Wiener Drives Forward Highway Safety Bill

By Nuala Sawyer : sfweekly – excerpt

A new Senate bill draws attention to state highways disguised as city streets — like Van Ness Avenue, pictured above — and examines how to make them safer for everyone… 

In San Francisco, several highways disguise themselves as neighborhood streets. Van Ness Avenue and the western half of Lombard Street make up a segment U.S. 101. Nineteenth Avenue is an extension of Highway 1, and Sloat Boulevard is part of State Highway 35. Although they are all within San Francisco city limits, these streets are managed by the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans), and as evidenced by the numerous serious and fatal collisions that occur among them each year, are very clearly made for cars, not people.

But Wiener plans to change that. Senate Bill 127, which he’s introducing this week, would require CalTrans to make safety improvements to these arteries and create “complete streets” that cater to pedestrians and cyclists, not just vehicles…

Currently, CalTrans has to apply for a special waiver in order to add pedestrian or cyclist infrastructure to any stretch of highway it’s working on. Going forward, that infrastructure would be a requirement, and the waiver would only be used to request that the agency not include it… (more)

In Wiener World their are no highways, only bike lanes. I would like to see how the bikes are going to replace all those horrible trucks that supply us with our daily produce, and other necessities. I suppose the idea is that we should have robot trucks roaming around the streets and they will somehow be smart enough to avoid hitting the bikes and slow moving humans. This bill should go the way of SB 287. Now that Wiener has his own Housing Committee, he should let go of the Transportation Committee he left behind. But, let him know what you think about his plans. Senator Scott Wiener

Planners keep pushing the bogus concept of transit-centered housing

By Dick Spotswood : marinij – excerpt

Regional governments tout the benefits of so-called transit-centered housing. The concept is at the heart of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s CASA (Committee to House the Bay Area) compact and San Francisco Democrat Sen. Scott Wiener’s new Senate Bill 50.

Superficially, it appears logical that people living in high-density apartments adjacent to rail, bus or ferry transit stops won’t need an auto to commute to work. Instead, they’ll take transit because it’s more convenient.

The reality isn’t so simple…

Let’s see if transit-centered housing works as promised in Marin. Presume our typical commuter lives at Corte Madera’s Tam Ridge Apartments, aka WinCup. The four-story 180-unit high-density complex is exactly the housing envisioned in SB 50. When approved, WinCup was touted as transit-centered housing next to a Highway 101 trunk line bus stop…

Whether the transit-centered housing theory works in practice is irrelevant to them [MTC]. They’ll be enjoying big profits while average Bay Area citizens pay the price with increased traffic congestion, higher taxes and crowded schools…(more)

The not-historic laundromat project is being delayed again, developer threatens lawsuit against SF

By Dianne de Guzman : sfgate – excerpt

The will-they-won’t-they dance of whether a Mission laundromat will be turned into local housing has reached another roadblock in its quest, and this time the developer is threatening a lawsuit.

The 75-unit building proposed at the Wash Club situated at 2918 Mission St. recently passed the hurdle of the city determining whether it was a historic site. Spoiler: It’s not — but now the San Francisco Board of Supervisors are onto a new topic regarding the building.

Namely, its shadows.

An appeal was filed by Mission organization Calle 24 which called into question whether the shadow cast by the potential building would have an impact on two neighboring schools.

Sup. Hillary Ronen addressed the issue in a Board of Supervisors meeting, asking whether both schools were considered in the Planning Commission hearing for the building, according to SF Weekly… (more)

There is a bit more to it than is covered in this article. Stay tuned as YIMBY Action and caRLA get ready to flex their newly armored muscles thanks to Scott Wiener’s bills that are being rammed through the state legislation. Next up is a newly amended SB 828, that is stuck so far in the Assembly as the clock ticks toward looming deadlines. See page for actions to oppose the bill:

Legislative Website Info

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”

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.


  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.

Scott Wiener’s war on local planning

By Zelda Bronstein : 48hills – excerpt

His next round of housing bills force cities to accept growth and displacement—without giving them the money or tools to mitigate it

On January 19, I attended UCLA Extension’s 2018 Land Use Law and Planning Conference at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Seated in long rows of tables under the glittering chandeliers of the hotel’s Crystal Ballroom, hundreds of elected and appointed public officials, developers, attorneys, and consultants are annually briefed by sharp pro-growth land-use lawyers and other like-minded experts on the latest California land-use legislation and case law.

This year the star of the show was State Senator Scott Wiener. He earned that role by authoring SB 35, the controversial “by-right” housing bill that Governor Brown signed into law in September. Like his fellow Yimbys, Wiener believes in a supply-side, build-baby-build solution to California’s housing woes and blames those woes on local jurisdictions’ resistance to new residential development. He presents himself as a brave policymaker who grapples with hard issues that others have dodged—an image belied by his evasive responses to my questions…

SB 827

Drafted by California Yimby Executive Director Brian Hanlon, and coauthored by State Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), SB 827 would prohibit cities from limiting heights to lower than 45 feet (six stories) or 85 feet (eight stories)—depending on the width of the street—on parcels within a half-mile of a “major transit stop” or a quarter-mile of “a high-quality transit corridor.” For such parcels, SB 827 would also suspend local parking minimums, density restrictions, and “any design standard that restricts the applicant’s ability to construct the maximum number of units consistent with any applicable building code.”…

SB 828

Wiener’s companion bill, SB 828, would exponentially increase both cities’ Regional Housing Needs Allocations (RHNAs) and state authority over local land use planning. I’m going to review the bill in wonky detail, because though SB 827 has gotten the lion’s share of publicity, support, and pushback, SB 828 is likely to have at least as much impact… (more)

Lots of details are covered in the article. Please read the entire story.

We attended the Town Hall Meeting, along with a group of citizens from Marin and Senator Wiener’s district 8 Noe Valley neighborhood. We’ll post a link to the video that was shot of the meeting, and anticipate more from Zelda on this subject.

A lively opposition group is already being formed to fight this legislation that grabs power from local governments and centralizes controls over local zoning. Many people who support development do not support this power grab from the state.

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)

SF Supe Wants To Encourage Construction By Dumping Density Limits

SF Supe Wants To Encourage Construction By Dumping Density Limits

by scott wiener : baycitynews – excerpt

A San Francisco supervisor today introduced legislation that seeks to encourage the construction of more affordable housing in the city by removing density limits for certain projects.
Under the legislation proposed today by Supervisor Scott Wiener, new developments with 20 percent or more affordable units will not have those units count against the project’s density limits.
Under current city laws, developers must provide at least 12 percent affordable housing for any new project of 10 or more units or must pay a fee to the city for the construction of affordable housing elsewhere.
Wiener said his legislation would provide another alternative that will encourage the creation of more affordable units without reducing the number of market-rate units being built… (more)

The proposal would also eliminate all density limits for projects with 100 percent affordable housing, according to Wiener.

Current San Francisco law counts all units—affordable or market-rate—against density limit totals.

“We are in the midst of a severe housing crisis, a crisis that threatens our city’s diversity and livability, and we need much more permanently affordable housing,” Wiener said.

“There is never one magic bullet” to solve the city’s shortage of affordable housing, but “this legislation will move us in that direction,” he said.

SF Supe Proposes Increased Scrutiny, Crackdown On Tenancies-In-Common
San Francisco tenancies-in-common could soon face closer scrutiny under legislation that was proposed by a city supervisor on Tuesday.
Supervisor Eric Mar proposed an ordinance that he said would “bring balance to what right now is an unregulated market.” Tenancies-in-common are arrangements in which multiple parties own shares of the same property…
Mar said the city currently doesn’t keep track of how many rental units are lost each year when apartments are taken off the market to be converted to TICs.
His legislation would require that the city’s Planning Department sign off on the conversion of an apartment building into a TIC and require that the property be subject to the same housing and building codes as new construction… (more)

Diddling With San Francisco’s Environmental Review Laws Supervisor Wiener’s Attempt to Gut CEQA Appeals

Diddling With San Francisco’s Environmental Review Laws

by George Wooding

So far, City Supervisor Scott Wiener who represents District 8 has failed to demonstrate that his newly-proposed amendments to San Francisco’s environmental appeal laws are necessary.  That’s not stopping him, as he continues tinkering with San Francisco’s open government laws.
Wiener’s legislative changes are primarily designed to reduce the amount of time citizens have to review and appeal environmental impacts to proposed development projects.  Wiener seeks to restrict appeals regarding projects to a short time period, so that government and project developers can then go behind closed doors to modify projects without further citizen oversight.

Continue reading “Diddling With San Francisco’s Environmental Review Laws Supervisor Wiener’s Attempt to Gut CEQA Appeals”

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