Some good news out of Sacramento for a change. Senator Scott Wiener’s heavy-handed effort to impose Google-esque housing campuses upon the entire state has been shot down in committee.
After months of public wrangling and amendment, San Francisco’s State Senator Scott Wiener finally brought his signature transit-housing bill SB 827 before the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee in Sacramento Tuesday, where it stalled on a 6-4 vote that leaves it in limbo.
SB 827 would have radically changed how California cities zone for height and density by making it illegal to place height limits below four to five stories (depending on the locale) along major transit routes.
Thanks to San Francisco’s extensive bus network, this would have applied to virtually every parcel in the city. But even cities with far less skin in the game, like Lafayette and Berkeley, complained that the bill redirected too much control from local municipalities to the state.
Calling local control “important but not biblical,” Wiener again labored on Tuesday to frame the bill as a necessary step given the scope of the crisis.
The Mercury News provides some context:
A polarizing housing bill that would force California cities to allow taller apartment buildings by BART stops and other transit hubs has been pummeled with opposition from local officials — a group that now includes former colleagues of the bill’s author, San Francisco Democrat Sen. Scott Wiener.
In the latest blow to Senate Bill 827, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to oppose Wiener’s bill, joining smaller cities such as Lafayette, Cupertino, Palo Alto and Milpitas. A week earlier, the Los Angeles City Council took the same stance, unanimously, with one councilman calling the legislation “insanity.”
“I think this is the craziest bill I’ve ever seen,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz.
It’s a bad sign when Los Angeles gov’t wonders if you’re a crazy legislator. A very, very bad sign.
The sharp opposition from two of California’s largest and most iconic cities is a setback for the new bill, which has attracted national media coverage but has yet to have a committee hearing in Sacramento. Carried in response to the housing crisis and the failure of some cities to approve enough new housing near booming job centers to meet rising demand, SB 827 would require cities to allow apartments of roughly four to eight stories to be built around major bus and rail stops throughout the state.
On the simplest level, there’s a reason the Bay Area doesn’t have the massive density of the New York skyline: New York has bedrock underneath it.
Wiener’s plan would predispose his hometown for worst-case geological Armageddon.
But his plan would be statewide, overriding local zoning regulations everywhere to permit high-density housing within half a mile of “mass transit”, meaning your local bus stop. The potential for land speculation & related fraud is obvious.
More than that, this plan would destroy suburbia. Single-family homes. Land values are skyrocketing primarily due to environmental regulations and water shortages, meaning suburbia has trouble expanding any more, and this bill would allow/force massive centralization of populations in suburbia regardless of the will of the residents.
The trademark of a tyrannical government is not allowing the people to control their own fates. Spreading House-A-Dindu projects everywhere the State and its corporate friends can find cheap land would resemble cancerous tumors spreading through a victim’s lymph nodes.
It’s always been a globalist wet dream to reinvent cities as a network of factories connected by mass transit to massive dormitories. This because the Elites then have total control over the means of production, the means of transportation and, if not the souls, then the living conditions of the people. Humans in cattle cars being shuttled from barns to milking pens. Elites can select workers from a menu and ship them in with zero humanitarian or cultural concerns. Google & Apple are running test campuses for this arrangement and what a surprise, most of their dormitory inmates resemble migrants.
Hence my boldface above: “the failure of some cities to approve enough new housing near booming job centers”. Uh-huh. A child can read between those lines.
Ironically, the bill was shot down partly because it didn’t do enough to achieve this globalist vision. Insufficient provisions for “low income housing” and rent control. But it was also shot down partly because even its supporters didn’t want that Brave New World in their own backyards.
So, we’re safe for today.