Reimagining and Reinventing Public Safety Means Reforming POBOR

For all the talk of “defunding the police” and whatever that actually means, why is nobody talking about POBOR?  Never heard of POBOR?  That may be part of the problem. POBOR is the “Peace Officers’ Bill of Rights.”  POBOR gives police officers rights that ordinary Californians don’t enjoy (there are similar provisions in other states).  […]

The Doddering Deifiers of Density-Part 2

FYI, I am agnostic when it comes to urban density.  I look upon it as a lifestyle choice, one of many; my opposition to Wiener and his acolytes’ bills is rooted in their utter lack of tolerance: the attempts to force density upon communities; the attempts to create one-size-fits-all urban schemes that treat us all […]

The Doddering Deifiers of Density—Part 1

It probably shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who has ever observed the cult that Yimbys and other assorted density fetishists would react reflexively any time the word “density” is mentioned in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic. Clearly, they are concerned that concerns about the potential impacts of density could cloud their agenda, which is […]

Growing Cities Up — or Selling Them Out?

This piece is an opposing op-ed to Growing Cities Up, which appeared in the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal.  In the original piece, I was specifically called out by name.  In the interest of fairness, this opposing op-ed was first offered to City Journal, which declined to publish it.  While agendas and special interests may dictate […]

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

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 […]

Sacramento’s Housing War on SoCal

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 […]

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

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, […]

Down the Rabbit Hole on Housing

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 […]

SB50: Sticking it to SoCal

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 […]