Thursday, April 15, 2021
Uncategorized A new twist on the Mission moratorium

A new twist on the Mission moratorium


Wiener and Farrell want an economic report, which makes little sense on a 45-day interim-controls issue. But the other huge question is how many blue-collar jobs a moratorium might save

Thousands of Mission District residents and merchants want a time out on new development, which Scott Wiener and Mark Farrell are trying to scuttle
Thousands of Mission District residents and merchants want a time out on new development, which Scott Wiener and Mark Farrell are trying to scuttle

By Tim Redmond

MAY 12, 2015 – Sups. Scott Wiener and Mark Farrell threw a new twist into the debate over a moratorium on luxury housing in the Mission yesterday by demanding that the proposal be sent to the city’s economist for a full analysis.

Wiener told me last night that he and Farrell would make the request at today’s board meeting.

The request, Wiener said, isn’t designed to delay consideration of the measure: “It will be several weeks before the interim controls come before us so the city economist will produce a report by then.”

But clearly opponents of the moratorium want to use a report as evidence that any delay in market-rate housing will lead to higher prices.

“Supervisors Wiener and Farrell are asking for a report on the issue, but they have already come out against this legislation,” Campos told me.

Campos said that the city’s economist, Ted Egan, already told him that a 45-day halt in housing development won’t have any significant impact on the city’s economy and doesn’t need a report.

If the moratorium is extended longer – as long, potentially, as two years – it would trigger a report. “And we’ve already asked for that to happen,” Campos said.

There’s another element to this issue that hasn’t been on anyone’s radar – and maybe it’s something that ought to be included in the economic impact report. The SF Business Times, linked above, has a really nice little slideshow that shows all of the 15 projects that will be impacted by the moratorium.

And guess what? By my count, at least 12 of the 15 involve demolishing a building currently used for production, distribution, or repair – PDR – plannerese for places that offer blue-collar jobs.

It’s a longtime city policy to try to protect PDR uses, although the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan threw a lot of PDR under the bus. What Campos and a lot of Mission activists want is to amend that plan to address current realities in the Mission – and part of that might include an acknowledgement that not only does luxury housing drive up housing costs, it drives out jobs.

The mayor talks all the time about the need for jobs. But all this housing development threatens local jobs – ones that don’t typically require a degree in engineering or an MBA. The workers probably include Mission residents who could be losing not only their housing but their jobs, too.

Is that an economic issue? One would think so.

When it comes to the housing problem, Egan has reported in the past that it take more than 100,000 new housing units to have an appreciable impact on affordability in San Francisco.

But he also tends to say, in the rather simplistic line, that more supply puts “downward pressure” on costs.

That’s not supported by evidence. But it sounds good: Gee, we all learn in Econ 101 that increased supply of a product translates into lower prices.

Except, of course, that the San Francisco housing market is so unusual and irregular that none of the normal rules apply.

And, as Campos and his allies have pointed out, when you build luxury housing to replace, say, warehouses, you drive up land prices. Which makes it impossible for PRD, small local businesses to thrive and attracts chain stores and very high-end retail and restaurants.

Let’s see if Ted Egan can get all of that in his report.

Campos wants the matter to come before the full board as a Committee of the Whole. There are two ways that can happen – either the board president, on her own authority, can order it, or the full board with six votes can ensure that every supervisor will be hearing this issue.

Campos told me he had asked Board President London Breed to extent him that courtesy, and she declined. “We have asked her to reconsider,” he said. “If she refuses to do that, we will ask for full board consideration.”

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.


  1. An analysis is a set of conclusions drawn from facts, so yes, it is completely reasonable to accept part of an analysis – some conclusions – and reject others.

  2. Most of the day has space capacity because there is no demand for it. Transit has to handle peak commutes and there is no new capacity on the horizon for that.

  3. Which are all good things from my point of view. But until the stupid apps start laying people off the evictions aren’t going to stop and we’re going to keep losing good people to Oakland or even worse, Los Angeles.

  4. Don’t trash the Mission to create more shade. Move to the beach there is plenty of fog to go around out there.

  5. I don’t disagree that rent control is important. It helps protect vulnerable populations. It just has to be paired with policies that encourage adding to the housing stock. When you both restrict rent increases and make it hard to build, prices rise, thereby incentivising tactics like OMI and Ellis Act evictions.

  6. I don’t have any absolute plan – but the extreme volatility in rental prices may already be having a bad impact on property values. A house with a rental income potential of $160,000 per year should sell for a lot more than $2 million. You probably are not seeing long term property investors or developers buying these type of houses to evict people. The buyers are more likely fast buck operators who want to make a quick profit and get out before the market changes. Long term property investors want to see real development in the community including infrastructure, public education, and realistic housing for all income levels. This is one of the reasons many cities in the world have rent controls – so people buy houses as investments not speculations

  7. This engine you speak of that displaces residents does nothing for them. Today they are the victims but a few years from now the high paid coders will be displaced by cheaper robots. Ask the folks who built SOMA and the musicians who left during the last dotcom boom.
    The drought brings up a scarcity you cannot build yourself out of overnight. We need a break in development to examine where we are and where we are going and time to catch up with all the repairs and maintenance on the infrastructure that is falling apart. If you want a big city, you will need a lot more water and a lot more food and a lot more of everything.

  8. It’s already here. The Food Truck Fiasco is the most obvious sign. They come and go every other week; how many versions of tacos and burgers and bacon and cheese are sustainable businesses? Not many apparently. Ditto for the various trendy coffeeshops and cafes and restaurants. The kids find out quickly it’s not the same as going shopping and cooking for your friends. I’ve seen scores of opening/closings in the past few years in Hayes Valley, Polk Street, The Tenderloin, SOMA, “Mid-Market,” and La Mission.
    And there is plenty of retail and office space all over “downtown” for rent. Also, several big projects seem to have run out of money: most notably the Renoir Hotel, The Grant Building, and that big hole in the ground on Market near 5th.

  9. So your plan is to hope that car bombs, increased unemployment, or a massive earthquake hit the city, thus driving prices down?

  10. Desirability drives demand. It has always been a heavier lift to move here since the mid 1970s for a wide range of reasons. It was not insurmountable for the unrich to move here over that period, just more of a challenge than elsewhere. The real question is why housing prices doubled in the 1990s and doubled again in the past decade? Demand on steroids dominates any slack in supply.

  11. That is the minimum that any economist, one paid by the neoliberal city, has projected would begin to provide supply to meet demand. Of course, units cannot be simply rolled out by the 100K, they have to go through a process much longer than municipal approvals, financing and construction, to see the light of day. And with demand growing over that time, building our way to affordability is like chasing our tails.

  12. Would 100k even be enough? Considering how much has spilled over to Oakland I could imagine that we could build 1/2 a million and there would still be people moving here.

  13. I was with you until you said losers and winners. Surely there are many ways to judge success beyond making money, particularly in one narrow field of employment. I assure you that many of us “misfits” that still live in the city and get by on bartending 3 nights a week see a bunch of socially awkward office drones going to sit in a cube for 60+ hours a week are the actual “losers”. They’re losing the most precious thing of all, which is free time to live your life. It’s true tech is here to stay, but a culling is coming, as those of us who have been here all our lives have seen before. The small startups and non-earners are going to get swallowed up by the big boys and people will get laid off in the process. You’ll see office spaces for rent with no takers, and trendy bars and restaurants go belly up over night. It’s probably coming in the next couple years.

  14. Oh, Sam must mean the 65% majority that favors the moratorium on Mission development. The ones he says just want “a free lunch.” Can’t have it both ways, gramps.

  15. Poor Shit-Out-of-Luck Alex, alias Sam. His comments come endlessly, like a firehose blasting diarrhea, yet the “losers” never come to his way of thinking.

    “We plan for the future and not for the past.” Really heavy, man.

  16. The question is not if demand reflects the economy. It is what mechanism, aside from land use regulation, explains fifty years of steadily rising Bay Area rents relative to national rents?

    National and Bay Area demand should both reflect credit, liquidity and economy. Why would one vary relative to another?

  17. The only major change since 1913 has been QE in response to the zero lower bound, and that started in 2009. Capital controls were abolished in 1974, after a ten-year run.

    What mechanism – land use regulation aside, which apparently makes too much sense – explains a fifty year history of Bay Area rents rising relative to national rents?

  18. In any event, these changes led to changes in how monetary policy and liquidity can inject money into the demand side to dominate any increase in supply. Loosening of capital controls likewise allowed for foreign capital to swarm in and stoke the demand side. Ain’t no way to build to suit that shit nor should we die trying.

  19. Pretty near every single factual assertion in that word salad is false. Banks were allowed to fail in the 2008 crisis, chart below. Convertibility is not ‘the gold standard.’ The Fed has been able to create money since 1913. Housing is a durable good, not a commodity. From 1970 to 1997, relative Bay Area rents rose 22%, more than they did during the internet bubble.

    What mechanism explains a fifty year history of Bay Area rents rising relative to national rents prior to internet capital flows?

  20. That is not factual statement. Manhattan in 1910 had 700,000 (nearly an entire San Francisco) more residents than in currently does.

    Throughout the 20th century it engaged in a massive, decades long, campaign to reduce its housing supply and the outcome of that was predictable, massive escalation of property prices and rents, the cost of which was inordinately born by new comes and the city’s marginal. SF tried to follow the same trajectory all the while claiming it was trying not to be Manhattan. One of the reasons many have such problems with SF housing ‘progressives’ is the way their rhetoric becomes totally divorced from reality.

  21. You might remember that banks were allowed to fail as previous bubbles popped in the 1980s.

    Here’s the gold standard part:

    The ability of the fed to spur liquidity at will was a new phenomenon for it that began in the 1970s. Therefore the money supply capable of competing for all commodities, housing in this case, was different before than after rendering the your longitudinal analysis of rents faulty. This does not matter, you are trying to prove a point and that requires isolating all other factors. The order of magnitude of demand increased by monetary expansion reduces any incremental added supply to irrelevance in calculating market rents.

    So sad.

  22. TBTF goes back at least to the Panic of 1907, if not earlier. FDR took the US off the gold standard in 1933. Bretton Woods? How could currency management possibly affect the relative rents between the Bay Area and the US?

    What mechanism explains a fifty year history of Bay Area rents rising relative to national rents prior to internet capital flows?

  23. Financial deregulation started in earnest in the late 1979s under Carter with the court decision that allowed states exemption from usury laws. That was scant ten years after the US abandoned the gold standard and Bretton Woods. No, the macro economic system has been static since 1917. Please, get an education in economic history and rejoin the conversation edified.

  24. The macroeconomy has not changed structure since the invention of central banks a hundred years ago. While the macro scheme has been constant, the micro scheme of land use regulation has not. Land use regulation tightened starting midcentury, and relative rents started an inexorable march up.

    Correlation may not be causation, but at least this story a) fits the data, b) makes sense and c) has support in the literature.

    What structural change created this mooted break? What mechanism explains a fifty year history of Bay Area rents rising relative to national rents prior to internet capital flows?

  25. Macro economics has changed structurally over that time. Regulation has changed over that time. 60% of data was collected under a different economic and regulatory regime. Trying to do longitudinal analysis ignorant of that is useless. But you can keep on trying!

  26. San Francisco is one city where a ballot measure is run in a single district, not 600+ distinct races each of which is first past the post.

    That is, you know, different, political science wise. Local polling is in general accurate.

  27. Well, I was born here, and am in the REAL 1%; people who grew up here when the government took care of it’s people (until the Redevelopment Agency got out of control). I’ll leave when they cremate me at The Little Chapel By The Sea. And I will make life miserable for the gentrifiers until then.

  28. Just took a look down the comments. Someone was saying SF needs 100,000 rental units to take the pressure off the high rents. Building building is never going to solve it. New York City thought the same thing and most people were pushed out of Manhattan and never were able to return, and they built, built, built. Until the recent freight train gentrification in SF, NYC had the highest rent, STILL after all that building and building. Google has 50,000 and growing employees, twitter has over 2000, Salesforce is around 5000. They are not going to stop growing and hiring, they will keep importing people from around the world. Salesforce built its big penis, right down town with its obnoxious sign “above it all”. Now people want 100k new housing units, I cringe when I imagine another 100k on top of the 60k that recently arrived in the last few years. Bringing streets to a strangle hold of traffic. Already the streets of the Mission are packed with gangs of boys walking around with the company app logo on their new cap, with their faces buried in their technology. I find many tech workers totally checked out from reality. Silly twitter girl from the wine bar, who thinks their 2000 employees have NO IMPACT on SF. I encounter that daily from the tech workers, who I want to say this to, get informed, understand why we protest. To the Facebook woman who told me all her friends at Facebook think the bus protests are stupid, protests bring change and awareness. Get informed people. Know you are impacting our lives, we sit wondering where we will go, where will we live, 50 miles radius is over the top rents.

  29. most of the irregular and unusual have been pushed out.. 1700 evictions in the mission that are known, that does not include buyouts. The poor people are already being pushed out, gone or going.

  30. Dude, give it a F!#$! rest. Talking about polls is useless. Polling indicated that Cameron was going to be even in the UK, polling said Netanyahu was going to lose in Israel, Obama was running behind Romney in the polls before elections. Polling is literally useless without an understanding of the way the questions were asked and who was asked. You and Sam are just demagogues on this thread.

  31. Your contempt for the people ensures the crown will never rest easily on your head.

    If you really need a literary or historical reference.

  32. There are many factors which could potentially decrease rents and/or property values including social instability and environmental instability. Areas of the world with extreme degrees of stratification are inherently unstable and prone to outbreaks of violence. If some evicting landlord gets killed in a car bomb or stoned to death by an angry mob you could see housing prices decline very quickly. And of course the police/national guard/military could control the situation but that doesn’t mean that people can’t get hurt. I would be scared to be a landlord in San Francisco right now.

    In addition, there may have been decades of under building due to short sighted urban planning, but there are other factors to consider. This concept that San Francisco is paradise and that only the lucky few who have the most money get to live there is something new and may be fleeting. I lived in SF in the 1980’s and had no problem finding a place to live. I rented a room in a three bedroom apartment on Funston St for $275 a month . It is a beautiful city but there are a lot of other beautiful cities in the world. If any of the big tech companies decide to move elsewhere they will take the high paying renters with them.

    And long term real estate property investors and developers have another factor to consider which is an impediment to development: The prohibitively high price of reinsurance due to earthquake risk. According to the Third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast there is a 7% chance of a massive earthquake measuring 7.8 hitting the San Andreas fault in the next 30 years. But the problem is that the same agency reported the risk at less than 5% a few years ago. What will it be next year? A 7.8 earthquake could wipe out millions of homes and millions of lives. And when it comes time to collect from the insurance company, you’ll have a long wait. The money probably won’t be there at all.

    When it comes to reinsurance, global warming trends turns underwriting from a science based on mathematical principals to a game of chance. Reinsurance companies may be turning to “off balance sheet” financing (believe me its on someone’s balance sheet. The question is whose.) If the state and local governments want to encourage property developers to build both luxury and/or low income subsidized housing they may have to begin to take on the reinsurance risk rather than leaving it to the private sector.

  33. More like totalitarians invented the concept of income neutral housing–like Mao and his Cultural revolution (if you really need a cultural reference).

  34. That leaves out the entire 1950-1997 period. Bay Area rents increased relative to US by 70% over the period. 1998-2001 they rose less than 20%, and have not reattained their peak.

    When an explanation entirely fails to account for 80+% of a phenomenon, it is not an explanation, it is a distraction.

  35. Because there were two massive infusions of capital above and beyond the nationwide maxima during the boom, falling off during and after the bust and rising once the void from the crash had been filled. Now that the monetary and liquidity spigots are on again, those macroeconomic forces are forcing prices upwards again. This has nothing to do with the nominal amount of units added to the stock.

  36. Of course, but the forces are so malevolent that we need to up the game on the insulation.

  37. ‘Nominal’ means ‘existing as in name only, not actual or real.’

    What is the point of acknowledging a primacy that exists in name only and is not actual or real? Is this some sort of dogmatic ritual required by ukase of the czar?

  38. Deregulation was national, not local. How could national regulatory change effect a ‘[m]assive increase in [the] rate of increase’ of Bay Area rents relative to national rents?

  39. Yes, but we can visit pain on the neoliberals moving forward. People like to see fly-by-night get-rich-quick developers squirm.

  40. Weiner had two measures on the ballot in 2011 concerning ethics that got shot down by big margins by the voters.

  41. That is the entire premise of redevelopment, to knock down old less economically productive land uses, displace the people who lived there, and replace them with more economically productive land uses and to bond against the projected increase in taxation to SPUR the gentrification.

  42. Wiener isn’t the supervisor? Really?

    You win 2 things in 30 years, lose the rest, see the city turn against everything you stand for, and you call that a victory?

  43. Except that we beat Weiner in 2011 and won both Prop B’s. The tide is turning, boosters have overreached. A revolt is afoot.

  44. I’ll take a moratorium in the Mission, thanks. And tomorrow never knows about a challenger to Lee.

  45. I have seen no evidence supporting that claim, but I understand why believing it gives you comfort

  46. It has been well established. As more luxury condominiums have been built in the Mission and SOMA, rents have skyrocketed.

  47. Except that you endeavor to do so by attempting to skewer me, admitting that you’re exhausted of ideas on the subject at hand.

  48. Except that polling suggests 2/3 support for a moratorium on luxury condominium construction in the Mission. Problem?

  49. Massive increase in rate of increase after neoliberal deregulation began in the late 1970s. As much increase in the past 30 years as in the previous 60.

  50. “65-85′ … is a very sensible height limit for vast portions of SF”

    ?? Wow. er, no thanks. You do realize that 65-85′ is what Upper Market is currently zoned. And Market is w-i-d-e. Seriously, you don’t hope that “vast portions” are reconstructed that way. You are talking about redoing the whole City: streets, sewers, transport, public inferstructure. I’m glad I won’t be around for that.
    And the fact is that Haussman reconfigured much of Paris, to include bldg height and street width to fit. Talk to me after the next Big One – you may have a shot then – if we’re not too radioactive.

  51. “Income-neutral housing policy”. Go back and read Animal Farm if you’re going to be spouting BS like this.

  52. OK, so you admit that you can come up with no example in the US of anything that is income-neutral?

    Got it

  53. How do significant local variations develop if macro forces have primacy in determining residential housing prices and rents?

  54. I think you should try and distract more from the fact that you have no evidence to support your claim

  55. Except, there aren’t 15 – there’s only 13. One is in SOMA, so not included; and the other is a 16 U devel, so again not included. Six of the 13 remaining will also include grnd-floor comm/retail, which means jobs retained.

    It is surprising how much the MIsh has been upzoned in the ENP-08. Mission St itself if scheduled to go from one-story thrift shops to an 8+ story canyoned corridor (not much of an improvement in my eye, but ..)

    So, with this 2 yr “moratorium”, are the “affordable” folks really gonna try to muscle these sites into selling below cost, so that they can build “affordable” (when can we stop using this misnomer?) projects?

  56. I’m making a suggestion to improve the housing “crisis” that involves the disruption of failed institutions and innovation.
    You, on the other hand, are simply being obtuse. But then, you’re Sam…..

  57. No, we want to seal the City in amber, damnit, a museum like Venice!
    And we like urban sprawl.

  58. The 2001 crash pushed the bay area down further than most and it took some time to rebound. Macro forces led both the crash and the rebound. Local supply was coincidental. Post hoc ergo propter hoc much?

  59. Ed Lee will rule until 2020, whereupon Mayor Wiener will take over until 2028.

    By then, your ideas will be in a museum of freakdom.

  60. The local economy was mired in the crash and it took some time to work up from that low. As soon as capital began to flow back in in earnest, the Bay Area responded.

  61. New build displaces nobody, so no harm is done

    Unless you define harm as having neighbors who are more successful than you are

  62. I accept the primacy of gravity but that does not mean I whine about wanting a moratorium against gravity

  63. 7% affordable is irreversible harm, permanently consigning 93% of new construction in the Mission to luxury condominiums.

  64. So long as most San Franciscans are at risk of displacement and most of their kids have no hope of ever living here, then developers of luxury condominiums are going to face resistance.

  65. Right, seal the City in amber and make a museum out of it. You can count on being displayed prominently in the libertarian capitalist troll wing.

  66. Nobody made that claim other than you in your hallucinating trolling mind. You troll joust at windmills. Again.

  67. Housing prices fell nationwide irrespective of relative supply and demand due to macro factors. San Francisco rode that macro wave just as it is riding this macro wave.

  68. No, the 23,000 unit imbalance did. In the 2002-2006 case, roughly half was from 10,000 units added.

    Absent the 2001 recession, the effect may have been lesser, since recessions affect people’s incomes and abilities to bid up rents. That effect works on the margins, though.

  69. You’re the one who gets angry every time you lose a debate

    Which is every time you open your mouth here

  70. Mobility exists now. You are living proof of that.

    But not everyone can afford the nation’s most expensive and desirable neighborhoods.

    Why do you want to deny mobility to those who aspire to move here and are willing to pay the price of admission?

  71. We can consider change without assuming that you are right and that the rest of us are wrong. We can consider change while still building

  72. 38% in the cross tabs I saw from March, evidence of a significant slide.

    It is probably lower than that by now.

  73. The crash and the economic lull until the housing bubble began to inflate in earnest is what caused that drop in rents.

    Macro economic forces are all that count.

  74. That’s what every previous regime has said before it entered the dustbin of history.
    Worshipping Mammon has been the undoing of every “civilization.”
    This one is not exempt.

  75. It won’t, the pressure is going nowhere build or not until the macro forces crimp demand. It is quite probably that new zoning would produce more affordable housing over time than doing nothing will.

  76. So you oppose class mobility for existing San Franciscans too?

    What animates such animosity? Perhaps you are simply envious that real people might have and enjoy real lives?

  77. From 2002-2006, asking rents went down 25% because of a roughly 23,000-unit imbalance between added supply and reduced demand.

    A 100,000-unit imbalance would send asking rents down overnight.

  78. I still don’t see how that will take pressure off the market. A moratorium will simply result in less market rate and BMR being built in total. If want more affordable housing we have to incentivize it somehow, perhaps by offering variances for a larger BMR percentage? Tightening zoning laws will make it harder to build not easier. Once the market cools, nobody will build anything. I’d love to see a lot more subsidized housing too! Like 30,000 units. But what neither you nor other anti-development types want to square with is how to fund something like that.

  79. If you already have a home in 94110 then it doesn’t matter that you cannot afford to buy a second home here

  80. There are 380,000 housing units in San Francisco, give or take, of which a few percent are BMR/BMP, SFHA or Section 8.

    How does postponing a few developments in the Mission help?

  81. Housing is an essential item for the people who already live here. But you hate them and their families.

  82. Yeah, Mission residents have been gathering at the Western Plywood building at dusk with pitchforks and torches demanding an end to this monster’s rule of terror.

  83. Nor is living in a million dollar home in one of the most desirable and expensive zip codes in the nation

  84. I suggest we put the brakes on crap development, give the community time to figure out how to make things right, change the rules and allow development again in a year or two under new, better rules. Bending the arc for the better will most likely create more affordable housing than today’s 7% solution.

  85. That’s your idea. Too bad for any white gay male tech worker from Texas who wants to move here huh?

  86. So you suggest we do nothing. Stick with an inadequate and aging housing stock and hope the economy tanks?

  87. Decreased demand for housing happens when the economic cycle slacks, investment slows, interest rates rise, etc. It is really not in the power of a City to engineer the business cycle however that is the scenario where housing prices would fall. Please stick with the topic on the table.

  88. Income-neutral?

    ha ha ha ha ha

    How about income-neutral cars and vacations?

    Nothing is income-neutral. You are living in the wrong country

  89. Are you suggesting we somehow engineer a recession? How do you decrease demand for housing?

  90. Check demand? You mean put up a moat around the city and let nobody in?

    Anyway the purpose of building homes is not solely to drive down the price, but to provide homes for people who want them

  91. Exactly. That essentially sums up the housing crisis we are experiencing. We have a shortage resulting from decades of under building and shortsightedness, zoning an planning laws that make it difficult to build housing quickly, a vocal opposition to nearly every project, and inept non profits and city housing agencies that take 10 years to build one under-sized project. It’s too late to avoid drastic shifts in the city. Rent will probably never again be less than $2,500 for a 1br, but if we build nothing, it will sure as hell keep going up…

  92. We can build a little now AND more later. Rather than none now and more later, which is your idea.

  93. Prices are not going to come down measurably some day via added supply rather than by macro economic factors that check demand.

  94. I am not advocating racial quotas in the Mission. I am advocating a color-blind,race-neutral housing policy

  95. You always say that when you know you have lost the debate.

    Interesting that you predict that Ed Lee will not be re-elected though. Even John Avalos admitted today that Lee was “popular”

  96. Enough people, evidently, since all those new homes sell

    What you seem to be complaining about is the fact that 800,000 people cannot all afford a million dollar home.


  97. Anyone buying right now has more money than sense. That doesn’t mean that we should not build anything as you seem to want. If people who really can afford $200k down don’t purchase condos or new construction, they will simply compete for existing stock, which in turn drives prices higher. If you want prices to come down someday, we’ve got to relax zoning/planning regulations and allow more units to get built.

  98. Who are you talking about? Today’s housing prices demand $200K in down payment. How many people making $162K have that kind of money?

  99. Why should anyone take on a crappier commute just to enrich developers and house a handful of better off people who will probably just as much drive and snarl surface transit?

  100. It’s also vital that the homeless people continue to piss and shit in the public plaza there.

  101. How do you know “we” want a different variety of buildings?

    Just because you think that way doesn’t mean that the majority think that way

  102. People live where they want to live and figure out how to get to their jobs, which can move anyway. People are resourceful.

  103. We want a different variety of buildings that we’re seeing now, so we need to plan for that instead of continuing to settle for crap.

  104. This is not all about you, it is about real people with real jobs who have to organize their lives around real work rules.

  105. Raising a downpayment is a significant problem for existing San Francisco residents with today’s skyrocketing housing prices.

  106. The problem isn’t that everyone wants to live in the same place because they do not

    The problem is people trying to tell other people where they can and cannot live. Campos evidently does not want more white people in the Mission.

  107. Ordinary people prefer a range of differing building typologies, that is part of what attracted people to the neighborhood in the first place.

  108. 200% of AMI is like $162,000/yr for a 1 person household. A $4,000/mo (above market for a 1br) unit would be less than 30% of that person’s gross income.

  109. Oh, no! Not the beloved vacant lots and gas stations! And truly, if there’s one thing that San Francisco suffers from, it’s a shortage of Walgreens. This development must be stopped.

  110. Fcuk “the marketplace.” Everyone can’t live in the same place, especially if there are already people living there. I know, I know, tell it to the Native Americans. The new colonialism won’t succeed any better than the last version; it will only make peoples lives miserable until the bubble bursts. Then the chickens will come home to roost.

  111. Most construction workers I have hired for remodels live in the East Bay.

    Why is that a problem? Employers cannot discriminate against people based on where they choose to live. And many SF residents work outside the city. SF is not a balkanized principality – it is part of a much larger urban area

  112. Put the pipe down. None of the people who live here now will be employed by the development at 16th and Mission, because they will not be able to live in the neighborhood, or even in the City, “genius.” This is about disruption and gentrification, not some abstract economic debate. The fantasy is that you can have your cake and eat it, too.

  113. Most affordable housing is funded as a by-product of market-rate housing, which you want to stop.

    Why do you hate the people who want affordable homes?

  114. oops cut it off, the 15 sites are
    long closed plywood sales
    Yes, warehouse
    electrical sales
    Yes, PDR
    dollar store
    Yes, auto service
    Yes, PDR
    Yes, warehouse
    Yes, auto repair
    vacant lot
    gas station

  115. Surely the people who live here NOW already have homes.

    Otherwise you could not say they live here NOW

  116. Yes, I am saying the “housing shortage” you’re talking about is entirely manufactured. There is no one who wants a market-rate residence in San Francisco who can’t find one. There presently are plenty of market-rate+ properties for rent, and plenty more that will be available over the next couple of years. What is needed is housing for people who live here NOW.

    The real housing shortage is in “District 13;” areas of the City where low and middle-income people live. These areas have no jobs, deteriorating housing stock and infrastructure, and limited access to quality education, healthcare, and transportation. You’re right; the way to reduce the housing shortage is to build more housing; LOTS of below market-rate housing. And by”housing,” I mean communities; not these sterile cracker-boxes where you don’t even knows the person next door.

    And if thinking people who have lived in a community for generations have preference over carpetbaggers, flatlanders, speculators, hipsters, and other riffraff makes me a “bigot,” then so be it.

  117. Yes, a good idea would be for a moratorium to start if and when marcos describes exactly where the billions are coming from to build cheap homes for everyone who wants them, which is everyone

  118. It is affordable to enough people who want to buy them.

    I can’t afford a Bugatti Veyron, but that doesn’t mean that I think none should be built

  119. Incidentally, did you see the abuse that the Plaza 16 protesters were hurling at construction workers advocating for the project at the recent community forum? That’s how much they care about the working class in SF, right there.

  120. Too bad the rest of the world won’t stop and wait while you try to figure out how to magically make that happen, and thus prices will only be nudged further up.

  121. People adapt their commute time and stagger their working hours to greatly increase capacity.

    The Mission can bear the greatest weight of new residents.

  122. There are plenty of construction jobs outside of the Mission during this overheated market.

  123. Yes, including marcos himself, a white male tech worker who was renting in SF and then bought a Mission district condo, thereby helping to drive out poorer people of coloredness.

  124. The fact that the Mission is better served than some other neighborhoods does not mean that transit has excess capacity during the times when people use it.

  125. Right, so stopping the train until the community can figure this out makes sense. The promises made have failed to materialize. Time to revisit that crap deal.

  126. Where is your analysis of where the buyers of these new homes come from?

    Self-serving assumptions don’t count.

  127. With BART, CalTrain, two freeways and various trunk routes and bus lines, the eastern neighborhoods have the best transit in the city. And it’s flat and under-developed. No brainer to put the new ohmes there

  128. The ENP took infrastructure into account by putting homes where the infrastructure already exists

  129. “The practical difference is the hundreds of families that would be housed by those hundreds of units that you appear to not care about.”

    And the hundreds of other families that won’t have to compete with _those_ hundreds of families in the housing market will also catch a break.

  130. A good argument for not inducing an artificial down cycle then by arbitrarily stopping new build

  131. Affordable meaning “accessible to those making the median income” – which 50% of San Franciscans nonetheless exceed, so many of them could, in fact, afford those units. Good Lord, you’re a parody at this point, marcos. What will you pull out next, and out of what orifice?

  132. The practical difference is the hundreds of families who would be housed by those hundreds of units that you appear to not care about.

    But if you really believe that a few hundred new homes makes no difference, then we might as well build them.

  133. @jthomas09. Errrrr, no. There are plenty of non-hypothetical people on the sidelines who want to either stop renting or move up to a larger place. They all have with good financing and are fighting over the existing stock. Why don’t you STOP smoking and go to a few open houses and see what’s actually happening in the marketplace.

  134. Silly foghorn. Toot toot! There are lots of San Franciscans who live here now, who want to transition from renting, or who want to buy a bigger place to raise a family in SF. They’re middle class. They make too much to qualify for affordable, but they can’t afford a single-family dwelling either. Why do you hate middle class san franciscans so much?

  135. I see foghorn’s new argument. How classically “rightwing”….
    Facts don’t matter…Kraus pointed out folderpete was wrong. Deal with it.

  136. According to BizTimes 3/11/15, Planning pegged the Mission for 1700 U’s over the next 2 decades. Since 2009 there have been 770 Us built. This moratorium encompasses 1250 proposed U’s, which would push the ‘1700’ number up more than a decade. And that doesn’t include small (less than 20 Us) projects that aren’t affected by this ‘Compost Bin’.

    Why do I hear so much invective and so little data?

  137. Thats true only if the new residents have disposable income (market-rate). If the new residents are subsidized/low-income/not-wealthy (“the “affordable” crowd), then there’s a lot less/none extra money pouring into local biz

  138. Since only 10% of new housing is affordable to existing San Franciscans, then it follows that 90% of residents of new units are newcomers to San Francisco. Damn that mathematics!

  139. Except that Paris has a continental climate while San Francisco has a maritime Mediterranean climate. Shade and wind play differently here than NYC, London or Paris.

  140. There is mass construction unemployment during the inevitable busts in the business cycle.

  141. Yep, these fly-by-night get-rich-quick schemers divert attention from the infrastructure constraints so that they can make their money while the music is still playing and seats remain.

  142. 100K units if plopped down tomorrow would BEGIN put downward pressure on price. A few hundreds units would see price deltas impacted by a tiny fraction, of 100/100,000. There is no practical, measurable difference between adding hundreds of units and doing nothing.

  143. Two different skill sets, construction workers tend to only do one thing, often times not very well. Remodelers have various skill sets and work for smaller companies.

  144. Construction workers and service industry workers do live here now, genius. Look at 16th and Mission. A development which displaces no one. How many jobs lost vs gained? A couple dozen minimum wage Burger King and Walgreens jobs vs 1oos of contruction jobs to build and then maintain plus the new retail plus the money into existing retail etc. It’s no comparison. The only beneiciaries are the developers??? Nice fantasy land you’ve created.

  145. Not only does new construction act as an engine to drive the immediate economy, it fuels the local economy for years to come. Think of all the new residents pouring money into local businesses, the electricians and plumbers you mention with that much more maintenance work, etc. etc…Not to mention the increase in tax revenue and increase in affordable housing funds.

  146. @jthomas09 – Are you saying that the housing shortage isn’t real and that the only people who want more housing are developers?

    There are two ways to reduce the shortage. More housing or fewer people. I see in an earlier post that you encouraged people to go back where they came from but you should realize that many people consider bigots to be disgusting.


  147. Paris does not have a “5-story limit.” The height of the classic 19-century “Haussmann” apartment buildings of Paris are 7-stories with very tall (over 12 feet) — by modern standards — floor-to-floor heights. The 7th floor was typically concealed by the invention of the slightly sloping Mansard roof.

    Accordingly, 6 to 8 stories (65 to 85 feet — with 14 to 17 foot high “commercial ground floors topped with 10 foot residential floor-to-floor heights) is a very sensible height limit for vast portions of SF as we have relatively wide streets (68 feet 9 inches.)

  148. True, but there are evidently a few sore losers and NIMBYs who were never happy with the plan and see this dumb, desperate move by Campos as an opportunity to re-write history.

    That said, most of the new homes envisaged by the ENP have been built or are in the pipeline, so at some point we will need to sit down again and work out the next plan. But a moratorium plays no logical role in that debate – we can have the debate whenever.

    Given the tens of thousands of people who will be moving to SF, and the needs of a city at the global heart of the dynamic knowledge and sharing economies, the new ENP will surely involve greater densities and heights and construction than the old one.

    The NIMBYs will get to play sore losers all over again.

  149. It took The City 10 years to get the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan together. The time for input on these issues was then, not now.

  150. Why do you assume that everyone who buys a new market-rate home is from somewhere else?

    What about the people already here who have been successful and want to buy their first home, or upgrade the one they already have?

    And why do you so aggressively elect to favor one class of people over another?

  151. Tech has been the increasingly dominant driver of the Bay Area for decades now. So while it inevitably sees ups and downs, the idea that it will go away” is fanciful, as is the idea that SF will again become a mecca only for poor people, misfits and drifters.

    If you cannot see that SF has gone from being a city for losers to a city of winners, then you are destined to continue to not understand the changes that happen here.

    We plan for the future and not for the past.

  152. If there’s one thing everyone in the world knows, it is that San Francisco is “irregular” and “unusual.” The new breed of gentrifiers won’t be able to change that because their wealth is based on speculative bubbles: tech and real estate. They will go away before the poor people do. You want “normal?” Go back to Iowa or L.A. or wherever…..

  153. “We” are talking about the people who live here now. All these plans of plans are for hypothetical wealthy people who are not here. The only real beneficiaries are the developers and their enablers. Under the present regime, the people who lose their homes and jobs will not be doing the “new” construction, nor working in the “upscale” retail. What are YOU smoking?

  154. I think I see your problem. Let me see if I can help

    (1) A six story building is not a “high rise tower”, especially when it is located in a dense area of a major city. You can’t complain about a housing shortage if you don’t want any buildings over 5 stories OR if you insist that they not be built in YOUR neighborhood.

    (2) Western Plywood, the muffler shop, the apparently derelict building at 1450 15th Street. All great. They are also located in a transit rich area where people want more housing. Make up your mind, you can’t have both.

    It’s 2015…I’m sure that we can figure out a way to get plywood.

  155. Well, of course we know the reason Campos doesn’t want a study. Because his old idea is counter-intuitive and counter-factual. His idea is predicated on the nonsensical notion that less supply = lower prices. And that requires an upside-down, topsy-turvy, ass-backwards form of logic that won’t stand the scrutiny of an economist.

    Solution. Ignore the economist in much the same way as climate change deniers ignore science.

  156. It’s subjective. Given that the eastern neighborhoods have the hottest weather in SF, many of us prefer the opportunities for shade that taller buildings give us.

  157. Projects may come and go but construction people are permanently employed as they move from one project to the next. The only thing that stops that is politically-motivated regressive policies that artificially stop growth like, er, a moratorium

  158. Major new construction projects create far far more jobs than one-off remodels here and there.

  159. I don’t know why people claim they want to move to the warm sunny Mission since they can’t wait to tear it down and replace all the low-rise buildings with high rise towers that will kill all the sun and create the kind of windy, dark streets we have downtown now. Stand on the windy corner of Van Ness and Market and tell me that you want to hang out on the sidewalk there.

  160. Construction workers can be kept just as busy working on reconstruction and remodel jobs as building new structures. You don’t need to build new towers to employ architects, electricians and plumbers.

  161. There are jobs and jobs. Construction jobs are temporary jobs and often go to non-residents. The jobs that are being replaced and phased out by the demolition and rising rents of PDR spaces are permanent. A city cannot function without some PDR spaces. The more humans you have the more room you need to process and distribute food. The bigger trash heaps you will have and the larger consumption of water. We need a moratorium on growth until we figure all this out.

  162. So when did the Mission get up zoned to 6-8 stories? Most of the proposals will dwaft the surrounding areas. I’m not sure the net job loss will be substantial, but most of the projects seem to be game-changers. Remember, Paris has a 5 story limit, and it seems to do well. Our blvds aren’t as wide, don’t provide as much light.

    I’m beginning to feel the shade over here in Hayes Valley (started by Bridge, mind you). Replacing the freeway shadow with residential shadow (and auto noise/snarl/smog) hasn’t been as great as proponents claim.

  163. @chompsky – your point is well taken. Tim is arguing that we will be having more chain stores and restaurants but will be losing blue collar jobs because muffler repair shops (the wave of the future) will be demolished.

    But I don’t think that it is even the most idiotic statement in THIS post.

    When Tim quotes Egan saying that more supply puts a downward pressure on costs he adds that there is no evidence to support Egan’s view. And for proof, he links to a Calvin Welch piece in 48 Hills that doesn’t even really address the issue. But even if it did, the argument that no evidence exists because Calvin Welch didn’t publish it is absurd. Maybe, just maybe Egan will find evidence that Calvin Welch somehow missed??? Stranger things have happened, you know.

    But they are both pretty idiotic, I admit.

  164. Wow, as Tim points out:

    “But clearly opponents of the moratorium want to use a report as evidence that any delay in market-rate housing will lead to higher prices.”

    Those b@astards!!!!

    What right do they have to ask for more information before casting an important vote? None, I tell ya!

  165. “…not only does luxury housing drive up housing costs, it drives out jobs.” This is the most idiotic statement you’ve ever posted. New construction drives out jobs??? What about the laborers and electricians and construction workers and plumbers and the extra business for local restaurant and stores. The retail and service workers? WTF are you smoking???

  166. “When it comes to the housing problem, Egan has reported in the past
    that it take more than 100,000 new housing units to have an appreciable
    impact on affordability in San Francisco.

    But he also tends to say, in the rather simplistic line, that more supply puts “downward pressure” on costs.”

    I love how you embrace Egan’s analysis when it suggests that building more for affordability would require too many units, but then pooh-pooh the parts indicating that less would still help. Isn’t it fun to pick and choose your facts? And actually, it’s supported by a fair amount of evidence based on permitting in cities all over the nation – which is why you have to rely on this hand-wavey, completely unsupported BS about San Francisco being “unusual” and “irregular”.

  167. What about all the blue collar construction jobs, Tim? You’d rather have abandoned buildings like the Western Plywood building sitting there rotting for years? But you live in Bernal, so no worries for you.

  168. So Campos is fine with the city economist taking a look at the moratorium AFTER it’s been enacted but not before? Why?

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