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View Diary: Go home, Rick Perry (194 comments)

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  •  Let's not forget that Texas does some things right (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GayHillbilly, Freakinout daily, mkoz

    Obviously, it'd be a billion times better if Republicans weren't in charge of things in Texas. But why do you think it is that Texas has grown so rapidly for decades? Part of the reason is that it's possible to build new housing there.

    Compare that to the Bay Area, which has a whole slew of growth-limiting regulations. San Francisco is obvipously a fantastic place, and tons of people would love to live there. But it's also enormously expensive. Why? Because of the NIMBYs who won't allow for new development, and the regulatory regime that sustains them. So despite being so desirable, SF grew by less than 4% from 2000-2010. I'm happy that Kos gets to enjoy it, but a lot of us couldn't afford to relocate there even if we wanted to.

    And yes, Dallas and Houston sprawl is horrific; but the downtown areas of both cities are thriving with more and more dense and mixed-use and walkable development. And if it's sprawl you're worried about, California is hardly a beacon the hill, anyways...

    •  while it is true NIMBY's can be a problem (9+ / 0-)

      in the city of SF, SF is not the largest city in the Bay Area, and it is only one of many large cities in CA. And it has unique geography, history, and challenges related to housing.

      When I lived in Fremont, a city of over 200,000, there was a ton of development. Housing is too expensive, but if the alternative is paving over every square mile of land, I'm glad folks in the Bay Area have set aside a lot of open space.

      There is a need to allow more taller buildings in the bay area outside of SF, certainly, but the Bay Area wouldn't be necessarily be better off with more pro-growth policies. Look at the valley cities that allowed tons of growth. How are they doing now? People were buying tract homes in Lodi with no idea how they were going to earn a paycheck to pay for them.

      •  Yes. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not saying the whole state should turn into the Inland Empire, or Phoenix or something. Those places have bad development policies too! But allowing densification in urban areas would be good for cities, lower housing prices, help the economy, and allow more people to enjoy the benefits of that ridiculously edenic landscape and climate. San Francisco could easily support hundreds of thousands more people, if not for Nimbyism, and that's even more true for places like Alameda County.

        •  true (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          litho

          but I think the bigger problem is finding a way to encourage taller buildings in Fremont and San Jose. San Francisco has densified itself to epic proportions already.

        •  San Francisco's density is already 16.6k per (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cpresley, bwren

          square mile, second only to NY's 26k in the United States.  Boston and Chicago lag behind at 13k and 12k respectively.

          San Francisco, furthermore, has an incredibly dense feel, especially in neighborhoods like the Mission.  It's a lot of people crammed into a small peninsula, and I'm not certain you really want a whole lot more crammed in there.

          When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

          by litho on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 06:04:56 PM PST

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          •  I wouldn't mind being crammed in there! (0+ / 0-)

            But I doubt the local elected officials in SF are much interested in my views.

            Anyways, if you want to limit the point to Marin and San Mateo and Santa Clara and Alameda, etc., the point still stands.

            •  I hit the goal posts you originally put up (0+ / 0-)

              If you want to keep moving them, that's up to you.

              (And, yeah, I'd love to live in SF too.  I think I'd need to hit the PowerBall to do it, though.  And I don't play...)

              When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

              by litho on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 06:38:07 PM PST

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          •  Chicago (0+ / 0-)

            has greater densities if you were to take the whole northside. There's something like 1.25 million people in 50 square miles from downtown to Evanston. San Fran has something like 49 sq. miles.

            L.A. also has surprising densities that most people don't realize exists. Although L.A. isn't as ped friendly as San Fran or many of the cities in the Northeast.

      •  And many of those folks (5+ / 0-)

        wound up commuting to Silicon Valley anyway -- increasing traffic and pollution along many of the heavier traveled corridors, or personal stress on themselves and their families.

        Mr. Scribe was a bus driver for VTA (the local bus system) for close to 30 years; many of his colleagues bought houses in the Central Valley and would live in RVs during the week parked at the bus yard, returning to their homes on the weekends (or wherever their "weekend" happened to hit, be it Saturday/Sunday or Tuesday/Wednesday). I know of a few divorces that resulted from such a living arrangement, as the defacto single parent at home grew tired of such an arrangement.

        We were content with our 1 bedroom apartment just a short drive from work for him...and now that we're involved with helping his mother, even more happy we're nearby when she needs us. Will we move out of the area when she's finally gone? Possibly -- but it's not a given. One learns to prioritize and make sacrifices when necessary.

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 05:03:44 PM PST

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        •  I knew people like that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrsgoo

          I always rented a small apartment near where I worked. A few years ago I moved to Minnesota, where I now own a place, but back in the Bay Area, I never even considered those crazy commutes. I don't get why people did it.

          I knew people who took those commuter busses from deep in the central valley, getting up at 4am to do it!

          •  It's a little easier now (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            decembersue

            with the ACE (Altamont Commuter Express) trains coming from the Valley to the Valley, but it's still a bit of a trek. And I can see why bus drivers wouldn't want to make the drive to/from home every day when they already spend all day on the road. It's really tough on the family back home -- one of my favorite drivers ended up going through a divorce (he also told me after the divorce he wished I wasn't already married to a work colleague, which freaked me out just a bit...).

            There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

            by Cali Scribe on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 08:03:45 PM PST

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    •  Of course, in San Francisco proper (6+ / 0-)

      you're limited by geography -- I don't see too many proposals to fill in the Bay to add real estate (and considering liquefaction in earthquakes, it wouldn't be advisable anyway -- I was here for Loma Prieta in 1989).

      And the "NIMBYs" are more concerned with responsible growth -- namely taking into account the services that are needed to support said growth. Much of the opposition to development south of San Jose, for example, in the Coyote Valley region was due to the fact that there was zero transit in the area and no plans for expansion...therefore it would have been what I call a "transit dead zone" with the only access being private automobile and accompanying traffic and pollution headaches. (As a non-driver, I'm all too aware of those zones and how they've limited where I can live, work, and play.) Why not make sure the infrastructure is in place first, or will be available in the near future, before beginning a project?

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 04:57:51 PM PST

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      •  Plus Coyote Valley (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stude Dude

        is one of the last remaining agricultural fragments of the Valley of Heart's Delight.  I'd much rather see us build up within the existing borders, than take out the very last of what was some of the best farming land anywhere.

        "Teachers are the enemies of ignorance. If the teachers win, Rush and his allies lose." Stolen from Sidnora, 12/15/12 with thanks!

        by kmoore61 on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 06:24:56 PM PST

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    •  After watching those shows about remodeling (3+ / 0-)

      and Redoing Home Builders and Contractors F-Up's and repairing Homes I got a whole new appreciation for Regulations and strict Building Codes,if the housing in Texas was done with little or no Building Codes&Reg's then heaven help those home-owners for what is behind the Walls and under the Carpets.

      •  You're right about that. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        defluxion10

        I live in suburban Houston.  We have basically no building codes whatsoever.  We put an addition on our house a few years ago.  The contractor didn't need to pull any permits for any of it.  Luckily for us, we custom built our house, so we watched it getting built day by and and know exactly what's in it; plus we were able to add in such niceties as hurricane clips on the roof, energy efficient insulation, etc.

        I would be afraid to buy a house here if I didn't know how it was built.  I hope I never find this out, but I have a feeling if we get a good hurricane blast, my house might be the only one on the block with a roof left on it.

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