Efforts to limit pollution by building housing near transit centers meet stiff resistance

Over the past dozen years, the California environmental lobby has never seemed more powerful in the Legislature and in state government. Under Govs. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown, the Golden State has passed bold laws and emerged as the global leader in government efforts to combat climate change – with Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom certain to continue this tradition.

But a bracing report from the California Air Resources Board shows that environmentalists’ clout can’t shake the complete control that NIMBYs have over local planning in most of the state – to the detriment of the environment. It found that a 2008 state law – Senate Bill 375 – had been an abject failure. The law requires the state’s 18 regional intergovernmental agencies to push to put new housing near transit stations and to add new transportation options so as to decrease pollution from vehicle commuting.

Not only are three out of four workers still commuting alone to work, carpooling and transit ridership are down. As a result, vehicle greenhouse gas emissions have actually risen in recent years – and the decline from 2007-2011 seems likely to have been a function of the Great Recession, not the state push to reduce emissions associated with climate change.

The air board sees no chance that the SB375 goal of reducing statewide vehicle emissions 10 percent by 2020 will be met.

The report was met with dismay by environmental groups and journalists concerned with progress against climate change. The most common response to the air board’s finding was the call for the Legislature to take more steps to limit the ability of local governments to block projects that met certain criteria – starting with being near transit stations.

69% of Californians want local control of housing

But the appetite of state lawmakers to take on NIMBYs may be limited in the wake of new evidence that NIMBYism isn’t just espoused by activists who see every new housing project as detrimental to quality of life. Instead, it’s a core belief of state residents. A USC Dornsrife/Los Angeles Times survey released in October showed 69 percent of Californians preferred local control of housing decision-making.

And the fate of a bill to reduce local control over housing showed that even poor people – those who in theory would be most helped by adding housing stock, which likely would push down sky-high rents – are skeptical.

Senate Bill 827, by Sen. Scott Weiner, D-San Francisco, would have made it much easier to build four- or five-story apartment buildings within a half-mile of transit centers. The prospect of apartment buildings springing up in poor neighborhoods with single-family homes – such as in the Los Angeles County cities of Inglewood and Carson – led to an outraged reaction from 36 housing and transit “justice groups” led by the Alliance for Community Transit – Los Angeles (ACT-LA). Instead of seeing the bill as leading to cheaper housing, these groups saw it as likely to lead to home renters being ousted in favor of more lucrative apartment buildings, and to new waves of gentrification.

The opposition to Weiner’s bill from activists and from local governments – including every member of the Los Angeles City Council – was so intense that SB827 died at its first committee hearing in April.

Weiner has since met with ACT-LA leaders and other activists and plans to reintroduce SB827 next year with provisions that address concerns that poor neighborhoods would be upended by much laxer housing rules. But such provisions could end up leading to trading old rules giving local governments power to limit construction for new rules with similar effects.

27 comments

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  1. CorpGov.net
    CorpGov.net 3 December, 2018, 12:44

    Let’s get it passed. No room for NIMBY on climate.

    Reply this comment
    • ricky65
      ricky65 4 December, 2018, 09:03

      Yeah, right. Another climate jihadist.
      We jihadists will not stop our war against carbon until ALL the wealth of the poor and middle class has been transferred to the wealthy and globalist elite.

      Reply this comment
      • CorpGov.net
        CorpGov.net 4 December, 2018, 11:28

        So, you don’t believe the climate is being changed by burning carbon?

        Reply this comment
        • ricky65
          ricky65 4 December, 2018, 15:50

          No. And hardly anybody else who has looked at the failed models, rigged data, wildly wrong predictions or actually has brains enough to look past the hysterics at the real facts of climate change.
          Hint: it starts with the sun. See also Maunder minimums, historical records of alternating warm and cold cycles in a completely predictable cycle.

          Reply this comment
          • Ted Steele, Climate Scientist
            Ted Steele, Climate Scientist 5 December, 2018, 13:58

            Oh Lord Ricky—- your a top cult sheep? I thought you were a bit smarter than the other boomers? Science is too spooky for you? Or do you just like denial and conspicuous consumption. No mind—- science wins in the end little buddy!

          • Dr. Ted Steele
            Dr. Ted Steele 10 December, 2018, 17:16

            LMAO Ricky— You toss out googled crap about sun spot cycle history and Maunder like YOU know something about climate science and that 97% of climate PhD’s don’t? LOL No wonder youre a Trumpaloopa doomer!

  2. Rob Anderson
    Rob Anderson 3 December, 2018, 13:34

    Gee, I wonder why local governments and populations don’t want the State of California to eliminate local control of how and where to build new housing? After all, state government officials like Wiener know what’s best for everyone, right?

    Reply this comment
    • CorpGov.net
      CorpGov.net 3 December, 2018, 13:41

      Clearly a case of “although dense housing is good for the environment” I don’t want it near me. That leads to suburban sprawl. Sometimes higher level government needs to override locals… like providing civil rights where denied.

      Reply this comment
      • Sean
        Sean 4 December, 2018, 08:57

        The problem is that in many cases like Los Angeles, you have older homes built in the 40’s through the 60’s where the rent is not exorbitant, particularly for people that have lived there a long time. Even though you might get 5x the population density in newly built high-rise apartments or condos, the cost of that new construction will be expensive as will the rents. So the issue is not the environment its gentrification. The people who live there will likely be forced out and while property owners may make decent money selling their real estate, the renters will be forced to move without compensation and end up paying higher rents. It seems those who are not well off often pay dearly for privilege of saving the environment.

        Reply this comment
        • CorpGov.net
          CorpGov.net 4 December, 2018, 11:23

          If they “have older home” it should be no problem. Their property will be more valuable. If they rent, yes, rents may go up but, if there is no rent control, their rent may be raised because lack of housing drives prices up. If there is rent control, that will discourage further building.

          Reply this comment
          • Sean
            Sean 4 December, 2018, 13:47

            Consider what has happened in South Los Angeles in the name of mass transit. First of all, it’s a poor area so many people are already riding the bus. When they wanted to build a transit rail line from Santa Monica to Downtown LA, they took money meant for bus service and gave it to the people building the rail line. So people who HAD the ride the bus saw their transit options decline so an expensive rail could be built to give the more wealthy west Angelinos the OPTION to ride the rails. The bus riders had to sue to get the funding reinstated for their buses. For those that can afford to drive in that area, gas costs $1 more per gallon than the rest of the nation. That’s likely a hit of $600 a year and for someone whose low middle class hourly worker, that’s a lot of money. And these same people pay 50% more per KW-hr than the rest of the country for electricity because of the renewable mandates. And as far as renters vs. owners. LA has the highest percentage of renters in any metropolitan area. The message to someone who is a lower income worker is simple, get out, there is a better class of people that can be attracted with amenities put in place in the name of the environment.

  3. Queeg
    Queeg 4 December, 2018, 09:49

    comrades………..

    the State has no answers. relax. never will.

    Reply this comment
  4. CorpGov.net
    CorpGov.net 4 December, 2018, 14:50

    Sean – Sounds like a problem that has nothing to do with this legislation.

    Reply this comment
    • Sean
      Sean 4 December, 2018, 16:04

      The unintended consequences of legislation is the real problem. California has highest poverty rate in the nation when cost of living is factored in. Lower middle class and middle class residents are forced to flee the state as are young families. Making the environment priority 1 has pushed these costs even higher. There is plenty of money in the state but the high costs imposed on middle class residents and young families should be the focus on housing development, which may include higher density, high rise housing rather trying to solve a esoteric problem, that even if framed right, the impacts won’t be detectable in people’s lifetime.

      Reply this comment
  5. Ted Steele, Rector
    Ted Steele, Rector 5 December, 2018, 14:07

    Doomer clowns! Attention!

    You don’t need to post on this one.

    We all know you’re afraid of science, Love the cult of trump, enjoy the crazy town no science bubble etc. We will all just presume you’ve posted and that you’ve echoed posted your usual skree of GED Fox-Rush “dull-normal” anti science pro gibberish nonsense.

    Thank you for your sweetly faked attention and please enjoy the Mueller evidence which will be revealed shortly.

    The Ted System

    Reply this comment
    • ricky65
      ricky65 6 December, 2018, 08:54

      Oh, come on,Teddy. Now you may be high priest of the church of climate doom, but even you cannot believe the ridiculous predictions of the recent so-called climate assessment. The problem with the alarmist doomer’s predictions is now have the benefit of decades of time to see whether they have been proven true or not.
      Result? Totally wrong. Polar caps are still there and increasing. Seychelles Islands not underwater. Polar bear population increased from 10K to over 25K in the last 30 years. Still snow on Mt Kilimanjaro and so on.
      And the predictive computer modeling by the climate doomers has been proven wildly wrong- 95%, in fact.
      You can tell the climate house of cards is about to collapse by the ever more hysterical, (and laughable) claims of doom and gloom. You can
      also tell the end is near when they claim “the science is settled..”? What kind of science is that? If the science was settled we’d still be sailing off the edge of a flat earth and the sun would be revolving around the earth. Those were ‘settled’ science issues in their day also.
      I’ll start believing climate jihadists when the biggest proponents of the scam start acting like it’s real and give up their private jets, mansions and multi-vacation homes around the planet.
      But it’s nice to welcome you as CWD’s latest and greatest ‘doomer.’
      Teddy Steele-High Priest of Fear and Loathing!

      Reply this comment
      • Theo. Z. Steele--- Godhead
        Theo. Z. Steele--- Godhead 6 December, 2018, 11:51

        Ricky tacky—-

        Im trying to help you little buddy- again— for future reference, The Ted System does not read your long winded goofy posts. There is just no time.

        Once the Ted reads your 3rd false or goofy alt fact in any post, well, I’m done. So save your very valuable doomer time! Post short pithy and true responses only when replying to the Ted System.

        In you latest post I stopped reading after your goofy Seychelles comment. Please note, that is in line 4 of your wacky missive. Look at all the time you just wasted.
        You could’ve used that time to be a job creator, or read the Bible, or watch Fox, you know, your happy places.

        Please try harder.

        The Ted System

        Reply this comment
        • ricky65
          ricky65 6 December, 2018, 21:05

          For newbies to CWD, FYI …Because he was a former government servant (?) the Ted system is as follows: Get on the government retirement tit and stay on it.
          But Teddie: This short attention span problem (Attention Deficit Disorder?) could have been something you contracted from your former students whose minds you polluted. They say insanity is hereditary, you catch it from your kids. So it is possible that’s your problem.Trouble is in your case you’re the insane one and it appears you spread it to our youth instead.
          This could be a possible subject for your hopelessly corrupt IPCC jihadist ‘scientists’ to explore and actually do some useful work for a change.
          Meanwhile check with your loyal toadies, Uly & Queeg for some doomer special rusty trailers out of the rental yard in beautiful Hemet.
          I understand Portland and Seattle are excellent choices for demented left wing doomers such as yourself.
          Beware of Baby and Vicious though. I understand they are sh– eating dogs.

          Reply this comment
          • TTTtttted Steele
            TTTtttted Steele 8 December, 2018, 11:33

            little ricky!

            Gov Servant? OHHHHHH if you only knew!!!!

            And once again—- WAAAAAY to long and dull of a post little buddy! I stopped reading in the first graph—- sorry little buddy!

    • ricky65
      ricky65 8 December, 2018, 17:28

      I believe you meant: Ted Steele-Rectum.

      Reply this comment
  6. Nick Prophy
    Nick Prophy 7 December, 2018, 05:14

    Ricky, The posters you got hooked in by are the same person.

    Reply this comment
    • ricky65
      ricky65 7 December, 2018, 21:46

      Wow! Your thinking is 3 dimensional while I’m still struggling with 2D.
      It had never occurred to me Ted & his loyal toadies could be one and the same person. Such different writing styles possibly threw me off.
      Yet the complimentary boot licking comments should have been my clue. Dr. Demento needs slavish praise from is loyal slaves to feed his oversized ego. It all fits together. The three faces of Ted revealed! Thanks for your insight!

      Reply this comment
    • Ted EMI Studios Steele
      Ted EMI Studios Steele 8 December, 2018, 11:35

      Oh my Nicky-

      We are all the same person?

      Kinda funny– I remember years ago when OCobserver and the old crew out here ran with that rumor…..zzzzz….have fun!

      I am you as she is he and we are all together…..Paul is the Walrus…

      Reply this comment
  7. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 7 December, 2018, 08:45

    Climate Change.

    Queen Elizabeth had to deal with the economics of northern England’s mini ice age….. so…. it triggered risky exploration to the west in search of food stuffs and minerals.

    American Indians got ripped off…..so….keep up the drum beats….who gets ripped off big time…NEXT .

    Reply this comment
  8. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 10 December, 2018, 10:30

    Teddy

    Ricky reminds us of that groupon chit clipping, Adelanto troll Skippy or the insane goose stepper Eck or those miserable Oregon carpetbaggers. Your work eradicating is so valuable.

    Reply this comment
  9. ricky65
    ricky65 11 December, 2018, 08:40

    Tedulygueeg- I knew you had advanced Alzheimer’s disease. Talking to one’s self is a classic sign of progression.
    Hello?… still remember me?..Hey, it’s Ricky, your friend.

    Reply this comment

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Chris Reed

Chris Reed

Chris Reed is a regular contributor to Cal Watchdog. Reed is an editorial writer for U-T San Diego. Before joining the U-T in July 2005, he was the opinion-page columns editor and wrote the featured weekly Unspin column for The Orange County Register. Reed was on the national board of the Association of Opinion Page Editors from 2003-2005. From 2000 to 2005, Reed made more than 100 appearances as a featured news analyst on Los Angeles-area National Public Radio affiliate KPCC-FM. From 1990 to 1998, Reed was an editor, metro columnist and film critic at the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in Ontario. Reed has a political science degree from the University of Hawaii (Hilo campus), where he edited the student newspaper, the Vulcan News, his senior year. He is on Twitter: @chrisreed99.

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