Supes to vote on Wiener upzoning bill, Police Commission to vote on Taser initiative …

And an excellent guide to where the candidates for mayor stand on the major issues .... that's The Agenda for March 12-19.

THE AGENDA There is good news every once in a while. The Planning Commission last week rejected, on a 7-0 vote, an application to allow the owners who evicted a 100-year-old woman to convert their building to condos.

The action was expected, and it was a huge victory for tenant activists: The first time this came before the commission, the Planning Department staff recommended approval – in large part because the applicants didn’t acknowledge that they had evicted Canada, and the eviction was never filed with the Rent Board. The planners never checked further.

The areas in orange and yellow are the places Scott Wiener’s bill would upzone. It’s pretty much the entire city. SF Planning Dept. map

But after testimony showed that there was in fact an eviction – which would make the building ineligible for conversion – the staff prepared a new report calling for denial.

Commissioner Dennis Richards, who complained at the last hearing about all of the greed and displacement in the city, went a step beyond at the March 8 hearing, attacking the whole idea of Ellis Act speculation:

“People who buy rental buildings knowing they are businesses then Ellis people – they are bad actors,” he said. He told the applicants they were acting in “bad faith – you bought the building knowing people were Ellised.”

Perhaps this will serve as a signal to the serial evictors who are driving seniors out of the city – and it will definitely serve as a reminder to tenant advocates that organizing can make a difference.

State Sen. Scott Wiener is pushing to upzone pretty much all of San Francisco with a bill that would give height and density bonuses to any developer of market-rate housing with any proximity to transit.

But he may get opposition from his home town: Both the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission are considering measures that would put the city on record opposing the bill.

The Land Use and Transportation Committee will consider Monday/12 a resolution by Sups. Aaron Peskin, Hillary Ronen, Norman Yee, and Sandra Lee Fewer opposing the bill.

The Los Angeles City Council is considering a similar bill.

Then on Thursday/15, the Planning Commission will hear a staff report on SB 827. The agenda says the presentation is “informational only,” but it’s likely at least some of the commissioners will want to join supes in opposing the bill.

The Police Commission has already voted to allow cops to carry Tasers — but not right away, and only under the commission’s rules. That’s not good enough for the San Francisco Police Officers Association, which wants to set its own rules for the deadly stun guns.

The POA has already put $100,000 into the measure; the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers has added $10,000 more, according to filings with the SF Ethics Commission.

But Chief William Scott has announced his opposition to the measures, infuriating the POA. And on Wednesday/14, the commission will vote on opposing the measure, too.

There’s not a lot of money so far in opposition to the measure – but if the chief and the commission, who are not opposed to Tasers just to this measure – oppose it, and the voters get that message, there might be a chance to defeat this thing.

The chief and the commission might also see this as a reason to be tougher on the union during contract negotiations, which are going on right now.

The League of Pissed-Off Voters has compiled one of the best, most detailed questionnaires for the mayor’s race, and you can see the candidate answers, and a chart of their key responses, here.

Among the more interesting responses: Board President London Breed and Angela Alioto are the only candidates that support the POA Taser measure. Breed, Amy Farah Weiss, and Alioto also support renewing the Police Department’s involvement with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which has been linked to some pretty bad racial profiling. [UPDATE: Weiss tells me she clicked that button by mistake and that she opposes SFPD working with JTTF.]

Breed said she doesn’t support increasing the Transportation Sustainability Fee on downtown commercial property.

There’s a lot more. Check it out.

44 COMMENTS

  1. *Looks in both directions. Leans In.* Whispers: It’s not safe in this location to share my personal details. I’m being followed & watched. I have enemies.

  2. I appreciate it but just hit me up on the email I gave you. I’ve got a piece in mind we can talk about.

    Thanks dude!

  3. The question was which neighborhood would you consider a model. If it is Nob Hill, what part of Nob Hill?

  4. There will be turnover. Ninety percent of the 60,000 that leave SF every year do so for reasons other than cheaper rent or eviction. But it is true that with VC you will have fewer rentals. Typically, price controls means a reduced supply. On the bright side, there will be more ownership opportunities. Owners can’t be evicted.

  5. I don’t know that the best are the highest income. The best could be service workers But yes, fewer rentals and more ownership opportunities. That seems like a good thing.

  6. What he says is that right now some communities have no anti-demolition ordinances, and are only protected by zoning.

  7. Upzoning is necessary in order to prevent local NIMBYs, in whichever California county they may be, from writing exceptions for themselves into law. NIMBY control over California is ending. Deal with it.

  8. I’m not a homeowner, I’m an unwashed plebe, I’m against wholesale upzoning, and I don’t want to move to Arizona.

  9. He says,

    Sen. Wiener’s proposed amendments to prevent demolition of rent-controlled housing are a good step forward, but they do not go far enough. Not all cities have strong demolition policies, which means it will be easier in those communities for tenants to be displaced.
    One way to strengthen eviction protections would be to mirror Berkeley’s strong demolition policy, which requires relocation assistance to tenants until the new building is built and explicitly prohibits properties where there has been an Ellis Act eviction in the last five years. The policy also applies to properties where there are verified cases of harassment of residents or illegal evictions within the past three years.

  10. Rags thinks supply and demand has nothing to do with our housing crisis throughout California. Rags has serious questions about the existence of gravity too.

    I was born in Viewpark/Windsor Hills, Los Angeles. The black Beverly Hills.

  11. Third-generation Angelenos don’t use the British spelling of “colors.”

    As for showing them, REMEMBER THE YIMBY/YIYBY AGENDA, folks:

    “High-rise apartments on all major boulevards.” —Porfirio666

    Do spare us the facile, debunked supply-and-demand rationale. You’ll need more than that to push through the Manhattanizing of SF, you silly real estate troll.

  12. Yes. Census data shows CA has added 11 million people but only 2.9 million homes over the last 10? yrs. Thats tight accommodations (with 3.4 ppl/unit, vs a national average of 2.5).

    When you add to that CA’s penchant for mobility-hinderances and economic inefficiencies, like Prop 13 and Rent Control in various counties, it fosters imbalances in housing that are only exasperated with the influx of more people and sluggish housing growth.

    Does anyone think we can rationalize ourselves out of this mess? Is politics going to be able to solve our problems (which are partly/mostly political) – or will it take some natural disaster for ppl to come to their senses, and realize there are limits to even the CA-dream?

  13. Rags shows his NIMBY colours once again. The population of California is over 39 million but we have housing for only 33m, according to the LA Times.
    I am a third-generation Angeleno myself., and four of my great-grandparents were in LA by 1918. But if the masses want to abode here, we have to make sure that they have a place to live in which they don’t have to pay up to 50% of their income for housing.
    –Weird, I know. Call me THE GOOD SAMARITAN.

  14. Ah, it some kind of revenge for you. Fortunately, most people—San Franciscans, Angelenos, and Californians who love their cities—don’t want high-rises on every major boulevard. That’s why the developers’ revolution will be shot down.

  15. But thats not the hoped-for outcome of VC enthusiasts. They envision being able to scoop a 2BR apt for $738/. With VC, some one will get that (or not – see your post). But the real result will be fewer and fewer rentals over all. More renters competing for fewer and fewer apts. Only the best applicants will get housed – the others will get hosed.

    Some will say “that’s the situation now”. Those are the one’s buying Scratchers with their disability checks. But they don’t realize that those bldgs will quickly deteriorate, as it becomes highly unprofitable to hold them. The Slums will no longer be defined by neighborhood – there will be ‘slum’ and ‘gentry’ right next to each other.

    BTW, those ‘service jobs’ said to be created – where do you expect them to live? They won’t get those $738/ units, which will go to deep pocketed techies, or more likely will vanish from ‘our rental stock’ – to be bought by those same deep pocketed techies. Uber drivers will be sleeping on Sunset Blvd.

  16. Of course Old Hippie Homeowners (OHHs) are against boosting housing construction. They would be happy if all the unwashed plebes moved to Arizona.

  17. Old Man Don apparently thinks the housing crisis is a positive:

    “SF is not in the top 10 of counties with a crisis…Another positive aspect would be…”

  18. Gov. Brown will readily sign both those two bills. Heart and other NIMBYs will weep. Here’s a hanky for you….

  19. High-rise apartments on all major boulevards. When supply is boosted, prices will fall. Everyone wins except old duffers living in single-family homes on the West Side (NIMBY spawn).

  20. At Monday’s Land Use Commission meeting YIMBots came out in full force with their babies strapped to the fronts of their bodies whilst they rabidly blathered about development on steroids and trickle down housing. SB 827 and SB 828 are Weiner’s gift to developers, speculators and realtors. Also: If you’re over 30, YIMBots will make fun of you. It’s odd that YIMBots don’t understand that people can see they are paid lobbyists for development.

  21. I’m sure the Chron will support it, no matter what. On the other hand, the mayor of Berkeley called it “a declaration of war”. In between, there’s going to be a fight.

  22. The State defines “crisis” as the percent of income spent of housing. With vacancy control the price would be controlled even for new tenants. That should reduce the percent of income spent on rent. SF is already better off in that regard compared to other counties. The crisis is greater in Alameda, Contra Costa and Alameda Counties. SF is not in the top 10 of counties with a crisis.

    Another positive aspect would be more conversions from rental to owner occupied and more units for sale being built. Yet another positive aspect is that VC would also give tenants more money to spend on services and restaurants, which should provide more service jobs.

  23. The revised bill will be released in March. There will be a lot of urban support, including the Editors of the SF Chronicle and LA Times.

  24. What is your vision for SF? What density is ideal? What model neighborhood would you like the rest of the City to look like?

  25. They could still do TIC conversions? And it could stimulate more condo new construction rather than rentals.

  26. Vacancy control may be a good idea. It could solve the housing “crisis” without building too many more units.

  27. Hi Tim. There was an error on my survey for the League of Pissed Off Voters in regard to the Joint Terrorism Task Force. I was shocked when someone brought this to my attention and have asked the League to update my survey with a clarification. Thank you for bringing it to my attention and please update with a clarification. Anyone who has been paying attention to my work and values can clearly see that this was an unintended error.

  28. “Perhaps this will serve as a signal to the serial evictors”

    er, of what, that there are no longer any condo conversions allowed, and that if you Ellis your bldg, you’ll never get to condo convert?

    But, actually, from the sounds of this, conversions will be banned if there was in fact ANY eviction for whatever reason.

    Is this what the law really sez? Or is the PLanning Comm. displaying conviction prior to investigation?

  29. Wiener’s bill is good for San Francisco. The NIMBYs are quaking in their boots!

    Viva el YIMBYismo! Viva la revolucion!

  30. Conservative rural lawmakers, who are not affected by this law, might support it just to stick it to the coastal cities.

  31. Supporting sanctuary city status while simultaneously supporting collaborative work with FBI’s J.T.T.F. is a conflict of interest that will undoubtedly create civil rights violations for our Muslim residents. From the 3/10/2017 Washington Post:

    ‘In 2015, for instance, a city ­police officer on the JTTF showed up unannounced at Google ­headquarters in Silicon Valley to interview an employee, who was Muslim, about his travels and relatives in Pakistan.’

    Plus, the FBI just showed their extreme bias in Florida. If Nikolas Cruz was a Muslim he would’ve had agents tailing him since December. They refused to lift a finger.

    Handling racial profiling is a walk in the park, if you’re Aramais Ayala. ‘Do you guys have cards on you?’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzNhCMjHy-8