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March 12, 2019

Comments

Jennifer Pfaff

I'm not sure how this item was decided, but our own SM County Supervisors were set to consider a resolution of support today at their monthly meeting. It would really be hard to understand how the majority would be able to support something so half-baked-- actually, raw. "Movement" doesn't necessarily equate with "progress".

Bruce Dickinson

This is precisely why Burlingame should not be afraid of State threats to sue or withhold transportation funds. Slap some developer fees, pull the pension money out of CalPers, make some tough choices ($60 million dollar Community Center and $6 million dollar pool?), pull out of ABAG and basically "self fund". You gotta also have a City and Council who is willing to fight and all the op-eds in the world aren't gonna change other State Assembly-members minds. Put the money where your mouth is! Mr. Brownrigg should know this: threatless diplomacy is doomed to fail if you're not willing to back up your words with a credible threat of "force".

Bruce Dickinson thinks Joe is 100% right on this one. Far easier to blame "wealthy suburbs" for what Trump would call the "urban &hithole" that is now becoming San Francisco.

Housing

https://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/news/2019/03/06/bay-area-cities-push-back-casa-housing-plan.html

phinancier

Do we detect a bit of Fake News from the Chronicle here? Either Mr. Chiu called out Burlingame by name or he didn't. Which is it? If he did why change it to fakeness? Giving in to political pressure? If he didn't which I doubt how did the reporter foul that up? And why? Seems awfully specific. So many questions? Maybe their blowhard editorial page editor John Diaz would care to weigh in on the faux news pas? Don't bet on it.

Bruce Dickinson

Yes, Joe, where in the article is Burlingame mentioned? It says "South Bay"

hmmm..Transference?

Joe

@BD, your reading comprehension is taking the day off. I explained that the Burlingame reference is in the print edition that was subsequently "tweaked" to say "South Bay"--which is in itself a little demeaning. I will post the photo of the print edition as soon as TypePad and I figure out which browser extension is causing the photo to not appear.......don'tya love technology?

Bruce Dickinson

WOW, sorry Joe, I must admit I wasn't wearing my reading glasses last night, so may have glossed it over. I believe you.

That is so crazy!!!

Would follow up with the Chronicle on that one.

No matter what the answer really is, it's terrible either way!

SFRecent

It makes sense to build affordable housing from Broadway to Peninsula and inward to the railroad tracks all along the Highway 101.

All those homes in this area seem to be pre-1950 and lack energy efficient materials the newer homes contain.

We need to save our world and stop the greenhouse gases within the next 12 years or it is doomsday..

Jennifer Pfaff

I'm guessing you don't live around here...most of this city is pre-1950, so why pick on Lyon & Hoag / Burlingables/ Oak Grove Manor/ etc.? Then why not tear down the whole city as most of it is near a train, or bus line.

I also wouldn't put much stock into the "green" argument. Time is going to tell just how green these materials turn out to be.

Finally, those of us who DO already live near train and bus lines (and there are thousands of us) have always been able to avail ourselves of these services. We have over 50% rentals, frequently in high density complexes of various ages, and so we are a poster child for who COULD use public transportation if it were adequate, safe, and part of a real network plan.

But far less than 10% of those able to use Public Transit, actually do. I think I recall it was just 3%, but let's call it 10% for the sake of argument. That is just staggering.

This has nothing to do with the housing being close to transportation, it has to do with the quality of public transportation offered. Probably half of this city, at least, could use public transportation, so it isn't geography, it is a quality, and convenience issue. Read= $$$ taxes required to subsidize.

Massive funding would be needed to get anything close to what people gush about having experienced in Europe and Asia. I lived there a long time, too, and never used the car except for going on long excursions, and even then, it would have been possible to take a train, instead.

In our case here, all that money was put into the expansion of auto related infrastructure, a long, long time ago. None of these panacea housing bills has actually addressed the Public Transportation Deficit Elephant in the Room. It's just easier to choke the communities with density, and eliminate parking requirements, and think that is going to force people to take public transportation, no matter how inadequate (and expensive) it is.

Throwing miles of spaghetti at the wall in 200 different forms to see what sticks is really poor policy, and won't solve much of anything.

Gasbag

SFRecent, you have 12 years to move to higher ground. Please get going soon.

Joe

The County Supes tabled their resolution in support of SB50. Quite sad that they even considered supporting such a disasterous bit of Sacramento overreach, but that the way of things these days:


In thanking county officials for delaying the SB 50 discussion, Burlingame Councilman Michael Brownrigg said he very much believes the region is experiencing a housing crisis and he agreed with many that some cities such as Burlingame haven’t done their part to keep up with the demand for housing.

But Brownrigg voiced concerns that the measures laid out in Wiener’s SB 50 may not be the best solutions for cities focused on supporting housing, noting Burlingame officials and residents recently approved a General Plan anticipating the city will grow some 20 percent in 10 years. He said Burlingame officials and residents felt rezoning industrial areas to allow for mixed-use projects is the best way for the city to facilitate more housing, noting he worries about efforts to upzone cities that result in no changes.

https://www.smdailyjournal.com/news/local/san-mateo-county-officials-table-sb-talk/article_f09ff55c-4542-11e9-b352-e33e5368ab2c.html

Bruce Dickinson

Funny that Brownrigg isn't even in primary season yet, and he's already starting to sell out Burlingame to please the Democratic Party and line up really quickly with them!

Burlingame not having done it's fair share? What about Portola Valley or Hillsborough?

Bruce Dickinson may be rethinking my Brownrigg vote for Assembly. I want real representation!!!

Joe

Yesterday the Bolsheviks at the SF Comicle weighed in on SB50. "Comrade Doctor Zhivago, your house is much too big for one family, you will take one room and others will occupy the rest. It's more fair that way, don't you think?". (I paraphrase).

Yesterday's editorial states:

Even in San Mateo County, that hotbed of anti-housing sentiment, Supervisor David Canepa urged his colleagues to support the bill, albeit unsuccessfully.

In a state that has the least housing per person on the U.S. mainland and almost half the country’s unsheltered residents, SB50 is an idea whose time should have come long ago. But even last week, hearings in San Francisco and Palo Alto drew crowds eager to defend the indefensible status quo and to prevent the Legislature from, as a San Carlos official put it to the San Mateo Daily Journal, “invading the sanctity of our single-family neighborhoods.” The dedication and persistence of California’s housing deniers should not be underestimated.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Editorial-Sen-Scott-Wiener-s-bill-to-overrule-13698342.php
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The "indefensible status quo"? Nice weightless assertion that reflects the editors' ignorance about what is being done to add housing--take a trip down California Dr, turn left on Bayswater, then part in the lots that are headed for "affordable housing". Doesn't feel like the status quo from here.

Cathy Baylock

Say no to "stack and pack" housing in Burlingame by signing this petition: https://www.change.org/p/california-state-legislature-no-to-sb-827-sb-828-stop-top-down-planning-unsustainable-high-density-housing-growth?recruiter=77800975&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=psf_combo_share_initial.pacific_post_sap_share_gmail_abi.gmail_abi&recruited_by_id=abe5ab00-f47f-40d6-93ec-79a5a29eba3f&utm_content=fht-13014441-en-us%253Av5

Joe

Here is a letter to the DJ editor from Friday that makes mostly excellent points:

Editor,

I’m a resident of Redwood City. I have lived in the Bay Area for over 10 years of my life, and love all of its beauty and diversity. But I am very concerned that local anti-housing policies are steering our region into the wrong direction.

Even though we’re one of the wealthiest counties in the country, I am seeing people live in their cars in the park right down the street from me. My rent has gone up by over 15 percent in the past two years. My wife and I are stressed wondering what the increase will be next year. And I’ve personally witnessed multiple families get displaced from my apartment building as rents have risen.

To me, this is unacceptable. The Peninsula has clearly not built enough housing to accommodate all of the new jobs that have been created here, and it’s causing an increase in income inequality and poverty.

The problem continues to get worse even today. For example, Menlo Park has approved construction for office space that accommodates more Facebook employees than residents living in the city.

I am urging our fellow neighbors to acknowledge what’s happening as a serious crisis. A runaway train.

I am urging local residents to be compassionate toward those who are less fortunate, reframe our values and lead the rest of California by example. Let’s tell our city councils to stop building office space for even more housing-hungry workers and instead commit to finding radical solutions to build a lot of housing now.

Misha Silin

Redwood City
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I don't know Ms. (or Mr.) Silin, but I like how s/he thinks. It should be obvious to anyone that the only way to get housing costs flattening out is to limit commercial construction and/or tie them together--something that is difficult to do unless it's voluntary by the developer/company.

Joe

From today's DJ:

Sensing an encroachment on their authority, Burlingame councilmembers defended themselves against lawmakers proposing to fight the state’s housing crisis with streamlined development policies and tenant protections.

Burlingame officials voiced their frustrations Monday, April 1, with legislative efforts such as the CASA Compact and Senate Bill 50, claiming the initiatives are too broad and inconsiderate of efforts already underway.

In touting Burlingame’s progress, officials pointed to the recent update of the city’s general plan which loosened development regulations in certain areas most capable of accommodating more homes.

Burlingame officials argued the update is a model of thoughtful planning which aims to meet the goals of building new homes while preserving existing neighborhoods and respecting the quality of life.
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There's plenty more in the article found here: https://www.smdailyjournal.com/news/local/burlingame-city-council-fends-for-local-control/article_c219abd2-55bf-11e9-803e-9b1bd4001316.html

Christopher Cooke

Jennifer is right. We don’t have public transit systems good enough to entice people out of their cars in Burlingame. So most of the people living close to the Caltrain station don’t use it on a regular basis, except when traffic to certain places is simply horrible (downtown SF)

Joe

The team at Zumper tracks rents in the Bay Area on a monthly basis. Their latest report just came out here:

https://www.zumper.com/blog/2019/04/san-francisco-bay-area-metro-report-april-2019/

It shows B'game is the 9th most expensive city in the Bay Area and two bedroom rents have dropped 2% since last month and ahve increased 3.5% year over year.

With the on-going threat of rent control, we continue to hear (and read here on the Voice) of landlords asking more than they otherwise would as protection from the future limits. Good move, "housing advocates".

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