NIMBYism Explained
Tim Lund lives in Southeast London. The following is reprinted with permission from the author. A while back, I posted this on my local forum: I had a eureka moment about this a few days ago – the rise of the NIMBY is a consequence of greater fragmentation of freeholding. It’s obvious really – if more occupiers have the legal rights of freeholders, they will use them to oppose development, and if there are fewer opportunities for large scale freeholders to redevelop areas, coherently and... more
Op-Ed: Don't Promise to Not Be Racist, Says League of California Cities
Long ago in the ancient days of 2013, The League of Cities published a useful manual: “How to Hide Your Segregation,” or as they put it, “Housing Elements: Beware of What You Promise.” In it, The League offers important advice on how to not get caught when your policies have widespread discriminatory impacts on protected classes of people. The League of Cities is a membership organization of many California cities and towns that lobbies the state and federal government, generally for greater... more
Public Comment: Planning to Fail
Feb 28, 2017
Metro Observer web master and SF Bay Area Renters Federation founder Sonja Trauss spoke at the Board of Supervisors’ Technical Advisory Committee last week urging considerable scrutiny over the city controller’s report. Trauss also published her concerns in an op-ed for the Bay City Beacon last week, in which she argues that the city’s affordable housing policy should not be based on the current crisis as a baseline expectation. For a brief summary, watch the video below: more
Scene Report: Los Angeles Affordability Threatened by Measure S
If you thought classism, racism, and an overall I-got-mine NIMBY mentality couldn’t get any worse in coastal California, Measure S should have you thinking again. The so-called “Neighborhood Integrity Initiative” brings staunch Trumpism to the nation’s most populous and diverse metropolitan area in an effort to bring an unpredictably vast majority of new development to a halt. Measure S is framed rather innocuously as a “Temporary Moratorium [That] Stops Council Approvals of Projects that... more
Editorial: Berkeley Finally Treats Crisis Like a Crisis
Berkeley’s homeless population adds to the downtown area’s “neighborhood character,” and that’s not a good thing. Last month, Laura Jadwin, a homeless resident, was found dead under a tree in an empty lot on Martin Luther King, Jr. Way. After weeks of heavy rainstorms, it came as no surprise when exposure was found as the cause of death. These inhumane conditions are well within the city’s power to ameliorate. Such misfortunes are more than an embarrassment; they completely invalidate... more
Scene Report: Hong Kong
Feb 21, 2017
Hong Kong has its own housing shortage — and NIMBY problems. According to the South China Morning News, families face a wait time of over four years before they can move into public housing. Experts blame a lack of construction and labyrinthine land rezoning processes. The government now admits they will be 44,000 units short of their public housing construction goal by 2017. Meanwhile, leaders are unable to follow through on their plans to build mental health centers for the poor due to... more
Open Letter: Commentary on Central SoMa Plan EIR
Planning Department Staff, Members of the Planning Commission, and Board of Supervisors, I’m writing today to express my extreme disappointment in the Central SoMa Plan and its Environmental Impact Report (EIR). I live at 6th and Market near the edge of the plan area, and also write as a member of the SF Bay Area Renters Federation and SF YIMBY Party. The most critical paragraph in the Central SoMa plan for understanding why it must be sent back to the drawing board for a thorough... more
Scene Report: Sculpture in Philadelphia
Feb 14, 2017
Where: PRACTICE Gallery, Philadelphia PA When: Feb. 3-26 2017 Name: MY DAUGHTER'S WEDDING Interview with Rose Luardo about her show “My Daughter’s Wedding.” 1. First, in a few sentences, can you describe your show? It's a show of thrills, rides and videos inspired by friendship, clowning and transformation. The pieces include a wall of breasts, a psychedelic coffin with an audio component (my father recounting his dialysis cruise set to mood music), an installation (the leavings of a woods... more
World's Worst Housing Policies, Episode 1: When San Mateo Reinvented Craigslist
San Mateo County covers roughly half of the exorbitantly-priced peninsula directly south of San Francisco and north of Santa Clara County, part of what is colloquially considered Silicon Valley. In an effort to aid the most vulnerable among the region’s cost-burdened renters, the county government’s Department of Housing funds a Home Sharing program to pair prospective tenants with people looking to rent out a spare room — or even half a room. To sweeten the deal, the program offers a $250... more
More Housing Coming to Mid-Market
Feb 2, 2017
Several high-rise projects have recently overcome significant challenges in the Mid-Market area, whether financial or political, likely due in part to favorable zoning updates. Among them, a 242-unit market-rate development was able to forge a deal with local activists and the city to provide 68 units of affordable housing and resources for transgender cultural amenities. San Francisco developer Group i announced an agreement with appellants of their 120-foot residential and hotel project at... more