C.J. Garrett 
Member since Apr 29, 2015


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Recent Comments

Re: “Can Oakland Protect Chinatown and Eastlake?

If the price of a stadium is a de facto three-year moratorium on infill housing projects all the way out to 14th and Franklin, screw the stadium.

This smells an awful lot like people who always oppose new housing downtown (hi Naomi!) using the stadium as a pretext to get the building freeze they've always wanted.

Posted by C.J. Garrett on 11/07/2017 at 10:08 PM

Re: “Oakland, Developers Look to Convert SRO Housing into Boutique Hotels

Stony Rodriquez--

Building a new structure on one of the empty downtown lots would require securing planning approvals, preparing an EIR, and paying an impact fee. Buying an existing property and converting it to high-end uses faces none of those hurdles. Is it any wonder investors would rather evict-and-flip than build something new?

Posted by C.J. Garrett on 05/19/2016 at 2:47 PM

Re: “Ellis Act Evictions on the Rise in Oakland

The existence of the Ellis Act is a big reason why "no new market rate housing" is a counterproductive anti-gentrification strategy. Even when no new market rate housing is getting built, upper-income folk have the ability to buy existing units and force people out.

Imposing displacement fees is a good idea. But unless Oakland starts creating new housing, quickly, rents and housing costs are going to keep skyrocketing.

Posted by C.J. Garrett on 12/08/2015 at 8:53 AM

Re: “Oakland Schools Interested in Building Affordable Teacher Housing on 12th Street Remainder Parcel

Labeling the pro-supply position "trickle-down" is putting a bit of a thumb on the scale, don't you think?

I can't speak for the other commenters, but my view is that the Bay, and Oakland in particular, needs to add more housing at every price point. I strongly support public funding for new affordable housing, rent control, and other measures to help low-income folk stay in Oakland. But I can also see that adding affordable housing will do no good if we're not also producing enough new high-end housing to absorb wealthy newcomers. San Francisco has demonstrated that the wealthy are perfectly happy to buy up and gentrify the existing housing stock if there is insufficient new supply to house them. Blocking market-rate housing in order to create affordable housing is like like trying to balance your household budget by stealing money from your spouse--you're just pushing the problem around, rather than addressing the overall deficit.

I also think that given that public resources are limited (more limited than they should be, IMO), it is very important to be smart about how we spend public money. There are an enormous number of vacant lots in Oakland where private developers won't build. Those are where we should be prioritizing public construction, rather than trying to pay top dollar for premium land where private builders are actually interested.

Posted by C.J. Garrett on 08/25/2015 at 9:19 PM

Re: “Oakland Schools Interested in Building Affordable Teacher Housing on 12th Street Remainder Parcel

None of the documents Darwin references address commenters' critiques.

The OUSD's proposal contains absolutely no information on how the development would be financed, or why it would make sense to build affordable housing on such an expensive parcel of land rather than a cheaper parcel elsewhere in the area.

The SLA states that affordable housing should be given "priority", but that's an undefined, toothless term. The SLA explicitly does not require Oakland to sell the land below market value to an affordable housing developer (see Govt. Code§ 54226.) The only concrete restriction the SLA may impose on the final development is that the project include 15% affordable units, and even that only comes into play if certain conditions are met.

Finally, Oakland's housing element shows that Oakland massively underproduced housing at all price points over the past seven years, including high-end housing. From 2007-2014 Oakland's "above moderate cost" housing production goal was 7,489 units; it actually approved only 2,033 units. That's a big reason why we're having such an affordability crisis.

Posted by C.J. Garrett on 08/25/2015 at 5:37 PM

Re: “Oakland Schools Interested in Building Affordable Teacher Housing on 12th Street Remainder Parcel

This is such a weird, pointless controversy--there's no shortage of available land to build public facilities if the funding is present. You can build public buildings anywhere; private housing development is only viable in a few areas of Oakland.

If you really think Oakland should be building public housing for teachers (or recreation centers, or whatever), there's no reason you couldn't sell the E.12th land to the highest bidder, and then take the money and build elsewhere on cheaper land. That way you'd get both 300+ market rate units, (reducing pressure on the existing housing stock and generating substantial tax revenue) plus whatever public facility/affordable housing you want to build.

The current approach is going to leave a lot of public money on the table, money that the city obviously needs.

Posted by C.J. Garrett on 08/24/2015 at 5:09 PM

Re: “Oakland's Humanist Hall Declared a Nuisance

The 1500 signatories are supporters of the church, not opponents. And I don't know why you're blaming "condo owners" for this; there are no condos anywhere near the church. The only residential structure nearby is a set of townhomes, built over a decade ago.

17 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by C.J. Garrett on 07/21/2015 at 2:28 PM

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