For John, BLUF: If we wonder about a housing shortage, it isn't just NIMBY, but it is also an attitude of "I've got mine, screw you". Nothing to see here; just move along.
From Mr Ed Driscoll, at The InstaPundit:
BUILD MORE HOUSING! SAN FRANCISCO’S YIMBY MOVEMENT HAS A PLAN TO SOLVE THE CITY’S HOUSING CRISIS: A new video from Reason TV explains why it’s impossible to build in San Francisco, and to a lesser extent, the rest of the Bay Area as well:And here is one article my Middle Brother hasn't sent me from The San Jose Mercury, "California's skyrocketing housing costs, taxes prompt exodus of residents".The answer lies in the city’s unique culture of permissions and regulations. NIMBYs (“not in my backyard”) have successfully organized against development in the region for decades by blocking new construction they deem to be a nuisance.
“We have so much neighborhood input here. More than anywhere else in the country,” says housing activist Sonja Trauss. “This public policy of whatever you do on your property being everybody’s business—how has that gone for us? What has that produced? Well, it’s produced a horrible housing shortage.”
Some of the recent developments delayed by NIMBY opponents include a 36-story residential building at 1481 Post Street that was first proposed over 10 years ago; a 17-acre space at Balboa Reservoir that is currently an empty parking lot; and a 10-story condo development at 1979 Mission Street that residents have dubbed the “monster in the Mission.”
The Bay area’s propensity for NIMBYism has bordered on the absurd in some instances. In 2010, residents banded together to block the addition of high speed internet equipment around the city, with some neighborhoods claiming a broadband antenna could “accidentally zap residents with concentrated radio waves” in the event of an earthquake. This year Palo Alto residents in Royal Manor, a neighborhood of 200 homes, proposed a zoning law that would ban two-story homes and second-story add-ons to maintain the aesthetic of their community.
The stubbornness of the NIMBYs has sparked a counter-YIMBY movement (“yes in my backyard”) among activists who believe the way out of the housing crisis is to build.
My feeling is that if there are people who like mild weather and like lots of restrictions on buildings and on activities,♠ then it is good that they all congregate in one place—the City by the Bay.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.
Regards — Cliff
♠ When we purchased our current home the realtor had clauses prohibiting storing a boat (like our neighbor a couple houses down does), no RV in the driveway, no hanging laundry out to dry. That sort of thing, which might lower house prices. I wonder if that is left over from the 1860s or if she had spent time in San Francisco?