From the “you can’t make this stuff up” file, Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) wants to allow San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles to open “safe-drug-use” sites – at a time when the entire state state is in lockdown – except for the hundreds of thousands of drug addicted homeless vagrants living on the streets… they are untouchable. “Non-essential” businesses were forced to close, schools are closed, and the governor recently expanded his lockdown orders to ban outdoor dining, and playgrounds.
But opening government sponsored drug sites are okay? How will this take place with the five Bay Area counties locked down until January 4th?
“It’s currently illegal to open a such a site in California. The bill, which Wiener, D-San Francisco, introduced late Monday, would allow San Francisco, Los Angeles and Oakland to open a safe injection site. The pilot program would sunset Jan. 1, 2027”, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Nothing ever sunsets in California.
Rather than condoning the dangerous drug use, implementing programs to help understand how they became drug addicts in the first place seems like a better path. Most of these drug addicts are homeless and living on the streets, which in most cases, their drug addiction surely led to.
Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a previous version of this bill in 2018, the Chronicle said. He said that “enabling illegal and destructive drug use will never work.”
Sen. Wiener’s High-Density Housing bill is Back; Will Strip Zoning and Land-Use Requirements From Any Type of Housing
Sen. Wiener is also bringing back his wildly unpopular residential high-density housing plan, even after it was killed twice last year. Even San Francisco supervisors opposed his housing bill. A rational person would take time to reflect and contemplate why the bill was twice killed by his colleagues in the Legislature.
Last year’s bill was SB 50 – the newest version is proposed Senate Bill 10.
Sen. Wiener, who sees all policy through the lenses of the city of San Francisco, is attempting to foist dense San Francisco housing on the entire state. Last year’s bills would have allowed the stripping of nearly all zoning and land-use requirements from any type of housing, the removal of measures targeting housing affordability, and the inability to regulate disruptive business models such as short-term rentals, communal living, or corporate housing.
But Wiener’s bills trample all over local control, safety, habitat, conservation, historic preservation, and other elements of good planning that were taken into account, though weakened, in the 2017 compromise legislation, according to Hydee Feldstein, a retired land use attorney in Los Angeles, as the Globe reported last year.
“SB 50 would have required local governments to provide a specified ‘equitable communities incentive’ to developers that construct residential developments in ‘jobs-rich’ and ‘transit-rich’ areas, which may include certain exceptions to specified requirements for zoning, density, parking, height restrictions, and floor area ratios, according to bill analysis,” the Globe reported last year. “It was no secret that there were significant disputes over SB 50 among Democrats over housing affordability solutions. Democrats who hail from middle class and affluent cities were under pressure to oppose the bill which many believe would have greatly changed residential neighborhoods from single-family homes to adding many apartment buildings, and low-income housing.”
Sen. Wiener wants people to live in downtown apartments over a Panda Express or dive bar, near the train tracks and bus station. Most city dwellers work and save for years so they can get out of cities and purchase a house with a yard in a more suburban setting.
“California’s massive housing shortage is driving people into poverty and homelessness and threatening our environment, economy, and diversity; we must take bold steps to end this devastating crisis,” said Sen. Wiener in a statement. “SB 10 provides cities with a powerful, fast, and effective tool to allow light-touch density exactly where it should be: near jobs, near public transportation, and in existing urbanized areas. SB 10 will help move California away from a sprawl-based housing policy and toward a more sustainable, equitable, and effective housing policy.”
What’s causing California’s “massive housing shortage” is state and local building regulations, outrageous permitting requirements and costs, and myriad fees amounting to more than $100,000 before a project has even broken ground. Developers in other states can build apartment complexes for $100,000 per unit.
“SB 10 allows cities to upzone non-sprawl areas (areas that are close to job centers and/or transit and areas that are in existing urbanized locations, thus reducing vehicle usage and long commutes) up to ten unit buildings. This streamlining tool would be the most powerful one for cities to increase density. By allowing cities to choose to zone for up to 10 units per parcel, SB 10 will make it possible for cities to build significantly more housing in a way that makes sense within their local context.”
We don’t think House Speaker Nancy Pelosi or Sen. Dianne Feinstein want a 10-unit building next to either of their multi-million dollar mansions in the tony Pacific Heights neighborhood. And neither does anyone else.