Blog

On “engagement”

This is ❤️. Other than prop 13, I think this is the biggest problem in planning. It requires serious resources to participate in the public comment process. Namely time and energy, which generally = money. Asking underrepresented populations to be more engaged misses the point entirely. “Engagement” is just another form of privilege.

We need to empower our local electeds to make data driven decisions. The current system rewards them for weighting anecdotal evidence above all else.

https://nextcity.org/features/view/seattle-nimbys-neighborhood-planning-decisions

Streamlined Housing Approval at State Senate

Action alert!! This week the State Senate is voting on SB 35. Tell your senator to vote yes on SB 35. SB 35 says that when a city falls short of its housing goals, a streamlined approval process will kick in, which means…more housing!

Under the streamlined process, proposals still have to follow all the objective rules (e.g. zoning and building codes) and pay prevailing wages for construction, but subjective steps like design review become time-limited, making the whole process much faster and more predictable.

Here is a diagram and the full text of the bill.

Your state senator is probably one of these people:

10th District Bob Wieckowski (Fremont)

13th District Jerry Hill (San Mateo)

15th District Jim Beall (San Jose)

17th District Bill Monning (Santa Cruz)

If not, try one of these people:

2nd District Mike McGuire (Marin)

3rd District Bill Dodd (Fairfield)

5th District Cathleen Galgiani (Stockton)

7th District Steve Glazer (Pleasanton)

9th District Nancy Skinner (Berkeley)

11th District Scott Wiener (San Francisco) (Also the author of the bill. Come to think of it, if Scott Wiener is your Rep., you could just send him a thank you note instead).

building