Monday, December 15, 2014

High Density "Transit Oriented Development" in Bay Park and Linda Vista

I haven't looked at the ongoing process of amending the city's community plans to comply with SB 375 in a while, but the whole process moves slowly; prior posts on the subject can be viewed here.  The more I read about the sausage making of the process to amend the community plans the more my head hurts.  Apparently it's an arcane process intended to bore opponents to death and allow insiders and city staff to dominate the process.  Understand The Plan is a great resource if you are willing to dive into these details.

Currently the opponents of the 60 foot height limit are planning to propose amendments that would impose a 30 foot limit in Linda Vista near the proposed trolley station at Tecolote Road as well Green Area Ratio requirements to reduce the density of development.  These proposals will compete with planning department proposals that will go before the city council.  It's ironic that green initiatives that require open space are in conflict with green initiatives to increase  urban density to increase mass-transit ridership.

What is not clear is how the City Council will vote regardless of community pressure.  The city could certainly face lawsuits if it doesn't do enough to comply with SB 375.  This is how sclerosis sets into government.  There are so many competing requirements and mandates that eventually nothing can be done, but even doing nothing results in costly lawsuits.  I can envision a future where all city fundings is used in lawsuits because no local governmental action is possible due to laws passed in Sacramento.

It doesn't appear that the subject will come to a city council vote until January 2016 according to the planning document posted on the Understand the Plan site, but I can't find any confirming evidence that this process won't get on a faster timeline with developers waiting to make money on the zoning changes.

It's worth remembering that this whole process is somehow linked to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  I defy anyone to prove the building of high-rises along Morena Blvd will result in so much as one less ounce of carbon emissions.

What You Should Be Reading

  • Dalrock, because he shreds the fantasy that is feminism which resulted in the utterly, completely false UVA rape story. "It wasn’t just Erdely who fell in love with this perfect story.  Feminists across the media fell in love with the fantasy story as well."
  • My twitter feed, because I don't blog much anymore.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Death and Taxes and Eric Garner

The death of Eric Garner has struck a chord in a way that Michael Brown's did not.  For one thing, there is video evidence lacking in the Michael Brown.

The outrage over the tactics used to arrest a man for selling untaxed cigarettes has provoked outrage.  Further outrage ensued when a Grand Jury failed to indict, just as in the Michael Brown case.  But there are some big differences in these two cases.  Michael Brown credibly committed a crime against persons before his encounter with the police.  Further, there is evidence that Brown put the life of officer Wilson in danger.  From this video, we see that Garner was no such threat to the police.

We also have to ask why the police feel that they have to enforce tax policy?  Even if Garner was in fact selling smokes illegally, why can't you give him a ticket and a fine?  Why the arrest?  What the hell is going on that the police have literally become the health police in New York.

The answer is that this the ultimate enforcement power of government.  We should be careful about what we make illegal, because government has the force of arms to kill us to comply.  This is why the individual mandate in Obamacare is so pernicious.  I can easily imagine a scenario where someone dies as federal agents attempt to seize assets for non-payment of the health care penalty.  Gives new meaning to the term "Death Panels."