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  #151  
Old 02-17-2019, 09:44 PM
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I don't know if you're missing something. We all do things and live a lifestyle that puts our own self interests above those of others. I don't consider paying a premium to eat out rather than cook in and donate the difference to be immoral. Do you? If you don't, then this is simply a difference of degree rather than of kind. Unless a person is at the very bottom of wealth and income, then they are doing the same thing.
I think this is a hell of a twist. In my moral system, it's okay to go out to eat. That's not a big deal. But it's not okay to advocate that government make policy to benefit me and a small, select group of affluent people when that policy would cause harm to pretty much everyone else, and especially struggling people. Just every day, reasonable, common sense morality, IMO.

I'd just ask you to consider that maybe you're rationalizing and twisting morality into knots because it benefits you to do so. Or maybe say something like "yes, this is probably morally wrong, but I'm willing to live with it for the benefit to my family".
  #152  
Old 02-17-2019, 10:00 PM
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It doesn't even rate as morally wrong to me. Not even close. The point I was making is that everyone makes choices to further their own self interests. Almost certainly there is more that everyone could do for the greater good but choose not to because of individual interests.

The money you splurge on a fancy meal, a nicer car, or other personal luxeries could all be used to help those with less. But buying a new car isnt morally wrong. Neither is wanting to preserve a neighborhood value, saftey, and character by opposing 8 story high density rentals next to low density suburban single family homes. To say that the high density rentals are the only moral choice is laughably absurd.
  #153  
Old 02-17-2019, 10:15 PM
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It doesn't even rate as morally wrong to me. Not even close. The point I was making is that everyone makes choices to further their own self interests. Almost certainly there is more that everyone could do for the greater good but choose not to because of individual interests.

The money you splurge on a fancy meal, a nicer car, or other personal luxeries could all be used to help those with less. But buying a new car isnt morally wrong. Neither is wanting to preserve a neighborhood value, saftey, and character by opposing 8 story high density rentals next to low density suburban single family homes. To say that the high density rentals are the only moral choice is laughably absurd.
Oppose any building you want - that's fine with me. It's when you would advocate that local government prevent the free market from working to alleviate shortages, as it would if it was allowed, in very important things like housing, that it gets into "morally wrong" territory.
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  #154  
Old 02-17-2019, 10:24 PM
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So you say that prices can't inflate forever, then I identify inflation (you know, based on the word you chose) then you criticize me say you're not talking about inflation? Right.

Sure cities are delegated entities generally, but the CA constitution has home rule for cities that claim it. On matters of municipal vs. statewide nterest where state law conflicts with city law, then home rule city law prevails. Land use is considered municipal interest generally. Did you know that? You keep making assumptions and so many of them are wrong. I guess, cool story, bro.
Two points you dodged :

Like any reasonable person would understand, when I said housing prices can't rise forever, I was referring to the prices in inflation adjusted dollars. This is the meaning any mentally competent adult, including a supposedly intelligent tech worker, would understand it to be. And that goes to the point you ducked - the reason why high real estate prices are a rat hole for wealth in California - what I refer to as a scam - is that after prices stop increasing in real terms (because rents have risen above what enough potential renters can pay) - it's a bad idea to buy. Because the interest and real estate taxes on that 2 million dollar bungalo are burning away most of the money you make at work, with none of that money going to equity. Or you can choose to rent. Or you can choose to commute. Burn your money or your time, either way it sucks.

The State is (as in, the 50 states) are the sovereign entities named in the Constitution. If a particular state wants to yank municipal control of something, it's 100% legal and normal. Happens all the time in small, corrupt communities for a variety of reasons...

Last edited by SamuelA; 02-17-2019 at 10:25 PM.
  #155  
Old 02-17-2019, 10:38 PM
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As has been said above, unless you care to address the full range of issues, including poverty, public health, environmental costs, the future of the local and national economies, then it seems that your position is profoundly immoral and shortsighted
There are 7.7 billion people on this planet. They can’t all live precisely where they’d wish. Do you want to address the full range of issues that makes that a current fact?
  #156  
Old 02-17-2019, 10:42 PM
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Your contribution to the city, was only possible because some other old codger was forced off his spot to provide the higher density that were then new suburbian homes. It served the greater good, it’s given you and yours a good life and grown the city into what you see today. But now a new generation, changing economy etc, require higher density housing, for the workers required to carry the city into tomorrow.

And you know why your complaints will fall on deaf ears in the end? Because you can afford to move elsewhere! In fact, a world of choices is open to you. Unlike those who require this housing.

At some point in your losing battle it will dawn on you that you represent exactly who they need to drive out of the neighbourhood. If an eight story building does it, that’s a feature, not a bug. You’ve largely made your contribution, being nearer retirement than starting out. You have the means to relocate, and you’ll be made wealthy by the steep rise in property values. Not a position that merits a lot of sympathy exactly.

You just don’t want to see change. Unfortunately I very much doubt you can win this.
  #157  
Old 02-17-2019, 11:15 PM
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I think the answer to your second question is unknowable. The salaries of health care workers and teachers are typically outside the control of residents through their city budget. Municipal workers can get their pay from city coffers, so perhaps the residents there would pay their workers more. But school employees are county funded.
You are wrong. Schools in California are only partially county-funded. A much higher proportion comes from the state:

Quote:
In 2018–19, California public schools received a total of $97.2 billion in funding from three sources: the state (58%), property taxes and other local sources (32%), and the federal government (9%).
So it's not the county but the bad ol' state government that's the main source of funding for your local schools.

Since you're so focused on preserving your property value, this should concern you:

Quote:
Clearly, though, consumer demand is large enough that we can conclude that good schools do increase home values in some measure. Half of the home-buying population is willing to pay more than their intended budget to get into the right school district, and more than half would give up other amenities. Making a decision on buying a home should definitely include an analysis of the school district, even for buyers who don't intend to send children to those schools. Good schools provide stability for a community, and that's good for the property values of everyone who lives nearby.
And things aren't looking so rosy in the Bay Area:

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School districts are having trouble recruiting and retaining teachers. Pay for educators has not kept up with the rising cost of living in the Bay Area and that means many teachers are leaving schools in huge numbers.
The article explains that when a math teacher in one San Mateo school left to take a higher-paying job,
Quote:
The job was posted, but the district had zero applicants
Zero. As in none.

San Mateo, as the article notes, is one of the priciest places to live in the U.S., and teachers there are leaving, just as you suggested people should do when they can't afford to live in pricey neighborhoods. Don't be surprised when some of your property value goes with them.
  #158  
Old 02-17-2019, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Bone View Post

Not from today, but here is an older one from the Mercury news about super commuting:

So are these people being forced, or are they making a choice? I did something similar for a while - a 4+ hour commute each day. I wasn't forced - I made a choice.
That's a false dichotomy. No one is pointing a gun at these people forcing them to commute, but I rather doubt it is a choice they prefer to make. They are forced into it - or strongly pressured - due to economics.
The story today mentioned a person with a business needing a good amount of space. Rental in San Francisco soared, and moving all his stuff was difficult. He could move to Oakland but rents there would increase also, so he moved to Stockton which has abandoned warehouses. It is clear that he felt he had no alternative but to move.
But how soon is Stockton going to get expensive?
  #159  
Old 02-18-2019, 10:19 PM
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Oppose any building you want - that's fine with me. It's when you would advocate that local government prevent the free market from working to alleviate shortages, as it would if it was allowed, in very important things like housing, that it gets into "morally wrong" territory.
Does it surprise you to learn that we don't share the same conception of what is moral? Apparently neither do the many many millions of other people who support local control.

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You are wrong. Schools in California are only partially county-funded. A much higher proportion comes from the state:
You're right. I mistakenly left out the state component. The point I was making is unchanged though - cities don't fund teacher wages.

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Originally Posted by nelliebly View Post
San Mateo, as the article notes, is one of the priciest places to live in the U.S., and teachers there are leaving, just as you suggested people should do when they can't afford to live in pricey neighborhoods. Don't be surprised when some of your property value goes with them.
Perfect. San Mateo and other cities in similar situations will need to make a choice. I'm sure their residents can figure a way to meet the needs of the people that live there. I think they should have that choice. For example, my area chooses to supplement Early Reading Intervention by paying for additional staff through donations to the school. We also provide instructional aids and other class resources. I'm sure San Mateo can figure a way to make do.

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That's a false dichotomy. No one is pointing a gun at these people forcing them to commute, but I rather doubt it is a choice they prefer to make. They are forced into it - or strongly pressured - due to economics.
The story today mentioned a person with a business needing a good amount of space. Rental in San Francisco soared, and moving all his stuff was difficult. He could move to Oakland but rents there would increase also, so he moved to Stockton which has abandoned warehouses. It is clear that he felt he had no alternative but to move.
But how soon is Stockton going to get expensive?
Earlier people were saying that folks like these are forced to travel a long way. Clearly that's not true. There are surely many things that people would prefer to do but cannot due to whatever constraints they live under. I'd prefer a different living situation too - cliffside with no one around for 100 acres. But I can't - due to economics.

***

But bringing this back to something more specific - Minneapolis recently eliminated single family zoning as a way to alleviate limited housing supply. I think it's fine if that city wants to do so. Would people be supportive for a state like CA to force this on all the cities in the state?

Last edited by Bone; 02-18-2019 at 10:20 PM.
  #160  
Old 02-18-2019, 11:33 PM
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Perfect. San Mateo and other cities in similar situations will need to make a choice. I'm sure their residents can figure a way to meet the needs of the people that live there. I think they should have that choice. For example, my area chooses to supplement Early Reading Intervention by paying for additional staff through donations to the school. We also provide instructional aids and other class resources. I'm sure San Mateo can figure a way to make do.
So parents coughed up the money to fund two teachers (or paras) for one year at one school out of the twenty-five in San Mateo. Wow, that's...unimpressive. Also unrealistic.

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Let them eat cake, she said
Just like Marie Antoinette.
Except as I said, your property values are tied to how good the schools are in your area, so you might want to come up with a better solution than a hearty "I'm sure San Mateo can figure out a way to make do."
  #161  
Old 02-18-2019, 11:46 PM
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I mean of course property values have a relationship with quality education. If I didn't have to think about school quality I could probably pay 20 - 30% less for housing. But because I find those things important, I was willing to pay a lot more. And just as the rest of my neighbors and fellow residents in the area, I have a strong interest in maintaining that value.

Predictions of some causitive impact of lack of teachers in a given area pushing home values down seems like a stretch for San Mateo. I'm guessing the dominance of high paying jobs in the area will do quite a bit to overwhelm the impact, if it actually exists.
  #162  
Old 02-19-2019, 02:21 AM
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Please note the utter rejection of the concept that the free market can at all be coercive. That's pretty typical libertarian doctrine, and it's about as sensible as pretending that governments can't be coercive because we vote for them.
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  #163  
Old 02-19-2019, 07:40 AM
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Does it surprise you to learn that we don't share the same conception of what is moral? Apparently neither do the many many millions of other people who support local control.
Of course not. What does surprise me, and what I think probably sets you apart from most supporters of the kind of NIMBYism you're for, is that (if I'm reading you right) you wholly acknowledge that this is very harmful to the less affluent people in your region, while only beneficial to a much smaller number of relatively affluent people, and you're totally fine with this. You value your own comfort/high quality of life (and that of your family) more than avoiding contributing to significant harm to those in your region that are less affluent. I see that as remarkably selfish, at least when you already have a high quality of life and safety, and abandoning this sort of NIMBYism wouldn't significantly harm your ability to maintain a high quality of life and safety.

In other conversations I've had, most NIMBYists insist that this kind of policy doesn't harm anyone except (possibly) rich property developers.
  #164  
Old 02-19-2019, 08:21 AM
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A friend of mine in San Francisco told me today that the failure to increase the housing supply is already starting to kill job growth in the area. “People aren’t happy here and only the richest companies can afford to expand,” he said.

Once that worm turns, property values will stop increasing. Then what?
Companies start moving employees to cheaper areas like Kansas City.

Well maybe not KC but I hear cities in Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico.

And I know of people who turned down good paying tech jobs in SF just because of the high cost of living.

Finally I wonder how many people working in Tech in SF after awhile start looking elsewhere for jobs? I mean yes, living in SF when your a hot shot developer straight out of college and working for the top companies is cool. But 5-10 years down the road when they want to settle down and raise a family - and they are still stuck in a 1 bedroom apartment - wont they look at moving?
  #165  
Old 02-19-2019, 08:30 AM
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This is the relevant question if you are a utilitarian. I am not. The greater good is only one aspect in decision making. I believe you come to your position through thorough thought based on your beliefs. Why don't you believe I could not have done the same?
Wait, my position is utilitarian. And yours is what?

Let's accept your use of the word "right" here for a moment.

Let's posit that we're not talking about a fundamental right that is protected by the U.S. or California constitution.

So, given: a poor person doesn't have a "right" to live in your neighborhood.

However, by the same token, you don't have the "right" to force all your adjoining property owners to maintain their properties like you do--single-family detached housing on a minimum X-acre property with Y percentage of the land being reserved for a manicured grass lawn.

Both of you have the "right" to petition the government to support your preferred desires in terms of housing.

So now it comes down to a matter of determining which policy the government should adopt. Neither side has a trump-card "right" in this matter. So how do you determine which is the better policy?

Your policy makes you and a handful of your neighbors marginally richer in the short term, when they could easily sell up and move somewhere else to preserve their enclave of affluence. At the same time, it subjects the entire community to severe long-term costs.

On the other hand, requiring mixed-economy housing in all neighborhoods benefits the entire community.

Re: Prop 13

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Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
It wasnt a disaster at all, in fact it was really needed and still is. Unless you like people losing their homes due to RE price fluctuations.
Does Prop 13 also prevent them from benefiting from real estate price fluctuations? Or do they get to have their cake and eat it too?
  #166  
Old 02-19-2019, 08:33 AM
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I dont know about the Bay area but I know in some areas they have had to build public housing units for government workers. Everyone from teachers to fire fighters, all living in government subsidized housing. Do they do this in SF?

Aspen and Vail Colorado even have to do this for doctors. The resorts provide housing for workers.

Finally as to quality of public schools, I've seen areas which have tons of income producing property (ex. resorts, hotels, factories) but actually have few people living in them or even fewer families with children (ex. more retirees). The result - awesome public schools and public services (think - newest fire fighting equipment). Branson Missouri with all those theaters and resorts is like this.
  #167  
Old 02-19-2019, 08:51 AM
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There are voluntary arrangements between property owners that could restrict supply, so the restriction of supply itself is not immoral. What is immoral is the use of coercion to restrict supply. This is not a voluntary arrangement as far as I can tell.
  #168  
Old 02-19-2019, 10:16 AM
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It doesn't even rate as morally wrong to me. Not even close. The point I was making is that everyone makes choices to further their own self interests. Almost certainly there is more that everyone could do for the greater good but choose not to because of individual interests.

The money you splurge on a fancy meal, a nicer car, or other personal luxeries could all be used to help those with less. But buying a new car isnt morally wrong. Neither is wanting to preserve a neighborhood value, saftey, and character by opposing 8 story high density rentals next to low density suburban single family homes. To say that the high density rentals are the only moral choice is laughably absurd.
This elides the important distinction between not helping and hurting. Buying a car instead of buying a meal for a starving kid is one thing and going to the kid's house and taking the food off of his plate is different.
The difference is that it is your money to be done with as you like when you buy the car and it is the kids food to do with as he likes when you take it off his plate.

Likewise, in a free society, there is no obligation for you to house people in your home or build apartments on your property. However, when you use the force of law to prevent other people from using their property to build houses or apartment buildings that is when it crosses over to being morally wrong.
  #169  
Old 02-19-2019, 11:44 AM
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I dont know about the Bay area but I know in some areas they have had to build public housing units for government workers. Everyone from teachers to fire fighters, all living in government subsidized housing. Do they do this in SF?
Sometimes they try, but NIMBY push back from those concerned about their home values is indeed real.
  #170  
Old 02-19-2019, 12:21 PM
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So now it comes down to a matter of determining which policy the government should adopt. Neither side has a trump-card "right" in this matter. So how do you determine which is the better policy?

Your policy makes you and a handful of your neighbors marginally richer in the short term, when they could easily sell up and move somewhere else to preserve their enclave of affluence. At the same time, it subjects the entire community to severe long-term costs.

On the other hand, requiring mixed-economy housing in all neighborhoods benefits the entire community.
It only arguably benefits the entire community when measured collectively. But how to determine which policy the government should adopt is by vote. At the local level, most cities vote my way. The whole thread is about the conflict between state and city interests. I'd venture further and say it's even about big city interests vs. small city interests. The issues that places like San Jose and San Mateo face are not the same as the issues that Galt or Placer or Winters have.

Think about the question I posed upthread - would you support efforts of a state to override all local zoning and eliminate single family zones across the entire state?


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Does Prop 13 also prevent them from benefiting from real estate price fluctuations? Or do they get to have their cake and eat it too?
Prop 13 does a few things:
  • It sets the property tax max at 1% of the home's assessed value. There are local taxes that can increase that figure.
  • It caps the amount that the assessed value can increase to 3% per year.
  • Real property can only be reassessed when ownership changes, or when there are real property improvements. The reassessment for improvements only applies to the portion that was improved.

So to answer this question - unrealized price fluctuations would not impact property tax assessments beyond the 3% cap that is allowable under Prop 13. In general assessed values go up the maximum 3% each year and that has been my experience. During the 2008 downturn, assessed values actually declined on a temporary basis in some areas, but based on how the decline was executed it did not reset the baseline so during those years for those properties, when the market picked back up the assessed value subject to the 3% cap was preserved at the higher amounts.

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Finally I wonder how many people working in Tech in SF after awhile start looking elsewhere for jobs? I mean yes, living in SF when your a hot shot developer straight out of college and working for the top companies is cool. But 5-10 years down the road when they want to settle down and raise a family - and they are still stuck in a 1 bedroom apartment - wont they look at moving?
The city of SF is known for this - starting a family is a catalyst for leaving the city for many folks. It's expensive for sure, but the public school system lottery in SF is pretty much shit.
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Old 02-19-2019, 12:32 PM
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This elides the important distinction between not helping and hurting. Buying a car instead of buying a meal for a starving kid is one thing and going to the kid's house and taking the food off of his plate is different.
The difference is that it is your money to be done with as you like when you buy the car and it is the kids food to do with as he likes when you take it off his plate.

Likewise, in a free society, there is no obligation for you to house people in your home or build apartments on your property. However, when you use the force of law to prevent other people from using their property to build houses or apartment buildings that is when it crosses over to being morally wrong.
How about using the force of law to prevent a land owner from building a pig farm complete with a lovely waste lagoon? Or using the force of law to prevent a land owner from disturbing a bird nest?
  #172  
Old 02-19-2019, 01:46 PM
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How about using the force of law to prevent a land owner from building a pig farm complete with a lovely waste lagoon? Or using the force of law to prevent a land owner from disturbing a bird nest?
In this scenario the pig farmer is hurting you directly by putting a smelly waste lagoon next to you. Since the purpose of laws is to stop people from hurting each other I have no problem with nuisance laws to prevent people from being smelly or loud and depriving their neighbors of the enjoyment of their property. Preventing people from disturbing bird nests is generally a bad idea and does not work.
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:49 PM
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In this scenario the pig farmer is hurting you directly by putting a smelly waste lagoon next to you. Since the purpose of laws is to stop people from hurting each other I have no problem with nuisance laws to prevent people from being smelly or loud and depriving their neighbors of the enjoyment of their property. Preventing people from disturbing bird nests is generally a bad idea and does not work.
How about a 50 story, residential building that puts you in a perpetual shadow?
  #174  
Old 02-19-2019, 01:52 PM
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Companies start moving employees to cheaper areas like Kansas City.

Well maybe not KC but I hear cities in Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico.

And I know of people who turned down good paying tech jobs in SF just because of the high cost of living.

Finally I wonder how many people working in Tech in SF after awhile start looking elsewhere for jobs? I mean yes, living in SF when your a hot shot developer straight out of college and working for the top companies is cool. But 5-10 years down the road when they want to settle down and raise a family - and they are still stuck in a 1 bedroom apartment - wont they look at moving?
From the Mercury News, September 2018
Quote:
For the first time in its history, the Bay Area has more than 4 million jobs, powered by a continuing economic boom in the nine-county region that in August produced the most robust month for hiring in more than two years, state labor reports revealed Friday.

“It’s a great milestone for the Bay Area to reach 4 million jobs,” said Robert Kleinhenz. economist and executive director of research for Beacon Economics. “Growth in the Bay Area has been fed, and continues to be fed, by the technology.
If this "job loss" keeps going, no one around here will be able to move during commute time. Which seems to start around 5 am.
  #175  
Old 02-19-2019, 07:09 PM
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Likewise, in a free society, there is no obligation for you to house people in your home or build apartments on your property. However, when you use the force of law to prevent other people from using their property to build houses or apartment buildings that is when it crosses over to being morally wrong.
I won't say this is morally wrong. Like Bone says, it's about city vs state vs national interests.

At the state and national levels, we want all 4 million of those people working in San Jose to have a place to live for affordable prices. In fact, if we increase density, you would expect for far more new jobs to be created. This is because of the network effect - software companies feed off each other and apparently proximity (so skilled specialists are a shared resource) is important.

And we know what the next phase is. Ever increasing power of software, replacing billions of human performed jobs with ever more sophisticated AI solutions. (probably the half that are most repetitive though some of these jobs are not blue collar).

You're going to need a massive development center to do this. From a national level, it makes sense to do what China did and basically create an equivalent to Shenzhen for software.

At the local levels, people own property and they want it to get more valuable. Anything increasing supply decreases the value of their own plot, or so they see it.

In reality this isn't quite so simple. Hypothetical question : what if SF started allowing mixed use residential/commercial buildings...everywhere. No height limit, 50 stories is fine.

In the short term, people like Bone would say this decreases the value of their own plot because 50+ stories means 50+ apartment/condos fit in the space that 1 house occupied before.

But the resulting economic boom would probably cause even more people to flood to SF. And occupy the new space. And create a demand for even more 50 story buildings.

Imagine if you owned a plot a house is on where they want to build the equivalent of the Sears tower. You could sell it for a lot of money, right? Probably millions, easily.
  #176  
Old 02-19-2019, 08:56 PM
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One quick addendum to my post above: I meant to say state and federal governments want all 4 million people living in San Jose to have a place to live (and work) for efficient prices. This doesn't mean affordable.

This is a major point of divergence between my view and the views by many liberal activists in California.

Efficient means the cost of the living and work space costs what it actually costs to build and maintain the structure containing that space, plus the cost of infrastructure like roads and utilities, plus the cost of public goods a government has to provide for it to work(schools, healthcare, police, etc), plus a small free market profit. (the profit margin that you get in equilibrium when you have many buyers and many sellers, it tends to be small, about 5-10%)

Without artificial cost inflators. So there should be no unreasonable building codes or other government restrictions, density should increase to the density that the economics demand.

It doesn't mean the prices would be cheap - skyscraper space is about $300 a square foot to build in the USA. People working low end jobs would not be able to afford to live in as big a place as they could afford elsewhere in the U.S. (in the South, houses in the suburbs are commonly sold for under $100 a square foot)
  #177  
Old 02-19-2019, 09:52 PM
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Hypothetical question : what if SF started allowing mixed use residential/commercial buildings...everywhere. No height limit, 50 stories is fine.

In the short term, people like Bone would say this decreases the value of their own plot because 50+ stories means 50+ apartment/condos fit in the space that 1 house occupied before.

But the resulting economic boom would probably cause even more people to flood to SF. And occupy the new space. And create a demand for even more 50 story buildings.

Imagine if you owned a plot a house is on where they want to build the equivalent of the Sears tower. You could sell it for a lot of money, right? Probably millions, easily.
But it would no longer be "San Francisco". From a libertarian standpoint, you could just keep adding building until it's such a shitty place that no-one one wants to live there. Then they will move to someplace like Portland and ruin it.
  #178  
Old 02-20-2019, 04:37 AM
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How long before they build on Alcatraz?
  #179  
Old 02-20-2019, 08:46 AM
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How about a 50 story, residential building that puts you in a perpetual shadow?
I think if you want to have sunlight all day then you should have to pay for it by buying the adjoining land.
In reality tall residential buildings are not built in residential areas because the lack of transportation means that those types of buildings need to be either put in a walkable area, or in a location that is near a mass transit hub. What would actually get built is smaller apartments buildings with plenty of space around them for parking. The huge apartment buildings would be restricted to areas very close to the urban centers.

Do you want to ask about every scenario or argue from principles. Obviously every choice has tradeoffs. I acknowledge that if you get rid of zoning laws occasionally someone will build a bad building and annoy neighbors. Also some neighborhoods will change. However, in return millions of people will benefit from living closer to work and the country as a whole will benefit from the economic growth.
Will you acknowledge that zoning laws hurt the environment, the young, the poor, and the economy? In exchange for making the life of the richest people on the planet slightly better?
  #180  
Old 02-20-2019, 09:07 AM
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But it would no longer be "San Francisco". From a libertarian standpoint, you could just keep adding building until it's such a shitty place that no-one one wants to live there. Then they will move to someplace like Portland and ruin it.
San Francisco has changed a ton over the years. When the Marina Districy was flattened in 1991, did the city stop being San Francisco? When the Transamerica Pyramid was built in the 1970s, did the city stop being San Francisco? When the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges were built, did the city stop being San Francisco?

Would you say that the real Manhattan was the pre-$27 in beads era?

Life is change. San Franciscans need to get over it.
  #181  
Old 02-20-2019, 10:20 AM
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But it would no longer be "San Francisco". From a libertarian standpoint, you could just keep adding building until it's such a shitty place that no-one one wants to live there. Then they will move to someplace like Portland and ruin it.
That's not really how a process would work. The character of San Francisco would change but it would remain a highly desirable place to live assuming competent policies. Like NYC. People only don't move to NYC because there is no room - probably most of the population would be living there if we had the technology to make a true mega-city. (The limiting factors become crime and transit when you imagine a city growing from 10 million residents to 100-300 million)
  #182  
Old 02-20-2019, 10:21 AM
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I think if you want to have sunlight all day then you should have to pay for it by buying the adjoining land.
In reality tall residential buildings are not built in residential areas because the lack of transportation means that those types of buildings need to be either put in a walkable area, or in a location that is near a mass transit hub. What would actually get built is smaller apartments buildings with plenty of space around them for parking. The huge apartment buildings would be restricted to areas very close to the urban centers.

Do you want to ask about every scenario or argue from principles. Obviously every choice has tradeoffs. I acknowledge that if you get rid of zoning laws occasionally someone will build a bad building and annoy neighbors. Also some neighborhoods will change. However, in return millions of people will benefit from living closer to work and the country as a whole will benefit from the economic growth.
Will you acknowledge that zoning laws hurt the environment, the young, the poor, and the economy? In exchange for making the life of the richest people on the planet slightly better?
I’m fine with zoning laws, borders, national parks, national forests and other land use restrictions.
  #183  
Old 02-20-2019, 10:43 AM
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I think if you want to have sunlight all day then you should have to pay for it by buying the adjoining land.
In reality tall residential buildings are not built in residential areas because the lack of transportation means that those types of buildings need to be either put in a walkable area, or in a location that is near a mass transit hub. What would actually get built is smaller apartments buildings with plenty of space around them for parking. The huge apartment buildings would be restricted to areas very close to the urban centers.

Do you want to ask about every scenario or argue from principles. Obviously every choice has tradeoffs. I acknowledge that if you get rid of zoning laws occasionally someone will build a bad building and annoy neighbors. Also some neighborhoods will change. However, in return millions of people will benefit from living closer to work and the country as a whole will benefit from the economic growth.
Will you acknowledge that zoning laws hurt the environment, the young, the poor, and the economy? In exchange for making the life of the richest people on the planet slightly better?
Smaller apartments will not be built with plenty of space around them for parking. CA Density Bonus Law sees to that. Parking requirements get waived if a developer can build a super dense project. And besides, I thought you were against zoning that required parking spaces? Although, even Houston who you hold out as having no zoning has fairly restrictive parking requirements.

I don't live in the city of SF proper. I personally hate going into the city and avoid it whenever possible. My focus is in the outlying cities, most of which are small in comparison. Bedroom communities and suburbs where people raise families. These aren't places that are in the thick of the action like Cupertino (which has a fairly restrictive track record on housing). These are hardly the richest people on the planet. In comparison to the rest of the country, or probably even the rest of the state, there is no doubt that these are people who are fairly comfortable.

For the people who are truly wealthy, then zoning and increasing density has little impact on them because they can afford larger properties, etc. But the two income family who has to work to make a mortgage payment, who's largest and only real investment is their home, who is basically house poor paying over 30-40% of their income in housing costs but choose to do so because they want a better life for their kids - those are the people that stand to lose when the 8 story high density apartment complex comes in to the bedroom community.
  #184  
Old 02-20-2019, 12:55 PM
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Here's the thing. your house is not valuable because of the house on the property. It is valuable because of the land it sits on. The land is valuable because many people want to live in the area, but the number of people who want to live in your home is much, much smaller.

I've seen it around here, where housing prices get inflated, then all it takes is a couple of foreclosures or short sales, and then you have unsold housing inventory in your neighborhood. People really want to live in your area, but they don't want to pay a couple million for a house. Banks don't typically let you have a mortgage payment greater than 30% of your income, no matter how much you tell them that you'll suck it up and pay them. They know that defaults go up quite substantially at those earning to paying ratios. No one who can afford to live in your house will want to, and anyone who wants to will not be able to afford it.

Those wealthier than you have no interest in your home or property, and those who are of the same or lessor means than you have no access to purchase your home or property.

Once you have a few unsellable houses in your neighborhood, your house is unsellable too. Your property value will plummet, and if you find yourself needing to move, you will take a loss. Your whole neighborhood will be underwater, and will be begging to sell to a developer that wants to put a high rise in where your house is now.

Your actual best self interest would be to work towards lifting these zoning restrictions, because then your land becomes far more valuable. Instead of trying to find someone to pay millions of dollars for it, we are instead looking for dozens or hundreds of people to pay hundreds of thousands each for it.

Your house is not worth anything. The materials and labor that went into it are a tiny fraction of your property's value. If someone puts in a 50 story high rise next to your house, that would lower the value of your house as a house, but it would increase the value of your property, as it is not the house, it is not the structure that accommodates a single family, that gives your property value. In fact, it is that structure that limits the value your property could have.
  #185  
Old 02-20-2019, 09:52 PM
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San Francisco has changed a ton over the years. When the Marina Districy was flattened in 1991, did the city stop being San Francisco? When the Transamerica Pyramid was built in the 1970s, did the city stop being San Francisco? When the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges were built, did the city stop being San Francisco?

Would you say that the real Manhattan was the pre-$27 in beads era?

Life is change. San Franciscans need to get over it.
I think it was when the Transamerica Pyramid was built. You mention"San Franciscans", I think that gets to the issue. How much of the development is by San Franciscans vs outside interests just looking for money. To me, the people living, working, paying taxes, and trying to improve their community should have more power than outsiders.

If you look at Portland, the people there have tried to maintain it as a livable city. There are neighborhoods that are desirable to live in because personal morality and public policy have tried to preserve their character. Should moneyed interests be able to come in, tear down a bunch of single family houses, and erect apartment building that look as though they could be anywhere in the world? The developers are benefitting from the fact that people before them have been unwilling to just chase money. If you tear down the houses on a block near me you lower my quality of life. Now it may be that my property value goes up because I could sell to another developer (or develop it myself), but where do I move to when the entire country is nothing but cookie-cutter cities?

We choose to preserve unique places of interest like the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone. Santa Fe has restrictive building requirements to maintain its character. I think that is a good thing.

How do we draw the line? Always a good question.

Last edited by Batano; 02-20-2019 at 09:52 PM.
  #186  
Old 02-20-2019, 09:55 PM
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Your actual best self interest would be to work towards lifting these zoning restrictions, because then your land becomes far more valuable.
If you define self interest in the narrowest of terms. It was in my personal interest to sell my child, too. He was pretty cute, couldla got a good price.
  #187  
Old 02-21-2019, 09:55 AM
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I’m fine with zoning laws, borders, national parks, national forests and other land use restrictions.
I got that, do you acknowledge the costs of those policies and who bears those costs?
  #188  
Old 02-21-2019, 10:22 AM
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If you define self interest in the narrowest of terms. It was in my personal interest to sell my child, too. He was pretty cute, couldla got a good price.
Yes, but I am not defining in the nearrowest of terms, and I am also not advocating for illegal activity.
  #189  
Old 02-21-2019, 10:23 AM
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Smaller apartments will not be built with plenty of space around them for parking. CA Density Bonus Law sees to that. Parking requirements get waived if a developer can build a super dense project. And besides, I thought you were against zoning that required parking spaces? Although, even Houston who you hold out as having no zoning has fairly restrictive parking requirements.

I don't live in the city of SF proper. I personally hate going into the city and avoid it whenever possible. My focus is in the outlying cities, most of which are small in comparison. Bedroom communities and suburbs where people raise families. These aren't places that are in the thick of the action like Cupertino (which has a fairly restrictive track record on housing). These are hardly the richest people on the planet. In comparison to the rest of the country, or probably even the rest of the state, there is no doubt that these are people who are fairly comfortable.

For the people who are truly wealthy, then zoning and increasing density has little impact on them because they can afford larger properties, etc. But the two income family who has to work to make a mortgage payment, who's largest and only real investment is their home, who is basically house poor paying over 30-40% of their income in housing costs but choose to do so because they want a better life for their kids - those are the people that stand to lose when the 8 story high density apartment complex comes in to the bedroom community.
Small apartment complexes will have parking because the market will demand it. The natural way for cities to grow is to have a densely packed urban core and around it progressively less dense suburbs with density only occurring near mass transit hubs. What building restrictions do is to push people away from the city core. Thus SF's zoning laws make people want to live in the bedroom communities. By trying to overturn all of the areas building restrictions it will make the communities further out safer from change.

People living in San Francisco suburbs are definitely some of the richest people on the planet. All of them have average household income well above the $32,400 that allows them to be in the top 1% worldwide.

The people who are house poor would be better off in an area where housing prices are not skyrocketing. What sense does it make to trap another generation of people in a cycle where they have to scrimp and save in order to find a place to live, where they have to spend extra hours commuting to work, and can't afford actual investments because all of their money is tied up in their house and they never get to enjoy it?
  #190  
Old 02-21-2019, 11:01 AM
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I got that, do you acknowledge the costs of those policies and who bears those costs?
Yes. And for the most part I don’t have an issue with political entities making decisions in their proper realm. If a city wants low density I don’t see a problem with that.
  #191  
Old 02-21-2019, 11:12 AM
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Small apartment complexes will have parking because the market will demand it. The natural way for cities to grow is to have a densely packed urban core and around it progressively less dense suburbs with density only occurring near mass transit hubs. What building restrictions do is to push people away from the city core. Thus SF's zoning laws make people want to live in the bedroom communities. By trying to overturn all of the areas building restrictions it will make the communities further out safer from change.
First you have to define "small". But second, no. The market will not demand parking. For example, voters in SF just eliminated the requirement. Also, are you aware of the CA Density Bonus law? It allows reductions in parking requirements by right if certain density thresholds are met. This doesn't apply to just dense cities, it applies statewide.

I personally don't give two shits what SF city does with their zoning. If they think that's best for them, great. My objection are state mandates that force the smaller outlying cities to increase density, overriding local control against the wishes of the vast vast majority of people who live there.

Quote:
The people who are house poor would be better off in an area where housing prices are not skyrocketing. What sense does it make to trap another generation of people in a cycle where they have to scrimp and save in order to find a place to live, where they have to spend extra hours commuting to work, and can't afford actual investments because all of their money is tied up in their house and they never get to enjoy it?
Who cares if they would be better off. I don't presume to know what's better for people more than they know themselves. These folks choose to live where they do for a reason and if they think it's worth it, I'll believe them. If people think they would be better off somewhere else, great they should go there.
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