Posts Tagged ‘john avalos’

Uh Oh, Now There’s ANOTHER Lawsuit Against the City: Small Property Owners vs. the “Nonconforming Unit Ordinance”

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Man, San Francisco sure seems to be getting sued a lot by property owners a lot these days.

Get used to it, 2014′s going to be a bumpy ride.

To wit:

“January 29, 2014 

SMALL PROPERTY OWNERS OF SAN FRANCISCO FILE LAWSUIT TO BLOCK LAW

New Ordinance Would Discriminate Against Families Who Move Into Their Own Buildings 

SAN FRANCISCO, Tuesday, January 28, 2014 – Today, the Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute filed a lawsuit challenging Supervisor John Avalos’ Nonconforming Unit Ordinance on the grounds that the ordinance violates state law and fails to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The Nonconforming Unit Ordinance would legalize the practice of renovating and expanding “nonconforming units.” Nonconforming units are “grandfathered” residential units that exceed local zoning laws’ density limits. Controversially, the ordinance would also discriminate against nonconforming units that have been the subject of lawful “no-fault” evictions, which are allowed under state and local law. Such units would be denied building permits for up to 10 years following a lawful eviction – even for regular maintenance and minor repairs. Property owners would also be barred from rebuilding their units after a fire or earthquake.

“This legislation punishes families who move into their own buildings,” stated Noni Richen, president of the Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute (SPOSFI). “It could cause thousands of lawful housing units to sit vacant while the City denies permits for basic upkeep. Given the current housing shortage, this is unconscionable.”

“As we have shown again and again, we will not allow the City to violate property rights with these illegal schemes,” stated Andrew M. Zacks, SPOSFI’s attorney. “The state’s Ellis Act prohibits this kind of discrimination against lawful evictions. Moreover, cities are required to evaluate a new ordinance’s environmental impacts under CEQA. This legislation was rushed through without proper review.”

Nonconforming units are different from “in-law” units, which are generally unpermitted and illegal. For example, a permitted third unit on a parcel zoned for two units is considered a nonconforming unit. The City Planning Department’s Information and Analysis Group estimates that approximately 52,000 units in the city are nonconforming, comprising some 14% of the city’s housing stock.

A copy of the Nonconforming Unit Ordinance is available at http://zulpc.com/small-property-owners-file-suit-to-block-discriminatory-law/.

The Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute (“SPOSFI”) is a California nonprofit corporation. SPOSFI advocates for the Small Property Owners of San Francisco, a nonprofit organization that works to promote and preserve home ownership in San Francisco. Its focus is to protect the rights of small property owners and foster opportunities for first-time home buyers. SPOSFI members range from young families to the elderly on fixed incomes, and its membership cuts across all racial, ethnic, and socio-economic strata. Its members include San Francisco residents who own nonconforming residential units in San Francisco.

Zacks & Freedman, P.C. is a law firm dedicated to advocating for the rights of property owners. With experience and knowledge in rent control issues, zoning, permitting, transactional disputes and other real estate matters, Zacks & Freedman, P.C. has successfully advocated its clients’ positions before local administrative tribunals and at all levels of the State and Federal courts.

Uh Oh, Now There’s a Lawsuit Against the City for Recent Ellis Act Legislation – SFAA & realtors Fighting Us

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Read it and weep, San Francisco. We’re getting sued:

“For Immediate Release, January 29, 2014:

San Francisco Housing Associations File Lawsuit to Block Anti-Family Legislation

San Francisco – On Tuesday January 28, 2014, the San Francisco Apartment Association, Coalition for Better Housing and the San Francisco Association of REALTORS® filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of legislation known as the Avalos Ellis Act and Merger Prohibition Legislation.

 The legislation was passed by the Board of Supervisors and signed into law by Mayor Ed Lee in violation of building owners’ rights under the state law known as the Ellis Act.

 The legislation prohibits owners of multi-unit buildings from combining units in a building for ten years following an Ellis Act eviction or for five years following an owner-move in eviction.

 On a practical level, the legislation prevents families who own a building from creating a home that meets their needs. For example, the legislation prevents a family from combining two small units into a larger one to provide a home for a growing family. Couples with young children often find themselves in need of additional space they did not anticipate when they purchased a rental building, yet the legislation punishes them.

 Only 2 percent of new housing built in San Francisco since 2001 are single-family homes that provide adequate space for families, often with multiple generations living together. Lack of adequate housing to meet the needs of families has contributed San Francisco losing 5,278 people younger than 18 between 2000 and 2010, according to the census.

 “The San Francisco Association of REALTORS® supports the rights of private property owners for the free use of their property as their needs suit them.  This legislation only exacerbates the problems families face in finding adequate housing and drives out the families that have created the diversity we want and celebrate in our city,” said Walt Baczkowski, CEO of the San Francisco Association of Realtors.

 Because so few single family homes are being constructed, families rely on improving buildings they own, including tenancies in common to add living space. This legislation prohibits them from creating the home they need in a building they own.

 “Families are fleeing San Francisco due to a multitude of reasons that include a lack of adequate space for growing families that often include multiple generations. This legislation exacerbates that problem by punishing and limiting options for families who simply seek to create a home that meets the needs of their family,” stated Janan New, Executive Director of the San Francisco Apartment Association. “This legislation punishes hard working families, while doing little to protect renters.”

 The lawsuit states that the legislation is pre-empted by state law known as the Ellis Act, which allows building owners to take a building off the rental market and convert those units to condominiums or single -family homes. Under the law, building owners are already required to give occupants up to one year advance notice and provide relocation fees of $5,210 per tenant, up to a maximum of $15,632, plus $3,473 additional for tenants who are senior or disabled.

 “My clients are seeking relief from this just-passed legislation which unfairly takes away the right of individuals and families who simply want to create a home for themselves and their family in a building they own,” stated Jim Parrinello, attorney for the plaintiffs.

Here’s the Latest Controversial SFMTA MUNI Bus Ad: “THIS IS ISLAMIC APARTHEID” – Uh, You’re Losing This Game, SFMTA

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Via the District 5 Blog comes the news

On It Goes

All the deets:

“After months of procrastination and dhimmitude, the San Francisco MTA finally posted our Islamic apartheid ads on city buses (above are the first of the pics). They have been running the libelous “Israel is an apartheid state” ad without hesitation (or substantiation), mind you. I, on the other hand, had to provide numerous links and references to back up my ads. Why me and not them? Because I was stating fact, but the Jew-haters were merely expressing their opinion. You can’t make this stuff up, folks.

San Francisco turned over the revenue from our ads to Muslim groups to study the effect AFDI ads had on the Muslim community, I kid you not. But they kept the revenue from the Jew-hatred ads.

We will educate the American people despite the difficulty, despite the obstacles.”

Click to expand

OMG, New “Leap Transit” Bus is a Replacement for the MUNI 30X – It’s $6 to Ride the Marina Express One-Way to Financh

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

[UPDATE: Kevin Montgomery of Uptown Almanac reacts.]

[UPDATE II: The Twitter-stream of one @kylekirchhoff just went private. C'mon, Bro! You gotta engage with the peeps. Today is your big day. It's not that incrimernating, is it? Bro discusses how much he doesn't like Twitter, McAfee Antivirus Inc, and how many people got shot on a MUNI #14 last year. You know, all the usual stuff. But I'll tell you, withdrawing from Web 2.0 is what criminales do, right? You're just a bro with a bus. Nothing wrong with that.]

[UPDATE III: Aaron Sankin of Huffington Post San Francisco weighs in.]

[UPDATE IV: And now Ellen Huet of the San Francisco Chronicle:

John Avalos, a supervisor who has fought against private companies use of Muni stops, called Kirchhoff’s comments “very disingenuous.”

“What a crock of s—,” Avalos said. “How does blocking a Muni stop make the city more efficient? You’re trying to make money, and you’re creating a two-tiered transportation system in San Francisco.”]

I’ll tell you, I’ve been waiting years for a MUNI alternative to pop up and look, it’s here.

Now I’m not talking about the corporate buses (like Google, Apple, FaceBook and so on) that have been around for a decade or so, and I’m not talking about Uber, Lyft, Sidecar and the like and I’m not even talking about the private version of the taxpayer-subsidized Twitter Express, the 83X.

No no. I’m talking about Leap Transit duplicating the unpopular MUNI Marina Express 30x with a private shuttle bus that costs $6 one-way.

It looks like this, as seen just yesterday:

Via Gregg Meyer

Here’s what the site looks like:

See that? The bus comes with WiFi and leather seats, but they cost three times as much as MUNI. And I’m supposing you and your wheelchair would be better off on MUNI, just a guess. And, oh yes,  you pretty much need an Apple iPhone (or as close an iOS device as possible) to climb aboard.

Now you’d think the MSM would be all over this new company, but no. So far, Leap has escaped notice, except from this bloke called  from Down Under. (Uh, he’s _not_ a fan. I haven’t seen a booting like this since Bart vs. Australia)

“This little blue bus symbolises everything that is wrong with the current bubble and boom of internet startup culture. It’s in San Francisco. It belongs to Leap Transit. And, on May 13, this “better bus” — OMFG, it has leather seats and wi-fi! — began operating as part of what’s billed as a “shuttle service for San Francisco commuters.”

Bonus bon mot:

“This socialized [x] is slow and unprofitable. Let’s start a [x] for rich people that pays its employees less.”

Leave there be no doubt, Leap Transit is a wannabe MUNI disrupter. See?

So far, reaction around town has been mixed.

To wit:

connie hwong ‏@crh17h This has come to my attention: a $6 shuttle from the Marina to SOMA, with leather seats & wifi. Seriously, SF?”

Check it:

I don’t know, if the 30X just passed you by ’cause it’s raining and you see a Leap bus coming at you and you have an iPhone and you’re already signed up, well then Leap just might be worth the six bucks.

A 28-year-old white man wants you to ride his technicolor submarine.

Will you?

All the deets:

Hey SFMTA! Why Not “Complete” Polk Street All the Way to Grove and Eliminate These Parking Spaces in Front of City Hall?

Friday, April 26th, 2013

OMG, would you look at this?

I mean check out all these deadly, beastly automobiles parked on Polk, the very same street that the SFMTA is trying to “complete” don’t you know:

Click to expand

I know, why don’t you take out all these spaces and replace them with a separated bike lane or something, SFMTA?

After all, Transit First, right?

Oh, what’s that? These are the spaces that the Board of Supervisors and their aides park in for free every day so that’s where you just happened to end your campaign of completion?

But don’t you care about safety, SFMTA?

Mmmmm….

“This project seeks to implement aesthetic and safety improvements for all users of Polk Street between McAllister and Union Streets. In accordance with the City’s Transit First policy, improvements will primarily be focused on people who walk, use transit and ride a bicycle along Polk Street. The project is funded by Proposition B General Obligation Bonds and is part of an overall citywide effort to curb pedestrian and bicycle collisions and to provide a safe north-south connection for people on bicycles. Pedestrian and bicyclist collision and injury data on Polk Street point to a corridor in need of safety improvements for all those who share the road. In fact, the southern portion from Sacramento to McAllister Streets is part of the 5% of San Francisco streets that have more than half of the City’s most severe pedestrian collisions.”

Speaking of Offensive MUNI Bus Ads, Check Out This Campaign from San Francisco’s DAVID CLAY JEWELERS

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Add this one to the list of crimes from DAVID KAY JEWELERS:

“You won’t get jealous when your friend gets the newer smaller version”

Click to expand

(Oh, and BTW, the offensive ad here isn’t “anti-gay” not at all.

To say so is ignorant.

But it is anti other things, I’ll grant you that.)

In closing, diamonds are horrible. Get anything else but a diamond. People will figure this out soon enough and the worthless piece of rock on your finger will be even more worthless a couple decades from now.

And more importantly, it will be seen by others as worthless.

Oh well.

Why is George Gascon the Point Man for Islamophobia, His Afghanistan Yemen Problem? Plus a New LGBT Ad

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Ah, let’s see here, is District Attorney George Gascon going to be on the Today Show like today?

SF District Attorney George Gascon will be on the Today show Monday am re: Islamophobic Ads on MUNI. Stay tuned!… http://fb.me/10hSSRRFR  ”

Could be (but I’ll never know ’cause I only have a rabbit ear antenna and, oddly, there’s no NBC affiliate in my tiny town, nor in the county, nor in any of the neighboring counties and I’ll be damned if the Comcast monopoly is going to get $100 per month out of me for basic cable.)

Anyway, leave us review, let’s travel all the way back to ought-ten:

SF Police Chief George Gascon’s HATE CRIME act against Yemenis

OPINION: SFPD Chief’s apology did not address culturally insensitive mentality

So now in 2013, George Gascon sees a chance to make amends with all sorts of different groups by being the point man on SFGov’s anti-MUNI bus ad campaign?

Sure looks that way. See the press release below.

Hey, is George Gascon running for Mayor of San Francisco, you know, down the road?

Maybe. (All he needs to do is clear up his case of foot-in-mouth disease by 2017 or whatever.)

Fin.

New topic.

Are new ads coming to MUNI buses?

Check it:

Is this ad Islamophobic and is the City Family going hold another news conference? I don’t know. You tell me.

What I do know is that maybe the MyJihad campaign isn’t going so hot.

Oh, and the next big terrorism incident we’re going to run into will be due to a white American dude, most likely, just saying, GC. I’m srsly.

On It Goes…

District Attorney, Board President Chiu, and City Leaders Denounce Islamophobic MUNI Ads
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2013

Contact: Stephanie Ong Stillman, DA Gascón’s Office
ADA Alex Bastian, DA Gascón’s Office

SAN FRANCISO – Today, District Attorney George Gascón, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, and Supervisors John Avalos, London Breed, Malia Cohen, Jane Kim, Scott Wiener, Norman Yee held a press conference to denounce Islamophobic and racist advertisements by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) scheduled to run on MUNI buses today.

“These offensive ads serve no other purpose than to denigrate our city’s Arab and Muslim communities,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “When any community in San Francisco is attacked, it affects all of us. I and the city leaders standing with me today are exercising our free speech rights in condemning these ads and standing with the Arab and Muslim communities of San Francisco.”

“Hate has no place in our City,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “San Francisco is a city that celebrates its diversity, and hateful speech and discrimination against our Arab and Muslim communities will never be tolerated.”

“Our respect for free speech does not mean we allow hateful speech to go unchallenged,” said Board President David Chiu. “As a former civil rights attorney, I’m proud to stand with our Arab and Muslim American families to send a united message that San Francisco embraces diversity and tolerance, not hate and bigotry.”

AFDI’s founder Pamela Geller has been deemed an anti-Muslim hate extremist by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In August of 2012, San Franciscans were outraged over AFDI advertisements on MUNI that referred to Arabs and Muslims as “savages.” Arab and Muslim community leaders say the new advertisements are even more offensive as they wrongly suggest that all Muslims are defined by extremism and violence, and baselessly target Arab and Muslim San Franciscans who make invaluable contributions to the city’s life and culture.

Supervisor David Chiu is introducing a resolution to condemn the Islamophobic and racist MUNI Ads at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting. In response, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority will dedicate the proceeds from the offensive advertisements to fund a city-wide study on the impact of discrimination on Arab and Muslim communities. City leaders have met with Council on American-Islamic Relations – San Francisco Bay Area, Asian Law Caucus, the Ramallah Club, the Arab Cultural Center, churches and mosques to discuss targeting of vulnerable communities and the city’s commitment to protecting and standing with those communities.”

The Simpsons had a Monorail, We have the America’s Cup: “Benefits” Slashed 90% from $10 Billion

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Oh, no no no no no. The original estimate of the “economic benefits” (whatever the Hell that amorphous amorphism means) of the 34th America’s Cup was $9.9 B-as-in-boy billion.

Check it:

So that means that the supposed “benefits” of AC34 have dropped more than 90% as the costs continue to rise.

This mounting scandal is the talk of the town - it’ll be on Forum at 9:00 AM:

“America’s Cup organizers are falling short in their efforts to raise private donations to help pay for the cost of bringing the America’s Cup sailing competition to San Francisco — and that could leave the city on the hook for about $20 million. The Board of Supervisors holds hearings Wednesday to discuss the shortfall. Supporters say even without all of the promised private funds, the city still benefits financially from hosting the America’s Cup.

Host: Michael Krasny 

Guests:

  • Jane Sullivan, city spokesperson for the America’s Cup
  • John Avalos, San Francisco supervisor representing District 11″

In closing, fuck you, you deadbeat Larry Ellison.

And here’s the news from last year:

I understand that Mayor Ed Lee has a cheerleading function as a part of his job. Fine.

But what’s this? What the Hell?

“We expect to have some 500,000 people on a daily basis…” 

Just take a look on the YouTube, at around 9:30 and, mind you, this is AFTER everything blew up and people started realizing that the 2013 America’s Cup won’t be anywhere near as popular as advertised:

So, does Ed Lee actually believe that there’s a chance that the America’s Cup will attract anything close to a half million people “on a daily basis?”

No he does not.

So why does he say it?

Mmmm…

Now, speaking of cheerleading, @olivaglobal is the dude who was hired by the San Francisco Chronicle to promote the America’s Cup over the next 1.5 years. Here he goes:

That est was only for final match wknd. Rainy Tues est is 10K-20K LOL. Srsly look at plan.” 

So what’s the estimate, for real, for the crowd size on a off day during the AC? Appears as if these two AC34 cheerleaders are out of sync.

Now, speaking of studies, what the Hell is The America’s Cup: Economic Impacts of a Match on San Francisco Bay?Is it the “Independent Study” what everybody cites as proof of how great the AC is going to be?

I think it is!

Let’s take a look at the first line:

“The America’s Cup is the world’s third-largest sporting competition, after the Olympics and soccer’s World Cup.”

Here it is in the flesh:

So, let’s think about this here. I guess the bullshit Bay Area Council Economic Institute (BACEI) organization is allowing that the Summer Olympics and the World Cup just might possibly be bigger than an America’s Cup. But what about the Winter Olympics? Oh, and what about the Super Bowl?

Who actually believes that the America’s Cup, that thing where half the staff just got laid off and NBC needs to be paid in order to broadcast, is actually going to be bigger than a Super Bowl?

Nobody.

Not even the cheerleaders.

So why do they say these kinds of things?

All right here’s one more from the messed-up study what’s going to cost the taxpayers of San Francisco tens of millions of dollars. It discusses, and I’m srlsy, the “fleet of super yachts” what are going to be attracted to the bay area due to the America’s Cup, and then it talks about how much money we’re going to make by gassing them up and Windexing the shiny parts and stuff like that.

I’m srsly.

These cheerleaders are members of a modern day Cargo Cult and we’re all along for the ride.

And oh, we’re going to get the Golden State Warriors without funding the stadium at Piers 30-32? All right, so why then are we funding Larry Ellison’s ego trip of a boat race? Why are we allowing Him to get away with this?

I know not.

Screw the America’s Cup.

The world’s most popular sport may be soccer, but in cold, hard dollars, nobody throws a party like the National Football League.

• 1. Super Bowl

• 2. Summer Olympics

• 3. FIFA World Cup

• 4. Daytona 500

• 5. Rose Bowl

• 6. NCAA Men’s Final Four

• 7. Winter Olympics Games

• 8. Kentucky Derby

• 9. World Series

• 10. NBA Finals”

Big Skate: Skateboard Trade Group Attacks Supervisor John Avalos Over His Concerns re: Mountain Dew Tour

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Hey, remember that whole sit / lie deal in Haight Ashbury? Well, the people behind the sit lie initiative are the same people behind the “San Francisco Skateboarding Association” and this new press release.

Enjoy:

“Skateboard Group Condemns Supervisor for Criticism of Free Civic Center Event

The San Francisco Skateboarding Association had strong words for a San Francisco Supervisor critical of the skateboard and BMX contest held in the Civic Center Plaza this weekend. The event is free and open to the public.

“By publicly condemning the Mountain Dew Tour in their inaugural year in SF, Supervisor John Avalos continued a practice perfected by our parents’ generation of elected leaders: bash skateboarders and deny us access to public spaces in San Francisco,” said Bryan Hornbeck, President of the SF Skateboard Association.

In the mid-80’s San Francisco became the birthplace of a worldwide phenomenon known as “streetstyle” skateboarding, where skaters utilize man made structures to express themselves* in ways no architect ever imagined. The Dew Tour brings professional athletes from around the world to compete in a world-class skatepark. Local riders also get to participate. On Sunday, the skatepark will be open to the public for a community skate session.

San Francisco is also home to Thrasher Magazine, an internationally recognized skateboard publication and several high profile skateboard companies and retail establishments. The Dew Tour at Civic Center is seen as an economic boon to the San Francisco skateboard industry that employs hundreds of people, mostly under the age of 30.

“To us, this is the Super Bowl of skateboarding. Our store has seen a huge amount of traffic for the past two weeks because of the Dew Tour. This helps our business, which in turn helps our employees. Maybe Supervisor Avalos is upset that they took away his parking space in front of City Hall, but it’s a small price to pay for promoting our industry to the world,” said Kent Uyehara, owner of FTC Skateboard Shop on Haight St.

Organizers of the event say that thousands of hotel rooms have been booked for the participants and their families and that the event is being streamed and broadcast on network television to millions worldwide.

The S.F.S.A. seeks to advocate for skateboarders of San Francisco through organized representation and community action. The S.F.S.A. wants to improve the public’s perception of skateboarders through education, information distribution and community outreach with a focus on the creation of public skateboard parks for the youth of our great city. http://sfskateboarding.wordpress.com/”

OK fine.

Oh, what’t this, Central Freeway skate park? Rly? Hey, what about a Central Subway skate park – I’d like to see that.

*Now I’ll tell you, I don’t know if the BOMA people would approve of this…

Supervisor John Avalos Throws Down: Regulation of the Google Bus is Coming – Legislation for Corporate Shuttles

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Here’s the news:

“Supervisor Avalos Moves to Regulate Private Shuttle Stops

San Francisco, CA – Today San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos requested that the City Attorney draft legislation to create a permit process to regulate shuttle stops for private employer shuttles in San Francisco.

The number of private shuttles on San Francisco streets has increased dramatically in recent years. The San Francisco Transportation Authority reports that there are approximately 36,000 one-way trips per day taken on private shuttles. These shuttles stop at over 200 different locations in the City. There are currently no regulations governing the locations of these shuttle stops. The majority of these stops are using Muni curb zones, which is currently illegal and impacts Muni service.

“I appreciate how private shuttles help reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions,” Supervisor Avalos said, “but their rapid growth makes it clear that we need sensible City policy to prevent this from growing into an unregulated Wild West era of shuttles competing with Muni for curb space.”

As a member of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s Mobile Source Committee, Supervisor Avalos recognizes that private shuttles are becoming an important part of the City’s transportation and environmental policies.

Despite their benefits, private shuttles present challenges that the City must manage. In addition to delaying Muni service, these shuttles increase the wear and tear on City streets and impact neighborhood’s quality of life. As chair of the Public Safety Committee Supervisor Avalos says, “I recognize the need to address the safety hazards posed by large, double-decker shuttle buses navigating narrow and hilly City streets.” Less direct impacts, such as the dramatic increase in housing costs near shuttle stops, also warrant study.

Supervisor Avalos is encouraged by the work of the Transportation Authority’s San Francisco Integrated Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Partnership Project in coordination with the Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA), the Planning Department, the Department of the Environment, and the shuttle operators. He looks forward to working with all of these groups to develop a comprehensive City policy to foster additional growth in private shuttles while minimizing their adverse impacts.”

Now here’s how we handled things a half decade back, or at least here’s how Supervisor Bevan Dufty handled the NIMBYs of Noe Valley back in 2007. (I think he was holding a photo of a Google Bus but I never saw the photo any closer.)

On It Goes…

PS: MUNI sucks.