-827 Even Make Sense

nine-county-coalition – excerpt

Killing the Bay Views One Stadium at a Time by zrants

By now most Bay Area residents know what California Senate Bill 827 is, and what its authors Scott Wiener and Nancy Skinner say they want to accomplish.  Most residents are also aware that there is opposition to the draconian nature of this bill.

The purported objective of SB 827 is to force all cities and counties in California to build lots of housing along all transit routes.  Theoretically, the increased supply would bring prices down; while proximity to bus and rail routes would encourage residents to ride transit, not drive their cars.  Do these objectives ring true in the context of today’s California housing “market.”  Does proximity to transit translate into increased transit ridership?  Does SB 827 even make any sense?…

Would SB 827 bring housing prices down?
Would SB 827 get people to take public transit?
What is the elasticity of SB 827?
Would SB 827 work with flexible transit schedules?

SB 827 Flyer we hope you also find useful SB 827 Flyer… (more)

The Top Talent of Tech Disruptors and Titans

paysa – excerpt

I asked if anyone has any data on how long tech workers stay in their jobs, since we are building homes for them to shorten their commutes. I was directed to this article. Please share this with credit to the source.

How Long Do Employees Stay?

… We already know Amazon’s turnover rate is among the highest but what about other tech disruptors and titans? Whose employees stick around the longest, and whose are heading for the hills?

Facebook had the highest average employee tenure at just over two years, with Google and Oracle not far behind (at just under two years). But here’s a surprise: The highest turnover rate didn’t belong to Amazon. It was Uber that lead the race to the bottom, with 1.2 years of the average employee tenure…(more)

If the average stay at a tech job is less than two years, how can we build housing that cuts commute times for workers who move every two years and why are we disrupting and displacing our communities to make room for a temporary work force?

Please share with credits as follows: Fair Use Statement: Want to share our content for noncommercial purposes? Feel free to share and geek out on the data with us, just link your readers back to this page.

CEQA isn’t stopping housing, it’s protecting health

: sacbee – excerpt

California needs affordable housing. But legislators must follow the data, not anecdotal evidence from monied interests, to find a legislative fix that will encourage development consistent with California’s priorities.

Communities throughout the state, particularly poor and minority neighborhoods, need permanent housing without risking health or increasing carbon emissions.

Some profit-focused developers point a finger at the California Environmental Quality Act as a key obstacle to building more housing. The facts tell a different story. Today’s streamlined CEQA protects public health and natural resources while giving voice to disadvantaged communities.

Multiple recent studies show that CEQA is not a significant barrier to development. Since its adoption in 1970, CEQA has been updated regularly. Senate Bill 226 in 2011 simplified the review of urban infill projects and affordable housing near public transit…

The 2016 proposal put forth by the governor, for example, offered exemptions to high-priced housing units, favoring developers while clearing the way for projects that would have increased air pollution and encouraged sprawl.

There is a disturbing trend in national politics to substitute falsehoods for facts. We can’t let that happen with the laws that protect our natural resources, public health and economy. CEQA keeps the Golden State clean and green by promoting transparency and public accountability.

Allen Hernandez is executive director of the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice in Riverside. He can be contacted at Allen.H@CCAEJ.org(more)

RELATED:
The Top Talent of Tech Disruptors and Titans

 

 

 

New housing bill to add housing near transit has residents worried about the ‘Manhattan-ization’ of the Bay Area

By Riley McDermid : bizjournal – excerpt

A new bill aimed at fixing at least part of the state’s housing crisis has some Bay Area residents worried about the “Manhattan-ization” of the region, as it looks to add more housing units at potentially higher heights to projects near transit hubs.

Sponsored by Sen. Scott Wiener, (D-San Francisco), Senate Bill 827 wants to allow more housing near rail, BART and Caltrain stations, with more housing added within a half mile of those stops. Units added would also be allowed to be higher than they currently are in many cases, from four to eight stories, and possibly even taller if they were closer to transit hubs.

Proponents of the bill say California’s preference for single-family neighborhoods has put a bottleneck on building supply for housing-starved neighborhoods, while those against it say turning to building housing in taller structure could lead to a forest of apartment towers…(more)

The list of cities opposing this bill, in the San Francisco Bay Area, where Senator Wiener’s constituents are most appalled, has many hoping this will not pass. In spite of recent amendments meant to appease some affordable housing advocates, the bill remains unpopular.

Meet the Lawyer Suing Equifax and Apple

By Peter Lawrence Kane : sfweekly – excerpt

Scott Cole is an Alameda attorney on a crusade against corporate malfeasance. Why take on just one giant and not two?

In September, the credit bureau Equifax revealed that a data breach exposed 143 million people to potential credit fraud — and that the company had known about it for weeks before taking action. In that time, several executives unloaded their company stock, and when Equifax finally tried making amends, it did so by feigning contrition and trying to trick people into forfeiting their right to a class-action lawsuit. It was, and is, maddening.

Enter Scott Cole, a class-action attorney who specializes in employment- and environmental-law cases and whose firm, Scott Cole & Associates is located in Alameda. Cole is well-known among his peers for his work in the 1994 case in which Crockett, Calif., sued Unocal over weeks of toxic emissions that left the East Bay town a well-known cancer cluster. (The company currently exists only as a subsidiary of Chevron.) Cole’s forthcoming book Fallout chronicles this history... (more)

New amendments to Scott Wiener’s SB-827 are here

This the latest edition of Amendments to SB-827. We are still concerned with many aspects of the bill.

http://sd11.senate.ca.gov/sites/sd11.senate.ca.gov/files/sb_827_amendments_022718.pdf

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Local inclusionary %affordable requirements apply (anticipated this, doesn’t really change anything)
  2. Rent controlled homes cannot be demolished for SB 827 without local govt demo permit; every displaced tenant will have a Right to Remain Guarantee – which is really only a right of first refusal upon completion at the rent previously “enjoyed” by the tenant in their demolished unit (see #4)
  3. Local demo permit process shall remain
  4. Displacement protections: moving expenses & 42 months rental assistance for comparable unit in the area; right of first refusal…
  5. Local setback and yard requirements remain enforceable
  6. State density bonuses may be added
  7. Transit rich projects only qualify within 1/4 of a transit stop on a corridor; not the corridor itself
  8. Street width changes from curb to curb to property line to property line; the width threshold for the taller heights is now 75 feet instead of 45 feet.
  9. Parcels affected are residential and mixed use; not industrial
  10. SB827 projects may be eligible for SB35 streamlining

This really doesn’t change much. It’s still a power grab, and the heights didn’t change, if anything state density bonus impact is confirmed. We always anticipated the local inclusionary requirement would be present.

Fragranced products to blame for smog as much as cars, study finds

The study, by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and UC Davis, establishes a stronger link than ever before between air pollution and the lotions, perfumes, hair sprays, and other grooming and cleaning products that Bay Area residents use every day…(more)

I am posting this for my friends who are particularly sensitive to anything scented. Cigarettes were early targets but, now scientists are reporting problems with many household products. Construction dust and cleaning supplies are huge contributors to the particulate matter in the air.

Why A Laundromat Might be Considered ‘Historic’

By Joe Kukura : sfweekly – excerpt

A large housing project is delayed because a laundromat is being considered a “historic resource,” so we looked to see if this claim holds any water.

Some San Franciscans’ eyeballs were rolling on spin cycle last week when a 75-unit housing development was delayed four months, so the Board of Supervisors could consider whether the Wash Club laundromat (above) should be considered a “historic resource.” How in the heck could a laundromat constitute a valuable piece of San Francisco history? Why is the history of a laundromat holding up a development project in the midst of a housing crisis? SF Weekly dug through documents submitted to the Planning Commission, to iron out why a laundromat is being evaluated for possible historic significance… (more)

The arguments for historical significance are not what you would expect, but, are indicative of the creative minds working to preserve the SF Mission District for existing residents and businesses. The residents of the Mission stress quality of life over quantity of housing units.

Proposed CEQA Guideline for Highway Projects Promises Flexibility In the Measurement of Traffic Impacts, But Delivers Ambiguity

By: Robert D. Thornton, Benjamin Z. Rubin, Liz Klebaner : 

In response to material opposition from many of the transportation agencies in the State, the California Natural Resources Agency  has proposed to provide transportation agencies with the discretion to determine the metric for evaluating traffic impacts of highways and road projects.  Unfortunately, instead of putting the issue to bed, the proposed regulation introduces considerable ambiguity that will likely lead to a CEQA challenge if any project EIR relies solely on Level of Service (LOS) to evaluate the significance of traffic impacts.  The proposed regulation states:

For roadway capacity projects, agencies have discretion to determine the appropriate measure of transportation impact consistent with CEQA and other applicable requirements. 

The language “consistent with CEQA and other applicable requirements” arguably creates ambiguity as to whether transportation agencies may rely solely on measures of traffic congestion such as LOS to determine the significance of traffic impacts, or whether the State’s climate change legislation mandates a “Vehicle Miles Traveled” (VMT) analysis.

As we have previously reported, the proposed SB 743 implementing regulation represents a paradigm shift in the evaluation of transportation impacts of road and development projects, by replacing the traffic congestion-based LOS metric with the VMT metric.  With VMT, the very acts of driving a vehicle or inducing vehicle travel by improving roadway infrastructure is an environmental impact requiring analysis and potentially mitigation.  The proposed regulation generally removes traffic congestion from the required scope of a CEQA impacts analyses… (more)