Wednesday, September 30, 2015

San Francisco Recology has a new landfill site, Solano County

San Francisco Examiner/Joshua Sabatini, 9/30/15. "Recology scores a victory in landfill agreement dispute."

Image result for San Francisco Hay Road plan
  Hay Road landfill
Solano County
The San Francisco Planning Commission unanimously voted Thursday that changing the disposal site for The City's waste to the Recology Hay Road Landfill in Solano County will not require an environmental impact report. - MIKE KOOZMIN/S.F. EXAMINER 2012 FILE PHOTO
Recology, San Francisco
.... "After a brief discussion, the board unanimously rejected the appeal calling for environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act. The appeal was filed by Solano County Orderly Growth Committee arguing the Planning Department’s decision to not do the review was flawed.

....  The decision was a blow to Houston-based Waste Management, which operates the Altamont landfill where San Francisco’s refuse is currently trucked.  Adding to the political intrigue was the San Francisco Chapter of the Sierra Club, who threw its political might behind the appeal, including sending out 30,000 mailers last week. The mailers were similar to the 40,000 mailed by Waste Management.  

....   A previous landfill agreement approved by the board in 2011 for Recology to haul waste by rail to Yuba County was scrapped amid three lawsuits alleging improper bidding and inadequate environmental review. The Hay Road plan was Recology’s backup plan. 

....  A pending lawsuit filed by Waste Management alleging improper bidding remains in the courts. A Recology spokesman previously noted Waste Management’s proposal would have cost “an extra $13 million a year.” Last year 373,940 tons of San Francisco’s waste ended up in the landfill. The City has a goal of sending no waste to the landfill after 2020."   Read more.

Image result for San Francisco Hay Road plan
Space for 5 tons of trash
Related articles -  The Reporter/Editorial, 9/12/15, "San Francisco trash likely headed to local Hay Road site."  "A local environmental group has called for a public hearing over San Francisco’s trash being sent to Recology’s Hay Road Landfill, but at this point it seems unnecessary.  The San Francisco Planning Department had already determined that a proposed project to haul 5 million tons of garbage from San Francisco to Vacaville would have no significant effect on the environment and that no environmental impact report was necessary. A Final Mitigated Negative Declaration was already prepared and approved." The Daily Republic/Vacaville/Ryan McCarthy, 3/5/15, "Docs: No significant impact from tons of SF waste sent to Solano." "The agreement between San Francisco and Recology would, over about 15 years, transport up to 5 million tons of waste from San Francisco to the Recology Hay Road Landfill in Solano County near Rio Dixon Road. ... The San Francisco study notes that a biofuel blend partially from renewable vegetable oil is used in some of the trucks for the Recology long haul fleet. ... The city waste would be trucked from the Recology Transfer Station, at 501 Tunnel Ave. on the border between San Francisco and Brisbane, as well as the Recology Recycle Control Facility at Pier 96 in San Francisco, according to the study. The population served by Recology in San Francisco is about 837,000 people, the study said." CBS/Sacramento, 3/6/15, "San Francisco trash plan would ship garbage to Vacaville landfill." "San Francisco’s trash currently goes to a landfill in Alameda County, but that contract is up soon. Recology’s Hay Road landfill in Solano County was chosen to replace it. In a report this week, San Francisco’s planning department weighed in on the environmental impact of the trash transport."   Daily Republic/Solano County/Barry Eberling, 7/10/14,"San Francisco sees Solano landfill as trash option." "VACAVILLE — San Francisco could truck its trash to Hay Road Landfill in rural Solano County – 8 miles southeast of Vacaville – if a plan to transport trash by rail to Yuba County falls through or gets delayed. The city presently sends 48 truckloads of garbage daily to Altamont Landfill in Alameda County. But city officials expect that landfill to reach capacity in about 2016."

Note photographs.  Bulldozer at the Recology Hay Road Landfill from the related Daily Republic file, 3/5/15.  Broad view of landfill from the Daily Republic 7/10/14 article (no longer in file). Truck by Mike Koozmin (2012 file) from the San Francisco Examiner/Laura Dunnick, 5/21/15, "New site for SF waste will not require environmental impact report."

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Answering the "dead whales" question

KQED News/NF News Fix/iSeeChange/Eric Neumann, 9/29/15. "Should we be alarmed more whales are washing ashore in the Bay Area?  

Robert Hutchinson
Just another inquisitive day for Bob
A whale spotted off the Pacifica Pier. (Fototaker)
Live whales, Pacifica Pier
  "Bob Hutchinson is a regular at Sharp Park Beach in Pacifica, where he takes walks, rides his mountain bike and sometimes goes fishing. .... Bob Hutchinson recently sent in this question:  “Why have there been three dead whales washed up in Pacifica, California in the last four months, when in 35 years of living here I’ve only seen one or two?” 

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 28 whales have died in California so far this year, about a third more than normal. The causes of death are mixed. For example, they’re malnourished, they get caught in fishing gear or they’re killed by orcas. But the number that have been hit by ships is up slightly, like the fin whale in Alameda. According to Nate Mantua, a researcher at NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center in Santa Cruz, the reason those collisions are happening can be traced back to what’s in the water.

“The ocean is exceptionally warm,” Mantua said, “probably warmer than at any time in our historical records that go back to 1900 or so.”  The warm water he described is called “the blob.” But unlike the creeping red goo in the 1958 horror flick, the one he’s talking about is a massive area of warm water sitting off the coast right now. It’s kind of like a bathtub out in the ocean.

A whale spotted off the Pacifica Pier. (Fototaker)
Cool waters, dinner, Pacifica
“That warmth of the offshore waters has caused a huge change in the distribution of a lot of marine life,” Mantua said. Marine life, like krill and sardines, seeks out cold water. Because of the blob, that cold ocean water is sitting close to shore this year. So, that’s where whales come to feed, and that’s where the ship strikes happen. Read more.

Submitted by Boy Hutchinson
Related news articlesCBS News 5/Weather/Roberta Gonzales, Anchor, 7/16/15, "Is it just me or are whales easier to spot off the California Coast this year?" .... "The Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, has put together a summary of whale patterns off the California Coastal waters, primarily off the Bay Area shoreline. Here is the migration patterns for whales. Humpback Whale – Migrate May through November; Gray Whale, Killer Whale – Migrate Dec through May; Blue Whale – Migrate July through October. "... I don't see a hump, and it is not gray. Therefore it MUST be a Blue Whale!  But how rare is it for a whale to swim so close to the shore?"  

For Fix Pacifica blog whale reprint articles: search this blog: whales. Also view a MUST SEE video by Andy Forward from Nextdoor email, posted by Steve Sinai, 9/27/15, "Paddle Boarders close encounters with Whales, Linda Mar, Pacifica", 3:38 minutes.  (Andy Forward included his Horse business location, and has listed a series of  YouTube videos.) 

Note photographs: Bob Hutchinson from his LinkedIn account. Whales by Tony from the related CBS 5 News article.  Article framing by the poster, who also chose to include a photograph of Bob.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Monday, September 28, 2015

Pacific Skies Estates, transition

High end mobile/manufactured homes. Wonder if the few that are allowed to stay counted as low income housing units?  (Jim Wagner).

Image result for Pacifica Skies Estates, Pacifica, CA picture
Rented ocean view in peaceful Pacifica
Silicon Valley Business Journal/Industry News/Residential Real Estate/Nathan Donato-Weinstein, Reporter, 9/22/15.

The Carlyle Group, the massive private equity firm based in Washington, D.C., ... is targeting a surprising spot for its next real estate deal: A 60-year-old Bay Area mobile home park. Carlyle earlier this month entered into a joint venture with the longtime owners of Pacific Skies Estates, a 93-lot community in Pacifica that overlooks the ocean and is walking distance to Sharp Park Beach.   ...  ...  While mobile home park residents typically own their manufactured homes and pay rent on the land, Pacific Skies will own the land and the vast majority of the new residential units — which are more like traditional single family homes than the trailers of yore. The model allows the property owner to command much higher rents while maintaining its designation as a mobile home community — thus avoiding the political and regulatory headaches that come along with closing and redeveloping the communities.  

 ....  Under a deal reached with the landlord, about half a dozen residents will remain homeowners at Pacific Skies in newer units. The rest of the park's residents, who have been renting homes month-to-month, will receive a relocation assistance package of between $10,000 and $15,000. Sixty-day notices to vacate the units started going out this month to the first phase of 13 tenants. 

The oceanfront property is a half hour from downtown Redwood City and San Francisco's Financial District, but a world away from the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley. In an email, McDermott said that the park would still offer "a wide range of pricing options." Pacific Skies' owners, who have owned the roughly 10-acre site for more than 25 years, retain a stake in the property and the business...  Read more.

Note new Pacific Skies manufactured homes rendering with ocean-bluff boardwalk from the article, courtesy of CRP/PSE Seaside Pacifica Venture.

Submitted by Jim Wagner

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Affordable, low cost housing crisis, San Francisco

San Francisco Chronicle/SF Gate/Emily Green, 9/8/15. "San Francisco Major Ed Lee rolls out affordable housing plan."

"Mayor Ed Lee detailed his goal on Tuesday to make San Francisco affordable again, fleshing out a plan to build or rehabilitate 10,000 units for low-income and working-class families by 2020.  The 10,000-unit target — split roughly evenly between new and rehabilitated units — is central to Lee’s larger effort of expanding dramatically the city’s housing stock and stopping the exodus of longtime residents, a goal he said on Tuesday is his “No. 1” priority.  ...

btw 01.jpg
Affordable housing units.
Pacifica needs some too.
....  Lee’s housing plan has five prongs. The newest part is to expand the production of affordable housing through the city’s inclusionary housing program, which requires market-rate developers to build or finance below-market-rate units with each project. Lee will seek through legislation to relax current requirements so that developers could build affordable units for a broader range of incomes. For example, instead of building 10 units that would be required to rent at $1,000 a month, a developer could build 20 to rent at $1,500 a month. ....  Additionally, developers could add up to two stories to a building in exchange for increasing the number of units they rent or sell to low- and middle-income residents. The most significant is that nonprofit developers will take over federally funded public housing projects in exchange for upgrading them. While that part was already known, Lee said on Tuesday that construction will begin in November that will lead to the repair of 1,400 units by 2017 and another 2,060 by 2018.

 ....  He is also working to help low-income residents living in buildings where developers are no longer required to provide the units at below-market rates. The mayor’s plan seeks to negotiate with those building owners where affordability restrictions are expiring, as well as pass legislation to give the city first right to buy the property if it goes on the market. Another component of the mayor’s plan is to ensure that when new housing units go on the market, residents of that neighborhood have priority when it comes to renting or buying them. Lee said Tuesday his goal is “diversity, equity and economic vitality.” He said the city “can’t just build, but we need to make sure we preserve” existing housing stock."  Read article.

Submitted by Jim Wagner
Related - SF Curbed.  See article, "New legislation aims to speed up affordable housing", Tracy Elsen, 9/15/15. ....  "Supervisor Scott Wiener will introduce legislation today streamlining the process for below market rate housing. The proposal could take years off of the process for some affordable housing developments. The legislation specifically addresses the conditional use authorization process, which is required for projects that meet height limits but need exemptions for things like unit size or number of total units. The new process would apply to any projects that are 100 percent affordable to families earning less than 120 percent of area median income—about $122,000 for a family of four. The legislation would also allow below market rate developments built on public land to bypass rezoning."  Note graphic rendering of 800 Presidio Avenue from this "New Legislation" article.  

Posted by Kathy Meeh