Berkeley blocks housing project again, citing historic value of parking lot site

By : curbed – excerpt

Even SB 35 can’t get West Berkeley plans past city skepticism

Berkeleyside reports that its titular city has prevented a proposed 260-unit development in West Berkeley from employing the development-friendly state law SB 35 to fast track city approval, citing the proximity of the city’s Shellmound as a protected historic resource.

According to the development application, 1900 Fourth Street would be a 260-unit apartment complex built on what’s presently a parking lot.

“The project site is ideally situated for mixed-use development: it is transit rich, is adjacent to one of the City’s most vibrant retail areas and has easy access to the 1-80 corridor,” the would-be developers note in the application…

On Tuesday, Berkeley Planning Director Timothy Burroughs sent a letter informing Ellsworth that 1900 Fourth Street does not quality for SB 35’s largesse, chiefly citing the fact that it “cannot be applied to [a] city-designated historical landmark site without violating California’s constitution.” (more)

 

Mayor Brand to CA Legislature: Instead of Simplistic Supply Side SB827, Give Cities Resources

By Mayor Bill Brand : planningreport – excerpt

“We want to pass a statewide citizen-led initiative that amends the state constitution to protect local zoning and land-use regulations.” – Mayor Bill Brand

In reaction to legislation threatening to usurp local control of housing and land-use policy by the state, mayors and local officials are mobilizing to enshrine their decision-making jurisdiction in the California Constitution. Redondo Beach—one of the top 25 densest cities in Southern California—is one of those cities.  With a housing density greater that SF, it has supported investment in transportation infrastructure and new job creation, but has been critical of new development mandates. Mayor Bill Brand, in this TPR interview, opines on the current housing policy dialogue in California in the wake of SB 827 demise. Brand, who previously was elected to the Redondo Beach City Council on a slow-growth platform, is clear in his sentiment that state legislation relying on upzoning R1 neighborhoods is a patently “absurd” approach to generating more affordable housing supply in our lifetimes…

 

Bill Brand: The state’s current effort is a giant overreach that goes far beyond where they should be going…

Over 90 percent of people in Redondo Beach leave the city to go to work. We have the housing; what we really need are more job centers…

Some of the bills coming out of Sacramento would exacerbate the problems we have here. And that’s a common theme I’m hearing from other local elected officials: that many recent state bills are out of touch with the complex land-use decisions we have to make. We feel like Sacramento dial turning is exacerbating complex local problems that require local solutions, and we are strongly opposed to it…

That’s another issue we have with the bills coming down from Sacramento. If residential density paid, we’d be a very rich community. As it turns out, we’re not, because it’s really commercial that pays, and that’s what we lack.

One of the consequences of Prop 13 is that cities look to attract successful commercial and hotel. Still, I remember when it was passed—and why. I think a lot of people have forgotten that older people were being forced out of their homes. The state was coming in with big reassessments, and people’s property tax bills were going up. It was creating a tremendous amount of uncertainty and hardship around the state.

Prop 13 was created to serve a purpose. While it created other challenges, I do think Prop 13 fixed a bigger problem, and that if we tried to repeal it, we would probably end up right back where we were… (more)

It is good to hear from other communities in the state that do not have the problems we have in the Bay Area to get a different on our own situation. This is most enlightening.

CaRLA lines up cities to sue

This is YIMBY, who is supporting CaRLA and pushing legislation to allow more lawsuits against cities by taking state power away from local jurisdictions. This is why we oppose YIMBY and the state legislators who are pushing these bills. This one is SB 827. The Board of Supervisors voted to oppose it 8-3, but, San Francisco voters need to join the millions of California voters all over the state to pressure their state representatives, Wiener, Ting and Chiu, to withdraw SB 827, 828 and all the other bills that YIMBY is pushing.

SB 827 Wiener, Transit-rich height increase. This bill would impose a state-mandated local program based on a Transit-rich housing density bonus, (amendments),  Amended and referred to Sen Transportation and Housing Committee. This one was killed in Committee.

SB 828 Wiener, Housing Element change. Establish a methodology for the comprehensive assessment on unmet need for a prescribed number of units of housing built in each local area. Sen Transportation and Housing Committee. This is now on suspension in the Appropriations Committee.

 

SB 831: Senator Wiener’s Wacky World on Steroids Must be Defeated!

By Hydee R. Feldstein : citywatchla – excerpt (includes a great graphic)

CALL TO ACTION-On January 4, 2018, Senator Bob Wieckowski introduced SB 831, a bill that would have amended the just-last-year enacted “Granny Flats” sections of state law to require, rather than simply permit, cities, states and other municipalities to provide by ordinance for the creation of “junior accessory dwelling units”, or so-called ADUs…

The original version of Senator Wieckowski’s bill left the substance of the ordinance up to local authorities and expressly permitted the local authorities to include the type of restrictions included in the 2017 version of the ADU law – restrictions on the size and number, compliance with typical utility, safety and habitability regulations and requirement of owner occupancy.

As originally proposed, SB 831 appeared to have little effect on Los Angeles, a city that has already passed an ADU ordinance since SB 831 left in the express requirements that a locality could require a permit for and otherwise expressly regulate the plans, size, setbacks and other attributes of an ADU, including limiting ADUs to a single 500 square foot structure per owner occupied lot.

Then, on March 13, 2018, as cities and their residents were becoming aware of Senator Wiener’s authored bills – SB 827 and 828 – he signed on as a co-author to Senator Wieckowski’s SB 831 with amendments. Those “amendments” twisted the concept of ADUs into a junior version of Wiener’s dystopian landscape – tall, skinny buildings filled with dorm rooms and bike racks dropped in to disrupt, displace and destroy single family and small multi-family residences. SB 831, as amended by Senator Wiener, now:..

SB 831 IS SCHEDULED FOR HEARING BEFORE THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND HOUSING ON APRIL 17 AT 3:30 PM STATE CAPITOL BUILDING, ROOM 4203, 10th and L Street. You can find the agenda here(more)

Please read and comment on the source and check out the graphics.
Agenda and action item is SB 831

Wiener’s Even More Onerous Senate Bill 828

While Senate Bill 827 is getting all the attention it deserves, sitting in its’ shadow is another equally onerous Senate Bill proposed by Scott Wiener and likely authored again his partner in crime Brian Hanlon – See Senate Bill 828 with the innocuous title “Land Use: Housing Element”

For decades every city and county in California has been given a housing quota, or “Regional Housing Needs Assessment” allocation (RHNA, often pronounced ree-na) that it must plan for. Cities don’t build housing or submit housing proposals (a fatal flaw in Wiener’s Senate Bill 828 we’ll come back to) but these quotas require that cities and counties produce specific numbers of units at different income levels.

These quotas are calculated by a number of regional government bodies such as the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), and the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG)…

Senate Bills 35 and 828 – A deadly cocktail

The fundamental flaw of Senate Bill 35 is that cities do not control how many development proposals are submitted for approval. Yet, SB 35 holds cities accountable for how many units they approve. Anyone can easily understand this disconnect. Wiener and Hanlon who authored SB35 chose not to…

SB 828 dramatically increases RHNA quotas(more)

Thankfully a lot of California cities and counties are demanding their state reps oppose this bill. NO amendment will work when the intent is to overturn local jurisdiction over land use and zoning, as these bills are doing. Either you are for centralized government and the state control of your city or not.

Proposed state law tells cities: Build more, or we’ll do it for you

by : sf.curbed – excerpt

San Francisco’s new state senator pitches housing bill mere hours into his term

Every California city is required to build a certain amount of housing to meet the state’s overall housing goals.

And a lot of places just plain seem to ignore the mandate. Earlier this year, former Palo Alto Planning Commissioner Kate Downing opined that the Regional Housing Needs Assessments lack so much as a built-in slap on the wrist.

A new law proposed in Sacramento would put some spurs to it by telling cities to start building before the state steps in to expedite the process.

If SB 35 eventually passes the governor’s desk, cities not pulling their weight would be hit with a Sacramento-designed, streamlined development process forcing them to fast track projects.

Local governments guard authority over hometown development quite jealously, and the new rules would play that to the state’s advantage by threatening loss of control.

San Francisco’s own Scott Wiener introduced the bill hours after being sworn in as state senator on Monday… (more)

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