Meet in the middle! So says this writer for Fortune, calling on the tech industry to make an effort avoid turning Silicon valley into a “tech monoculture” while also denouncing San Francisco’s perpetually slow planning process. I assume his word limit kept him from elucidating what, exactly, such a collaborative effort to dismantle the planning processes and rent control (?) should look like.
The New York Times also chimed in on the ongoing debate between build-baby-build and 100-percent-affordable-or-nothing, with this thoughtful profile of the San Francisco Bay Area Renters Federation and its movement.
Business Insider is sending a bit of a mixed message on the housing front. On one hand, it reports that the effects of San Francisco’s housing market are…I believe the technical term is cray-cray? The effects of the crazy housing market it lists include old news like people living on tech company parking lots in trucks and RVs, the pod guy, and ridiculously priced shared rooms.
The listicle also says San Francisco “was” having a hard time finding teachers as a result of the crisis. At the risk of being overly sensitive to semantics… was? I seem to remember teachers “working to rule” in protest (meaning working only the hours they are paid for) and marching to 24th and Mission streets this whole week, and I don’t think they marched because they are stoked about their salaries. More on that coming soon.
Business Insider also has some stories saying that home prices just fell for the first time in years and that the condo boom is turning into a bust. So, um, make of that what you will. It seems none of us media folks can quite decide whether we’re heading into a bust or not. Though that certainly is not stopping us from writing about it…
Okay, but back to crappy living conditions that come from this housing disaster (like pod guy). In a city full of rent-controlled residents in old buildings, maintenance is a serious issue, and the Board of Supervisors has passed code enforcement streamlining legislation proposed by Supervisor Scott Wiener.
The legislation makes the enforcement process uniform across four different city departments (Fire, Planning, Public Health and Building Inspection). It also gives the city the power to yank a problem landlord’s permits until whatever persistent problem is fixed, and sets up a loan fund so landlords can get the money they might need to fix those problems.
Another part of the legislation is that the City Attorney now has the power to go after scofflaw landlords. Before, all they could do was file suit when another department referred a case to them – something that can take months or even years under the current process.
We’ll have to see how this plays out, and whether it will actually make landlords act faster to correct problems.
On to the recap of local business openings and closings:
Chino, the shuttered 16th and Guerrero joint has reinvented itself as a Mexican joint. With a Quesoburguesa on the menu, which strikes me as oddly onomatopoetic for the sound you must make when you try to talk with a bite of it in your mouth.
Speaking of bites, I have to eat my words about not being able to discover what’s going on at Foodhall on 16th and Valencia, because InsideScoop did exactly that, as did Eater. It’ll be a Euro-inspired market/deli/indoor farmers market type deal, which the owner says is not supposed to come off as elitist or exclusive. Judging by Eater’s headline “Bougie Food Hall Named Foodhall To Gentrify 16th Street,” some remain unconvinced.