PUBLIC GOLF COURSES INTO HOUSING, REPORT FROM LIVABLE CALIFORNIA:
"One significant win was AB 1910, “Publicly owned golf courses: conversion: affordable housing” bill died in suspense. Livable California opposed this bill and was successful in helping to kill it. AB 1910 would have the state incentivize the elimination of publicly owned golf courses and their conversion into housing developments. Public golf courses are an affordable form of recreation for golfers of all ages, and removing them would deprive seniors, lower income players, and high school athletics of this much-needed recreational asset. We strongly support affordable housing, but removing public open space is not the way to do it. The state needs to provide funding to subsidize affordable housing for the most needy."
My note: Besides recreation, the Mill Valley Public course was a designated refuge area in case of fire. So this is a significant safety win. SEE: livablelifornia.org
WE ARE GETTING MARIN TOGETHER TO PUSH BACK ON DESTRUCTIVE AND DANGEROUS HOUSING MANDATES, AND THE NEW LAWS THAT BACK THEM UP.
THE NUMBERS ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO MEET, AND LOW-INCOME HOUSING WILL BE DWARFED BY MARKET RATE (AND ABOVE) HOMES
THE DEVELOPMENTS DO NOT REQUIRE PUBLIC HEARINGS
OR FOLLOW ANY LOCAL PERMITTING PROCESS
THE LAWS DO NOT REQUIRE ANY LOW-INCOME HOUSING AND THERE IS NO LAW FORCING A DEVELOPER TO BUILD LOW INCOME HOUSING
WE JUST GET HARSHLY PUNISHED BY THE STATE IF PRIVATE DEVELOPERS DON'T DECIDE TO BUILD IT FOR US
Tom Lai, Director of Marin County Community Development Depa
The state has a vision of California -- and Marin -- that was not shared with the voters. This site has a lot of information on how this happened, what to expect, and how to work together to put a halt to it.
During 2020, while we were all distracted by covid, our state government was busy. The governor declared a housing crisis, and the legislature started passing a huge number of housing laws to eliminate any local procedures that slowed the pace of housing. Permits, traffic studies, public hearings, lot coverage limitations, CEQA (California Enivronmental Quality Act) ... all are now considered nuisances. The laws sidelined local zoning to streamline the process and incentivize builders.
Then came the state housing mandates, to be strictly enforced. The California Department of Housing and Development (HCD) produces a Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) every 8 years to plan for population growth. Our current population is shrinking, but the HCD has ordered the production of TWO AND A HALF MILLION new housing units to be built over the next 8 years.
441,176 are slated for the Bay Area, 14,405 went to Marin, distributed to cities and unincorporated areas by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). Each city and the unincorporated area are required to produce a Housing Element (an identified list of properties that can hold the new developments) or face harsh penalties.
THEY'RE DEMANDING AN ASTONISHING AMOUNT OF HOUSING, BROKEN INTO CATEGORIES FROM LOW-INCOME TO ABOVE-MARKET RATE, AND TELLING CITIES WHERE TO PUT IT,
WHY ARE WE FORCED TO BUILD HOUSING FOR WEALTHY PEOPLE?
CITIES WILL BE DEPENDING ON PRIVATE BUILDERS TO DO IT AND WILL BE PUNISHED SEVERELY IF THE NUMBERS AREN'T MADE. BUT NO LAWS FORCE PRIVATE BUILDERS TO CREATE ANYTHING THEY DON'T WANT TO DO. AND WHAT THEY LIKE TO DO IS MAKE MONEY.
LOOK AROUND YOUR TOWN. WHERE WILL THEY GO?
ALL APPEALS WERE DENIED WITHOUT COMMENT
THE STATE ASSIGNS NEW HOUSING EVERY 8 YEARS TO KEEP UP WITH FUTURE NEEDS. THIS TIME THE NUMBERS WERE UP TO 100 x NORMAL.
TWO AND A HALF MILLION HOUSING UNITS FOR THE STATE
440,000 FOR THE BAY AREA
14,405 FOR MARIN
The numbers are so large they are being audited. Meanwhile, our cities are scrambling to find space, to make way for developers.
No traffic studies, no CEQA, no infrastructure upgrades. The idea is to eliminate single family housing as punishment for exclusionary policies enacted in the 1940s but abolished in the 1960s.
Even though most of Marin has since been built out, the state is pushing infill and density. They changed our building codes and rezoned areas for us so our rules couldn't get in the way. They want developers to demolish homes and squeeze larger and taller buildings inside our neighborhoods. We have no say.
THIS IS A BAD TIME TO ADD 7 MILLION MORE PEOPLE TO CALIFORNIA
IT'S A BAD TIME TO ADD 30,000 PEOPLE INTO MARIN
WE DON'T HAVE THE WATER, WE ARE IN A DANGEROUS FIRE SITUATION, AND THE AMOUNT OF HOUSING WE MUST ADD BLOCKS EVACUATION CORRIDORS
SO, WITH THESE LIMITATIONS, IF WE'RE GOING TO BUILD HOUSING, IT SHOULD ONLY BE FOR LOW INCOME/WORKFORCE HOUSING
WE AREN'T BIG CITIES. WE ARE FORCED INTO HIGH DENSITY ANYWAY, TO PROVIDE MORE HOUSING FOR THE WEALTHY
Click through this map to see the allocations by category up to last cycle: http://housing.abag.ca.gov/map
MARIN LAST CYCLE: 2,298
MARIN THIS CYCLE: 14,405
Corte Madera: 725
Mill Valley: 865
San Anselmo: 833
San Rafael: 3,220
Unincorporated Areas: 3,569
All of the conditions listed to the right were bases for appeals. Legitimate criteria. But the HCD accused us of exclusionary practices -- because we hadn't grown our cities quickly, beyond what they could handle. We were accused of holding up housing production with our normal planning process: local permitting standards, regulations, public hearings and CEQA. So, the state eliminated those "barriers" to development by passing laws to streamline the process for builders There are harsh penalties for non-compliance.
THIS WAS CHARACTERIZED AS A WAY TO INTEGRATE LOW INCOME HOUSING INTO MARIN. BUT IT'S REALLY JUST GOING TO BURY US IN HIGHER PRICED HOUSING
LIMITED EVACUATION ROUTES
FEMA FLOOD AREAS
SEA LEVEL RISE
SEWAGE AND SEPTIC LIMITS
LACK OF SUITABLE LAND
WER'E NOT TRANSIT RICH
WER'E NOT JOB RICH
Between the jumble of laws passed by the state and the Department of Housing and Community Development's (HCD's) goal of adding social justice and income equality into an overly legislated, rushed, complicated, and punishment-based process, a chaotic housing rush is now in play. Poor planning and ridiculous numbers (now being audited) created a mess that will destroy California as we know it, creating an endless sprawl of density that covers the state with concrete.
The new laws look like they create low-income housing, but that goal is overshadowed by the amount of housing created for more affluent renters. There is widespread agreement about the need for AFFORDABLE HOUSING, but this plan DOES NOT ENFORCE IT.
The bulk of the new housing will be at or above market value, built by private developers for a profit.
None of the private developers are under obligation by law to produce the percentage categories demanded by HCD. (Very low income, low income, median income, above median income.) The median income in Marin is about $170,000. The low-income categories represent about 40% of the HCD formula, but most development is for the upper ranges.
SEE MAP HERE:
The HCD is requiring density in our neighborhoods to produce homes for the rich. With Marin's lack of buildable land, if expensive projects are completed first, even with a few low-income units thrown in, there will literally be no land left for the number of low-income projects required.
A new department inside HCD was created to monitor and punish us if we didn't build fast enough. Now our local city councils and county Board of Supervisors are forced to produce "Housing Elements" (lists that show exactly where the housing could go). Our local officials fought it, but they lost, and now they are scrambling to put lists of land together, even if they have to resort to hazard areas and public properties.
We resent the state intrusion. We are being forced into this process-- all stick, no carrot -- with harsh penalties for noncompliance. The state puts an undue financial burden on cities to achieve the RHNA goals that is glossed over by the new laws, which keep coming every month. The new laws look like they create low-income housing, but that goal is overshadowed by the amount of housing created for more affluent renters. See: PROFITEERING
City governments aren't in the business of building. But now they better make sure that someone does it. If even one builder slacks off and doesn't finish on time, we aren't certified, and the state takes over. They will rezone and force the housing into public land, parking lots, parks, golf courses (in Mill Valley the municipal golf course is a designated place of refuge in a fire emergency when evacuation isn't possible. A new law would allow 85% of it to be developed as housing).
Private businesses have ended up on lists of "underutilized space," even if they are not for sale. Will the state resort to eminent domain to get their numbers met? Already our general plans have been overruled, and our long-range planning is in the trash. Areas have already been rezoned for us, as residential. Our permit process is now as simple as filing a piece of paper ("by rights and "ministerial review").
Minimally the process should pause until the audit is complete. We need to act or watch Marin communities get developed into overly dense fire traps.
The Cities and County Board of Supervisors are all scrambling -- in fear of retribution -- to get their Housing Element lists together. They aren't pushing back. We need to act for them. They asked for reasonable numbers. We need to demand them.
If we get organized, maybe our local governments will have the courage to join us.
There are lawsuits now for city councils to join. Let your city council know you'll support them.
WE NEED TO PUSH BACK AGAINST THIS STATE OVERREACH, OR YOU WON'T RECOGNIZE MARIN -- OR CALIFORNIA -- IN A FEW YEARS