Traffic Reducing Housing (trh) & Upward Mobility Steve Raney, Cities21, Palo Alto

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Traffic Reducing Housing (TRH) & Upward Mobility

  • Steve Raney, Cities21, Palo Alto

  • Rob Fredericks, Santa Barbara Housing Authority

  • Heather Gould, attorney, Goldfarb Lipman, LLP, Oakland

  • ? Global warming ?

  • ? Peak oil ?

  • Best traffic reduction

  • For new apts/condos select

    • fewer cars
    • lower mileage.


  • Steve Raney (Cities21)

    • Background theory
    • 3 examples of “green commute housing preference”
      • Santa Barbara: 42 affordable downtown DU, 20 cars
      • Stanford: 515 apts, 2.6 MM less annual VMT/CO2
      • Redwood City: 800 market rate condos! October 17 proposal
      • Novato, Pleasanton, Pasadena, Palo Alto
  • Rob Fredericks (HACSB)

    • Casa de Las Fuentes, Santa Barbara. (2 questions)
  • Heather Gould (Goldfarb Lipman)

    • Housing preference / discrimination law, teacher housing, resident preference, eviction, tips. (2 questions)
  • Steve Raney

    • Next generation TRH.


  • Steve Raney, Cities21, smart growth think tank

  • EPA Sustainability Grant: “Transforming Office Parks into Transit Villages”

  • “Virtual think tank” with 50 thought leaders

    • Heather Gould, Rob Fredericks
    • Developers, city staff (Palo Alto, San Jose)
    • ULI, HUD, EPA, MTC, SVLG, Fannie Mae, TLUC
    • National Housing Law Project
    • CA State Hsng & Community Devt – housing policy
    • CA Senate transportation and housing committee
    • Academics: Berkeley, Virginia Tech
    • William Fulton
    • Reconnecting America
    • National Association of Realtors.

Human Settlement Patterns

  • Land Use plus Trip Making Distribution

  • For each person, minimize the distances in the triangle below. Miles  feet

    • “co-locate” job and work
  • SF  San Jose (swap).

Proximate Commute

  • Have Seattle Starbucks workers trade jobs to shorten commutes (1995 pilot)

  • EPA award: “It is a really tremendous idea for companies like banks and grocery stores with a lot of interchangeable positions."

Santa Barbara Casa de Las Fuentes (affordable)

  • 40 block walkable, mixed-use downtown

  • Bus transit

  • Priority 1: 0 cars & work downtown

  • Priority 2: Work downtown

  • Eviction – out of preference

  • Unbundled parking: $50/mo

  • Result: 42 apts, 20 cars

    • Less than 62 MBTU/year
    • Lower cost of living.

Stanford West - 515 market rate apts

  • 5MM new s.f., “no new net peak hour trips”

  • Priority: Stanford, office park, Palo Alto

  • Mostly mkt rate w/ 10% short-commute discount

    • Annual re-qualification
  • $51/mo on-campus parking

  • $50/mo 2nd parking space

  • Top-notch Marguerite shuttle bus

  • Regional shopping center for mixed use (w/ grocery)

  • On-site day care

  • 2.6 MM VMT & CO2 pounds annual savings

    • 1 mile versus 14 mile one-way commute.

Marina Shores Village, Redwood City

  • R.C. RHNA: 2,500 homes needed, built 500

    • 85,000 jobs within 3 miles
  • Mixed use downtown w/ Caltrain commuter rail

  • ~40 acres w/ a marina

  • 2,000 condos approved, 240’, 20% affordable

  • Referendum overturned. $5MM spent by dev.

  • Met dev. at Sierra Club

    • Highly motivated!!

Peninsula Park, 800 condos, Redwood City

  • Proposal II: 800 condos, 120’

  • 0.8 mile bike path to downtown

  • 1.4 mile shuttle bus to downtown

  • Banker approval for TRH!

  • 8 one-year phases, TRH for first 120 days

  • Might have 4 tiers:

    • 0 commutes
    • All: 80% green commutes
    • One 80% green commute
    • One < 4.0 mi commute
    • Process will mold.

Palo Alto, Pleasanton, Pasadena, Novato

  • Palo Alto

    • In July, “partially adopted” TRH for TOD
      • South Bay TOD is auto-oriented, only 17% transit mode share
    • Approved 250 DU research park in-fill (5+ years away):
  • Novato Hamilton Field air base affordable units

    • 300 apartments, 350 townhouses
    • public sector worker/local resident pref. Elite (not diverse) suburb: program limited to 1/3 of DUs.
    • City indemnified developer from Fair Housing liability
  • Pleasanton and Pasadena housing policy

    • local worker/resident BMR preference
  • 17 Bay Area cities have teacher/police preference

    • “lottery” policy vs. pay teachers more.

Rob Fredericks

  • Housing Authority of City of Santa Barbara

  • Casa de Las Fuentes

Heather Gould

  • attorney, Goldfarb Lipman, LLP, Oakland

Future TRH & Upward Mobility (the whole enchilada)

  • TRH potential: 1MM DU, 6BB less annual VMT/CO2

  • Whole enchilada was far too complex to advocate

  • Casa de Las Fuentes is incredible for Upward Mobility

  • For elite suburban TRH Upward Mobility: (Latinos living in Palo Alto?)

    • ? Improve tech worker quality of life and leave low income folks farther behind ?
    • More affordable DUs
    • Package Deal: job + home (paternalistic employer coalition)
      • Job training, better schools for kids, after school programs, I Have a Dream Foundation, more family time
      • Companies & local neighborhoods supply volunteers
      • Companies target hiring for these HHs. Envision a three-worker HH, all with local low-paying jobs
      • One generation boost up the ladder
    • Welcoming:
      • Better grocery ethnic sections
      • Latino-serving first floor retail
      • Community services
      • Cultural events.

Call to action

  • Apply TRH to each new 50 DU apartment/condo project

    • Improve TRH over time
    • Eventually apply it to pre-existing housing projects

  • "The most cost-effective peak hour trip reduction in the Bay Area is to provide housing for workers.” - Jeffrey Tumlin, Nelson Nygaard Associates.

  • "An increasing number of Silicon Valley workers have been forced to live farther and farther away from their jobs, with thousands having to commute two to three hours a day, one way, to get to work. This underlines the importance of creating housing in the Silicon Valley not only to improve workers' quality of life but also to cut down on traffic and air pollution" - Carl Guardino, CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group (Portsmouth Herald, March 2001).

FAQ: Jobs/Hsng Duration match?

  • Residence duration:

    • Apartments: two to four years (depends on study)
    • Owner occupied: eight years
      • Condo < townhome < SFH
  • Employment duration: 4.0 to 6.9 years (depends)

      • Many short jobs
      • Tech jobs: shorter duration
  • TRH should increase duration

FAQ: Cheaters?

  • Novato experience: small amount of cheating

  • Psychological self-consistency

  • Peer pressure

  • People are good (eBay).

FAQ: Capitalism

  • Creates more efficient housing market

  • Bad location decision creates “negative economic externality” for society. So, “internalize” the cost

  • Reduce employee turnover by providing higher quality of life / reduced cost of living

  • Enables in-fill of congested / built-out places


  • Does this tear communities apart?

  • Is this a company town?

Fair Housing Act / Discrimination

  • There is a discriminatory disparate impact where facially-neutral, equally-applied policies have the effect of disfavoring a protected category of persons significantly more than others. To prevail, the defendant must show that the defendant has a manifest business purpose for the policies and that there is no lesser discriminatory alternative. Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Development Corp. [under 14th Amendment, but the Court did not reach Title VIII; note that all of the Circuit Courts of Appeals have accepted variations of the disparate impact rule under Title VIII].

  • Preferences for admission to housing are analyzed for discriminatory disparate impact by comparing the racial (or other protected category) composition of those preferred to the comp osition of the relevant housing market. Hazelwood School District v. United States, 433 U.S. 299, 308 (1977); Wards Cove Packing Co. v. Atonio 490 U.S. 642, 656 – 658 (1989) [not overruled by the 1991 Civil Rights Act for Title VIII]. For example, housing for SF teachers may be acceptable given the diversity of SF teachers, but housing for West Marin residents may not be acceptable given the much broader diversity of the market area from which that housing draws.

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