Comments by Steve_Johnson

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Posted on June 24 at 9:34 a.m.

I'm 62. For decades I thought the cold war would never end. Now my conviction is that our country will never have a rational policy regarding drug use (legal or otherwise).
And the chances for a rational policy on immigration look pretty slim as well.

On Pot Shops Limited to Three

Posted on May 14 at 10:02 a.m.

The facts: 4 1BR units (one @ 797, 3 @ 975 sqft), 3 2BR units (1488, 1598, 1752 sqft), 3 commercial units (218 to 250 sqft). Lot size is 14,750 sqft (65x226'); currently a parking lot. No units are "Affordable"; instead an in-lieu fee of $100K will be paid. At $350/sqft, the construction costs would be about $3M. The land is currently valued at around $1.7M by the assessor. If the units sell at $800K for the 1BRs and $1.2M for the 2BRs, the developer might make a buck. Go figure. Somebody must be hedging against inflation.

The vertical parking seems fine. The lightly used vehicle will stay in the upper space; the lower space will be as simple to use as any garage space. With a greater presence of zipcars, downtown residents could get by with a single car.

On Parking Goes Up; Housing Stays Down

Posted on May 7 at 8:14 a.m.

This is a high stakes game of chicken. The second-to-last thing the investors want to do is take title to 1000 acres of weeds; but the puzzle is: what is the last thing they want to do? Mr. Osgood's gamble has gone south, and it is just a matter of how many life preservers get sucked down in the vortex.

On Foreclosure Sale for Naples Scheduled

Posted on April 5 at 7:28 a.m.

Is there something special about the vernal pools on the Camino Corto property? I understand that almost any open space can be graded/landscaped to support vernal pools. Would it make more sense to remove housing along the bluffs in IV, use that space to support vernal pools, and relocate the housing to the part of the Camino Corto property that abuts the El Colegio traffic corridor?

On Protectors v. Trashers

Posted on March 24 at 7:58 a.m.

When the 101 improvements are completed, congestion will be worse than it is now. Don't believe me? Read the project EIR. But the 101 improvements are more about fiefdoms than good planning. Given the revised economic reality, I think it makes sense to suspend the 101 project after completion of the current stage, and then re-assess. But the more likely outcome is another Honda Point.

On Measure A Projects Must Wait

Posted on October 26 at 7:39 a.m.

Yes, you can build 3 stories in 40', but you can't build four.
The current zoning allows a maximum of four stories, so Measure B represents a significant down-zoning in the part of town best suited for dense housing. And down-zoning in one part of town will simply increase development pressure in other parts of town. Will the Measure B supporters turn out in force to oppose the 45' apartment that may get proposed next to my downtown house? I doubt it; none of them bothered to appeal the PC approval of Chapala One to the City Council.

On Measure B Advocates Fire Back

Posted on October 12 at 12:13 a.m.

I could support Measure B if the limit was 45' everywhere.
The 40' limit makes a 4-story mixed use building nearly impossible. And the such mixed use should go downtown.
Measure B just steers it towards upper State.

But I also like the idea of a sprinkling of 60' buildings,
surrounded by open spaces and view corridors. A 40' limit will only encourage more structures built flush to the C2 setbacks.

On 'B' Cause

Posted on August 21 at 8:05 a.m.

LongTimeResident asks a good question: where are all the 60' affordable housing buildings? There are none, because the City changed the economics by approving luxury housing projects in the R3/R4 zones. Take a minute to watch
Approving R3 luxury housing inflated land costs, killing any chance for non-subsidized affordable housing.

joer43, Measure B restricts building heights to 40' in the El Pueblo Viejo district (downtown). The extra 5' makes a critical difference when trying to design a 4-story mixed use project. But otherwise I agree with your point that dropping the limit from 60' to 45' (while allowing architectural features to exceed 45') won't make a lot of difference. But in that case, why is the new ordinance needed?

On B Is for Bad

Posted on August 15 at 8:31 a.m.

For a candid comment on R3 land value, please take a minute to watch:

Land value is controlled by zoning. Restricting unit sizes in mixed-use zones will lead to reduced land cost.

Joer43 makes a good point; existing zoning allow at most 4 stories in commercial zones. However, the proposed restriction to 40' makes 4 story construction highly problematic (recall the grief Detty Peikert had with the Hampton Inn project in Old Town Goleta). A 45' limit would allow 4-story projects with appropriate unit sizes (1200 sqft for a 2BR unit).

On None

Posted on August 3 at 5:27 p.m.

If you want a candid explanation of what has happened to land values in the R3 zone, spend a minute watching this:

On "Can't Get There From Here"

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