Newsletter

Newsletter
 
December 18, 2017
THIS WEEK ON THE SAN FRANCISCO PENINSULA 
News that Impacts Your Quality of Life
Quality for neighborhoods and work itself have been hallmarks of California’s success.  All of the Peninsula’s communities are experiencing the benefits and pains of sustained growth. Articles selected for this newsletter reflect the editors’ concern for quality of life in each town and city.
 
Racing to drive slower
Traffic congestion surged 10% last year. …weekday traffic leapt 80 percent since 2010, and almost all of it is related to commuting issues region wide. “The good news is South Bay and San Francisco job markets. The bad news is location imbalance between job centers and comparatively affordable housing.” 
Ed. Comment:
Infrastructure is hopelessly lagging. Local, state and federal funding becomes cloudier daily. The “wish-list” infrastructure programs do not address credible,
sustained reduction in congestion.
 When will municipal officials have courage to advise business leaders that the magic words are “Relocate, Relocate” until transportation infrastructure is
defined and funded.
We regret that this article may only be available to subscribers.
Full employment = full roadways?
 
“Future job growth depends on being able to bring more people into the region. And that means we have to address our housing and transportation problems.”

Ed. Comment:

Traffic is like the weather…everyone talks about it…..

Possible or impossible?
Our moonshot quest for affordable housing has begun.  Yet UCLA economists suggest….California is unlikely “to build enough home in the coming years to put meaning dent in skyrocketing housing prices triggered by a shortage of affordable dwellings….This holds true for the Bay Area where an analysis indicates between 14 and 36 years to even modestly roll back housing prices.” 
San Jose Mercury News
Ed. Comment:
Let’s avoid endless debate. Define affordability for whom.  Then answer “Where and When.”
It’s elementary in Mountain View
Whisman School District is planning for children of thousands of new workers flocking to
Mt. View.
 Old way of developing school campus probably won’t work. “Schools are going ..to go up.” Land is priced at $10-$15 million/acre so land costs will approach $70 million. School design could be urban-style with apartments over instructional spaces. 
Is Facebook losing face?
The law of unintended consequences placed Facebook philanthropy into national news. The New York Times reported on a Chan Zuckerberg Initiative school. Will the new school serve families of low-income residents or serve Facebook employees who seem to be flocking to east
Menlo Park
and
East Palo Alto. 

Ed. Comment:

How will philanthropic intention and gentrification co-exist in the long term?

Bump in the road
Mt. View’s
 noble rent control effort has become poster child for unintended consequences. 
Rental Housing Committee needed…..  $2.4 million annual budget for the city’s rent control.  But they encountered resistance…..from property owners who complained that a proposed annual fee on apartments would be unfair. So the committee landed on what appeared to be the only palatable solution — have the city foot the bill.

Ed. Comment:

We are open-minded about rent control and look forward to its maturation in Mt. View.

For whom the bell tolls
Palo Alto’s
school district is pressing Stanford to open a third elementary school on campus as the university moves toward expanding by 2.3 million square feet, bringing 9,600 new faculty, employees and graduate students to campus.
The school board has drafted 11 pages of comments in response to Stanford’s plan for major expansion. Draft asks for a new school as well as a commitment from Stanford not to seek property tax exemptions for 550 new homes. 
Price is not right, yet!
Premier
Los Altos
school district seeks land for a new school, despite the property owners’ unwillingness to sell….plus owner’s vow to fight any attempts at eminent domain.

Ed. Comments:

School finances will be test of voters’ common sense and sense of community.

Success of SFPRA newsletter success depends upon its readers. Please feel free to forward the newletter to your friends and neighbors. Ask them to subscribe at no cost by clicking the subscribe button above or by emailing 
cnsbuchanan@gmail.com
.
Editors Neilson Buchanan and John Guislin are unpaid, private citizens on the SF Peninsula and have no ties to developers or government organizations.

 

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