Preserve Local Zoning
Senate Bill 827 threatens to come back to life
Senate Bill 827 has died in committee for now. Unfortunately, State Sen. Weiner of San Francisco has vowed to bring it back to life (recall Frankenstein), yet many left leaning Democrats and others who benefit financially will support it. Consider our local left leaning assemblyman, also a real estate attorney. The authors and supporters let it die in committee so they would not have to answer for it before elections. Don’t fall for that old trick. Don’t elect those who will ruin your neighborhood. Insist politicians take a position on local zoning control before the November 2018 election, and tie them to their commitment.
One reason you should support Alex Glew for Assembly District 24 is that I oppose SB827 (high density in your neighborhood) or any bill that remotely resembles it. Whether you live in tony Palo Alto in NorCal or modest Creshaw in SoCal (Crenshaw opposes SB 827) , SB 827 or its reincarnation is bad for you. As a design commissioner in my city, I know first hand how much people value their neighborhoods and cities, even their own streets, along with the community they form around where they live and their children go to school. I believe in local control for the cities and counties to the largest extent possible, and oppose SB 827 or its reanimation. Don’t let Sacramento take that from you in a “master plan.” The East Bay of SF does not like SB827 either. See Albany has Lessons for Thoughtless Growth in the East Bay Times. The San Jose Mercury News has written an number of articles on it. SB 827 Attacked on Author’s Home Turf of SF Most of us don’t want our towns and cities to look like Sen. Wiener’s misplaced desire for SF to be Manhattan West.
I have been in tech for 30 years, but do not consider it untouchable. Big business does not need favors. See my position on Business Regulation “Businesses help drive the economy and provide jobs, but some get too many breaks from Sacramento.” Some also get too many breaks from our local cities.
Overdevelopment has caused numerous problems for CA, and more unplanned development only makes it worse. High rise development in residential neighborhoods and even many urban areas is a bad idea. Further densification without any plans for vital schools and hospitals, as well as transportation, water, and energy will further debate the quality of life in our area and much of the state of CA.
SB 827 pits certain groups against others. Note that 41% of the funding for SB 827 came from real estate developers and related industries. Some feel that SB 827 is an attack on the ethnic communities that it will destroy (Attack on ethnic communities). Assembly District 24, including southern San Mateo Country and northern Santa Clara County, deserves a local engineer, not a real estate attorney, to help keep local control over zoning and development.
The utter failure by the State to have an integrated mass transportation system in CA and sufficient automobile lanes is not an excuse to destroy most urban areas and many suburban areas. Combined with uncontrolled business growth, these two deficiencies cripple housing. Creating massive numbers of high rises in nearly all urban areas and many suburban areas under SB-827 would not achieve the implied goal of putting people on mass transportation and “saving energy.” Most would simply get in their cars and drive to work from their high-rise that happens to be next to a train or bus line. The same trains and bus lines that currently connect nowhere to nowhere else would not change or be augmented under SB-827; few currently ride the public transport because the transit does not connect to their jobs, or social needs, and that would not change with millions of new high rise condos and apartments.
We can learn from other countries. Any development near transit hubs should be commercial, not residential. That way, the mass transit is guaranteed to get people to work. Housing development near mass transit approaches the problem backwards and does not solve the problem.
Every business does not need to be located in the Silicon Valley. The next expansion of the latest tech wonder company should build 75 miles or more from the Silicon Valley and SF. Much of CA is starved for good jobs. This would greatly help housing, traffic congestion, and poverty with one strategy. Fresno, Modesto, and even Bieber, CA would benefit from good jobs, can expand easily to create low cost housing, and have rooms for more lanes as well as mass transit as needed.
A better solution to the problem for existing business in dense areas would be to put in transpiration to allow inexpensive housing to be built in areas with large amounts of available land and lower costs of living. Housing is only one aspect in the cost of living. A 45 minute rapid transit commute line and more automobile lanes could open large areas of California to development, without wreaking havoc in the urban and suburban areas. This would require the expansion of mass transit and freeways, which should happen first. Another factor not often considered is that these same people living in the proposed new high-rises allowed by SB-827 who are not riding the our current crippled public transportation would be driving cars. Urban areas do not need more automotive traffic, which comes with high density housing.
The state does not need to take over local zoning to fix their own failing at enabling regional mass transport and automobile lanes. Further, there needs to be incentives for businesses to locate where people need jobs, and their is room for low cost housing: Fresno, Modestor, Bieber CA, the Inland Impire …. The list of cities is long that would benefit from good jobs in CA to alleviate poverty and crime and can provide low cost housing. The legislature in Sacramento needs to resist any attempt or desire to control too many aspects of our lives that should be under local control.
Local zoning is not anti-environmental, racist, evil or insidious. Local zoning simply reflects the desires of the people who live in that area.
The main point is that the zoning decisions should be under local control so that each city and county can zone according to the local preferences. Alex Glew for Assembly District 24 supports local zoning control.
See the text below of an article from the San Jose Mercury News where author Tina Peak excoriates the ill advised SB 827.