Sunday, November 5, 2017
What should be done when a development violates new pro-housing provisions of a zoning code?
In a recent OpEd in the NY Times on the Bay Area housing crisis, Enrico Moretti, a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, wrote,"Some restrictions make sense: Nobody wants skyscrapers poking up among Victorian houses, and nobody wants to tear down historical buildings. But many others don’t: There are scores of empty parking lots in San Francisco and Oakland that can’t be built on because of political opposition." Moretti concluded: Bay Area "urban progressives must moderate their reflexive opposition to all new market-based housing." I agree. However, knee jerk opposition to new housing has not been a characteristic of San Leandrans. We have welcomed new housing. Just look at the large affordable housing complex (called the Marea Alta) across from the downtown San Leandro BART station. Local and state tax revenues paid for the building. Hundreds of new market rate housing units in the planning or construction stage in San Leandro, all fitting within the City's Zoning Code which was updated last year, The 2016 update to the Zoning Code substantially increased allowed density and number of parcels in the San Leandro where housing can be built. But what happens when a developer proposes building a complex that egregiously violates even the new pro-housing provisions of the zoning code? Is it fair then for the neighbors to organize and insist that local officials require that the developer abide by the rules? My answer is yes. For how to get involved visit https://sites.google.com/view/1388bancroft