Lack of housing options in the cities has been resulting in urban sprawl and forcing lower-income earners to commute further, often in higher-emission cars, to work in the cities.
Parking Requirements and Housing: California’s Love of Cars Is Fueling Its Housing Crisis
This author cites a study showing that allowing housing with fewer parking spaces in LA did not discourage people from moving in (read the study). She says ride-sharing can help cities get rid of excess parking spots and build housing instead. Read the article.
By Virginia Postrel, Bloomberg Report, March 6, 2018
Mountain View planning commission considers more homes near jobs
The proposed residential/mixed area is less than 10 minutes from Mountain View Transit Center on VTA light rail, and a few minutes on light rail in the other direction to the major Moffett Park employment center, where Sunnyvale is also considering housing near jobs. Read article
By Adina Levin, Green Caltrain, February 20, 2018
State committee rejects bill to expand rent control options for California cities
The bill would have repealed the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which exempts newly housing constructed after 1995 from rent control laws and prevents cities from limiting a landlord’s ability to raise rents on a unit after a tenant moves out. Hundreds of residents from across California packed the Capitol building to speak for and against the measure—so many that the committee had to restrict public comment to a simple yes or no statement. Assemblymember Richard Bloom of Santa Monica, who authored the bill, told the committee that a repeal would not create “statewide rent control,” but would simply provide local governments with the power to make their own rules. Read article
By Elijah Chiland, Curbed LA, Jan 11, 2018
Google Expands Housing in Mountain View
Google is finally building some housing where it lives, instead of making all but its wealthiest employees commute all over the Bay Area. The vice mayor is very cautiously not un-optimistic: “The hope is if we plan it right, we won’t see a significant increase, if any, in the number of cars on the road”. Read the article.
Wendy Lee, SF Chronicle, December 13, 2017
Developers No Longer to “Mitigate” By Widening Roads
State agencies will now require developers to mitigate the environmental impact of increased Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) by actions like improving transit, creating better bike access, locating affordable housing near transit and limiting parking, instead of building wider roads. No longer will the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires let them measure environmental impacts by using Level of Service (LOS), which measures driving time, not distance. Development projects will have to account for the increased car travel they bring.
More struggle lies ahead. The Natural Resources Agency has 6 months to make the rules to back up the guidelines. They will need public pressure to keep the new guidelines from being watered down.
Melanie Curry explains the new measure’s impact in StreetsBlog Cal, Nov 28, 2017. Read the article.