Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Open letter- Then close it quickly!

Expand Messages
  • Jerry Bridgman
    I urge people to not support this letter and to not support the zoning proposal, at least, until the discussion that this letter is trying to prevent has taken
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 1, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      I urge people to not support this letter and to not support the
      zoning proposal, at least, until the discussion that this letter is
      trying to prevent has taken place. I have raised a few points about
      this proposal at meetings, and never gotten any answers.

      I'll interpolate a few comments:

      --- In einpc@yahoogroups.com, "Ald. Brenda Konkel" <district2@c...>
      wrote:
      > Several people have asked about this letter, the full text is
      below, if
      > you want to sign on as an individual, e-mail madisonahaa@y... and
      > if you want a presentation about inclusionary zoning, call Joe at
      > 345-8720. The deadline is July 13th and make sure to include your
      > address.
      > Brenda
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > June 26, 2003
      >
      > Common Council
      > City-County Building
      > 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
      > Room 417
      > Madison, WI 53703
      >
      > Dear Common Council:
      >
      > We write to you today as members of your various constituencies,
      seeking
      >
      > your support on one of the most urgent issues facing our
      > community—affordable housing. Because most everyone is familiar by
      now,
      >
      > there is little need to discuss the dire state of the housing
      crisis in
      > our community; we must instead focus on strong, long-term solutions
      like
      >
      > uniform Inclusionary Zoning.

      [This suggests that there are other possible "solutions". Maybe they
      would be better. Homelessness used to be worse than it is now. If
      they think it is so bad why are they proposing anything so dangerous
      as coercing landlords and fiddling with the housing market? The
      proposed zoning used to be called "mandatory". "Uniform" is a
      euphemism and should raise red flags!]

      > As you know, Inclusionary Zoning is a program that has been
      successful
      > in over 200 communities throughout this country in meeting its two
      > goals: first, creating affordable housing and second, ensuring that
      it
      > is evenly distributed throughout communities. While the policy has
      > functioned well in many places for many years, there certainly are
      > variations that have been more and less successful. Today, as
      Madison
      > ponders its own Inclusionary Zoning ordinance, there are critical
      > aspects of the policy being debated and decided, and we urge you to
      > support the comprehensive proposal being brought forth by the
      office of
      > Mayor Dave Cieslewicz.

      [I, for one, know no such thing. I suggest that those who are trying
      to get this accepted publish a comparative economic study. Require
      all would-be signers of this letter to prove an understanding of the
      issues. Otherwise won't this just be partisan politics as usual?]

      > It is rare to see an elected official so quickly and passionately
      > follow-up on a campaign promise for serious change. We appreciate
      his
      > leadership, and we hope you will share his vision for addressing the
      > housing needs of Madison's elderly, disabled, and working poor.

      [Mayor Dave has proposed a very bad idea for E Wash. This could be in
      the same class. He admitted after getting elected that he had gone
      through the whole mayoral campaign without discovering that there is
      a potential problem with such schemes. Don't you want to know what
      that problem is? Are you sure you want to rely on his authority?]

      > Specifically, we support an Inclusionary Zoning ordinance that
      > meets the following guidelines:
      >
      > ? It is REQUIRED for ALL developments, whether they be geared toward
      > renters or homeowners.
      > ? It requires that at least 15% of all units in a rental
      development are
      >
      > affordable to people at 50% of the County Median Income or lower.
      Of
      > these affordable rental units, at least 25% must also be affordable
      to
      > those at 40% County Median Income or lower.
      > ? It requires that at least 15% of all units in a home-ownership
      > development are affordable to people at 80% of the County Median
      Income
      > or lower. Of these affordable owner-occupied units, at least 25%
      must
      > also be affordable to those at 70% County Median Income or lower.
      > ? That there is no buy-out provision for a developer who would
      prefer to
      >
      > pay a fee in lieu of creating affordable units in the development.
      > ? To eliminate concentration of poverty, we do not support a
      proposal
      > that allows developers to build the affordable housing on a site
      > separate from the market-rate housing.
      > ? It requires permanent affordability for all housing built under
      these
      > projects.

      [I don't understand why these particular percents! I suggest that
      until they are explained so that you understand their logic, that you
      not sign off on this. To buy in on something without understanding it
      is bad politics.]

      > We hope we can count on you to join the Mayor in pushing for a
      strong,
      > effective Inclusionary Zoning policy.

      [You haven't come close to showing that this is what you've got here!]

      > Sincerely,
      >
      >[...many sincere organizations and people...]

      [Finally, there are good reasons to doubt that this is a good piece
      of legislation. First of all, any form of regulation is likely to
      increase costs and thus average rents. When I checked into this
      months ago I found the results to be quite discouraging. As I recall,
      the State of Maryland has statewide mandatory cheap housing- excuse
      me- uniform inclusionary zoning. They also have the 2nd highest
      housing costs of any state. California, a state with many mandatory
      cheap housing (bad keyboard, bad!) jurisdictions, is first. Florida
      on the other hand has had real "success" in controlling costs by
      means of a well funded subsidy program. If you are looking for a
      slogan how 'bout, "Fully fund Section 8." or "An inclusionary housing
      market now!"

      Very finally, I strongly object to the way governments and their pals
      use the word "success". Note that there is no attempt here to define
      what success would consist of and to demonstrate success with
      statistics.--JB]
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.