Saturday, October 18, 2008

What? the Chronicle and I agree?

The Chronicle and I rarely agree these days, they support neighborhood groups to be super-powerful too much, but they also said vote NO on Proposition 2. They explain perfectly why this proposition has no business amending our city charter. It has been mis-represented by its supporters and if you want a clear explanation of what Prop 2 is, visit the Chronicle's endorsement page.

Just a taste of one of the more awful things the Proposition will do:
"Voters need to clearly understand that this amendment will not affect only the Domain. With some exemptions, it would eliminate incentives – including, for example, affordable housing buy-down grants – for any project that includes a retail component. Used well, incentives of various kinds have been a valuable tool for positively shaping developer behavior and mixed-use projects. Yet the full amendment (not visible on the ballot) would broadly "restrict the use or expenditure of tax revenues or other resources of the city to provide subsidies, financial benefits or advantages for development of real property that includes one or more Retail Uses" (emphasis added) – whatever the extent or kind of those uses and regardless of the community goals the subsidy might achieve."

It will take away one of the city's most effective bargaining tools with developers. Say what you will about not being able to afford anything beyond Starbucks at the Domain, it is a lovely place to walk around and window shop. Much better than a suburban wasteland strip mall where you drive from store to store. Or the empty IBM factory that was there before.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get my butt in gear. We're going to take the bus to the AltCar Expo at the Palmer. It'll be a green family adventure!

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