Forced upzoning is bad policy, but here’s how we can mitigate its impacts

John Mirisch
Mayor of Beverly Hills

A number of bills in the legislature would attempt to “solve” the state’s housing challenges by overriding local municipal zoning ordinances and statutorily allowing developers to build up to Sacramento-mandated levels of density.  The most notable of these bills is SB50, which has no provisions to make any of the housing built affordable, but espouses […]

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Sacramento’s Housing War on SoCal

John Mirisch
Mayor of Beverly Hills

Many normal Californians may not be familiar with the acronyms RHNA or the more mellifluous SCAG, and why should they? In an ideal world with a rational and well-working government, they might very well have no reason to be concerned with a Regional Housing Needs Assessment or even the Southern California Association of Governments. But […]

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Ending The War On Communities: 14 Suggestions To Protect Neighborhoods While Providing Meaningful Housing Solutions

John Mirisch
Mayor of Beverly Hills

The debate on solving California’s housing affordability crisis has reached a fever pitch, and the level of noise is drowning out solutions. We are facing a push to indiscriminately force density on neighborhoods and a war on single-family housing, which some in Sacramento paint as inherently “racist” and “immoral.” As Sacramento politicians spin their wheels […]

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No, “density” doesn’t rhyme with “sanity”

John Mirisch
Mayor of Beverly Hills

The recitals seem all right: big California cities are becoming increasingly unlivable as population continues to concentrate, traffic gets worse and housing costs soar. Not a lot of disagreement there. And yet it feels like there’s something in the Kool-Aid of many editorial boards and op-ed writers which makes them take a shine to SB50, […]

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Down the Rabbit Hole on Housing

John Mirisch
Mayor of Beverly Hills

At the end of his pro-SB50 piece, Scott Lay asks: “Could Scott Wiener become the next Howard Jarvis-like figure?” A better question would be:  “Could Scott Wiener become the next Gordon Gekko-like figure?” The notion of painting corporatist Scott Wiener — Wall Street and the CBIA’s strongest advocate in Sacramento — as a populist everyman […]

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SB50: Sticking it to SoCal

John Mirisch
Mayor of Beverly Hills

According to state senator Scott Wiener of San Francisco, author of SB50, which would take away local zoning authority from municipalities, including eliminating single-family zoning in much of LA County, “one of the root causes of California’s housing crisis [is] hyper-low-density zoning near jobs and transit.” Why, then, you might ask, did Wiener recently amend […]

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YIMBY ZOMBYs and California’s Housing Crisis

John Mirisch
Mayor of Beverly Hills

In Lethal Weapon 2, whenever he is confronted with potential arrest for some villainous deed or other, South African diplomat Arjen Rudd, masterfully portrayed by Joss Ackland, whips out his credentials and shouts “Diplomatic Immunity!” Rudd’s supposedly unanswerable response brings to mind the refrain of corporatist Democrats, their right-wing Koch Bro Bros and the YIMBY ZOMBYs […]

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Super Bowl Time: When the Rams Go Marching In

John Mirisch
Mayor of Beverly Hills

The great Stephen A. Smith called the Rams NFC Championship Game victory over the Saints “a heist.” Others – not the least Saints fans themselves – have called it a lot worse. More than a week later and less than a week before the Super Bowl, the controversy hasn’t died down. In fact, several lawsuits […]

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Scott Wiener’s SB 50 is a WIMBY Bill

John Mirisch
Mayor of Beverly Hills

Zev Yaroslavsky, former LA County Supervisor and former LA City Councilmember, astutely noted that state senator Scott Wiener’s SB827, which would take away local zoning authority from cities and replace it with Sacramento-mandated levels of density in certain areas, was a “real estate bill, not a housing bill.” The exact same assessment should apply to […]

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A Corporate Wealth Tax: Making the Oligarchs Pay

John Mirisch
Mayor of Beverly Hills

It may be en vogue among a certain group to express concern about the influence of Russian oligarchs within our political system, but perhaps we should all be a bit more concerned about the home-grown variety, the Silicon Valley and tech billionaires. Given their huge wealth, influence and control over information, we need to start having serious […]

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