Sunday Commentary: State Gets More Aggressive on Affordable Housing

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Elk Grove, CA – One of the big questions facing the housing crisis—would the state step in and attempt to enforce any number of new and tougher housing laws or would it step aside and continue to allow local governments to run the show?

We have seen the state take an aggressive approach in recent weeks with Huntington Beach as they attempt to exempt themselves from state laws, but perhaps a more important test case will be Elk Grove.

According to a note from the Sacramento Housing Alliance (SHA), the city “improperly denied approval for the Oak Rose Apartments that would have created 66 units of critically needed permanent supportive housing.”

According to SHA President Cathy Creswell, “This development would have provided homes with important services to help unhoused individuals get off the street and into a stable and supportive environment.”

SHA believes that the city “violated several State housing laws and delayed the development of much needed affordable homes” and so, last fall, they notified HCD’s Housing Accountability and Enforcement Unit about the inappropriate denial of Oak Rose Apartments.

HCD sent a Notice of Violation on October 12, 2022. The city responded, denying any wrongdoing.

Attorney General Rob Bonta has now stepped in with a letter dated March 16, 2023, stating, “We agree with HCD’s conclusion that the City’s denial of the Project violated state law. We urge the City to reconsider and take prompt action to conform with state law.”

The AG noted, “The proposed project would have added 66 units of supportive housing for lower-income households at risk of homelessness, in a jurisdiction in dire need of low-income housing opportunities. The Council denied the Project on the basis that it did not meet the city’s objective zoning standards and was therefore ineligible for SB 35 ministerial review.

“Confronting and addressing our state’s housing crisis requires all of us – including local governments – working together to increase affordable housing opportunities for those who need it most,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta.

“Too many Californians across this state worry about keeping a roof over their heads, or lack housing altogether. State housing laws are in place to provide all Californians, regardless of income level, the opportunity to access affordable housing and have a place to call home. We’re committed to enforcing the law, and we will not stand idly by in the face of housing discrimination. I urge Elk Grove to reconsider its unlawful denial of the Oak Rose Apartment project, or face the legal consequences.”

The AG argues that contrary to the City’s claims, this use restriction does not qualify as an “’objective standard’ under SB 35 or the HAA [Housing Accountability Act], because its application depends on the exercise of discretion. The city itself acknowledged that its OTSPA [Old Town Special Planning Area] standards—including the ground floor use restriction—involve discretion, noting that the city has a mechanism to deviate from development standards under the OTSPA for projects that meet the goals of the OTSPA, including whether a project is compatible with ‘community character.’”

Further, “Because the HAA and SB 35 prohibit the application of a standard that involves any discretionary application, the city cannot rely on this use restriction as a basis to deny the Project.”

Attorney General Bonta also argues that “Elk Grove’s unequal application of the cited land use restrictions, and subsequent denial of the Oak Rose Project constituted a discriminatory land use practice, which violates the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Statute and Government Code Section 65008, which prohibit the city from making land use decisions that disproportionately harm lower-income households. “

In their note, SHA said it “supports the State’s efforts to enforce affordable housing laws to ensure the affordable housing so desperately needed in our communities can be built. “

Interim Executive Director Rachel Iskow added, “We will continue to advocate for the adoption AND implementation of effective housing elements and housing strategies that will truly serve the needs of our region and our most vulnerable populations.”

These actions are absolutely critical if California is going to be able to address its housing crisis.  The letter comes just a week after the AG and Governor along with HCD announced a lawsuit against Huntington Beach.

The state claimed that, while the city is required to plan for 13,368 new housing units over the next eight years, in addition to following state law, “they are refusing to do both of these things.”

“Huntington Beach elected officials are the poster child for NIMBY-ism, and my Administration will take every measure necessary to hold communities accountable for their failure to build their fair share of housing,” said Governor Newsom. “The housing crisis facing families across the state demands that all cities and counties do their part, and those that flagrantly violate state housing laws will be held to account.”

But it also requires the state to enforce these laws and the courts to uphold the new laws.

While this is not the first time the state has intervened, what I find noteworthy in this case is that they are pressing a city on the denial of a specific project, and the denial of a relatively modest-sized project of *just* 66 affordable units.

Moreover, by going after large midsize cities like Huntington Beach and Elk Grove (both under 200,000 in population), the state is showing that they are going to take more communities to task for failing to adhere to state law.

This week Bonta told ABC that, while he is not seeking litigation, “he’s prepared to sue Elk Grove, if necessary, just like Huntington Beach was sued.”

Ultimately of course, the state is going to have to show that not only will they press local communities to fulfill their obligations, but that the state law has teeth—enforcement mechanisms and consequences.

That remains to be seen.  But right now, the state has shown the willingness to attempt to enforce state law and that’s an important starting point.

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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39 Comments

  1. Walter Shwe

    I fully support the State’s aggressive stance to force California communities to abide by state affordable housing laws. If they don’t like those laws, the moral and ethical course would be to take up the matter with their local legislators instead of blatantly violating state statutes.

  2. Ron Oertel

    While this is not the first time the state has intervened, what I find noteworthy in this case is that they are pressing a city on the denial of a specific project, and the denial of a relatively modest-sized project of *just* 66 affordable units.

    In contrast, what I find “noteworthy” is that the state is going-after a city (Elk Grove) that’s a poster child for sprawl. And apparently, that sprawl has not resulted in sufficient Affordable (or “affordable”) housing – in the state’s view.

      1. Ron Oertel

        Not seeing how that’s the “converse” of what I stated.

        But there’s (also) not enough detail in the article to determine if the legal justification is “questionable”, or even the complete reason why Elk Grove denied that proposal – other than violating “objective zoning standards”.

        Has Elk Grove already submitting an approved housing element, which did not include rezoning of that particular site?

        If so, what are the implications of the state’s actions?

        I assume that the developer complained directly to the state, when Elk Grove denied the application.

        1. Ron Oertel

          That article is behind a paywall.  Here’s one that isn’t.

          https://news.yahoo.com/california-ag-bonta-warns-elk-130000665.html

          But again, I would ask – what are the implications of this (assuming that the city had already submitted an approved housing element)?  From the article, it seems unrelated as to whether or not their housing element was approved.

          In other words, it seems that submitting a “successful” housing element is not preventing cities getting sued by developers and the state. If that’s the case, attempts by cities to seek approval for housing elements seems irrelevant.

          Might as well just let developers and their friends at the state take over planning, entirely – given that this is seemingly what they’re doing, here (regardless). And don’t even bother with housing elements, zoning, planning, etc.

          If the state is going to take on this type of responsibility and control, they’re also (ultimately) going to have to deal with the consequences of their decisions.

          1. David Greenwald

            I don’t know why you are bringing up housing element, this is an SB 35 issue, not a housing element issue.

        2. Ron Oertel

          Really?  I already noted the reason in the comment just-above yours. And your own response confirms it.

          In other words, it seems that submitting a “successful” housing element is not preventing cities getting sued by developers and the state.

          Of course, we’re assuming that Elk Grove submitted an approved housing element in the first place.

          But it is interesting that the “poster child” for regional sprawl is nevertheless getting sued by developers and the state.

          So (apparently), approved housing elements won’t prevent getting sued by developers and the state, nor does sprawl. In fact, it appears that nothing will.

          So why even ask the city to approve these types of proposals in the first place – given that they have no power to object? Just apply directly with the state.

          And make it clear to cities that any presentation by these types of developers is for “informational purposes” only, and that cities have no say in the matter.

          1. David Greenwald

            The issue is that SB 35 “requires local governments to provide streamlined, ministerial (nondiscretionary) approval of projects that are consistent with objective zoning standards.”

            The City contends that the Project does not qualify for ministerial approval under SB 35 because it conflicts with the following use restriction from the OTSPA

            The AG counters: “Because the HAA and SB 35 prohibit the application of a standard that involves any discretionary application, the City cannot rely on OTSPA use restriction as a basis to deny the Project.”

            Under SB 35, a “development shall be deemed consistent with the objective zoning standards related to housing density, as applicable, if the density proposed is compliant with the
            maximum density allowed within that land use designation, notwithstanding any specified maximum unit allocation that may result in fewer units of housing permitted.

            According to the city, a single “decision on one project cannot form the basis for a determination that the city is not implementing its Housing Element.”

            The state responds, “The City cites no authority for this proposition. Nor could it, as HCD may review any action or failure to act” by the City that HCD “determines is inconsistent with the housing element or Section 65583.”

            It adds, “The law vests HCD with the authority to review any action, including a project disapproval, for noncompliance with the Housing Element Law. Here, HCD’s review found thatthe City’s Actions regarding the Project violated the Housing Element Law.”

        3. Ron Oertel

          According to the city, a single “decision on one project cannot form the basis for a determination that the city is not implementing its Housing Element.”

          Again, I would ask if that particular site was planned for (within the housing element itself) for the type of development proposed.

          If not, then denying it would have no impact on the housing element.

          But if it was “objectively zoned” (per your other reference) for this type of development – and the city denied it, then I gather that there’s a problem. By “objectively zoned”, I assume this means that Affordable housing can’t be SPECIFICALLY denied, if a similar-sized market rate proposal might have been approved.

          At least, that’s what I’m gathering. When there’s a lot of political grandstanding occurring (e.g., by the state) – it’s difficult to determine exactly what the specific issue is, or what the respective positions are based upon.

          Per the article I posted above:

          Singh-Allen in a statement Thursday evening denied that Elk Grove broke state housing law. She said the city wants to work with Oak Rose’s developers to find an alternate site for the project, but said the project’s developers have been “non-responsive.”

          The Elk Grove City Council maintained the project was too dense and said plans for ground-floor residences did not comply with Old Town’s zoning requirements. Leaders called on project applicants Oak Rose LP to work with the city to find alternate sites.

        4. Walter Shwe

          But it is interesting that the “poster child” for regional sprawl is nevertheless getting sued by developers and the state.

          I don’t see how regional sprawl has much to do with approving affordable housing projects.

          IMHO Elk Grove is discriminating against lower income people that can’t afford market rate housing. The City has a clear pattern of approving very few units of market rate housing compared to the total number of housing units. What this City is doing consists of typical NIMBY tactics. The few affordable projects that are approved are just for show.

          Elk Grove has about 2,300 affordable housing units, according to city officials.

          Single family housing units make up the vast majority 89.73% of Elk Grove’s housing units, 48,599 units total. Multifamily units make up 9 percent, or approximately 5,281.

        5. Ron Oertel

          I don’t see how regional sprawl has much to do with approving affordable housing projects.

          Glad to hear that, and hope you and others keep that in mind in regard to Measure J proposals.

          IMHO Elk Grove is discriminating against lower income people that can’t afford market rate housing.

          And yet, that’s exactly what YIMBY-types promote.  Approval of sprawling market-rate housing to supposedly provide “affordable” housing.

          If it can’t be done in Elk Grove (which never met sprawl it didn’t “like”), where do you suppose this trickle-down theory will work?

          What this City is doing consists of typical NIMBY tactics.

          Elk Grove doesn’t strike me as the type of city that’s a “typical” home of NIMBYs.  Instead, they just keep sprawling outward.

          And on a related note, what’s to keep Elk Grove from approving “affordable” housing on the periphery, given that they have no Measure J?

          Isn’t Measure J proposed to be “changed”, in order to provide such housing on the periphery of Davis? If it’s already not occurring in Elk Grove, what makes anyone think that gutting Measure J will make that occur outside of Davis’ boundaries?

          While ignoring the fact that Measure J already includes an exemption for Affordable housing in the first place.

        6. Walter Shwe

          Elk Grove wants to keep lower income people out of their city because they don’t want them, plain and simple. That’s the very definition of NIMBYism. Elk Grove has absolutely nothing to do with Measure J. Urban sprawl can occur without sufficient affordable housing. You seen to desire more and more unhoused people in California. Everyone needs a place to live regardless of income. Elk Grove is discriminating based solely on income level.

        7. Ron Oertel

          Elk Grove wants to keep lower income people out of their city because they don’t want them, plain and simple.

          That’s the very definition of NIMBYism.

          Could be, but what’s the average income level of Elk Grove residents in the first place? Are they generally “high-income”? (If they were, I don’t think they’d choose Elk Grove.)

          And what’s the average cost of a new house there, given that sprawl is claimed as a way to keep housing costs down?  (I’m sure it’s less than Davis, but I suspect it’s still not cheap.)  And whatever that cost is, why isn’t that market-rate considered “affordable”?

          )Though I’m sure that cost is trending downward at this point, regardless.)

          And how do you explain the city’s claim that the developer is unwilling to work with them regarding other locations (e.g., outside of the “old town” area)? 

          Elk Grove has absolutely nothing to do with Measure J. Urban sprawl can occur without sufficient affordable housing.

          Your second sentence undermines your first sentence, in that many on here claim that urban sprawl will create sufficient “affordable housing”.  Clearly, it did not in the case of Elk Grove (which has no Measure J). As such, the arguments on here (and by the council) to undermine Measure J in the name of affordable housing don’t make sense. Even more so, considering that Measure J already has an exemption for Affordable housing.

          You seen to desire more and more unhoused people in California.

          Don’t know where you’re getting that idea.  I do think that the state losing 500,000 net population (primarily to other states) is a positive outcome.  Other states are still welcoming that type of migration, and are providing better opportunities for some folks.

          Much as the Sacramento region (including Davis) once did.  (Actually, it still does, which is a primary reason that new housing built in Davis attracts those from places like the Bay Area.)

        8. Walter Shwe

          Could be, but what’s the average income level of Elk Grove residents in the first place? Are they generally “high-income”? (If they were, I don’t think they’d choose Elk Grove.)

          You seem to be clueless regarding who qualifies for affordable housing and who doesn’t. Middle and upper income people don’t qualify. I know 2 people that live in Elk Grove, both are either  middle or upper income. You assume that only people with certain income levels live in that community. You are definitely wrong. There is a housing shortage in California despite the number of people leaving. You just refuse to admit that fact.

        9. Ron Oertel

          You seem to be clueless regarding who qualifies for affordable housing and who doesn’t. Middle and upper income people don’t qualify.

          Where are you getting the idea that I don’t understand this?

          I know 2 people that live in Elk Grove, both are either  middle or upper income. You assume that only people with certain income levels live in that community. You are definitely wrong.

          Again, putting forth something that I didn’t state, and then claiming that I’m “wrong” is not an argument.  Or maybe it is, as long as you insert “straw man” in front of that.

           

    1. Walter Shwe

      Could be, but what’s the average income level of Elk Grove residents in the first place? Are they generally “high-income”? (If they were, I don’t think they’d choose Elk Grove.)

      Elk Grove Median household income (in 2021 dollars), 2017-2021 $106,797

      Davis Median household income (in 2021 dollars), 2017-2021 $81,231

      Sacramento Median household income (in 2021 dollars), 2017-2021 $71,074

      Everyone in California knows, or should know, that the state has an immense shortage of housing that persists despite efforts by its politicians to jump-start construction.

      https://calmatters.org/commentary/2023/01/california-housing-shortage-triggers-cycle-of-despair/

      You seem to imply that Governor Newsom and his family can legally move in to an affordable housing development.

      1. Ron Oertel

        Davis Median household income (in 2021 dollars), 2017-2021 $81,231

        That, of course – includes students who haven’t started their careers.

        You seem to imply that Governor Newsom and his family can legally move in to an affordable housing development.

        You seem to just make up stuff.

        He did, however, move out of the governor’s mansion downtown to the sprawling estate in Fair Oaks.

        https://www.sfgate.com/realestate/article/Gavin-Newsom-Sacramento-Fair-Oaks-home-13556456.php

        I don’t “blame” him for this, or for sending his kids to private schools.  But if he and the attorney general are going to force others to live as he himself won’t (while also deriding his own constituents), there’s a word or two for that.

        Starting with the derogatory name that he calls his own constituents.

        As far as the “housing shortage” goes, here’s another perspective:

        But a massive, multi-million-unit shortage? Maybe not. At least, so suggests a scathing springtime report from the non-partisan acting state auditor.

        “The (state) Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has made errors when completing its needs assessments because it does not sufficiently review and verify data it uses,” the report deadpanned.

        Newsom’s administration now says California needs 1.8 million new homes by 2030, a huge drop in his needs assessment after less than four years. What happened to the other half of what Newsom said was needed? Maybe the need never existed.

        Those earlier numbers stemmed in part from expert estimates that California’s high growth would continue indefinitely. We now see that is not automatic. Fewer newcomers mean less need for new homes.

        But the auditor’s report suggests even the 1.8 million housing units Newsom now says are needed by 2030 may be a gross exaggeration. One look at all the vacancy signs on apartment buildings and condominiums in major cities informally suggests this. But HCD does not lower its estimates of need.

        The department’s regional need figures, in turn, produce threats of lawsuits from appointed state Attorney General Rob Bonta against city after city, demanding they grease development permits for hundreds of thousands of new units. The demand against Los Angeles, for example, is that it immediately OK about 250,000 new units. It’s as if Bonta has not seen the auditor’s report indicating the figures he uses are flawed. If he hasn’t read it, he is incompetent. If he has, he is dishonest.

        The auditor in effect says that when Newsom and Bonta cite housing need figures, they essentially spread fake news.

        https://www.vcstar.com/story/opinion/columnists/2022/04/25/big-housing-crunch-mostly-fiction/7439542001/

  3. Ron Oertel

    Leaving aside Elk Grove for the moment (which to my knowledge, has never met a housing development they didn’t like – until now), Huntington Beach has also filed its own lawsuit against the state:

    https://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/news/story/2023-03-09/huntington-beach-state-of-california-file-lawsuits-against-each-other-over-housing-issues

    Ultimately, one city probably cannot fight the state on its own (though it might achieve some success via the court system).  It will take a combined statewide effort (in some manner) to push back.  And there’s already at least one organization which is providing the structure to do so.

    https://ourneighborhoodvoices.com/

    Of course, the “fiercest hindwind” in regard to the state’s mandates to force housing is the housing, economic, and population downturn that exists without even any “opposition”.  As such, perhaps it’s mostly “political noise” that the attorney general and governor are achieving.  (And again, Newsom is not one to advocate for “density” – or “affordability” – given where he lives.  For that matter, he’s also not one to advocate for the public school system, given that his own children reportedly don’t attend one.)

    Newsom is no Jerry Brown.

    Don’t know about Bonta, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he also lives in a “non-affordable” housing unit.

    So again, if you’re going to “personally” force this type of thing on others (e.g., as a state official), perhaps there’s a saying about “living in glass houses, while throwing stones”.

    1. Walter Shwe

      Don’t know about Bonta, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he also lives in a “non-affordable” housing unit.

      Bonta as well as Governor Newsom can afford to live in market rate housing. I live in market rate housing. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ron Oertel does too. People that can afford not to reside in affordable housing should not live in such places. Doing so would deprive individuals that do qualify for affordable units from living in safe and affordable housing. Using your thinking would result in annual increases in the number of unhoused people. I view affordable housing as an important social justice issue.

    2. Walter Shwe

      So again, if you’re going to “personally” force this type of thing on others (e.g., as a state official), perhaps there’s a saying about “living in glass houses, while throwing stones”.

      Your argument makes no sense. This doesn’t apply in the slightest. You are supporting cities that have unequivocally demonstrated clear patterns of blatant discrimination.

      1. Ron Oertel

        This doesn’t apply in the slightest.

        It makes perfect sense, in regard to Newsom.  That is, unless you’re not aware that he lives on a multi-acre, multi-million estate in Fair Oaks.  This has been in the news several times.

        You are supporting cities that have unequivocally demonstrated clear patterns of blatant discrimination.

        Where (in my comments) did I state that I support Elk Grove’s development pattern?  I’m stating the opposite – and noting that sprawl hasn’t led to affordable housing.

        Though I’m not seeing where Elk Grove’s actions have led to discrimination against any group based upon their personal characteristics.

         

         

        1. Walter Shwe

          So again, if you’re going to “personally” force this type of thing on others (e.g., as a state official), perhaps there’s a saying about “living in glass houses, while throwing stones”.

          Where do you propose that Newsom and Bonta move to before they can begin throwing stones?

        2. Ron Oertel

          Where do you propose that Newsom and Bonta move to before they can begin throwing stones?

          You’re asking the wrong question.

          The fact is that there are vast differences in wealth within the population, and this is often reflected in the homes one is able to afford (and pay for), and the communities that one lives in.

          Newsom (and possibly Bonta) are on the upper end of that privilege, living in homes and communities that they’re attacking others for living in.  (Actually, Newsom has a much nicer home and lives in a much nicer community than most of those he’s attacking.)  Contrast this with Jerry Brown, who exhibited a much-less auspicious lifestyle.

          If Newsom had “no problem” with (for example), an Affordable housing proposal just outside (or even better – “inside”) of his gates, then he wouldn’t be a hypocrite.

          Alternatively, he could just cease from attacking his own constituents for trying to maintain a small portion of the lifestyle that Newsom himself enjoys.

          After all, most of his constituents (that he’s attacking) won’t ever even be able to set foot inside The French Laundry (let alone to meet with lobbyist friends in a place like that – pandemic or not). Their desires and goals are much less auspicious, than that. And yet, those are the folks that Newsom, Wiener and Bonta have declared war on.

          So it’s not that Newsom needs to “move”. He’d either need to advocate against the type of housing that he himself chose, or stop attacking others for seeking out a small “portion” of what he already has and protects.

          1. David Greenwald

            “ Newsom (and possibly Bonta) are on the upper end of that privilege, living in homes and communities that they’re attacking others for living in.”

            Who is Newsom “attacking”?

        3. Ron Oertel

          Actually, I misspoke.

          It’s not necessarily “Affordable” housing that folks object to.  It’s increased density, and all of the impacts that entails.

          And continued sprawl is no answer, either.

          Can you guess what the answer is?  Might it be the one which has already shown signs of a decline / stabilization in population?

          And yet, some folks “shudder” at this option (and reality), as if it’s some kind of blasphemy. Despite the fact that it’s ultimately the ONLY sustainable option we actually have (environmentally, socially, economically, etc.).

          It will occur sooner, or later (and it’s already occurring “sooner”, despite the efforts of state officials and their business / lobbyist friends).

        4. Ron Oertel

          Who is Newsom attacking?

          C’mon, David – you know the answer to that.

          The name-calling he engages in (e.g., literally calling those opposed to the mandates as “NIMBYs”, etc.) is only a sign of his contempt.

          The more substantial attack is the state’s mandates, laws overriding of local control, lawsuits by the attorney general, YIMBYs, underlying realtor group etc.  All of which he supports – literally, in regard to the bills that he signs into law.

          Ask Huntington Beach if they feel attacked by the governor, and even Elk Grove. Certainly, they both literally are in regard to the bills that the governor signed into law, with his attack dog ally (Bonta) attempting to back it up.

          I don’t know how large the backlash to all of this will ultimately be, since the housing, economic, and population downturn will derail the plans on their own.

          Hell, even University Mall housing (with a “green light” from the city) doesn’t pencil-out. And it’s RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET FROM UCD.

        5. Ron Oertel

          So basically you are equating an effort to enforce state law as an attack.

          Again, there’s more to it than that.

          The attack starts with a belief (and support from business interests), progresses to law (which just about everyone acknowledges is unrealistic – including you), then to an attempt to publicly “shame”, lawsuits, etc.

          Instituted against people who aren’t even as well-off (or living in a sprawling, multi-million dollar estate) as the governor himself, is.

          Yes, I would call that a planned, multi-stage attack.  But it’s not about how “I” view it as an individual.  It’s about how communities at large view it (and most aren’t too happy about it, it seems).

          For that matter, some of the wealthiest communities in the state aren’t subjected to this. (I recall a recent article in regard to the hills above Santa Barbara, for example – where some truly wealthy people live. The type of place that Newsom might migrate to, at some point.)

          One thing I’ve noticed is that (regardless of the issue), it’s the middle class that “pays”. The wealthy always have other options.

        6. Walter Shwe

          The name-calling he engages in (e.g., literally calling those opposed to the mandates as “NIMBYs”, etc.) is only a sign of his contempt.

          In my opinion neither NIMBY or YIMBY are derogatory or ‘attacking’ in any way. They just accurately describe who they really are. The State simply wants to enforce existing housing laws. In California there are a few ways you can oppose bills in the Legislature and and after bills become statutes. You can make your viewpoints known to legislative committees, the Assembly, the Senate and the Governor. You can challenge statutes in the courts. You can pursue overturning of statutes in the Legislature.

        7. Ron Oertel

          In my opinion neither NIMBY or YIMBY are derogatory or ‘attacking’ in any way. They just accurately describe who they really are.

          Again, this term implies that someone is a hypocrite.  It literally states “not in MY backyard” (but presumably – in someone else’s backyard).  Calling someone a hypocrite is literally an insult and purposeful smearing of character.

          But name-calling isn’t the “main” attack.

          The State simply wants to enforce existing housing laws.

          Weiner and company are the ones who established the unrealistic mandates in the first place.

          In California there are a few ways you can oppose bills in the Legislature and and after bills become statutes. You can make your viewpoints known to legislative committees, the Assembly, the Senate and the Governor. You can challenge statutes in the courts. You can pursue overturning of statutes in the Legislature.

          This is the type of response I’d suggest to those who oppose Trump and his appointments, as well.  (Which includes me.)  Much better than attempting to shout them down when they appear at university campuses, for example.  Or allowing an administrator to lecture an invited speaker regarding the reason they oppose them, at length.

          But those in the state’s target include about a dozen Bay Area cities (and more than that, throughout the state). 

          Some (but not all) are the type of cities that someone who is wealthy like Newsom live, or live in. Those are the type of communities who will undermine the state’s mandates, one way or another.

          Then again, the economic and housing downturn is doing a lot of their work for those opposed to these unrealistic mandates.

          Note in the article below how they imply that YIMBYs are “affordable housing advocates”.  What a joke. (That is, it would be a joke if some of the mainstream media weren’t pushing this description. These people are PAID to advocate and sue.

          https://www.cbsnews.com/sanfrancisco/news/housing-element-lawsuits-accuse-bay-area-cities-of-failures/

  4. Richard_McCann

    It appears that the only person in this conversation who has any knowledge about Elk Grove’s housing policies is Walter. David at least has knowledge of the state laws. Otherwise a lot of speculation about Elk Grove actions and policies.

    It’s clear that Our Neighborhood Voice is focused on gentrification alone and endorses many other solutions to the housing crisis, not ignoring the fact that we have a shortage:

    There are proven ways to create new housing without gridlock and sprawl. We can build new housing near rapid transit, we can create more housing in our downtown areas next to jobs, we can reduce the red tape that increases the cost of housing, we can create affordable backyard cottages that keep our parents and kids in our communities while preserving the scale and character of our neighborhoods.

    Gentrification is not a problem in Elk Grove given it’s demographics and how it has developed over the last three decades, although it could be in South Sacramento.

     

    1. Ron Oertel

      It appears that the only person in this conversation who has any knowledge about Elk Grove’s housing policies is Walter.

      It might “appear” that way to you, unless you actually read the article that Walter is simply copying his information from (without even offering any insight).

      Gentrification is not a problem in Elk Grove given it’s demographics and how it has developed over the last three decades, although it could be in South Sacramento.

      And yet, all of that sprawl hasn’t created sufficient “affordable” housing, per the state.

    2. Ron Oertel

       

      It’s clear that Our Neighborhood Voice is focused on gentrification alone and endorses many other solutions to the housing crisis, not ignoring the fact that we have a shortage:

      It’s pretty clear that Our Neighborhood Voice is opposed to the state’s efforts to force infill (and sprawl). Anyone actually looking at their website can see that they’re concerned about FAR MORE than just gentrification.

      Instead of actually working to create new housing without traffic gridlock, sprawl and environmental damage — Sacramento politicians handed a blank check to developers to build what they want, where they want, without contributing to new transit, schools, or roads — and without our ability to speak out.
      After accepting tens of millions of dollars in contributions from for-profit developers, this year the Sacramento politicians passed SB 9 and SB 10 — two damaging laws that essentially tell us to ‘sit down and shut up’ about what is happening right next door to our homes while developers demolish single-family homes and build multi-story, multi-unit projects.

      What does the Our Neighborhood Voices initiative do?

      The Our Neighborhood Voices initiative restores the authority of your local representatives to decide what gets built in your community, on your street and right next door to where you live. We are organizing a campaign to bring back our neighborhood voices in local planning with a 2024 statewide ballot measure./

      Again, the way to beat the state is to join with others (e.g., residents, cities, and counties throughout the state). But I suspect that the housing and economic downturn will do the most damage to the state’s mandates, regardless.

        1. Ron Oertel

          Yes – that is one of the organizations, perhaps even the primary one.  But the AIDS HealthCare Foundation is involved in much more than “Our Neighborhood Voices”, as you can see from the link you provided.

          And “Our Neighborhood Voices” is funded by more than the AIDS HealthCare Foundation, per their website:

          Our Neighborhood Voices has received significant donations from individuals and organizations, including the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The initiative is supported by a statewide grassroots coalition of Californians that includes Democrats, Republicans, Independents and voters from every part of the political spectrum. There are five initiative proponents, three of whom are local elected officials, one is an affordable housing advocate, and one is a former city planning commissioner. Our Neighborhood Voices is building a statewide coalition of community advocates, elected officials, and Californians from all walks of life who agree that it is time to restore our voice on local community decisions.

          I’m not seeing any conflict of interest in any of this, though the Wikipedia source suggests one regarding Measure S (in Los Angeles).

          But regardless of the AIDS HealthCare Foundation, I don’t doubt that the folks (primarily) concerned about the state’s efforts consist of communities which are primarily composed of single-family housing. And not all are “wealthy” (e.g., see Elk Grove).

          Part of the problem is that these groups don’t fund politicians’ campaigns. Instead, business interests do.

          This does remind me of conditions which likely spawned Proposition 13. In other words, an outright homeowner revolt against entrenched interests.

        2. Richard_McCann

          Regarding the housing initiatives, critics have questioned whether the group is misusing foundation and taxpayer money by sponsoring ballot initiatives they consider unrelated to the stated mission of the organization

          This seems to violate IRS rules on nonprofits. It’s not clear what AHF’s vision is for solving the housing crisis that it acknowledges exists.

        3. Ron Oertel

          It’s not clear what AHF’s vision is for solving the housing crisis that it acknowledges exists.

          Assuming that you’re defining a “housing crisis” as lack of affordability, AHF is a strong proponent of rent control (per the link that Don provided).  They it supported an effort to overturn Costa Hawkins, as well.

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