The thing everyone misses in these discussions is that they're always California. Sure, they pay lip service to "international phenomenon, with supporters in dozens of housing-burdened regions including Seattle; Boulder, Colo.; Boston; Austin, Texas; London and Vancouver" but the drama is always California.
Fully 20 percent of the senior housing built last year in the United States is within a two mile radius of where I type this. My neighborhood is getting about 2200 units added. Meanwhile the tract where CompUSA died? Where Hooters couldn't make it? Where the Lost Chevy's of Angkor Wat gets strangled by ivy? They're putting in 2,000 apartments and 170,000 square feet of retail and light office and 5,000 parking spots. They're also widening the road, re-timing the lights, buttressing public transit and extending light rail to within walking distance of it. The 10-year-plan includes condemning, razing and redeveloping several hundred acres for higher density and better foot travel with an entirely new urban core. Barely a peep. Renters worrying they'll be priced out of their homes But you know what? Two thousand apartments.
And it's just sort of happening because there's a coordination between localities, cities, counties and the state to provide the infrastructure. Compare and contrast: four exits up there's an endless traffic jam extending into the hills where they've been clearcutting new single family homes for $700k each. Out there where no coordination is necessary? No coordination happens. And certainly: there's lots of bitching about traffic but it's hollow 'cuz the only reason it's there is they moved. Their lack of carpooling is the issue. Their assumption of a commute that is highly traffic-dependent is the core of the problem.
Compare and contrast with California. California politics is positively feudal. Cities hate each other. The state hates cities. Neighborhoods argue about boundaries. And the whole thing, really, started as a land scam and continues as a land scam. The fuel of the California economy is buy low, sell high. Those guys in Lafayette don't want 315 apartments because they know 310 of those people won't ride BART, they'll drive, which will clog the streets, which will bring their property values down, and someone's getting rich other than them. "Someone other than me is getting rich" is the source of pretty much every conflict in California's history.
It's fucking stupid: we built this system where a man's house is his castle, 100% of any familial wealth is tied up in real estate, and then we think people will roll the fuck over when any development is perceived as a threat to that wealth.
no wonder California is the worst of it.