Jake's blog

Let's talk about how the State of California is bringing the hammer down on bad local governments who won't allow more housing.

Let's talk about how the State of California is bringing the hammer down on bad local governments who won't allow more housing.

BOTTOM-LINE, UP FRONT: The State of California has issued an ultimatum to LA's local governments: reform your land use laws to allow more housing, or else we nuke your land use law this October and anything goes. THE BACKGROUND We're in a housing crisis because it's not legal to build enough housing in LA to meet the demand. The epicenter of the problem isn't in the encampments under the 101 - it's in leafy suburbs like South Pasadena, Manhattan Beach, and Beverly Hills, where it's been new housing has been almost totally banned in the last 50 years. Because of...

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Please place all Christmas orders by December 15th at 5pm.

For orders to arrive by Christmas, please order before 5pm Eastern, December 15th. If you order after that, it may arrive on time, but I can't guarantee it.

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Let's talk about why North America's old streetcar systems disappeared.

Let's talk about why North America's old streetcar systems disappeared.

Bottom line, up front: North American streetcar companies, including LA's famed Red Cars, failed due to economics, not because of an automaker conspiracy.A lot of posting on here is to discuss just how much mass transit used to exist before the Second World War.  But what I really want to clarify is *why* the great American streetcar networks disappeared.  In general, there are three reasons: (a) the automobile's increasing popularity made many streetcar lines simply uneconomical to operate; (b) most streetcar companies like the famed Los Angeles Red Cars operated their streetcar systems to promote their real estate developments, and...

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Let's talk about the current reforms that the State of California is doing to fix the housing crisis.

Let's talk about the current reforms that the State of California is doing to fix the housing crisis.

As I've written before, California local governments have proven that they're totally incapable of fixing the housing crisis on their own. It's a pretty toxic stew, because every single one of the 88 petty kingdoms of Los Angeles County, and 101 cities of the Bay Area wants more housing to be built - but nobody wants anything new to be built near them. Because of that, most of the action on housing reform has shifted to Sacramento, where the State has determined to take direct control of local zoning. We're mostly done with this year's legislative cycle in Sacramento, and...

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Let's talk about how the City of LA is the only place in California actually planning to do something about the housing crisis.

Let's talk about how the City of LA is the only place in California actually planning to do something about the housing crisis.

Right now, every city in California has to produce a rezoning plan to meet a quota of new homes, called a Housing Element.* Overall, if things were done in good faith you want to dramatically increase housing production: 1.3 million or so in greater LA over the next eight years. If you don't put together a good faith zoning plan, the State will bring the hammer down on you and void your local zoning until you get your shit together, as I've written in this space previously. Now that we've seen a lot of them, most of these rezoning plans...

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