Efforts to build housing around transit threaten to price out those most dependent on bus and rail

By Joshua Emerson Smith : sandiegouniontribune – excerpt

The greatest risk is the places that are already showing signs of gentrification. There’s already value in those neighborhoods and the private market has seen...

Lawmakers, academics and urban planners from Southern California to Sacramento have long called for building denser housing around transit stops. The idea is to design neighborhoods that encourage people to ditch their car commutes — simultaneously fighting climate change while trying to address the state’s historic housing crisis.

However, efforts to inspire construction along rail and bus lines, coupled with a severe shortage of housing, have brought opulent apartment buildings and condominiums into economically challenged neighborhoods. As young professionals flock to the new housing, moderate- to low-income tenants in urban areas from San Diego to Sacramento are now facing displacement.

Tenants’ rights groups, especially in Southern California, say the trend is already playing out in many communities with serious consequences…

While the median family income in those neighborhoods was on average less than $64,000 a year, the average cost of a two-bedroom apartment was more than $3,500 a month, according to a San Diego Union-Tribune analysis of Census and Costar data.

And about one in five of those projects are in areas where the median household income is less than $30,000, where the average rent on a two-bedroom apartment is still more than $3,300….(more)

Continue reading “Efforts to build housing around transit threaten to price out those most dependent on bus and rail”

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

L.A. votes to fight state lawmaker’s push for high-density housing

: latimes – excerpt

The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to oppose a bill allowing residential buildings of four to eight stories on streets near public transit, despite objections from business leaders and groups that favor higher-density housing.

The 13-0 vote makes L.A. the largest municipality in California to come out against Senate Bill 827, which would loosen or eliminate restrictions on height, density, parking and design for residential projects near bus and rail stops…(more)

SF lawmaker threatens to sue state if transit-oriented development bill passes

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

Opposition to a state bill that would increase housing density and heights near transit routes is building. Now one city lawmaker is threatening legal action.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin on Monday pledged to sue the state to overturn Senate Bill 827 should it be approved.

“I am an unabashed opponent,” Peskin told a packed crowd of San Franciscans at a Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee hearing on a resolution he authored that would put The City on record as opposing the bill.

Peskin said the bill carried echoes of the redevelopment of the Western Addition, which displaced much of The City’s black community, and places San Francisco on the “precipice” of displacement.

Though the Board of Supervisors has no authority to direct the City Attorney’s Office, Peskin said he would explore the possibility with the office… (more)

When did our lawmakers in Sacramento decide that it is OK to powertrip us the way that Trump is stepping on their authority? The power grab out of Sacramento is not lost on the voters. Citizens from San Diego to Eureka have gotten the message that Sacramento is attempting a major shift in state Land Use and zoning policies, and they are fighting back. What are the options if you don’t like what is happening? At least two recalls are on the ballot so far due to angry voters. More may follow.

Legal pushbacks are already coming from both sides. Our ex-mayor, governor-wannbe, Newsom, lead the suit against San Francisco over who has the right to determine the development of the waterfront. The state settled that one.  YIMBYs, lead by Sonja Trauss, who is running for D-6 Supervisor,  are suing cities they claim are not meeting their YIMBY density goals, using the 1982 Housing Accountability Act . SB 827 and 828 will give the YIMBYs more fuel to sue. If you want to stop this power grab send letters to the Board of Supervisors and your state legislators to let them know how you feel about the state power grab and SB 827 and 828.

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.

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.

Housing bill could result in 85-foot tall buildings on El Camino

By Elaine Goodman : dailypost – excerpt

A bill introduced in the California Legislature would ease restrictions on housing projects built near transit — bypassing some of the controls over such development by the cities in which they would be built.

Senate Bill 827, introduced last month by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, would remove density limits and parking requirements for housing built close to transit.

It would also set minimum height limits that cities could impose for such development, ranging from 45 feet to 85 feet in some circumstances. A city could increase that height but not go below it…

According to Wiener’s website, the bill is sponsored by a group called California YIMBY, which stands for “Yes in my backyard.”….

City governments oppose the bill

The League of California Cities opposes SB 827, saying it would undermine locally developed general plans (called the Comp Plan in Palo Alto), housing plans and development restrictions… (more)

Opposition from irate citizens around the state convinced the senator to amend SB827, but Many people object to any further interference from the state in local zoning and planning matters under local jurisdiction. Stay tuned for updates as more bills are pouring in. (Technically, the 85 foot buildings could be over 100 feet if the state density bonus is applied to the 85 feet.)

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