Tag: nn-roundup-may-2019

CA cities and counties move to comply with State housing law

Alicia Murillo, California HCD, April 12, 2019

As a result of Governor Newsom’s efforts to address the state’s housing affordability crisis, the California Department of Housing and Community Development is seeing significant progress from cities not in compliance with state housing law.

In February, Governor Newsom met with California mayors from cities not compliant with Housing Element law. Since then, three cities have come into compliance and 14 others have either submitted drafts or committed to specific actions toward compliance.

“Strong local planning is key to building a California for All, and progress thus far is encouraging,” said HCD Director Ben Metcalf. “We are seeing meaningful efforts by cities and counties that weren’t in compliance to get back on track and plan to meet the housing needs in their communities.”

Of the 47 cities that did not have a state-approved housing plan as of the Governor’s State of the State address, three — Orange Cove, Clovis and Soledad — are now in compliance, and Fillmore has submitted its adopted plan for final compliance review.

An additional 14 jurisdictions — including Lake County, Marina, and San Juan Bautista — are demonstrating progress by submitting drafts or committing to specific actions toward compliance.

SF is world’s most expensive city in which to build, study says

By Ted Andersen, Digital Editor, San Francisco Business Times

“The City by the Bay has dethroned the Big Apple as the world’s priciest place for new construction.

“This year, San Francisco removes New York from the top spot, having increased by 5 percent in the last year, according to a new report by consulting company Turner & Townsend.

“The study examined the average building costs in six different types of construction: apartment highrises, prestige office blocks, large warehouse distribution centers, general hospitals, primary and secondary schools, and shopping centers and malls.

“Average construction wages in San Francisco were $90 per hour in 2018, third-highest in the world behind New York’s $101.30 per hour and Zurich’s $110 per hour.

“Steel tariffs, passed in March 2018, have reportedly led to a 17-percent increase in the cost of reinforcement bars and a 30-percent increase in the price of beams in San Francisco.

[According to Roland Li, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, “A long-standing problem is the lack of construction workers, with many veterans leaving the industry after the 2008 recession. High housing costs also have caused some workers to move out of the area, and many commute for hours to reach job sites.”]

“Overall, the survey highlights the massive worldwide disparity between labor costs worldwide — China, India, and Africa had the lowest costs, while North America has the highest costs.

“The five highest cost cities in which to build are San Francisco, New York, London, Zurich and Hong Kong.”

Streetcar spurred development of an SF neighborhood 100 years ago
L Line Streetcar 170 and White Brand Motor Coach Possibly From 2 Ocean Bus Line at 48th Avenue and Taraval Street, May 15, 1925 (Courtesy SFMTA Photo Archive)

Streetcar spurred development of an SF neighborhood 100 years ago

From an article by Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, San Francisco Examiner, April 10, 2019

“One century ago, San Francisco’s West Side resembled photos of the Sahara desert: Sand dunes stretched far into the horizon.

“Then came Muni’s L-Taraval line, and everything changed.

L Line Streetcar 170 and White Brand Motor Coach Possibly From 2 Ocean Bus Line at 48th Avenue and Taraval Street, May 15, 1925 (Courtesy SFMTA Photo Archive)

“Today the Sunset District and Parkside neighborhoods are home to roughly 70,000 people, according to city data. The seed of that development is one little streetcar route that connected downtown to the dunes, said Rick Laubscher, president of the Market Street Railway nonprofit and museum.

“ ‘It really did build out the Parkside and Sunset,’ Laubscher said. ‘None of this would exist without the streetcars.’

“On Friday, April 12, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency celebrated the centennial of the L-Taraval. That’s 100 birthday candles for the route that now runs from the Embarcadero to the San Francisco Zoo. Now trains called ‘light rail vehicles’ run along the line where their precursors, streetcars, used to roam.

“ ‘What made the L special,’ Laubscher said, ‘was that The City as a matter of policy wanted to use investment in transit to develop what was an open part of San Francisco.’ [It first operated] ‘as a shuttle.’ It wasn’t until October 15, 1923, that the line began running all the way ‘to the ferries,’ Laubchscer said.”

This is an excerpt. Read the full article here.