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FROM THE SOURCE:
Q&A with Adrian Covert of Bay Area Council and Ari King of SG Real Estate
How does Measure AA protect communities along the coast from future potential flooding? Does the threat of coastal flooding mean more developers and city officials will seek to build apartments and housing in cities and create more high-density areas in cities due to California climate change?
Vast portions of the Bay Area are at, below, or barely above sea level, and are protected by antiquated levees built decades ago for salt production, or no levee at all. Measure AA will improve flood protection along the San Francisco Bay shoreline by building new levees and restoring wetlands. It’s unclear what the long term consequences of sea level rise will be on development in California. Today, California’s environmental policies are schizophrenic. One the one hand, California has set ambitious carbon reduction and clean energy goals. On the other hand, CEQA incentivizes suburban sprawl over infill development, making it far more difficult to bring down carbon emissions and water consumption than it otherwise could be. In addition, CEQA is making it impossible for the state to meet its housing demand, which drives up prices and drives middle class Californians to other states, such as Texas, where per capita emissions are much higher.
Measure AA is being funded by a $12 per year parcel tax. Does that tax apply to current owners and those looking to purchase property in the future in the Bay Area in the 20 year period that the measure is extended through? Who/what determines county/city priority if it is for all 9 Bay Area Counties?
Measure AA’s $12 parcel tax applies to every parcel in the Bay Area over the next 20 years, whether purchased now or later. Project proponents, whether cities, counties, NGOs, or private developers, will need to submit proposals to the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority to be considered for funding.
As we all know, more and more people are moving to the Bay Area, how does common-sense regulations over San Francisco’s growing commuter shuttle system work for the average apartment renter or Bay Area renters living near public transportation/in a high density area? What common-sense regulations should apartment renters and developers/property owners know?
San Francisco’s commuter shuttles have brought huge traffic and pollution benefits to the Bay Area. According to SFMTA, the shuttle system eliminates 2 million single passenger car trips, and 2,000 metric tons of carbon every year. About 10,000 San Franciscans rely on shuttles to get to work or school, and they’re less likely to own cars than other San Franciscans. Residents should know the congestion and air quality benefits of shuttles, and that if they believe a shuttle is using curb space inappropriately, they can report the shuttle to SFMTA using the identification placard on the shuttle’s front and rear. For developers, it could be argued that proximity to a shuttle stop justifies reducing minimum mandatory parking spaces in new developments.
We are officially out of the drought but what should apartment renters in the Bay Area be aware of in regards to water conservation and consumption? Very easy for folks to turn on their faucet and flush their toilet without knowing where the water comes from, goes, and the importance of it. Especially in an apartment building for college graduates where things are out of sight, out of mind.
The winter rains have provided a temporary reprieve from a problem that remains unsolved, which is that California uses more water than is replenished by nature in all but the wettest years. The imbalance between water supply and demand is depleting California’s aquifers, sinking our farmland, and driving native fisheries into extinction. Apartments are the most water efficient types of housing, and cities and state law should encourage high density developments for that reason alone. For the apartment dwellers themselves, I recommend spending some time on your local water agency’s website, where you can learn ways to further reduce your water use, and learn about where your water comes from. As a bonus, you might even find some cool new outdoor activities, since protected watersheds often feature seldom used hiking trails.
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