California Housing, Space Force, Weekend Events
KPBS Midday Edition / May 17, 2019
A bill to increase housing density in California was stalled by the state Senate Appropriations Committee. Also, while Trump pushes Congress to create a new military branch called the Space Force, the Pentagon is currently trying to choose a permanent home for its existing Space Command, and a San Diego’s top weekend events are full of candy and dandies
Speaker 1: 00:00 A proposal to increase housing density around public transit and in single family home neighborhoods won't be considered by California lawmakers. Senate bill 50 was shelled for this year and won't be debated again until 2020. The decision is a major blow to affordable housing advocates and to Governor Gavin Newsom who said he was disappointed by the decision and a group of housing advocates are rallying in support of SB 50 in San Diego next week. Joining me to explain what stopped SB 50 from moving forward is La Times reporter Liam Dillon and Lee. And welcome to the program. Thank you for having me. This measure would have really changed zoning in many areas of the state. Can you describe the kind of housing density it proposed?
Speaker 2: 00:46 Sure. So, uh, around mass transit, so that would be around the try line. In San Diego for instance, it would have allowed for four to five story apartment complexes in near there. Uh, regardless of what the underlying zoning was. And so a single family properties, you know, around rail would have been allowed, a developers would have been allowed to build taller. And then similarly, I mentioned single family zoning. Um, that would have been pretty much done away with, um, across the state. And so that means that, uh, in many places you would have been allowed on vacant parcels to build, uh, fourplexes without any further government review and an even larger in some other places that were part of wealthier neighborhoods and communities across the state. And so as you noted this, this would have been a very large, very large change.
Speaker 1: 01:29 And the goal of SB 50 put forward by state Senator Scott Wiener was to increase housing. But wasn't it also meant to change the growth pattern in the state?
Speaker 2: 01:39 Exactly. So there were sort of two principal, um, arguments that proponents for this made, including the senator, uh, one being that we have a shortage of available homes in California. And that is one of, if not the primary drivers of why it's so expensive to live here. And the second is in order to meet the very ambitious climate change goals that California has a, we need to produce housing in a way that, uh, does not require a long super long commutes from a B to your job or to shopping or things like that. And so if you build an already urban areas, you make those trips shorter or not necessarily at all. Was there an estimate of how many new homes this measure might've helped create? Right. So it was hard to get something like that because the bill is changing a lot over time. Uh, and there are also a number of restrictions on where this would have been allowed to happen or not. For instance, some coastal areas, uh, you know, would not have really affected a wildfire areas, things like that. Uh, but there was one study done, uh, on one iteration of the bill, uh, and its effects in the bay area. It found on parcels that, uh, would have been allowed to have increased density in the bay area. The capacity would have increased four fold. So certainly potential for large changes there.
Speaker 1: 02:49 Where did the opposition to SB 50 come from?
Speaker 2: 02:53 So it came from sort of two principal areas, uh, one from I think strongest local governments, cities who are obviously not pleased about having their power being taken away, which they certainly would have done. Um, you know, there's a long standing history in California that local governments, so he's in counties are in charge of zoning in their communities and this would've been an incursion into that. Um, I think also, um, you know, not a lot of neighborhood groups, particularly those that represent a single family neighborhoods which could have undergone a lot of change. They were also very opposed. And then I think also there was some concern from a advocates, um, worried about gentrification and displacement in, in certain communities that if you allowed for, um, building or opened up restrictions on, on building consistent such an extent that building could ultimately end up pushing out a longtime residents from, from, um, from those communities.
Speaker 1: 03:43 Now the decision not to even debate SB 50 is really kind of confusing considering the state's housing crisis. From your reporting on this issue, what message does that send about the future of this bill?
Speaker 2: 03:55 Well, I mean, I think these are the bill is that it's going to be really hard to pass something like this. I mean, I think that that, that was always the case, but, um, I was surprised, especially given sort of more support this bill had this year than last year. There was a previous iteration that that died even earlier in the process last year. This said, you know, much more support including from us are powerful interest in construction workers union and things like that. Also some momentum. I'm from Governor Gavin Newsom, uh, the new governor this year, while he did not take a position on the bill, um, he, you know, has called for a significant increase in, in home building over the next seven years. And this was sort of seen as the primary vehicle to at least this year for that to happen. And so, uh, I don't know. I mean, you know, you have people who are very much opposed to it and, and when you have bills that could create such massive changes, they all are often hard, hard to get through. But I think supporters of this approach say, look, I mean the state's a housing crisis is such that we need to look at sort of more radical measures like this
Speaker 1: 04:54 Ken Senate leader, Tony Atkins, resurrect this bill this year.
Speaker 2: 04:58 Short answer is yes, longer answer is that it's extremely unlikely for that to happen. Um, you know, the appropriations committee is a very weird place. It's, it's very opaque. One of the most opaque and not transparent parts of the legislative process here where, I mean, this bill, you know, was held without even a formal public vote. It was just sort of announced, right? So we don't know for sure who was involved directly made the final decision for it, for it not to go forward. Uh, however, uh, certainly legislative leaders, Tony Atkins, um, uh, being the principle one in the Senate, of course, um, you know, uh, if she wanted this bill to move more likely, she would have done something to ensured that that happened before this decision was made. And so to expect that she's not going to do something afterwards, I think it is certainly a stretch.
Speaker 1: 05:44 I've been speaking with La Times reporter Liam Dillon land. Thank you. Thank you. KPBS received a statement from state Senate President Toni Atkins in it. She says she will not bring back SB 50 this year. She, in part, quote, short of significantly amending the bill and limiting its applications in large swaths of the state. There was no path to move forward this year, but she adds quote, the bill is not dead.
Speaker 3: 06:11 [inaudible] [inaudible].
Speaker 1: 00:00 The Broadway version of Charlie and the chocolate factory comes to town. The San Diego Museum of art find Spain's golden age all over the world. And a band you shouldn't have forgotten from the 1990s it's all ahead on our weekend preview and KPBS arts calendar editor need a Garren is here. Nina, welcome. Hello. There's a new Charlie and the chocolate factory playing in San Diego this weekend. And the question is neither do we need another one? Okay,
Speaker 2: 00:27 well I don't know if we need another one, but we have another one. Um, of course the gold standard of all of them is the 1971 movie with gene wilder. Then there was the 2005 movie that Tim Burton did with Johnny Depp. The, I'm still too creeped out to talk about. So we'll skip that one. And then if you're a musical theater parent like I am, there's like also another version of it that you probably seen. Um, this one actually was a working progress for a long time. It was on the west end. It's on Broadway and now we can get the touring version. How is this one different? So in this one, all the adults play kids except for Charlie. Um, and the, the kids all have kind of new, distinct personalities like Baruch is a ballerina. Um, and this version it's pretty clear that they're not going to be put back together at the end.
Speaker 1: 01:19 Uh Huh. I think really what we all want to know is are their own balloon buzz. Yeah,
Speaker 2: 01:25 there are influences and it's one of the best parts of the show. They were created by the renowned puppeteer and artists, basil twist. Um, and he does this thing that's like half puppet, half human and the puppets are really good at dancing.
Speaker 1: 01:39 Let's talk about the songs. Are they new?
Speaker 2: 01:42 There are some new songs. Of course. You still get classics like the Candy Man in pure imagination. Um, but yes, these are mostly new songs. They might not be as magical as the ones that we remember, but they are pretty catchy.
Speaker 1: 01:55 Let's listen to a new song from Charlie and the chocolate factory. This is, strike that, reverse it performed by Christian Boral.
Speaker 3: 02:03 Please strike that. Reverse it. I meant the other way. It doesn't take a Sigmund Freud to see unsolved. And Albert joined the, and if I start to press nothing gun out journey yet from the time tomorrow on delay, what's here tomorrow has gone to Jay. What's here? Tomorrow is gone today. Strike that. Reverse it. My tongue has beat them. Claim
Speaker 1: 02:27 it takes Charlie and the chocolate factory runs through firstname.lastname@example.org slash arts there's a new exhibition opening this weekend at the San Diego Museum of art. Neva. Tell us about it.
Speaker 2: 02:42 It's called art and empire, the Golden Age of Spain. And there's a hundred works by Spanish artists from 1662 1750 and it has names like El Greco, Diego Velasquez, Peter, Paul Rubens.
Speaker 1: 02:55 I understand that this is the first museum to the
Speaker 2: 03:00 golden age to other areas. What does that mean? Yeah. It expands the idea of the golden age to not just be from Spain, but Spanish territories. So you get pieces from Spanish control, places like Mexico, Philippines, and Peru, and there's actually a connection to the Museum of arts facade. Yeah, I don't know if you've ever noticed that the building has kind of the sculptures of the Spanish masters on its building, Velasquez Motor EEO suit, baron, Roberta and El Greco and it's the first time that there are works. We'll all be shown together at the museum. What other kind of works will people see? Um, you'll see these beautifully detailed paintings, portraits, religious iconography and there's also sculptures and jewels and outside of the paintings themselves and the artwork itself. I understand there are a few special events tied to this exhibition. Yeah. During the run of the exhibition, which is through September, there's a lot of events, but one that is kind of exciting is a film screening for blank anyways, which is a take on snow white from a Spanish director.
Speaker 2: 04:11 It's also a tribute to silent film and I'm in this movie, Snow White is a want to be both fighter and her stepmom wanders around the city with like a top hat and a cigarette holder and it's all very glamorous art and empire. The golden age of Spain opens this weekend and is on view through September. Finally the Dandy Warhols are in town. Reminds us who they are. They're a band that formed in the 1990s and they had a mainstream hit back then called, not if you were the last junkie on earth, but their heart is really more experimental and psychedelic. Okay, well before we talk more about them, let's listen to not if you were the last junkie on Earth
Speaker 4: 04:57 [inaudible] [inaudible]
Speaker 2: 05:06 this is not a ban you think about when we talk about 1990s nostalgia. No, they weren't really mainstream but they were in the culture. Their song we used to be friends was the Veronica Mars TV show theme song and then later in their career they toured and they were friends with David Bowie. So they did get kind of a an audience from that too and the Dandy Warhols or also in a pretty revealing documentary. Yes. This is one of my favorite documentaries. It's called dig at one, the documentary grand jury prize at Sundance in 2004 and it's about the band, the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jones town massacre. If followed these two bands over seven years, they were best friends and they were on the rise, and then they became rivals, and it kind of shows what happens when you're in the music industry. Okay. Then the Dandy Warhols performed tonight at the observatory in North Park, and I've been speaking with KPBS arts calendar editor, Nina Garren. Nina. Thank you. Thanks. Have a good weekend.