We are experiencing an acute housing shortage, especially in affordable rental apartments. Rents are going up and people are financially stressed. People who can’t afford the high rents live in their cars, become homeless or leave the state.
Developers that build apartments are unjustly demonized for replacing the poor and low income people. Critics call it “gentrification.” But what is to be done? The typical answer we hear is “It’s a complicated problem.” Complicated or not complicated we need more multistory, multiunit apartments.
Cities should waive impact fees for apartment builders. Cities also should waive on-site parking requirements. Let the developer decide how many, if any, parking spots he needs to have for his apartment project.
Cities should expand mixed-use occupancy zones. Gradually, the supply of new apartments will meet and exceed the demand and rents will stabilize and may even come down.
We should not forget that environmental degradation, car dependency and traffic jams, air pollution and waste of city budget is caused by a hundred-year-old model. To promote the same old suburban housing developments and encourage people to buy single-family detached houses and punish apartment builders with high fees is like kicking the can down the road. But this can has nowhere to go because now all cities are experiencing affordable housing shortages.
Residents of the Burbank/Glendale area and beyond who are shocked and outraged at the number of states that are suddenly passing draconian anti-abortion laws need not feel helplessly far away here in California, where such laws could never be enacted.
People who support a woman’s right to choose her own personal reproductive options and not be dictated to by an oppressive government can start organizing to demand that the film studios in our community step up and boycott states that enact laws affecting millions of women’s healthcare rights and stop investing money there.
We have major film studios in our midst such as Warner Bros., Disney and Universal that can pick and choose locations to make their big budget movies. Picket lines outside corporate offices would be noticed and the studios would have to respond to the local pressure or risk alienating their audiences.
Who knew parking on my own front lawn was illegal, carrying the punishment of a $48 fine? Other houses have vehicles on lawns and one collector of mini farm tractors a few blocks south has four or so potential tickets waiting.
I paid up right away. I know ignorance of the law is no excuse, but it seems like an invasive kind of legal ground to come on private property to ticket a vehicle. I have been getting estimates to widen my driveway and one can only hope this will make it legal to park two vehicles side by side in my property! Live and learn.