Saturday, October 12, 2019


The State Legislature and the Governor ruin California as Governor Newsom signs 18 bills to boost housing production - And SAY GOODBYE TO SINGLE FAMILY ZONING!

Governor Gavin Newsom

Hi Sustainable TamAlmonte Friends,
On October 9th, Governor Gavin Newsom signed 18 bills designed to promote housing production.  Many of the housing bills that the Governor signed take away local control of land use, substantially increase housing density and population potential, and establish streamlined ministerial approval processes for housing projects, thereby exempting these projects from the California Environmental Quality Act approval process.  And SAY GOODBYE TO SINGLE FAMILY ZONING!
The subsequent housing densification and population growth will 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.
The bills will create unfunded mandates due to the fact that there is no funding for dealing with the above listed significant impacts.  Communities will be forced to substantially increase taxes to try to alleviate the adverse impacts, although many of the impacts will be unavoidable.
Assembly Bill-68
One example is AB 68.  This horrendous bill eliminates single family zoning and allows 3 units where only one unit used to be allowed. 
The bill prohibits cities from requiring additional parking spaces when homeowners convert garages to new housing.  This will force more cars to park on the street, change the aesthetics of communities and make it harder for emergency vehicles to reach areas with narrow roads, among other problems.

Excerpt from the Assembly Floor Analysis of AB-68:

"AB-68 makes major changes to the Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs) statutes to facilitate the development of more ADUs and JADUs and addressed perceived barriers to ADUs and JADUs, including the following:"
"1) Increases the number of ADUs allowed to be constructed per lot by potentially allowing two ADUs on lots with single-family homes, and multiple ADUs on lots with multi-family dwellings;
2) Enables ADUs and JADUs to be approved ministerially if there is an existing or proposed primary residence;
3) Prohibits a local ADU ordinance from:
a) Imposing requirements on minimum lot size to allow ADUs;
b) Setting a maximum ADU dimensions that do not permit an ADU of 850 square feet for an ADU or one or fewer bedrooms and 1,000 square feet for two or more bedrooms, 16 feet in height, with four-foot side and rear yard setbacks;
c) Requiring replacement parking when parking is demolished in the creation of an ADU;
d) Requiring a setback for an ADU that is built within an existing structure or in the same footprint as an existing structure, and require no more than a four-foot setback for all other ADUs;

4) Allows no more than 60 days to ministerially consider a completed ADU permit application; and
5) Increases enforcement, including enabling HCD to notify the Attorney General when a local agency is in violation of this law." 
The total floor area of floor-space for a detached accessory dwelling unit can be up to 1,200 square feet.
As far as we could tell, the only exception for fire prone areas is the following:
"Off­-street parking shall be permitted in setback areas in locations determined by the local agency or through tandem parking, unless specific findings are made that parking in setback areas or tandem parking is not feasible based upon specific site or regional topographical or fire and life safety conditions."

Please read below to find out about all the housing bills that Governor Newsom recently signed.
Best regards,
Sharon Rushton
Sustainable TamAlmonte |
Governor Gavin Newsom Signs 18 Bills to Boost Housing Production
Published: Oct 09, 2019

Signs SB 330, major legislation to remove local barriers to building more housing

Signs AB 1763 to incentivize affordable housing density

Signs package of bills to ease construction of accessory dwelling units

Legislation builds on urgent action undertaken by the Administration to tackle California’s housing affordability crisis

SACRAMENTO – Building on the state’s historic actions and investments this year to tackle the housing affordability crisis, Governor Gavin Newsom today signed 18 bills designed to help jumpstart housing production. Included was SB 330, major legislation aimed at removing local barriers to housing construction and speeding up new development.

”Since taking office in January, my Administration has been urgently focused on California’s housing affordability crisis,” said Governor Newsom. “The high cost of housing and rent is putting the squeeze on family budgets, and our housing shortage threatens our economic growth and long-term prosperity.”

“In 2019, California has taken urgent action to address this challenge. We’ve invested more in new housing than at any point in our history, and we have created powerful new tools to incentivize housing production. Now, we are removing some key local barriers to housing production. This crisis has been more than a half century in the making, and this Administration is just getting started on solutions,” added Governor Newsom.

Today, at the Legal Aid Society of San Diego, the Governor signed SB 113 by the Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, which will enable the transfer of $331 million in state funds to the National Mortgage Special Deposit Fund, and establishes the Legislature’s intent to create a trust to manage these funds to provide an ongoing source of funding for borrower relief and legal aid to vulnerable homeowners and renters. This follows the Governor’s proposal in August to provide a new, sustainable, ongoing source of funding for legal aid for renters and homeowners through local nonprofits, and builds on the state budget’s additional $20 million in legal assistance to help California renters fight unjust evictions.

The Governor today signed the following bills to remove barriers and boost housing production:

- SB 330 by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) establishes the Housing Crisis Act of 2019, which will accelerate housing production in California by streamlining permitting and approval processes, ensuring no net loss in zoning capacity and limiting fees after projects are approved.
- AB 1763 by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) creates more affordable housing by giving 100 percent affordable housing developments an enhanced density bonus to encourage development.
- AB 116 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) removes the requirement for Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts (EIFDs) to receive voter approval prior to issuing bonds.
- AB 1485 by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) will build on existing environmental streamlining law and encourage moderate-income housing production.
- AB 1255 by Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) requires cities and counties to report to the state an inventory of its surplus lands in urbanized areas. The bill then requires the state to include this information in a digitized inventory of state surplus land sites.
- AB 1486 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) expands Surplus Land Act requirements for local agencies, requires local governments to include specified information relating to surplus lands in their housing elements and annual progress reports (APRs), and requires the state Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to establish a database of surplus lands, as specified.
- SB 6 by Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose) requires the state to create a public inventory of local sites suitable for residential development, along with state surplus lands.
- SB 751 by Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) creates the San Gabriel Valley Regional Housing Trust to finance affordable housing projects for homeless and low-income populations and address the homelessness crisis in the region.
- AB 1483 by Assemblymember Tim Grayson (D-Concord) requires local jurisdiction to publicly share information about zoning ordinances, development standards, fees, exactions, and affordability requirements. The bill also requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to develop and update a 10-year housing data strategy.
- AB 1010 by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) will allow duly constituted governing bodies of a Native American reservation or Rancheria to become eligible applicants to participate in affordable housing programs.
- AB 1743 by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) expands the properties that are exempt from community facility district taxes to include properties that qualify for the property tax welfare exemption, and limits the ability of local agencies to reject housing projects because they qualify for the exemption.
- SB 196 by Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose) enacts a new welfare exemption from property tax for property owned by a Community Land Trust (CLT), and makes other changes regarding property tax assessments of property subject to contracts with CLTs.
The construction of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) can also help cities meet their housing goals and increase the state’s affordable housing supply. The Governor signed the following bills to eliminate barriers to building ADUs:

- AB 68 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) makes major changes to facilitate the development of more ADUs and address barriers to building. The bill reduces barriers to ADU approval and construction, which will increase production of these low-cost, energy-efficient units and add to California’s affordable housing supply.
- AB 881 by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) removes impediments to ADU construction by restricting local jurisdictions’ permitting criteria, clarifying that ADUs must receive streamlined approval if constructed in existing garages, and eliminating local agencies’ ability to require owner-occupancy for five years.
- AB 587 by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) provides a narrow exemption for affordable housing organizations to sell deed-restricted land to eligible low-income homeowners.
- SB 13 by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) creates a tiered fee structure which charges ADUs more fairly based on their size and location. The bill also addresses other barriers by lowering the application approval timeframe, creating an avenue to get unpermitted ADUs up to code, and enhancing an enforcement mechanism allowing the state to ensure that localities are following ADU statute.
- AB 671 by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) requires local governments’ housing plans to encourage affordable ADU rentals and requires the state to develop a list of state grants and financial incentives for affordable ADUs.

On Tuesday, the Governor kicked off his statewide tour to sign a series of bills that build on his Administration’s efforts to tackle the housing affordability crisis. In Oakland, he signed the nation’s strongest statewide renter protection package and a number of other bills to address the rising costs of rent and housing. 
AB 1482 by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) creates a statewide rent cap and eviction protections that are critical to combatting California’s housing and cost-of-living crisis.

Housing affordability has been a top priority for Governor Newsom. The state budget signed in June made a historic $1.75 billion investment in new housing and created major incentives – both sticks and carrots – to incentivize cities to approve new home construction. The budget also provided $20 million for legal services for renters facing eviction as well as $1 billion to help cities and counties fight homelessness.

The high cost of housing and rent has also been the focus of executive action. In the first weeks of his administration, Governor Newsom signed an executive order that created an inventory of all excess state land in order to find parcels to develop into affordable housing, launching partnerships with six California cities in April to develop affordable housing on that land and, last week, announcing the first Request for Proposal (RFP) on state-owned land will be issued in the City of Stockton. The Newsom administration has also enforced state housing law – putting more than forty cities on notice that they were out of compliance with state housing requirements and in jeopardy of legal action.

In total, the Governor signed the following housing bills:

AB 68 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) – Land use: accessory dwelling units.
AB 116 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) – Local government.
AB 587 by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) – Accessory dwelling units: sale or separate conveyance.
AB 671 by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) – Accessory dwelling units: incentives.
AB 881 by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) – Accessory dwelling units.
AB 1010 by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) – Housing programs: eligible entities.
AB 1255 by Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) – Surplus public land: inventory.
AB 1483 by Assemblymember Tim Grayson (D-Concord) – Housing data: collection and reporting.
AB 1485 by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) – Housing development: streamlining.
AB 1486 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) – Surplus land.
AB 1743 by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) – Local government: properties eligible to claim or receiving a welfare exemption.
AB 1763 by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) – Planning and zoning: density bonuses: affordable housing.
SB 6 by Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose) – Residential development: available land.
SB 13 by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) – Accessory dwelling units.
SB 113 by the Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review – Housing.
SB 196 by Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose) – Property taxes: community land trust.
SB 330 by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) – Housing Crisis Act of 2019.
SB 751 by Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) – Joint powers authorities: San Gabriel Valley Regional Housing Trust.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Marinwood Sex Crime Suspect sentenced (8/25/2019)

Marinwood sex crime suspect sentenced for gun charge

By GARY KLIEN | | Marin Independent Journal

PUBLISHED: August 25, 2019 at 11:43 am | UPDATED: August 25, 2019 at 12:25 pm

A man accused of threatening a teenage girl with a gun during a sexual attack in Marinwood was sentenced to 120 days in jail.

Jordan Adelso Escobar Perez, 19, of San Rafael was arrested in April during a party at the Marinwood Community Center. He and the 16-year-old victim were both guests at the party.

The victim told investigators that a party guest forced himself on her and pointed a gun at her head, according to a case summary filed by the probation department. Eventually she was able to escape by locking herself in a bathroom and calling her mother.

The victim, who only knew the suspect through social media, was able to provide sheriff’s deputies with his first name. Deputies found the suspect at the party and identified him as Escobar. He initially struggled with deputies and had a Glock handgun in his jacket.

Escobar admitted he brandished the unloaded gun but described the girl as the sexual aggressor, according to the probation report. He also said he was intoxicated at the party.

The Marin County District Attorney’s Office charged Escobar with counts that included carrying a stolen firearm, resisting arrest, sexual battery and false imprisonment. Escobar accepted a plea offer and admitted to the felony gun charge and the misdemeanor resisting charge, and the other counts were dismissed.

The plea bargain called for the 120-day jail sentence and five years of probation. Judge Geoffrey Howard sentenced Escobar on Thursday.

“Mr. Escobar is gainfully employed and is taking the case seriously,” said his public defender, Tamara York. “He looks forward to making the best of his probation and using the resources to continue to better his life.”

Editor's Note:

Why are we just learning of this today? Did the Marinwood CSD inform their residents of this serious crime?

According to court records the case was filed on April 10, 2019. The crime likely occured around April 6th. Why did the Marinwood CSD hide this from the public?

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Marinwood CSD refuses kindness and transparency

Marinwood CSD board refuses to extend a kind "get well" to Marinwood Fire Department's largest benefactor, Linda B.  They also refuse to discuss major capital investments, public safety or divulge lawsuits major policy shifts and cash business of the district.  They quite simply are out of control with a false sense of entitlement, power and imagined prestige. 

Leah Green, Marinwood CSD board president resigns suddenly

A surprise resignation by Marinwood CSD board president, Leah Green was announced at the October 8, 2019 board meeting.  Leah's term has been frought with questions about her personal conflict of interest with the hiring of Bill Hansell, former CSD director as the architect for the Marinwood Maintenance Facility project in February 2017.  Her colorful leadership style included frequent interruptions of speakers as though she were conducting a jurist inquistion instead of a public meeting.  She was instrumental in numerous unnecessary litigation that has mired Marinwood CSD in legal debt and advocated for a police presence at meetings so she could call for the public to be removed.   Since no laws were ever broken except by the Marinwood CSD infringing on the public's right of redress, no one has ever been removed from a Marinwood CSD meeting .

Marinwood CSD ignores Rape and has Police at Public Meetings

LAFCO Agenda for Thursday Night to Decide Marinwood's Fate

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Plan Bay Area Pop up event in Napa 10/5/2019

I had a nice talk with MTC staff about Plan Bay Area 2050.  When I arrived they were working the crowd with leading questions, writing down notes to past on the board and give out gifts promoting regional government.  It is a ridiculous show of government hubris that they think they can effectively plan for a thirty year horizon.  The Soviet Union only had 5 year plans and missed every one.  Now the "geniuses" at MTC want to have us believe that a wonderful world awaits us if we allow them to plan for our future and give them billions of dollars.
I asked why they think Napa is better off sending tax dollars to MTC instead of spending it locally.  After all, doesn't the local community know best about its needs? (no answer) I also pointed out that the reality is that strong politicians will dominate the process and the weaker counties will lose money to the powerful.   She admitted as much.  She loved former Marin Supervisor Steve Kinsey, who did not run for re-election after he abused his position on the California Coastal Commission.    She did not think much of Marin County since they have voiced opposition to regionalism.
Plan Bay Area is a farce and a cynical ploy to control vast political and economic resources.  They are promising us all lollipops and rainbows if we just agree to "go along for the ride"

Video includes clips plus the full Plan Bay Area Sales Pitch where I "won" a tote bag tp "Be Regionable".



AN OLD Lion, whose teeth and claws were so worn that it was not so easy for him to get food as in his younger days, pretended that he was sick. He took care to let all his neighbors know about it, and then lay down in his cave to wait for visitors. And when they came to offer him their sympathy, he ate them up one by one.

The Fox came too, but he was very cautious about it. Standing at a safe distance from the cave, he inquired politely after the Lion's health. The Lion replied that he was very ill indeed, and asked the Fox to step in for a moment. But Master Fox very wisely stayed outside, thanking the Lion very kindly for the invitation.

"I should be glad to do as you ask," he added, "but I have noticed that there are many foot prints leading into your cave and none coming out. Pray tell me, how do your visitors find their way out again?"

Take warning from the misfortunes of others.