By Lisa Deaderick : sandiegouniontribune – excerpt
San Diego Rent Strike 2020 is one local organization advocating for the cancellation of rent and mortgage payments during the COVID-19 pandemic
While the moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 pandemic provided initial relief, the question of how to pay that back rent continues to hover. If the work environment we were once familiar with remains unsafe, and people can’t rely on the one-time stimulus check or unemployment benefits to cover all of their necessities, the likelihood that most people can afford to pay even one month of these delayed payments is pretty low.
One part of the response to the looming accumulation of this kind of debt has been to protest for the cancellation of rent and mortgage payments during the pandemic. Not a hold or suspension that requires the missed payments to be made later, but an outright cancellation of having to make those payments at all…(more)
RT – excerpt
Driverless cars could spark a gridlock nightmare to avoid paying for parking, a new study warns. Autonomous vehicles could even gang up to create traffic delays, allowing them to continuously cruise around instead of park.
The idea sounds like a smart one: Avoid ever having to pay for parking by getting your car to simply continue to drive around the block until you’re ready to take off again. However, this seemingly savvy hack could turn our urban streets into traffic-clogged hellscapes, roads flooded with driverless cars, making it a challenge to actually get anywhere…(more)
From homelessness and housing to big tech and budgets, the forces shaping urbanism in the coming year.
Here are 10 big issues expected to play oversized roles in shaping the story of cities in 2019.
The elimination of single-family zoning and parking minimums
How far will the scooter invasion go?
Can cities continue to lead on climate change?
Bigger blowback against big tech
Can congestion pricing help curb traffic woes?… What to watch: The expected Uber and Lyft IPOs offer an interesting wrinkle to the ongoing debate in New York over congestion pricing…
The pension payment time bomb continues to grow
The rise in homelessness
A widespread shortage of affordable housing
The potential of legal pot
Retail’s continued evolution
What to watch: Will New York find a way to fund an ambitious subway overhaul? Will Uber, Lyft, and the raft of scooter companies bleed more riders away from transit?… (more)
:latimes – excerpt
A California state senator has revived a major effort to boost homebuilding near transit, a proposal he says is necessary to address the state’s housing affordability and climate change challenges that have only deepened since his initial bill failed earlier this year.
Under the new proposal from Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), developers would be allowed to build four- to five-story apartment complexes in neighborhoods surrounding Los Angeles Metro stations, Bay Area Rapid Transit and other rail stops around the state. The legislation would also ease some local restrictions on building homes near frequently used bus stops… (more)
Wiener misses the major objection that the opposition had to SB 287 with his new SB 50 bill. The primary problem we as independent taxpaying voters have with these bills is the fact that they are meant to override local government jurisdiction over these matters.
Some of our more honest state representatives have described to us the importance of human contact with their constituents in order to serve them when they are working at the local level. When they go to Sacramento or Washington that close relationship goes away. That is the reason we need to keep the local jurisdictions powerful to provide for the public.
The headiness that takes over once the representation becomes too general and too widespread is not healthy for our republic or our democratic government order. We need to stay local in order to solve the local problems and housing and transportation do not exist in Sacramento or in Washington they exists on all our local streets.
The work that has been done in the name of affordable housing and public transit has not solved our problems. Over the last six or seven years the state has gone into a sad condition of economic and social unrest because the state government fails to recognize the problem is a local one and needs to support the local efforts not hinder them.
Let us start with the CPUC. That entity has done considerable damage to our state by supporting corporate profits over public desires, needs, and services. We were dealing with the Ubers and Lyfts, and their ilk, but nothing compares to the looming power utility crisis that may befall us due to the CPUC’s lack of proper regulation of the power industry. We are looking at a possible failure of that system and calling on our new governor to do something about that problem that needs to be fixed before inviting any more people to move into the state.
People do not live by housing alone, as SB 50 seems to indicate. Just pile them into housing and somehow we will find the water, power, and food to keep it all going. We need a time out now and passing SB 50 is not the answer.
The YIMBYs who support Wiener did not win in his home town and many of his constituents want to recall him. That should give some people pause when they consider supporting this new bill.
By Joe Eskenazi : missionlocal – excerpt
Godzilla, that stalwart of the man-in-a-dinosaur-costume-stepping-on-toys genre, emerged from the depths of the sea in 1954, and has been featured in 32 sequels. The spectacle of watching an oversize rubber iguana go full Keith Moon on an elaborate, flaming set of obvious papier-mache landscapes populated with dollhouse cities and model trains and cars is its own elevator pitch (hence the sequels)… (more)
As we now know the people power won out over the dark side, if you support the idea of the rich paying to support those people they are displacing. That was sort of the idea behind Prop C. Who knows, some may think twice about coming here to add to the problem. Those fighting for the homeless win either way.
By Maya Chupkov, Lisa Awbrey and Tes Welborn : sfchronicle – excerpt
In a recent op-ed published in the Examiner, Corey Smith, the paid Campaign Organizer for the citywide advocacy group for market-rate housing developers known as the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, or HAC, put on his “community hat.” The piece titled “Homes Not Cars on Divisadero” tilts non-existent windmills (no one is proposing any cars to replace any “homes” on Divisadero) in order to argue against a community-devised plan calling for more neighborhood-serving retail, affordable housing, and bike and transit improvements in exchange for a density giveaway after a recent upzoning of Divisadero…
Smith’s hasty dismissal of Affordable Divis made short work of the efforts of hundreds of neighborhood residents who devised the Divisadero Community Plan (www.affordabledivis.org) created over a four-month open planning process. The plan sought to balance the impacts of an ill-conceived massive density bonus conferred on the area by former Supervisor London Breed three years ago with no community participation.
Both SF Planning Director John Rahaim and Supervisor Breed later recognized the rezoning as deficient. In December 2015, Breed finally agreed with Affordable Divis that granting a huge development bonus without an increase in required affordability was an error, which she committed to correct by amending her rezoning legislation. No corrective legislation was advanced for over two years, and then the Mayor’s race took her complete attention…(more)
This Treadwell and Rollo map may help you keep track of the parcels. A radioactive piece of metal was found on the top of the hill about a foot underground on Parcel A near an area that was declared safe for housing years ago.
A highly radioactive object has been discovered at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard next to a housing area that has been declared safe and free of radioactive contamination for more than a decade, The Chronicle has learned.
The finding is the latest problem at San Francisco’s most ambitious redevelopment project in a century — an effort to transform a 500-acre Superfund waste site into a bustling waterfront neighborhood of 12,000 homes.
The object — a radium deck marker about the size of a silver dollar, 1½ inches across — was unearthed Tuesday on a grassy slope beneath a stretch of newly built condos, less than a foot below ground. The state health department revealed the information Thursday in a “Progress Update” letter sent to the shipyard homeowners’ association and obtained by The Chronicle… (more)
By Dominique Mosbergen : huffingtonpost – excerpt
“Hawaii is showing the Trump administration that the states will stand up for our kids, even when Washington will not.”
Hawaii has become the first U.S. state to ban the use of pesticides containing chlorpyrifos, a widely-used chemical that’s been linked to severe developmental delays in children and other health risks.
The state’s decision came more than a year after the Trump administration denied a petition to ban the controversial pesticide.
Gov. David Ige (D) signed Senate Bill 3095 into law on Wednesday after it was unanimously approved by the state legislature. Under the new law, pesticides containing chlorpyrifos will be prohibited across Hawaii starting on Jan. 1, 2019. However, businesses will be allowed to apply for a three-year extension to adjust to the new guidelines… (more)
By John Mirisch : newgeography – excerpt
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?
: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.