Dec 10 2019

Judge George Miram’s Ruling Described as Terrible by Bay Area Council

“…housing is strictly a matter for local officials.”

“(T)his court finds that the (Housing Accountability Act) is unenforceable to the extent the HAA conflicts with or purports to disregard otherwise enforceable portions of the city’s Municipal Code regarding review of housing development projects,” Judge George Miram ruled.

In its December 7 editorial the Chronicle’s Editorial Board warned that the ruling’s “startling conclusion” is a threat to housing construction in charter cities across California.  “In charter cities, the judge ruled, housing is strictly a matter for local officials.”

“This is a dramatic challenge to state officials. It has the potential to derail their authority not just in San Mateo but in more than 120 charter cities across California.” Read the Editorial here.

On November 21, 2019, the Bay Area Council asked Attorney General Xavier Becerra to request a rehearing of the case.  The Council noted “A terrible and misguided court decision in San Mateo County threatens to undo and undermine a raft of recent [housing] legislation …”

“In a stunning judgement, Miram effectively ruled that the state does not have a role in guiding or enforcing zoning, land use and permitting decisions in cities that are governed under their own charters.”

Local Control and the Opportunity for Meaningful Citizen Input into Planning is a Problematic Issue  in Piedmont.

Piedmont neighborhood groups have complained of lack of citizen input and local control when faced with changes that raised health concerns, destruction of views, harm to aesthetics, loss in property values on Maxwelton and elsewhere. When residents offered modifications to improve projects Planning Commissioners supported, they lost on appeal.  Others complained to no avail, when told they “cannot comment on” proposed development.

700 local citizens signed a petition in opposition to the proposed dispersal of cell towers (68 cell towers ultimately envisioned spread across virtually every street in Piedmont).  Resident Bruce Mowat opined that the response would change, “Once those ‘Above Highland’ realize that most of the future 68 sites will be sited on locations like Seaview, Hampton, St. James, Estates, etc.”

2 Responses to “Judge George Miram’s Ruling Described as Terrible by Bay Area Council”

  1. Interesting take by Bruce. When I was on Council, wireless companies were always loading up the electrical towers behind Zion with new equipment. Beside the immediate neighbors, there were many comments from the surrounding neighborhoods in support, claiming poor service. It would seem that Crown Castle is providing faster service rather than better service to the neighborhoods that need it.

  2. Can anyone provide verifiable data that show that homes near cell towers have lost value? I keep hearing that claim, but have yet to see any proof.

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