Home > Humboldt County Board of Supervisors > Lack of leadership paralyzes supervisors on multifamily rezoning

Lack of leadership paralyzes supervisors on multifamily rezoning

They make $80,000/year to helm the good ship Humboldt County. But when it comes to making a move to rezone parcels for multifamily housing to comply with state law (and a lawsuit settlement agreement), some County Supervisors wring their hands and moan “I can’t.”

Supervisor Mark Lovelace vented his frustration on Facebook and KHUM yesterday, saying the Board needs to make a decision and live with the consequences, rather than blame county staff.  He said staff has done everything asked of them by Supervisors and can’t be blamed for the board’s failure to vote and move forward.

Here’s the KHUM interview, hosted by Mike Dronkers and Hank Sims:

LoCo: Mark Lovelace Throws Down

  1. Decline To State
    August 26, 2011 at 6:53 am

    You can almost smell the fear. The Board is worried they will either alienate the local developers who backed their campaigns or the voters who put them in office. They did everything they could to get their jobs and are now afraid to govern. It’s pathetic.

    And who is this “Housing For All” anyway?” And how are they suddenly so powerful?

  2. Anonymous
    August 26, 2011 at 6:59 am

    it is easy for supervisor lovelace to say that when there is only one or two rezones in his district. we all know what happens in arcata when it is in their backyard – hint:cypress grove.

  3. Ben
    August 26, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Nearly all of the rezones are in in Sundberg’s and Smith’s districts. The numbers are huge and their communities strongly oppose the rezoning. A broad based McKinleyville group has proposed a limited number of rezones that they believe the community can support. McKinleyville Community Services District says that they do not have the water supply for fire flows to support the extensive number of possible rezones.
    Fear has nothing to do with it, they clearly have no good decision to make and if Lovelace has such a great answer, he should propose it, rather than go whole hog with these rezones.

  4. Ben
    August 26, 2011 at 7:56 am

    Just listened to Lovelace’s whole rant, my my he certainly knows how to bring other Supervisors to his position! Tuesday should be interesting, he may just have another public fit. Now that is good leadership! So he insults his fellow Sups and then asks them to agree with him, is this the Lovelace Method of Decision Making?

  5. Anonymous
    August 26, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Here’s a newsflash. Maybe lovelace should have passed the gavel and made a motion himself, but no. He decided to rant and whine. He is part of the problem. A big part of it. Girard should be canned and then outsource this problem so it can be resolved without his meddling.

  6. August 26, 2011 at 8:13 am

    The zoning issue has complexities, no doubt. What disappointed me the most was their passing on an opportunity for some real change when they voted for the redistricting version 2a rather then 3a or 6a, either of which would have given SoHum it’s own voice on the BoS for the next ten years and beyond.
    My take was that they were all so concerned with keeping their own districts as similar to the existing lines as possible that they couldn’t see past their current term in office to make the bold choice that would have most benefitted the county in the long run.
    That Lovelace lacks skills as a politician and a consensus builder is a surprise to no one who knows him. He’s generally right on most of the issues, but he’s just not capable of persuading others.
    Over all the BoS is not an impressive body right now and of course adding Rex Bohn will be no improvement, but that too could have been avoided with either of two other redistricting options.
    Meanwhile we do have some exciting options for U.S. Congress in what is now the 2nd Congressional District. We will no longer need to settle for a Blue Dog but rather can expect to choose from some true liberals.

  7. Anonymous
    August 26, 2011 at 8:25 am

    why did the board agree to a moratorium if they couldn’t get the rezones done? because the planning department has a history of getting things done on time? this makes no sense. supervisor lovelace ignores the fact that Rob Arkley was right about the land inventory. remember way back when they were saying there were 17,000 units. then 14,000. then 9,500. and so on. they have known from the beginning there wasn’t enough lots, but under the old board, nobody questioned the accuracy of their documents. now that we have supervisors who want accurate information, they are running into problems.

  8. Percy
    August 26, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Do we always have to make this about Rob Arkley?

  9. Not an Expert
    August 26, 2011 at 8:58 am

    This is all about Rob Arkley because his Humboldt Sunshine lawsuit is what got the County to this point. And because his money and his hired guns are what is driving the supposed community opposition through his usual lies and manipulations. They’ve mailed hateful fliers to the neighbors claiming there will be halfway houses next to schools; they’ve scared landowners into withdrawing their parcels; and they’ve convinced Ryan that THEIR inventory is right, not the ones the County and LACO have spent years on.

    This is all about the Powers That Be demanding that the rules are for other people–they want to keep running this county like they always have, and if they can’t, they will cause gridlock.

    Meanwhile, good luck finding a place to live on your pathetic incomes, Humboldt residents!

  10. August 26, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Hey! Somebody voted these people into office. You don’t suppose they share “some” responsibility in this, do you?

  11. August 26, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Richard S., and Not an Expert,

    Well said. I agree 100%.

  12. Somewhat friendly
    August 26, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Kirk Giruad has had his position for 12 years and has not come up with squat. Fire him and his underlings, who also can’t get it done, and move on. These are the people who are suppose to supply the Board with the names and numbers. Failure should not be rewarded.

  13. Auntie Arkley
    August 26, 2011 at 11:13 am

    The overpaid (emphasis: OVERPAID) supervisors can afford housing, no problem, so why worry about it? Their pay should be cut at least in half; then maybe they will get something done. High pay attracts people who are greedy and love money, NOT capable people who are passionate about getting something done.

  14. August 26, 2011 at 11:22 am

    There is a minimum pay scale for city councils and BoS’s. I am pretty sure I saw a chart last week that showed our BoS was getting paid exactly the right amount, but that Arcata City Council was just UNDER the state minimum.
    Go figure.

  15. August 26, 2011 at 11:30 am

    http://lgcr.sco.ca.gov/CompensationDetail.aspx?entity=County&id=10991200000&year=2009&GetCsu=False
    Department Classification Multiple Positions Annual Salary Minimum Annual Salary Maximum Total Wages Subject to Medicare (Box 5 of W-2) Applicable Defined Benefit Pension Formula Employees’ Share of Pension Contributions Deferred Compensation Health, Dental, Vision
    Board of Supervisors Elected Official — $74,611 $150,291 $85,078 2.7% at 55 — — $5,574
    Board of Supervisors Elected Official — $74,611 $150,291 $71,437 2.7% at 55 — — $6,895
    Board of Supervisors Elected Official — $74,611 $150,291 $77,193 2.7% at 55 — — $1,665
    Board of Supervisors Elected Official — $74,611 $150,291 $6,982 2.7% at 55 — — $912
    Board of Supervisors Elected Official — $74,611 $150,291 $6,816 2.7% at 55 — — $545
    Board of Supervisors Elected Official — $74,611 $150,291 $82,104 2.7% at 55 — — $5,574
    Board of Supervisors Elected Official — $74,611 $150,291 $77,481 2.7% at 55 — — $1,428

  16. August 26, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Arcata
    http://lgcr.sco.ca.gov/CompensationDetail.aspx?entity=City&id=11981202500&year=2009&GetCsu=False

    Department Classification Multiple Positions Annual Salary Minimum Annual Salary Maximum Total Wages Subject to Medicare (Box 5 of W-2) Applicable Defined Benefit Pension Formula Employees’ Share of Pension Contributions Deferred Compensation Health, Dental, Vision
    City Council Council Member — $5,287 $5,287 $5,821 Optional – 2.7%@55 — — $5,447
    City Council Council Member — $5,287 $5,287 $5,588 Optional – 2.7%@55 — — $5,447
    City Council Council Member — $5,287 $5,287 $5,901 Optional – 2.7%@55 — — $15,684
    City Council Council Member — $5,287 $5,287 $5,931 Optional – 2.7%@55 — — $804
    City Council Council Member — $5,287 $5,287 $5,671 Optional – 2.7%@55 — — $10,988
    City Manager City Manager — $126,612 $126,612 $245,694 2.7%@55 — $762 $6,113

  17. TimH
    August 26, 2011 at 11:57 am

    “and they’ve convinced Ryan that THEIR inventory is right”

    Not true. The inventory the county submitted to HCD was faulty. There were parcels in that inventory that were not “available and suitable” for development within the planning timeframe. I believe that is why they are rezoning, to make up for the ones that were listed in the inventory submitted to the state that do not meet the state criteria. The housing element approved by the Board in 2009 was de-certified by the state. The current board is stuck in a difficult situation cleaning up a huge mess left by their predecessors.

    What has been supported for McKinleyville has been pretty much straight out of the McKinleyville Community Plan. You think this is a bad position for our supervisor to take? We spent literally years at public meetings getting consensus on our plan. It is a shame to toss it out as It enjoys a broad-base of support from the community. The old “us-them” paradigm does not apply in this case. Call your liberal and conservative friends in McKinleyville and ask.

  18. Anonymous
    August 26, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Mark must have been wearing his “ruby slippers” with the extra lifts. They are stylish but always make him cranky!

  19. Anonymous
    August 26, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Auntie Arkley-
    Yeah, shitty pay attracts the best and brightest to the job. Come now.

  20. August 26, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Yep, the guilty show themselves worrying about how much to pay the corrupt they elect.

  21. Anonymous
    August 26, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    “..and your wise man don’t know how it feels…..to be thick as a brick.”

  22. Anonymous
    August 26, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Is $800,000 all it takes to ruin a city? Look at Eureka to see what the Grant Whores have done. All for government funding and grants. Threats to sue if more low income housing is not built. Why is the government in the real estate business? So a few of their favorite pet builders make big fat $$$$$. So the bureaucrats in Redevelopment can keep their jobs. What a price to pay.

  23. Anonymous
    August 26, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    When the housing element was done for 2003 in Eureka it was proved by citizens of the city that there was not really a need for more low income housing. Redevelopment dept. admitted to the citizens that they were right, Eureka didn’t really need more multi-family-low income housing. Redevelopment had to go along with this “Charade” to obtain government grants and funding. The whole thing is a Charade and a farce.

  24. McKinleyvillan
    August 27, 2011 at 9:25 am

    TimH, I agree, but I don’t understand what’s stopping Ryan from supporting that? Is it MCSD’s claims that they can’t plan for that over the next 10-20 years? Because if that’s what’s blocking the future Town Center, the supervisors ought to see the broad support for it, and MCSD ought to buck up and start planning for that. MCSD hasn’t planned well in the past either, but with a new manager and a modern model to analyze their systems, now is the time.

    It’s time for everyone to say, we all need to work together to fix this instead of pointing fingers and refusing to do anything. There has never been such broad consensus about the future of McKinleyville.

  25. Bolithio
    August 27, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Wait, so on what issues is there leadership?

  26. Jack Sherman
    August 27, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Planing leadership has been provided by the highest bidders forever. It is the development community calling the shots by providing the donations to the majority of winning candidates and by tag-teaming staff with endless demands and influence at every public hearing.

    Lovelace rightly claims that average families can’t afford median-priced homes. He should have continued to explain how these same families are subsidizing the infrastructure for those big homes, and electing representatives funded by greedheads fighting to keep it that way.

    It’s interesting how local media refuses to investigate a story that everyone who’s rooted here has understood for generations.

    Lovelace makes the point that we can keep on building with inadequate infrastructure as long as there’s a plan in place addressing it.

    The Martin Slough Interceptor has been planned for 30 years while subdivisions continued unabated. Now that “Phase I” has begun, (on a truncated project), Eureka needs another $100 million just to update neighborhoods, not including the Elk River Treatment plant expansion needed NOW.

    Each week Eureka gains another empty building, vacated business and over-priced homes that doesn’t sell…. to add to its generous vacant-lot inventory.

    You know, DOWNTOWN, where the term Smart Growth began.

  27. August 27, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Mark Sailor: Just for the record; our BOS members are the highest paid per capita in the state of California. By a long shot! As a matter of fact the Humboldt BOS are paid more than any state legislators in the nation! (With the exception of California) Big news in last years Grand Jury report.

    Mark Lovelace: Was this a way to work toward concensus? I think not.

  28. Anonymous
    August 27, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Sometimes consensus is unreachable and vote needs to be taken, accepted and then we move on.

  29. Not an Expert
    August 27, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Jack–couldn’t agree more! Eureka is being abandoned while crying that they can’t do their fair share of development because they are “all built out.”

    Virginia Bass was the City’s rep. on HCAOG when the Regional Housing Needs Allocation assigned the numbers:

    880 Eureka
    817 Arcata
    2249 Unincorporated County

    Now she’s on the losing side of that decision, trying to figure out how the unincorporated areas can possibly deal with 47% of the County’s development.

  30. Jack Sherman
    August 28, 2011 at 11:00 am

    No kidding!

    The local press missed that irony, as well as, her repeated votes to delay RHNA (required to complete the GP) while blaming Bonnie Neely for delaying the GP!

    It’s funny how “Softball” knows the supe’s pay-rate but forgot how it played big in the Virginia Bass campaign against Neely’s “fat public salary”. Virginia’s win put that issue to rest!!

    No, it’s more important to slam Lovelace.

    Next thing you know, Bass will run for many terms….her other campaign issue…

  31. Anonymous
    August 28, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Only real question is when will the BOS fire the idiot who is crafting all of these planning failures. Come on Jane old girl, even you can figure this one out!

  32. Anonymous
    August 28, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Jack: I made this a campaign issue 5 years ago! Bonnie had a special stipend that made her pay outrageously more than the other BOS members. Virginia’s campaign did not use this as a major issue. The planning department should be be the focal point.

  33. August 28, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Virginia’s campaign did not use this as a major issue

    How quickly you forget. Bass and her buddy Jill Geist were flagrant hypocrites about Supervisor salaries.

    Here are a couple reminders:

    VIRGINIA BASS: Not very smart

    Hooked on hypocrisy

    Now Bass makes a big fat salary but can’t make the tough decisions that come along with the job because she is, in fact, nothing but the “Get Bonnie” sock puppet she appeared to be during her campaign.

  34. skippy
    August 28, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Here’s the Times-Standard’s Opinion take today for the record– in case you didn’t get to it:

    THREE TIMES NOW the Board of Supervisors has delayed making a decision on multifamily rezoning. The board will meet again Tuesday to take another shot at coming up with a parcel list to meet the state’s requirements for providing low-income housing.

    “THE PROCESS HAS BEEN PLAGUED with politics, infighting, and poor communication by planning staff and the supervisors. There’s a turn of phrase to describe what it has become, but we can’t use it in a family newspaper.

    “THE TIME HAS COME for the decision makers to make a decision, and there are two basic choices: go forward with the current plan, faults and all but perhaps with a bit more tinkering to make it more palatable, or scrap the whole thing — consequences be damned –and start over.

    “EACH CHOICE has its own consequences — but then again, so has not making any decision at all. The county has already missed out on some grant funding, and a county building moratorium is now looming after the supervisors missed an Aug. 15 deadline set by a lawsuit settlement with the advocacy group Housing for All. That’s not good for anyone.

    “The FACT IS NO SUBSTANTIVE CHANGES can be made to the rezoning plan at this point unless the supervisors decide to go back to square one. There’s plenty of blame to go around for the current situation — from the planning department not engaging affected agencies to the supervisors’ lack of direction to staff. In between, some critics have taken to playing both sides of the argument by saying there are too many undevelopable parcels on the list while at the same time saying there’s not enough infrastructure in place to support the ensuing development.

    “So here we sit between a rock and a hard place. The supervisors have a choice to make, and no matter what they do, a certain number of their constituents are not going to be happy with the outcome. Should the supervisors opt to start over, they should do so with the clear understanding that there’s no rainbow solution. Further indecision is not an option…

  35. Anonymous
    August 29, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    heraldo you imply that all would have been well if everyone had just went along with the program—- and that those who did not/do not are to blame for all our GP woes—–be that the case,why did the STATE reject Kirk’s own numbers ? me thinkest dear heraldo you protest to much—-grant funded poverty pimps might be the ripe pimple at the head of a horrible boil full of rotten state and federal programs —– both joe six pack and richie rich can’t pay enough taxes to support these failing social experiments—–starting over is a reasonable option’—–firing the CDD is the first step

  36. Somewhat friendly
    August 29, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Blaming developers for the price of housing cracks me up. So if they don’t build any houses, then guess what happens? Prices rise from good ol’ supply and demand. The marijuana grow houses take more affordable housing out of circulation and have more of an effect on the price of housing than any developer. You probably live in a house build by a, oh no, developer. Where do you think houses come from, just pop up magically? The Planning and Building Department keeps adding on rules for housing that raise the price of a new home and none of that money goes into the developer’s pocket. Get an understanding of how a business is run, with employee wages, health benefits, paid holidays, then the cost of building materials which fluctuate with market conditions, on and on and on.

  37. Ben
    August 29, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Good point Somewhat. Most builders or developers have very slim magrins and take on a huge financial liability if they build a house that is not already sold. Very few are doing this because it is not the price that keeps property from selling, it is qualified buyers.

  38. Ben
    August 29, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    What I mean by a qualified buyer, is one that the banks will lend to.

  39. Anonymous
    August 29, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Qualified buyers being those who have good incomes. How many Walmart clerks will qualify?

  40. Anonymous
    August 29, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    Some will. Some won’t. It depends on their motivation. A spouce, parent or a secound job could help. My wife and I worked two jobs each and saved. We got a house wnen prices were higher. The market is down now and a seller just might carry the down or the whole note. Be creative. Work hard. Next step. Stop voting for people who promise you pie in the sky.

  41. The Big Picture
    August 30, 2011 at 11:18 am

    “Blaming developers for the price of housing cracks me up”.

    Can’t blame developers, automakers, hospitals, or the banks just because bigger products, procedures and loans mean bigger profits.

    Can’t blame citizens priced out of these markets, they’re the one’s bailing them out.

    The New Depression must have you laughing to tears.

  42. Plain Jane
    August 30, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Four jobs to buy a house doesn’t make them sound very affordable. Maybe we should abolish child labor laws and mandatory education so the kids can help out too?

  43. Anonymous
    August 30, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Exactly!

    We need to elect candidates with the guts to say “NO” to the local status quo.

    The infrastructure belongs to all citizens, not just a few who rig the system to turn public subsidies into private goldmines.

  44. The Once-ler
    August 30, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    “Every once in a while I sit down with myself asking ‘Once-ler, why are you a Once-ler?’ And I cringe, I don’t smile as I sit there on trial asking ‘Aren’t you ashamed, you old Once-ler? You ought to be locked in a hoosegow, you should! The things that you do are completely un-good.’ Yeah? But if I didn’t do them, then someone else WOULD! That’s a very good point, Mr. Once-ler. Progress is progress, and progress must grow!”

  45. Ben
    August 30, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    So, Jane, your answer is? How would you make housing more affordable, please be specific.

  46. tra
    August 30, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    According to the Times-Standard, the Board of Supervisors just approved the multi-family housing plan, with a few minor modifications.

    http://www.times-standard.com/ci_18788753

    One modification was to add a Green Diamond property in Cutten to the list. Now keep in mind that according to the Forster-Gill lawsuit, adding a property to the list of sites potentially available for multi-family housing constitutes a legally-binding promise by the county that they will, in fact, re-zone that propery for multi-family development, and grnat building permits, all with no environmental review required. So if that line of argument holds up in court, then it would appear that Green Diamond has just guaranteed that they’ll get rezoning and permits for this development in Cutten.

  47. tra
    August 30, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    According to the Times-Standard, the Board of Supervisors just approved the multi-family housing plan, with a few minor modifications.

    http://www.times-standard.com/ci_18788753

    One modification was to add a Green Diamond property in Cutten to the list. Now keep in mind that according to the Forster-Gill lawsuit, adding a property to the list of sites potentially available for multi-family housing constitutes a legally-binding promise by the county that they will, in fact, re-zone that propery for multi-family development, and grant building permits, all with no environmental review required. So if that line of argument holds up in court, then it would appear that Green Diamond has just guaranteed that they’ll get rezoning and permits for this development in Cutten.

  48. tra
    August 30, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Oops, sorry for the double-post.

  49. The Big Picture
    August 30, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Here we go again.

    Taxpayers paid about $200,000 for the $206,000 traffic signal to accommodate the new (obsolete) Safeway, and will continue to pay forever.

    They’ll pay much more for the infrastructure on homes few can afford in Cutten’s expansion.

    Skyrocketing water bills are just the beginning.

    Where’s the media?

  50. Anonymous
    August 30, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    My home town had ample SRO’s in the 1970’s.

    Just because the government is divesting from public services and affordable housing is no reason to allow the public’s infrastructure to be dominated with housing few can afford.

  51. Plain Jane
    August 30, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    You wouldn’t like my solutions, Ben. You see, I think all jobs should pay enough that full-time workers can live in their community without public subsidies. That’s not to say that everyone can buy a home, that has never been the case and not everyone even wants to buy a home. But when rent for a family of 4 is more than the income of the lowest paid full-time worker and house prices start at 10 times a year’s salary, housing isn’t affordable.

  52. Anonymous
    August 30, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    jane stop voting for libs who promise you anything

  53. Plain Jane
    August 30, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    It’s better than voting for cons who promise you hell and do their damnedest to deliver.

  54. Anonymous
    August 30, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    So you are talking about Chesbro. Jane you have finally woken up. Welcome to the real world. I think there just maybe hope.

  55. Plain Jane
    August 30, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    You are obviously dreaming if you think Chesbro is a con.

  56. somewhat.freindly@yahoo.com
    August 30, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Mandated sprinkler systems in new homes = $5000. That does not go into the developers pocket, it is required. That is what I’m talking about. More and more and more is madated by your government – what ever happened to common sense.
    By the way – if someone can’t afford a home, maybe they should have done morethan graduate from high school and work for K-Mart. Planning ahead for life sometimes works instead of just floating along and wishing that good things will happen to you because you are a good person. Smoke more dope and dream on.

  57. Plain Jane
    August 30, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    As fire departments are gutted to pay for tax cuts, people might start to think an in-home sprinkler system is a good investment.

    If someone working full time can’t afford shelter, there’s something wrong with the system.

  58. somewhat.freindly@yahoo.com
    August 30, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    If you have a piano or a library or anything that can be destroyed by water, you want might to rethink a MANDATED sprinkler system, as in not your choice.

    If someone is working fulltime, maybe they should go get qualified for a job that pays a decent wage. There are training programs for all kinds of decent jobs. Not that there are many in Humboldt county. Let’s keep stopping all economic oppotunities because someone doesn’t like that kind of thing, whatever it may be. Wonder why there aren’t any decent job here except for government? Goats anyone? Beer?

  59. Plain Jane
    August 30, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Why should anyone’s daily work be worth less than the cost of survival? Why should society have to pay for the subsidies of low wage earners whose employers make a great profit on their labor? Or would you keep wages too low to survive and cut off the subsidies?

  60. Not A Native
    August 30, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    The responses to PJ are so soft, I hear crickets chirping in the background.

    The answer PJ is if a society has decided it needs and benefits by having a human perform tasks with reasonable diligence and consistency(i.e. ‘full time’ job or hourly wage), then that person has a moral claim to a respectable and dignified standard of living, as society defines. Anything less is morally equivalent to slavery or servitude.

    The political debate isn’t over how people are to live but over who is to provide for their minimum needs. The most vehement opponents to government wage intervention(“job killers”) are all in favor of receiving the benefits of others’ diligent efforts and denying responsibility for providing them a decent standard of living.

  61. Anonymous
    August 30, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    How quaint!

    There’s at least one American still deluded by the Horatio Alger claptrap amid the grip of another depression that reminds us just how rigged our economy actually is!

    It’s easy to understand America’s top CEO’s, (and their largest shareholder’s), jubilation for legal access to child labor and zero taxes, while local government subsidizes their labor force for big box distribution…corporations hold no patriotic loyalties.

    It’s those who actually live, work, pay taxes, fight and die for America, who historically demand that public wealth be invested in public services, infrastructure, jobs and housing….not bailouts, tax breaks, and subsidized labor for the rich.

  62. Plain Jane
    August 31, 2011 at 5:50 am

    I don’t think that is today’s conversation, Nan. Today they are talking about how to cut the subsidies for minimum wage workers while keeping the tax cuts and subsidies for their employers intact, cutting wages and benefits for public employees (about all that is left of the middle class) in order to drive down working class wages even more and destroy unions to make it virtually impossible for workers to organize on their own behalf. All this talk lately about “class warfare” is true. The working classes have been assaulted for several decades, but when we started fighting back it became warfare. Slave owners had a vested interest in the survival of their property. Today’s low wage employers have no such interest.

  63. Plain Jane
    August 31, 2011 at 6:05 am

    Today’s NYT editorial is about how the right wants to raise taxes on the poor while maintaining tax cuts for the rich.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/31/opinion/the-new-resentment-of-the-poor.html?_r=1&hp

  64. The Big Picture
    August 31, 2011 at 11:50 am

    The development community loves to whine about regulations, but make it easier for citizens to build those beautiful, safe, high-efficiency, $20,000 hay-bale homes and watch them scream bloody hell for more regulations.

  65. Anonymous
    August 31, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Cheese is a big con. CONJOB!

  66. Plain Jane
    August 31, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    or yurts

  67. Anonymous
    September 1, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Jane, you ignoramous. Who the hell do think are paying the damn taxes? My God, everyone should read what you put on this blog. It is the very reason our kids know nothing about work as a value and why politicos like cheesebro keep getting elected. Migrant workers are not the problem in America, it’s the entitlement BS you support that allows able bodied citizens to feel that they don’t have to do farm,yard or labor work. It’s beneath them. You all want to share the wealth you just don’t want to work hard enough to create it.

  68. Plain Jane
    September 1, 2011 at 10:21 am

    9:52 thinks anyone who wants a living wage for the hardest work in America is a freeloader. His anonymous straw man attacks demonstrate his cowardice and ignorance. Is there anything new around here?

  69. Plain Jane
    September 1, 2011 at 10:48 am

    It’s funny that the people who offshored millions of jobs, let wages for the majority decline while their own incomes escalated to record heights, inflated markets to bursting point and wrecked the economy with the lowest tax rates in modern history are now complaining that the poor don’t pay enough in taxes. If you want the working classes to pay more in taxes, you have to increase their income instead of keeping so much for yourselves. We can’t make you pay higher wages, but we can make you pay higher taxes to make up for it. The alternative is probably even more distasteful to you.

  70. Anonymous
    September 1, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Your BS is running thin jane. Talking points from another Ayers book just don’t cut it.

  71. Plain Jane
    September 1, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Poor 5:16 must think his silly insults are a legitimate substitute for debate. He should spend more time reading Paul Krugman and Paul Craig Roberts and less time listening to frightwing radio.

  72. Anonymous
    September 2, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Lovelace said the Supes had to approve the multifamily rezoning plan or otherwise face a countywide moratorium on all building permits.

    So now the Supes have approved the plan, but “Housing for All” is still pushing for the moratorium anyway.

    http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_18811786

  73. Ben
    September 2, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Housing for All can not get attorney’s fees if they agree to the settlement. Shows where they are on this issue.

  74. Plain Jane
    September 2, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    “The group is moving forward with the moratorium request since it feels the county violated a settlement with the group.”

    It is further clarified in the article, if only you’d read it. I don’t have an opinion on this because I don’t know enough about it, 12:20’s sexist and crude comment notwithstanding.

  75. Anonymous
    September 2, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Housing for All can not get attorney’s fees if they agree to the settlement. Shows where they are on this issue.

    Well that’s making a cynical assumption about their motives, and I don’t think that’s warranted.

    I think a fair criticism of Housing Now’s continued push for a moratorium is that they agreed to a settlement that called for a very hasty, last-minute, slap-it-together process to complete the plan, and now they are complaining about the (unsurprisingly) flawed procuct of that flawed process.

    On the other hand, it seems to me that both the Board of Supes and the leadership of the County Planning Department also deserve a healthy portion of the blame, since they had years to complete a legally-acceptable multi-family housing plan and failed to do so in a timely manner, which is what led to Housing Now’s involvement in the lawsuit in the first place.

  76. tra
    September 2, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    That 12:33 comment was from me.

  77. tra
    September 2, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    In a recent editorial, the Times-Standard summed up the multi-family rezoning plan process thusly:

    The process has been plagued with politics, infighting, and poor communication by planning staff and the supervisors. There’s a turn of phrase to describe what it has become, but we can’t use it in a family newspaper.

    http://www.times-standard.com/opinion/ci_18775409

    Since the Herald’s comment threads aren’t a family newspaper, I’ll just come out and say it: It’s a full-on clusterfuck.

    We were told that the Supes had to hurry up and pass this plan — despite the fact that pretty much everyone admits that it is deeply flawed, and despite the fact that it may not even pass muster with the state housing department — because if they didn’t hurry up and pass it, then we could face a court-ordered countywide moratorium on all building permits. But now it turns out that even though the plan passed, if Housing Now gets their way we could still end up with the moratorium.

  78. Plain Jane
    September 2, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Wasn’t the whole idea behind Housing Now’s lawsuit to force the county to pass a plan for low income housing that would pass muster with the state housing dept or lose the ability to issue any building permits? If the requirements for low income housing aren’t met, and they apparently believe that is the case, why would Housing Now want to let them off the hook? Please explain what I’m missing here.

  79. tra
    September 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Jane,

    Well the plan has been passed and is now going to the state housing department for approval (or disapproval). Meanwhile, unless I’m misinterpreting something here, it seems like according to today’s Times-Standard article, Housing Now isn’t waiting to see whether the state housing department will approve the plan or not, they’re asking the judge to go ahead and issue a moratorium on the county’s ability to issue building permits, based on Housing Now’s belief that the plan might not be approved by the state.

    Again, I think the Supes and the the leaderhip of the County Planning Department share a good deal of blame for the way this juggernaut is unfolding, but Housing Now does seem to be taking a hard-line approach here that seems potentially counterproductive to their stated goals. It’s hard to see how a countywide moratorium on new building projects will do anything but decrease the overall supply of housing and therefore increase the actual cost of housing for both homebuyers and renters — the very opposite of what the “affordable housing” folks say they want.

  80. tra
    September 2, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    I guess the idea is that if they can force the county to make more changes in the plan, with more and better parcels zoned for multi-family, then the benefit to the long-term outlook for affordable housing in the county will outweigh the shorter-term effects of the moratorium.

    But if you read the NCJ’s article a few months ago about the multifamily re-zonescapades…

    http://www.northcoastjournal.com/news/2011/06/23/multi-family-myth/

    …it turns out that all of this sound and fury may actually signify nearly nothing as far as actual multi-family units that are actually built.

    Meanwhile, an actual countywide moratorium on all building permits could (depending on how long it lasts) do a lot of damage to people who have done nothing to deserve it — workers in the building trades, workers at the lumberyards and building supply stores, and just plain old homeowners who are trying to get a permit for a renovation, or to build a mother-in-law unit, or whatever. So I have to question whether the very real damage to innocent parties, and (if the moratorium lingered too long) potentially to our overall economy here in Humboldt, could really be justified, given the facts as described in the NCJ article.

    In other words, I’m not sure it’s wise for Housing Now to be pushing something as potentially disruptive as a countywide building moratorium, just to try to make some additional changes at the margins of a document whose real-world effects are apparently pretty marginal to begin with.

  81. Anon 2
    September 2, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    At an earlier Supes meeting we were informed that the law suit by Housing for Now would even place a moritorium on repairs to your house. If you need a roof or anything that needs a permit this is not what I call “Even Steven” as your house could be damaged by no permit being issued for certain repairs. This certainly is not the way to go by Housing for All and I hope these exclusions are going to be allowed. I don’t know if you need a permit to replace a heating system or a roof or a water heater but if that is the case then repairs that require permits should be excluded from their moratorium.

  82. Plain Jane
    September 2, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Isn’t that part of the problem Housing Now has with the current plan, Tra, that the decreased density makes multi-family units less affordable for low income people and less likely to be built because they are less profitable?

  83. tra
    September 2, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    It’ll be up to the judge to decide if a moratorium is justified, and how it would be structured. I’m not sure exactly how much latitude the judge will have as far as carving out exceptions, though the “essential repairs” one does seem like a common-sense one that I sould hope they’d be able to include.

    Hopefully the Planning Department would also be allowed to go forward with issuing building permits in those cases where the permit has alreadly been applied for and the permit process is already underway (it would be pretty unfair to the permit applicant to throw them into legal limbo half-way through the process, through no fault of their own). But as far as new permits for homeowners, I suspect those would have to be treated the same way as new permits for for-profit developers, because otherwise it seems like the latter might have an equal-protection claim.

    I just hope a lot of workers and homeowners don’t get caught up as “collateral damage” in these machinations over a document that, as the NCJ article I referenced above points out, probably won’t have any real effect on how many affordable housing units are actually built.

  84. tra
    September 2, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    By the way, that NCJ article notes that only one multi-family structure was actually built in 2010 in all of the unincorporated County — and that wasn’t because of a lack of parcels that are already available for multi-family development. (The article also notes that the one multifamily structure that was built in 2010 wasn’t exactly “affordable” to lower-income workers anyway.)

    http://www.northcoastjournal.com/news/2011/06/23/multi-family-myth

    This whole process just makes a list of available properties, it does not in any way guarantee that those multi-family units will be built, nor does it in any way guarantee that those units that are built will be actually be “affordable.” Multi-family units that are actually “affordable” to lower-income folks generally involve substantial subsidies, which are currently drying up to the point of near-nonexistence at both the state and federal levels (and it’s not like the County has the money to step in with significant funds either).

    It sure would be a shame if the judge imposes a moratorium that could be devastating to construction workers and homeowners all in the service of what the NCJ described as “…elaborate political theater…” that will “…do staggeringly little when it comes to putting actual roofs over the heads of people who work for low wages.”

    http://www.northcoastjournal.com/news/2011/06/23/multi-family-myth/5/

  85. TimH
    September 2, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Only Supervisor Sundberg got it right. This argument has been going on for years, read the HCAOG background information and the comments from the services districts.

    I think this sums it up:
    http://co.humboldt.ca.us/gpu/docs/2009%20housing%20element/approved/attachmentfofappendixgapproved8-28-09.pdf

    and this one has curiously disappeared recently:

    http://www.hcaog.net/docs/RHNA/ProposedRHNAplan12-01-09.pdf

  86. tra
    September 2, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Isn’t that part of the problem Housing Now has with the current plan, Tra, that the decreased density makes multi-family units less affordable for low income people and less likely to be built because they are less profitable?

    Yes, I think that’s the theory underlying their argument. Does that justify their demand for a countywide building moratorium? Not to me. Seems to me that there’s a lot more potential for harm than for good (see my 4:49 and 4:54 comments).

  87. tra
    September 2, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    TimH said: “Only Supervisor Sundberg got it right.”

    Could you elaborate on that?

  88. Anonymous
    September 2, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    put down the keyboard and slowly step away, it’s friday night, go have some fun.

  89. Plain Jane
    September 2, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    I’m not taking sides here, but what would be the point of low-income housing advocates threatening a moratorium if it wouldn’t have negative consequences? They’ve tried begging with little result.

  90. tra
    September 2, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    “It’s my ‘puter
    and I’ll blog if I wanna
    blog if I wanna
    blog if I wanna…”

    But seriously, 5:15, I don’t discount the wisdom of your advice…Bureacratic clusterfucks and impending moratoriums aside, It’s a glorious sunny late-afternoon here with the kind of balmy warmth and gentle breeze…hope everyone is enjoying it in whatever ways they can.

  91. tra
    September 2, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    I’m not taking sides here, but what would be the point of low-income housing advocates threatening a moratorium if it wouldn’t have negative consequences? They’ve tried begging with little result.

    From the point of view of raw power politics, I wouldn’t argue with that at all — Housing for Now has certain goals and apparently they believe that the best way to achieve those goals in this instance is to apply the maximum leverage at their disposal — demanding a moratorium. And. look, I certainly don’t blame them for being sick and tired of politely waiting for the County to get it’s act together (as I said above, I think the Supes and the Planning Department share a lot of blame for their failure to resolve this well before lawsuits, settlement-imposed deadlines and threatened moratoriums became a factor).

    My point is that their goals are not the only thing to consider here. If they were only acting in their own narrow self-interest, there would be no question — they’d have nothing to lose by demanding the moratorium. But assuming they have the overall interests of the community in mind, it’s not that simple — just because they can push for a countywide building moratorium doesn’t mean they necessarily should, given the potential consequences of such a moratorium.

  92. Anonymous
    September 2, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Remember that in Eureka during the housing element of the General Plan it was found that Eureka had actually lost population but needed to show a NEED for more Multi-Family units to obtain government grants and funding. Do we want to sell our quality of life here to get grants so a few builders get a big payday?

  93. Anonymous
    September 2, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    This was during the general plan update 2003.

  94. Timh
    September 3, 2011 at 7:28 am

    TRA, he voted against it.

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