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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Housing proponents push to eliminate single-family zoning

Uploaded: Apr 8, 2021
There’s growing pressure from housing advocates to limit or eliminate single-family zoning in communities across California.
Both Berkeley and Sacramento have enacted ordinances that permit up to four units per lot in single family neighborhoods. It’s an approach that its advocates hope will result in more housing production and reduce upward price pressure.
Of course, it runs smack in the face of why homeowners like the suburban neighborhoods here and throughout the East Bay. It also runs directly counter to what people were seeking during the pandemic. Prices soared in the suburbs, whether here in the Tri-Valley, or in the broader Sacramento area or in San Joaquin County, as city dwellers fled in search of yards and space.
Part of it is demographics as millennials who have driven the city-centric lifestyle and pricing in San Francisco over the last decade are now ready to buy homes and have families. Add in the pandemic, low inventory and the market continues to soar.
And California built fewer homes last year than the year before despite construction being considered necessary. One of Gov. Newsom’s bold goals was building 3.5 million new units by 2025—he’s falling dismally short. There already are several bills in the Legislature in Sacramento aimed at increasing the number of dwelling units. Those plans include high density buildings around transit hubs such as the BART stations. It would be problematic around the ACE station in Pleasanton, while Livermore already has some higher density near its ACE stop.
These plans assume that post-pandemic companies will expect workers back in the office daily and traffic volumes will soar and drive people back to mass transit. Car volumes over the Bay Bridge have increased, primarily single-passenger cars as people avoid BART and other mass transit.
Given the soaring office vacancy rate in San Francisco, it’s questionable whether the volume of jobs will return to the city. The San Francisco Business Times reported Wednesday on a CBRE study that put the vacancy rate at 19.7%, the second record-breaking quarter in a row. Space available for sublet increased by 1.5 million square feet to 9.5 million square feet, about 45% of the available space.
The report noted that demand by tenants increased by 740,000 square feet, the best number since the pandemic began more than a year ago.
Some companies, such as Twitter, already have embraced an all-remote work force. Others, such as Wells Fargo announced they expected workers back in the office as of Sept. 1.
It’s anyone’s guess as to what happens in the next year, let alone the next five years.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Lahommed, a resident of Dublin,
on Apr 8, 2021 at 10:33 am

Lahommed is a registered user.

More housing but no water? We have had drought and restrictions because of our water table. Yet they want more growth ? Traffic and jobs are issues that still are not fully addressed but city councils and mayors want more growth? Why? money corruption and what's in it for them not what is best for the valley! Politicians are the cancer in America deal with that directly And you will see America thrive! If not then remain in critical status as we are currently.

Posted by keeknlinda, a resident of Vintage Hills,
on Apr 8, 2021 at 11:56 am

keeknlinda is a registered user.

Lahommed, we keep hearing about all this purported corruption on the part of city councils mayors with absolutely no evidence or examples of just how they are getting rich from developing their cities. They either have day jobs or are retired from a variety of careers. The stipend they receive for attending meetings is meager at best. Argue against housing if you must, but stop the unfounded innuendo about people who have chosen to serve this community being corrupt! It just isn't so!

Posted by Jake Waters, a resident of Birdland,
on Apr 8, 2021 at 1:46 pm

Jake Waters is a registered user.

Remember, the Mayor is a Democrat, and their is a Biden playbook to enter the suburbs with more low income housing. I'm sure the DNC has sent out their marching orders. BTW, how is that Costco project coming along? The Mayor never spoke a word about it in her address. Is it toast? Just if asking for the overwhelming citizens that voted for it. Sorry Tim for going off point on the last one.

Posted by DublinMike, a resident of Dublin,
on Apr 9, 2021 at 8:44 am

DublinMike is a registered user.

New housing is bringing in people that do not live in the area. The house across from us has had four owners, all from outside the Tri-Valley. That's adding to growth, and certainly not affordable regardless. BTW. the three previous owners all moved outside of the Tri-Valley. Congestion was one of the key reasons.

Water is an issue and has to be addressed.

Jake, I am not sure what other news sources you read or watch, but local mayors DO NOT take their marching orders from DNC. That's bunch of far right garbage.

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