Saturday, April 7, 2018

YIMBYS: "We are so sorry if you are a minority, (We only target old rich white people)"


Denounce the Yimby disruption: An open letter to Sen. Wiener

Denounce the Yimby disruption: An open letter to Sen. Wiener
Community leaders ask author of SB 827 to distance himself from the Yimbys who shouted down a community coalition trying to hold a peaceful rally
Dear Senator Wiener:
On April 4, on the steps of San Franciscos City Hall, we and other representatives from more than 40 San Francisco community organizations joined together for a lawful and fully permitted press conference to express concerns regarding the negative impacts of SB 827. 
Our speakers included representatives from across the city including the Mission, Excelsior, Chinatown, Western Addition, the Northside and Westside. We included tenants, homeowners, seniors, environmentalists, and communities of color. Our intention was to raise concerns that SB 827 would exacerbate displacement, undermine our affordable housing policies, and strain our overburdened transit system. We particularly sought to bring to public awareness that SB 827 would eliminate the opportunity for the voices of disadvantaged communities to impact policies that have a direct and immediate impact on their lives.
But we were denied the opportunity to speak by the deliberate, concerted, and continuous disruptive actions of the Yimby organization which is alsothe sponsor of SB 827
As has been described in media accounts including the San Francisco Examiner,  a Yimby contingent including leadership of the national and state organization, shouted down our speakers and disrupted the event to the point no one, including the assembled reporters, could hear our speakers.  As a direct and foreseeable consequence of the Yimby action the press coverage of the event has centered on the disruption and not the content of our messages.     
As the principal author of SB 827 and a close collaborator with the local and state Yimby organization locally we ask you to condemn all Yimby networks’ efforts to suppress public critique of this legislation.  It is not enough, as Yimby spokespeople have assured, to change their future disruptive actions to not interrupt speakers if they are low income people of color.” The Yimby organization needs to cease silencing critique by any and all people. 
We believe that this position should extend to the consideration of SB 827 itself.   It is no coincidence that the sponsors of SB 827 sought to deny our communities the ability to raise concerns about a bill that would institutionalize the suppression of community voices, participation, and dialog.  

Yimbys shout down a rally against SB 827

As written SB 827 is a deeply divisive and disrespectful proposal.   As has been noted by community organizations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and throughout California, SB 827 will undo the efforts of hundreds if not thousands of community organizations to improve the livability, sustainability, and affordability of their neighborhoods. Exclusionary practices that suppress the development of truly inclusionary housing need to be challenged. But it is fundamentally wrong to then conclude that all community plans are exclusionary and should be overridden by state law. Yet that was the claim of the Yimby chants interrupting our press conference and also the underlying assumption of the legislation itself.

For all these reasons we demand that you to denounce Yimby disruptive practices and we ask you to put SB 827 on hold until there is the room for the dialog that all our communities deserve
Deepa Varma
Fred Sherburn Zimmer
Wing Hoo Leung
Charles Dupigny
Gus Hernandez
Ozzie Rohm
Becky Evans

Why Capitalism is Better than Socialism

Friday, April 6, 2018

Here is where the 10 story buildings may be built in Marin if SB827 passes.

Here's a link to a map that includes the "Major Transit Stops" in Marin (Sausalito, Tiburon, and Larkspur Ferry Terminals and all the SMART depots).  However, it does not show any of the "High-Quality Transit Corridors" in Marin.

If you live in the red dot areas, a building like this could be built next door with NO PLANNING REVIEW.
Under SB827 it could be 50% taller  (10 stories) and there is literally nothing that can be done to stop it.

Call Senator Mike Mcguire to stop SB827 and Sign this 

The Truth about Swedish Socialism

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Marin’s Dilemma - Service Cuts or Tax Hike

Marin Coalition Presents: Wednesday April 4, 2018

“Marin’s Dilemma - Service Cuts or Tax Hikes”


Mimi Willard -- Founder of the Coalition of Sensible Taxpayers.

Leslie Lundgren Harlander -- President of the Board of Trustees of the Tamalpais

Union High School District.

Marin taxpayer-voters face higher taxes/fees and/or threatened service cuts from almost all local agencies and districts.  Schools are squeezed by rising costs (particularly state-mandated increased pension contributions).  In 2018, voters will consider ballot measures to raise bridge toll; increase sales taxes; and increase parcel taxes in Dixie School District and Tamalpais Union High School District (serving all of southern Marin -- Redwood, Tam, and Drake).    Some districts are planning service cuts, e.g., Novato Unified and Tam Union.  School and other essential service funding could improve if commercial properties pay more, via alternative parcel tax structures and/or a 2018 ballot initiative to change proposition 13.  Mimi Willard, President of the Coalition of Sensible Taxpayers, will discuss how all this could play out in Marin.

The Tamalpais Union High School District Board of Trustees in March is scheduled to approve placing on the November 2018 ballot a proposed increase in the existing District’s school parcel tax. District Board President, Leslie Lundgren Harlander will provide a perspective of why this tax is important and necessary for the School District.

Mimi Willard is Founder of the Coalition of Sensible Taxpayers. CO$T is a nonpartisan,
nonprofit organization advocating for the interests of Marin taxpayers. A Chartered Financial
Analyst, Ms. Willard’s professional background includes 20 years as a nationally recognized
financial analyst at prominent Wall Street firms.

Leslie Lundgren Harlander is President of the Board of Trustees of the Tamalpais Union High
School District. She has served on the Tamalpais Union School Board for two years. Leslie is
a civil engineer and has worked on a wide range of public works and environmental projects.
She has experience managing multi-million- dollar projects and programs overseeing all
aspects of the work including financial and budget management, personnel, community
outreach and quality control.

Letter to the Marin IJ and the "Dixie Measure B" supporters after todays article.

Fairness of Marin school parcel taxes debated

Mimi Willard, left, Coalition of Sensible Taxpayers, and Leslie Harlander, board president, Tamalpais Union High School District. (Keri Brenner/Marin Independent Journal)
Mimi Willard, left, Coalition of Sensible Taxpayers, and Leslie Harlander, board president, Tamalpais Union High School District. (Keri Brenner/Marin Independent Journal) 
Leaders of a Marin taxpayers group and one of the county’s largest school districts squared off Wednesday on how to avoid program and service cuts while keeping parcel taxes under control and surviving a rising pension cost tsunami.
“We have here ‘Sophie’s Choice,’” said Mimi Willard, a founder of the grassroots Coalition of Sensible Taxpayers. “Are we going to cut services or raise taxes and fees?”
Leslie Harlander, board president of Tamalpais Union High School District, said a district fiscal advisory committee is looking at a range of program and staff cuts and consolidations — such as having a principal oversee two high schools instead of one. On March 13, the Tam district’s board of trustees voted to issue four preliminary layoff notices to three librarians and one wellness center director — but those were not final and could be rescinded later on as per the committee’s recommendations.
“Our district revenue is not keeping pace with expenses,” said Harlander, pointing to a triple-whammy of increasing enrollment, slowing property tax revenue and rising pension costs.
Willard and Harlander made their comments before about 60 people at the monthly Marin Coalition luncheon at The Club at McInnis Park golf center in San Rafael.
The event, “Marin’s Dilemma — Service Cuts or Tax Hikes?,” produced few answers but did raise a lot of questions.
Chief among them was the methods used in the upcoming Measure B parcel tax on the May 8 mail-in ballot in the Dixie School District in San Rafael.
Willard and other COST members say a per-square-footage tax would be more fair in Dixie than a flat rate parcel tax if the district gets a lot of new apartments as expected. That’s because the apartment complexes would pay for only one parcel tax per lot, but each lot could include dozens of apartments. COST members say the per-square-foot tax is not “illegal,” as the Measure B proponents claim, and is already in use in several East Bay school districts.
But Dixie Superintendent Jason Yamashiro disputed that assertion in an email Wednesday.
See the story in the Marin IJ HERE

Our letter to the Marin IJ

Nikki Mullen says, “I would be very open to working with anyone from our community in a positive manner to improve our schools.."
I gratefully accept her request as one of the primary writers of the "No on Measure B" ballot arguments. I am a Dixie Parent, Volunteer and homeowner, just as all of the endorsers. Co$t is a Marin County based taxpayers group and they were brought in for support for their expertise and knowledge on tax matters.
1.) A good first step to "working positively" with the community is to begin with an apology to us for the personal attack as being "not being involved with the schools and don't talk with the children or understand needs" It is the first time, that anyone can remember where such attacks were allowed on a parcel tax argument. It cheapens the conversation. We are Dixie parents, volunteers, teachers and coaches with up to 45 years residency in the community. We are not anti-tax despite your claim.
2.) The Dixie Measure B proponents must stop implying that parcel taxes based on square footage uniformly applied are illegal. This is simply outrageous that they are telling the public this. As they know, parcel taxes based on square footage are legal when properly applied. Berkeley Unified School District and West Contra County School district have had parcel taxes based on square footage for years.
I issue a challenge: Please cite the exact law and case studies where parcel taxes based on square footage uniformly are illegal.
3.) Divulge the real estate holdings by the board, supporters and staff that will receive parcel tax increases if the square footage rule is applied. I know of two such ballot sponsors that have large commercial properties and apartments.
Our purpose for the "No on Measure B" argument is to make certain new parcel taxes are fair. Currently a large complex with 100 units will pay the same amount as a condo. We do not think this is fair. Apartments may have many students yet the parcel taxes will cover just one.
Currently, large apartment complexes are being discussed for Four Points Sheraton, Northgate Mall, Scotties Market, Silveira Ranch and Lucas Valley. Each complex will hold hundreds of families.
There is time to get this right. The current tax expires in 2019. Bring this tax back at a regular election with a fair "square footage" rate and you will justly earn the support of the community.
Both the Superintendent and Ms Mullens have been given our contact information if they truly want to "work on solutions" with us. Let's hope they will reconsider their political approach for the good of our community.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

YIMBYS shout down Tenants Activists opposing SB827

SB 827 rally Affordable Divis from g fujioka on Vimeo.

SF Supervisors oppose Wiener real-estate bill

SF supes oppose Wiener real-estate bill

Breed sides with Wiener as debate shows clear differences among candidates for mayor
The Board of Supes voted today to oppose State Senator Scott Wiener’s real-estate bill, SB 827, which would upzone most of San Francisco. 
The discussion over the bill became a debate about much larger housing issues – and demonstrated the sharp distinctions between political leaders who want to rely on the private market to solve housing problems and those who say that market has failed.
A coalition of neighborhood groups, tenants, and small businesses rallied against SB 827. Photo by Dan Raile
Peskin argued that the bill “fundamentally disrupts communities. We need to send a signal to Sen. Wiener and [co-sponsor] Assemblymember Phil Ting that the discussion needs to start here.” He called for a “full stop, let’s start this over.”
If the state wants to address housing, he said, the legislators could start by sending cities more money and repealing Costa-Hawkins and the Ellis Act.
Sup. Hillary Ronen went further, saying that “I don’t believe that increasing the supply of luxury housing will trickle down” and provide affordable units. “It’s never going to happen.”
And, she noted, the bill “gets rid of the entire discipline of city planning.”
Sup. Sandra Lee Fewer pointed out the bill would not provide funding for the public amenities, particularly the schools, that would be needed for all the new residents. “We are five schools short of what we need” with the existing approved new housing, she said.
Sup. Jane Kim said: “When you confer value to land, you are giving those landowners and developers money. This is a giveaway without asking anything back.” In her district, she said, she has sought to get some of that money back by demanding more affordable housing, parks, transit funding and other amenities.”
In the case of the recent Giants project, she said, by demanding that some of the new wealth the team received from upzoning be shared with the city, we got an agreement to build 40 percent affordable housing instead of 12 percent.
A local planning process, she said, allows for that.
“Government used to be in the business of building housing,” Kim said. “In 1980, Ronald Reagan decided that the private market should be responsible for building housing for all of us.” That’s been the policy ever since (through both Republican and Democratic administrations). The result: Homelessness and displacement.
Peskin argued that this sort of upzoning is going to run up land costs. The land on Haight and Stanyan, where a McDonald’s will be replaced with affordable housing, would have cost the city a lot more than $15 million if it were zoned at 85 feet.
Sup. London Breed, who yesterday refused to take a stand on the bill as she was being endorsed by Wiener (across from Leno’s Castro campaign headquarters), today said that she wouldn’t vote to oppose it. “The intent of the bill is to promote more housing near transit,” she said. “We aren’t doing enough to build housing and we aren’t doing it fast enough.”
Her position directly conflicts with what Ronen was saying and puts her on record supporting market-rate housing as a solution to the crisis.
It also has an impact on the mayor’s race: Kim and Mark Leno are opposing SB 827, and with Breed taking a public position in support of the bill’s basic idea and declining to oppose it, the three major candidates have a clear difference.
Peskin proposed amendments to the ordinance, which had been watered down in committee; he asked that the measure specifically put the city on record opposing SB 827. That amendment passed 7-4 with Breed, Ahsha Safai, Katy Tang, and Jeff Sheehy in opposition.
Then Breed said she would vote against the resolution and would work closely with Sen. Wiener to create more housing for San Francisco.
The final measure passed 8-3, with Katy Tang voting this time in favor.
So the San Francisco Board of Supes has taken a stand against SB 827, joining Los Angeles as a major city that doesn’t want to see the Wiener bill pass.
The vote came after a rally on the steps of City Hall by a broad coalition of neighborhood, tenant, housing, small business and community groups – disrupted repeatedly by a small group of Yimbys.
The coalition brought some 60 people to the event, with Sup. Aaron Peskin, Sup. Jane Kim, and former Mayor Art Agnos among the speakers. Also represented were leaders of community organizations from the Mission, Chinatown, Cow Hollow and Excelsior, the Sierra Club, the local chapter of Democratic Socialists of America, and tenant rights groups.
Things quickly devolved into cacophony as the outnumbered Yimbys chanted over every speaker who took the podium. In the merciful pauses between chants, speakers could be heard decrying the projected impacts of the bill. 
“I want to announce that we have the votes!” said Supervisor Peskin early in the proceedings. Yet chants continued unabated.
A small group of Yimbys tried to shout down the No on SB 827 rally. Photo by Dan Raile
“Look at these people and look at us, the people they are chanting over,” Shanti Singh of the DSA SF Housing Committee said from the podium. “Do you see any differences?” 
The Yimby delegation was overwhelmingly composed of young white men shouting over a diverse series of speakers at the podium. As Singh wrapped up her comments the Yimbys chanted “Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, the status quo has got to go!” The larger group quickly countered with a chant of “You are the status quo!” 
Following is the letter that this unusual coalition sent the board:
We, the undersigned residents and organizations, represent communities across San Francisco— rich and poor, tenant and homeowner, newcomers and old-timers.  We stand together with others across the State of California to urge defeat of SB 827 (Wiener) in any form. 
This bill unilaterally removes the opportunity of residents in every part of this city to participate in basic decisions about land use, zoning, and the livability and sustainability of our communities.  It is fundamentally and irreparably flawed.
SB 827 forces a top-down, one-size-fits-all strategy that would destabilize the character of many of our neighborhoods, revoking power from our local elected representatives and planning departments, and silencing public input on new development — input that can and has resulted in more affordability, more jobs, and stronger communities.
In the name of ‘transit friendly housing’, SB 827 undermines the ability of San Francisco, the most transit friendly city in the state, to plan and support our publicly financed transit system and  it would discourage other cities from creating or expanding their own systems to avoid triggering SB 827.  In the name of affordability, it would reward real estate speculators with enormous windfalls and weakens our city’s ability to incentivize and create more affordable housing.  It would not require the actual building of a single affordable unit, but instead allows entitled projects to be bought and sold over and over again; making money for speculators and not producing critically needed housing.  And while it would include limited protections for tenants who are directly displaced by new market rate projects, it completely fails to address indirect displacement caused by rising real estate prices and higher rents.
Furthermore, SB 827 would incentivize the destruction of established commercial spaces and the displacement of neighborhood-serving businesses.  Such losses would accelerate the widespread cultural and economic displacement that many of our communities are already experiencing.
In addition to the direct and physical harm it would cause to our neighborhoods, SB 827 would more generally undermine our democratic processes and ability to protect the environment.
By overriding local planning and environmental requirements, SB 827 would also override our city’s efforts to be sustainable.  If the bill is adopted, new growth would be imposed by developers at almost any city location of their choosing, increasing demands on existing water and sewer systems, roads, utilities, schools, parks, and other public services and infrastructure. Such developments would be approved with minimal public review, without full disclosure or analysis of impacts, and without consideration of more sustainable and environmentally sound alternatives.
Advocates of SB 827 have created a false narrative.  The bill promises smart growth, but it would deliver the opposite.  It would require unplannedgrowth imposed by Sacramento at the behest of for-profit developers and real estate investors.  Yet contrary to the claims of those developers and their allies, there are better, more inclusive, and more sustainable alternatives when we are able to work together as a city. 
San Francisco has more housing density and more affordable housing per square mile than most cities in the country — not because of a mandate by Sacramento — but because of decades of action at a local level.  We have the most intensive public transit systems in the state —  not because of politicians in Sacramento — but because our residents vote to support and pay for it.  Through our own locally controlled planning process we have more than 60,000 fully approved new units of housing awaiting construction.  And we can do even more together.
Indeed, if it were not for restrictive laws imposed by politicians in Sacramento, San Francisco would have stronger protections for tenants against excessive rents and evictions, and we would require for-profit developers to build more inclusionary housing. 
Consensus building and local democracy can work if we are allowed to practice it.
For all these reasons, the assumptions, values, and logic of SB 827 are fundamentally flawed.  We therefore urge the Board of Supervisors to adopt a resolution to oppose SB 827.
ART AGNOS, Former Mayor
Gus Hernandez and Charles Dupigny, Co-Chairs
Mitchell Omerberg, Executive Director
Andrew Medina
Christin Evans, Owner
Vanessa Moses, Executive Director
Rev. Norman Fong, Executive Director
Alex Tom, Executive Director
George Wooding, President
Wing Hoo Leung, President
Sponsored link
Gary Weiss, President
Lori Brooke, President
Tes Welborn, Coordinator
Carolyn Kenady, Chair
BECKY EVANS, Chair, SF Group, Sierra Club*
Larisa Pedroncelli and Kelly Scott Hill, Owners
FAYE LACANILAO, Communities United for Health and Justice*
Bob David, Director
Bruce Wolfe, President
MATT HANEY, School Board Commissioner
Roberto Eligio Alfaro, Executive Director
Fred Sherburn-Zimmer, Executive Director
Dr. Elizabeth Fromer Valenzuela, President
Nancy Wuerfel
ERIC MAR, Educator,  Former Supervisor

Jason Pelligrini, President
Luis Granados, Executive Director
Sam Ruiz, Executive Director
Ozzie Rohm, Co-founder

Charles Ferguson, Board President
Gary Gregerson, Board President
Kathleen Courtney, Chair Housing & Zoning
Calvin Welch, Board member
Deep Varma, Executive Director
SHANTI SINGH, SF Democratic Socialists of America, Steering Committee*
Eileen Boken, President
Judy Irving, President
*Affiliation for identification only
Additional reporting by Dan Raile

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Herb Caen: Those endearing old charms


Herb Caen in the Crown Room atop the Fairmont Hotel in 1996.

Excerpted from a Herb Caen column — June 27, 1971

I KEEP READING in learned journals that nostalgia is the hottest movement in the land these days, but I’m not buying. It all seems phony to me, just another exercise in merchandising, a high-pressure plot to put our ladies back in wedgies and ankle-strap shoes, not to mention those awful suits with padded shoulders and nipped-in waists (I’ll take the beautiful hippie girls who let it all hang out). Not a tear came to my eyes as I read Life’s “Nostalgia” issue, and as for the vaunted revival of “No, No, Nanette” on Broadway, that’s a bore, too. Can you really get choked up in 1971 over a song with such lyrics as “Day will break and you’ll awake and start to bake a sugar cake for me to take for all the boys to see”? What’s a sugar cake? Why does she have to get up at dawn to bake it? And I’d rather not think about the kind of “boys” who’d want to see it.

THE MAIN REASON I think the Big Nostalgia Kick is synthetic is that we don’t see any signs of it in San Francisco. If it were really happening it would have happened here first. We’ve led the way in so many wonderful things — rock music, Love Children, cirrhosis, bridge-jumpers, bare boobs, junk art, junk clothes, turning on at the Opera House — that it’s ridiculous to think we couldn’t have kicked off a nostalgia boom if we’d really wanted to. After all, San Francisco practically invented nostalgia. It’s just that we played “Remember when?” for so many years — while the rest of the country was going crazy with progress — that we’ve tired of the game.

WELL, NOBODY can accuse San Francisco of living in the past any longer. In fact, where we seem to be is in a mad rush to destroy every vestige of The City That Was, The City That Knows How, Poor Pitiful Pearl of the Pacific. We can’t tear down old buildings fast enough to make room for new ones that are every bit as distinctive as Pittsburgh’s or Atlanta’s. As the man said when he first entered the restaurant atop Bank of America’s World Headquarters: “Instant Cleveland!” And now the rusty steel bones of the Transamerica pyramid are beginning to rise, its lower extremities already girdled in white Plastic Inevitable that puts you in mind of hotel bathrooms. When the pyramid was first announced, Mayor Alioto, drawing on his rich Florentine background, enthused: “It will be our Giotto Tower!” Well, he may have meant Irving Giotto.

WHILE NOSTALGIA is said to be sweeping the country, it’s a dirty word in San Francisco ’71 (watch out, here comes M. Justin Herman again with his swinging steel ball!). Redevelopment is the name of the game, and if you just had your old house shot out from under you, it’s for your own good, old-timer. “You have to be realistic,” as this big building said to me just the other day over lunch at Jack’s, an old restaurant that survives, miraculously. “Realistic.” I didn’t know how to answer him. Realism to him apparently means congestion, confusion, sterility. One antiseptic building, bustling by day, stone cold dead by night — replacing dozens of little buildings where mama and papa ran a grocery, Joe had a bar, Sam did the laundry, George owned a bookstore and hundreds of people lived, laughed, loved and rejoiced in a “neighborhood.” Gone, all of them, to where?

MAYBE NOSTALGIA is out here because it’s too painful to contemplate the dream and consider the reality. Once there were giants who built well — for the ages, they thought — but their landmarks, the solid evidence of their achievements, could disappear overnight, and they did. Now, it’s only when the fog steals in to blot out their ersatz replacements that you dare think of the past — alone, in a bittersweet reverie.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Wiener bills take away local land use control

Please read my Marin Voice Column entitled; "Wiener bills take away local land use control" and then please click HERE to sign the online petition entitled;"No to SB-827 & SB-828! Stop Top-Down Planning, Unsustainable High-Density Housing Growth, and Unfunded Mandates!" and spread the news(Over 3100 supporters have signed so far.  Yet, we need many more signatures.)

Marin Voice: Wiener bills take away local land use control
By Sharon Rushton
POSTED: 03/31/18

  Sharon Rushton

On behalf of a coalition of community groups, Sustainable TamAlmonte created an online petition titled: “No to SB-827 & SB-828! Stop Top-Down Planning, Unsustainable High-Density Housing Growth, and Unfunded Mandates!” The petition is taking off.

Over 2,800 supporters have already signed it and more are signing every day. Please sign the petition, too — — and spread the word.

The petition was created in response to many residents who are up in arms about Senate bills 827 and 828, which were introduced by state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco.

At a recent community hearing, Wiener promoted the bills with the argument that the state ought to address the housing crisis by facilitating greater density in cities throughout California.

Opponents see the bills as a blunt overreach of state power that would take away local control of land use and eviscerate decades of careful planning.

SB 827 would allow developers to build much denser, taller housing within a half-mile radius of “major transit stops” and within a quarter-mile radius of “high-quality transit corridors” by exempting “transit-rich housing projects” from local regulations concerning zoning, density, floor area ratio, setbacks, design guidelines and parking requirements.

The bill would also mandate that minimum height limits of such housing range from 45 to 85 feet (five to eight stories) or from 65 to 105 feet (seven to 10 stories) if the state’s housing-density bonus is applied.

“Major transit stops” would include the Sausalito, Tiburon and Larkspur Ferry terminals and every SMART depot. The definition of a “high-quality transit corridor” is every bus line that runs at least once every 15 minutes during morning and evening rush hours.

SB 827 would pose a significant threat to local control, democracy and public engagement. Immense developments could be approved with hardly any public input. Five- to 10-story multifamily apartment buildings could be built in single-family neighborhoods.

The bill would benefit developers who profit from unlimited high-end housing production, without solving the need for affordable housing. Furthermore, it would foster displacement of existing residents.

SB 828 would change state housing element law and especially target communities with high rates of income growth (and/or) high rental and home prices. The bill would dramatically raise each jurisdiction’s state-mandated Regional Housing Needs Allocation, which is the number of housing units that a city or county must plan for.

It would do this by:

• Changing the methodology that assesses a community’s housing need.

• Requiring a jurisdiction to automatically plan for 200 percent more housing units than its assigned housing allocation.

• Rolling over a previous unmet housing allocation and adding it to the current allocation; among other methods.

The subsequent housing densification and population growth would increase the risk of adverse impacts on the environment, public health and safety, traffic congestion, infrastructure, utilities (water supply), public services (schools), views, sunlight, privacy, neighborhood character and quality of life.

Moreover, there is no funding for dealing with these impacts and SB 827 provides an official sidestep of addressing this issue.

Urge members of the state Legislature to vote against SB 827 and SB 828 and, instead, support locally-grown sustainable strategies that enable our communities to meet all housing needs.

Sharon Rushton is the chairperson for Sustainable TamAlmonte, a local organization involved in land use issues.