Administrative Searches and the 4th Amendment

Pertinacious Tom

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From the Amazon thread:

Watching Amazonians every day by the thousands, I can reliably report that they walk, bike, bus, tram, hoverboard, skate board, electric-assist bike, motorscooter, uni-wheel (whatever those things are called), Lyft, Zip-car, and do anything BUT get into a personal car.      I would bet 20% don't even have driver's licenses. 

We are building residential projects aimed at Amazonians with maybe 1 stall per 5 units, or no parking at all.  

Not your average office worker.  
They're legalizing that kind of development in San Fran.
 

The City of San Francisco, long notorious for having some of the most restrictive zoning rules in the entire country, recently abolished minimum parking requirements for new construction. This might not seem like a big deal. But such mandates add many thousands of dollars to the cost of new housing construction, and thereby reduce the amount of housing, and raise the price of what is available. San Francisco still has numerous other restrictions that block housing development. But this is a notable step in the right direction, and follows in the footsteps of several other cities that have adopted similar reforms.

It's worth noting that abolishing parking requirements and single-family home zoning mandates would not forbid the construction of either single-family homes or buildings with lots of parking spots. It would merely permit the construction of new housing of other types, which previously had been banned. But, in so doing, these reforms would facilitate a great deal of new construction, and thereby reduce housing prices.
The thought of not having a car is so foreign to me that it's hard to wrap my head around it. I have my old truck and a minivan and plan to keep both. But they both take space, they both require insurance, both require maintenance, etc. It would be nice to get out of all of that, but not necessary and the vehicles are necessary where I live.

But I'm a rich guy (defined as "someone who owns at least one boat for pleasure") and can afford two vehicles. The overhead of a car is a real drag for people for whom the math of life is such that they have no boats.
 

Why should any of this interest you, unless you're planning to rent or buy a home in one of the affected communities? The answer is that exclusionary zoning is possibly the most important policy issue most nonexperts have never heard of. In addition to greatly increasing housing costs, it also cuts off many poor and lower-middle class Americans from valuable job opportunities, thereby greatly reducing economic growth and cutting GDP by as much as 9.5%. It is one of the main factors holding back both poor minorities and working-class whites, and preventing millions of Americans from having the opportunity to "vote with their feet" for areas that offer greater opportunity.

The issue unites economists and land-use scholars across the political spectrum. But until recently, progress has been stymied by a combination of public ignorance and resistance by powerful interest groups. But the firewall holding back zoning reform finally seems to be cracking.
Or maybe planning to buy and then rent a home. The county wants landlords to provide housing in the under $900 range in this area. That would be nice, an underserved market. So let us build duplexes in more areas.

Sometimes zoning results are just weird. The City of Punta Gorda wouldn't let me put up a fence on one property because, they say, they might close that street and make a park. OK. Super. If they do, it'll enhance my property value. They don't want my ugly fence next to their pretty walking park. OK. I get that. Makes sense until you look across the street at the chain link and barbed wire fence around the mini storage facility. I just wanted a normal chain link fence, no barbed wire or anything.

 

sam_crocker

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I'm surprised they haven't seized the property in Asset Forfeiture.  Maybe they'll do that after they lose on the first lawsuit.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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I'm surprised they haven't seized the property in Asset Forfeiture.  Maybe they'll do that after they lose on the first lawsuit.
I'm not sure if the historic laundromat building has committed any crimes but one could no doubt be invented.
 

...The Supervisors held a public hearing on the project on June 19, 2018. Four and a half years into the process, Ronen and the other Supervisors raised a new issue: Citing the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), an environmental law, they expressed concern that the building would cast a partial shadow on a playground next door. The Supervisors voted to delay the project.

Tillman says such shadows are not a legitimate grounds for appeal under CEQA, and that the Supervisors manufactured the issue to delay his plans further. So he sued San Francisco for $17 million in damages, or what he says his building would have generated thus far if not for the city's illegal delays. Litigation is rare tactic by San Francisco developers, who fear political retaliation on future developments. With only one project, Tillman had less to lose.

But in October of 2018, just two months after Tillman filed his lawsuit, the Planning Commission delivered a surprise. It had independently studied the shadow issue and found that it wouldn't have a significant negative impact on the playground next door. The Commission quickly reapproved the project, and Calle 24 declined to appeal.

Tillman finally has the green light to move forward, but he hasn't yet withdrawn his lawsuit out of concern that the Board of Supervisors is devising new ways to try to derail his project.
"We have a housing shortage due to our rent controls, but don't you dare destroy a historic laundromat to build housing!"

"We have a housing shortage due to our rent controls, but don't you dare build enough housing to cast a shadow!"

The alternate plan being promoted is to somehow get money from taxpayers and donors to build 100% subsidized housing. OK, great. Have at it. And after the taxpayers' reps and the donors have come up with a pile of money and you have a real plan, find a site and execute it. Meanwhile, leave the guy who has money and a plan alone with the nonsense about historic laundromats and playground shadows.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Hong Kong's answer to their housing shortage:

We could build some islands.
 

The Our Hong Kong Foundation—which first released a detailed policy proposal for building the new islands in August 2018—put the cost at HK $1,360 per square foot of reclaimed land which works out to be about $32 billion in U.S. dollars, or roughly 10 percent of Hong Kong's GDP. One government source told the South China Morning Post that the land reclamation plan would cost up to $68 billion, while an environmentalist group has pegged the costs at closer to $128 billion. The government of Hong Kong, a self-governing "special administrative region" of China, has not released official estimates.

That's a lot of money however you slice it, which only further frustrates those who say the project's aspirational completion date of 2032 won't address the region's immediate and pressing problem of housing affordability.

There are things the Hong Kong government could do right away to help reduce the city's astronomical housing costs, including reforming zoning in the territory so that more housing can be built on land that already exists. A large majority of land that falls under Hong Kong's jurisdiction is actually zoned for "green space"—meaning parks, reservoirs, and farmland—and is thus ineligible for housing.

Rezoning this green space could open up a lot of new land to development, but it would be incredibly controversial.
$32 $68 $128 billion and done in 2032?

 

hasher

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Insanity
Single-family home zoning was devised as a legal way to keep black Americans and other minorities from moving into certain neighborhoods, and it still functions as an effective barrier today
Or, as was a practice in Avondale Estates, Atlanta, you could just put it in the deed.  It is just a shame that people have to hide their racism today.  Political correctness I guess.  (Where is the sarcasm font)?

 

hasher

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Insanity
I just wanted a normal chain link fence, no barbed wire or anything.
Tom,  

Some people would like controlled development.  We build nice neighborhoods like that.  Just because you are less offending than the worst offender doesn't make you a good neighbor.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Tom,  

Some people would like controlled development.  We build nice neighborhoods like that.  Just because you are less offending than the worst offender doesn't make you a good neighbor.
We own three houses in a row. They let me put chain link fences on two of them. Just not the one that's across the street from the yuge chain link fence with the barbed wire.

Just because there's a rule doesn't make it a good rule.

 

hasher

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Insanity
Just because there's a rule doesn't make it a good rule.
I lived in a historical neighborhood.  People worked very hard to keep apartments from replacing homes.  It was very affordable back in the day.

I now live in a very nice building downtown.  I selected this carefully.  We are a community and we are going to make sure that no on violates the community agreements.

This is not a high end or exclusive existence.  The street people know my first name and I would love for them to not live on the street.

I don't want a garbage developer coming in here, ever.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Mayor DeBlasio Is Going To Take On The Worst Slumlords

And he should probably start at the top.

It's worth noting that the worst landlord in New York isn't even a private landowner. In December, then-NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, who's since been sworn in as attorney general of New York State, put the city's own housing authority at the top of her "2018 NYC Landlord Watchlist."

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Uh Oh. DeBlasio Also Wants A Vacancy Tax
 

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday vowed to lobby Albany to pass a vacancy tax that would penalize landlords who leave shopfronts empty.

“It feels to me as a New Yorker…it used to be there were some storefronts vacant – and for a limited period of time – and now you have lots of storefronts vacant for years. And that’s a blight on neighborhoods,” the mayor said at an unrelated City Hall press conference.
It might be smart to just pay it. "It's blighted" is what politicians say about your property right before they take it and you wind up in the Kelo thread.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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In modern society, we call the 'money changers' the 'zoning commission'.  One of the fundamental flaws in capitalism is that it works on a cyclic principle - you play a game, decide a winner, and start over.  But what happens when you can't start over and you lock in the results?   Welcome to the zoning commission :)   What happens if a particularly cooperative person - say someone with lots of money - shows up?  Like magic.. the zoning commission is your savior. 
LMAO at what happens when an uncooperative person shows up.
 

When the city of Santa Rosa, California, told Jason Windus he had to lower the fence around his home, he complied. But the Santa Rosa Code Enforcement Division probably couldn't have predicted his next move.

...

It all started after Windus built a fence to keep his dogs from leaving his property, which is on a street corner. "It was a 6-foot fence, like everybody else's around here," he told The Press-Democrat. At least one neighbor wasn't a fan. A city spokesperson told KTVU someone filed a complaint last October regarding the fence. It was found to be in violation of the city code because it might block drivers' views of the intersection.

"They were going to fine me a lot of money if I didn't cut the fence down," Windus told KTVU. "I don't know who [the neighbor] is and I'm sure they're not going to come forward."

Windus shortened the fence to 3 feet. Incidentally, he happened to have several mannequins in his yard that he had obtained via his job running a moving company. "I couldn't bring myself to throw them away. I was going to use them for target practice," he told KTRK. It turned out they would come in handy.

"I guess the average person would get angry," Windus told KTRK. "I throw a naked party in my yard."

"You want to see the inside of my yard, now you get to," he added to NBC Bay Area.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Isn't "historic laundromat" oxymoronic? And other kinds of moronic?
Determining that the answer to the first question is "yes" cost $23,000 plus the lost rent on 75 units for 4 months, which is a hell of a lot more than $23k.

They're still working on the second one.
In other San Fran housing news, No Adverse Shadows!
 

San Francisco lived up to its reputation as the nation's NIMBY capital this week by voting to reject a proposed apartment project over concerns that the new building would cast too much shadow on a nearby park.

...

"We absolutely need more housing and affordable housing," said Supervisor Matt Haney to the San Francisco Chronicle, but "this isn't a meaningless shadow on someone's backyard. This is a shadow that falls on the only multi-use public park in SoMa."

Indeed, the proposed six-story building would, on the longest day of the year, cover an additional 18 percent of nearby Victoria Manalo Draves Park—which boasts a community garden, basketball court, and softball field—in shade, according to a study performed by the city's Planning Department.

...

This series of events is hardly unique to the Folsom project. Indeed, it bears a striking similarity to another proposed San Francisco apartment project profiled by Reason.

In that case, property owner Robert Tillman has struggled for years to get permission to redevelop a laundromat he owns into 75-unit apartment building in the neighboring Mission District over the objections of community activists who've argued that his laundromat is a historic resource, and that the shadow it would cast on a nearby school park would be detrimental to the health and safety of neighborhood children.

A big difference between the two cases is that the Board of Supervisors' decision to delay the Folsom project has earned it some sharp criticism from San Francisco Mayor London Breed.

"You cannot claim to be pro-housing and then reject projects like this one," tweeted Breed, a self-identified YIMBY (Yes in my Back Yard) who won election in June 2018 on a pro-housing platform. "Low- and middle-income folks continue to be pushed out of our city. Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is ~$3,600. We. Need. More. Housing."

The irony is that Breed, in one of her last acts in her previous job as city supervisor, bowed to the demands of neighborhood activists, and voted to delay Tillman's project for lacking sufficient shadow study.
Wow, $3,600/month for a one bedroom?

As noted in another thread, that's an indicator that our version of capitalism is broken.

You are living in a self-created dreamland. Here is a real life example of someone who works at JP Morgan-Chase who ends up short more than $500 a month - must be frivolous spending, you can see what she spends her money on. Jamie Dimon, the CEO of the company who makes $31 million a year, could not/would not respond to the inquiry. BTW, how does one spend $31 million a year? If you don't spend it you can only invest it and make even more money.

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/katie-porter-jamie-dimon-jpmorgan-chase_n_5cae6b58e4b0308735d4b310
People are paying outrageous amounts for tiny apartments because CEO's make a lot of money, not because of historic laundromats or adverse shadows.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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RRS means one thing on a sailing site but it can mean

Racist Railroad Stations
 

Is allowing for the construction of more housing near transit stops racist? Most people would say no. Not the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), however.

Rather the organization—founded in the 1980s to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS—had decided to dip their toe into the housing policy debate in California, arguing in a recent mailer that allowing for more housing construction would be tantamount to the racist urban renewal programs of the mid-century.

"Urban renewal means negro removal," reads a mailer from the AHF

...

That argument is deeply ironic coming from AFH, given the group's past support for a policy that is known to spur gentrification: rent control.

Back in 2018, AFH spent some $21 million advocating for Prop. 10, a ballot initiative that would have repealed state-level limitations on the ability of California's local governments to impose rent control.

A Stanford University study from the same year found an expansion of rent control in San Francisco during the '90s actually sped up gentrification by encouraging landlords to take rent-controlled housing units off the market and convert them into pricier condominiums that could be sold at market price.

Were AFH truly as concerned about gentrification as their noxious mailer suggests, they might want to reconsider their past rent control advocacy as well. Instead the group had decided to cynically deploy identity politics in an effort to spread myths about what is, at the end of the day, a marginal loosening of California's ridiculously restrictive zoning laws.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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FL Bill To Ban Rent Controls
 

In many state capitols and city halls, politicians debate how much affordable housing developers should be required to build. Not so in the Florida legislature, where a rapidly advancing bill would prohibit cities from mandating that new private housing projects include any percentage of rent-restricted units at all.

...

These mandates are often used by cities and states trying to grapple with cause increasingly high housing costs. Proponents argue that they ensure that lower-income residents see the benefits of new construction without having to ask taxpayers to fund fully public housing projects. Critics counter that shifting the costs of providing affordable housing onto developers will make some housing projects uneconomical, reducing the overall supply of new housing and driving up prices in the long run.
I edited that a bit for accuracy.

I'm one of those "critics."

Eeek! A Nomix!

 

Pertinacious Tom

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California's Rent Control Advocates Will Get What They Want Good And Hard
 

Tenants' rights groups are ecstatic that two major rent-control bills have sailed through the Assembly's Housing and Community Development Committee. Democratic supermajorities and Gov. Gavin Newsom's blessing may assure the bills will become law, thus offering the latest affirmation of H.L. Mencken's infamous quotation: "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

"We know that millions of tenants are one rent increase away from not being able to afford food, healthcare or even becoming homeless," said Assemblyman David Chiu (D–San Francisco), author of one of the bills. He's certainly right, but his "easy" solution will only make good housing harder to find and far costlier over the long term. He's just pandering to voters angry about high rents.

But the housing crunch largely is the fault of the Legislature's slow-growth land-use policies enacted over two decades, and local governments that have given in to the selfish demands of homeowners who are tired of congestion (and don't want lower-income people living nearby in apartments). Instead of fixing the mess government created, lawmakers want to make private owners subsidize rents of their customers. It's morally wrong and doesn't work.

Rent control has long been tried in California (Santa Monica, San Francisco), New York City and Europe. In Stockholm, the waiting list for a rent-controlled apartment is nine-to-20 years. But go ahead and get your name on the list. The same thing happens everywhere. Landlords exit the market. Developers stop building apartments. People stay in apartments for decades, thus eliminating housing mobility. Supply drops significantly, driving up rents region-wide. Young people and new immigrants have to double-up in overcrowded dumps....
I read on RentPrep for Landlords and other places about the nightmare of trying to evict someone in other states and it does give me faith in humanity. It can take years to evict a deadbeat tenant, during which time they trash your property and you pay their utility bills. Any tenant could act that way. The fact that rental markets exist in these places can only mean that most don't.

And it also means those landlords must price their properties in anticipation of the large losses when they get one who does.

Rent controls, like any price controls, will make the situation worse. That will make more people long for government to solve their problems, which may explain why Kamala Harris is a yuge supporter of rent controls.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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What does this case have to do with whether or not homeless people have rights?
Right off the bat, you miss the point. The problem here is not their rights. The problem is the roof remaining over their head.

Are a slumlord figure? 
Your thrashing around is confusing. I'm not sure what cen$or$hip of political $peech has to do with homeless people and the fact that you need a home to have second amendment rights in the TeamD/grabby view.

I already admitted in this thread that I'm a slumlord figure. To make it worse, as mentioned, one of my victims is a lawyer who works for the county. Poor helpless guy, totally at my mercy.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Zion, Illinois Rental Inspections
 

Under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, there is only one option for the government when it wants to search a home without the occupant’s consent: get a warrant. In Zion, Illinois, however, the government operates by a different set of rules. Zion’s rental inspection ordinance gives it license to fine landlords up to $750 a day, or even revoke the right to rent property altogether, unless landlords force tenants to allow the city’s unconstitutional searches. 

Zion landlord Josefina Lozano wants to protect her tenants’ rights. After some of her tenants refused to allow warrantless inspections, the city sent Josefina a threatening letter giving her until September 29, 2019, to comply—or face fines that could reach five or even six figures. Rather than wait for the city to issue ruinous fines, Josefina and three of her tenants—Della Sims, Dorice Pierce and Robert Pierce—are teaming up with the Institute for Justice (IJ) to file a federal lawsuit fighting Zion’s unconstitutional ordinance.

“Just because someone chooses to rent, rather than own their home, it doesn’t mean they give up their constitutional rights,” IJ Attorney Rob Peccola said. “It is plainly unconstitutional for Zion to force renters to open up their homes to government inspectors without a warrant and under threat of extreme penalties.”

Dorice and Robert have called their Zion apartment home since 2000. Because they value their personal privacy, the couple sent a letter to the city objecting to an inspection and demanding a warrant before allowing government inspectors to search their most private spaces. Zion ignored that request, choosing to threaten Josefina, their landlord, with fines.

“This is our home. It’s our right to decide who comes in it, and the government can’t do so without a reason,” Robert said.

In 2015, when the city passed its rental inspection ordinance, the mayor at that time blamed the city’s poor financial health on an “overabundance of non-owner-occupied rental property.” Renters, he asserted, “often do not take care of their property like homeowners do, so this ordinance targets rentals only.” But individuals’ constitutional right to privacy in their home does not depend on government preferences for homeowners over renters. All persons enjoy that right equally.
Just as in the thread topic case,

Those whining renters just don't understand that warrantless searches for their own good should be welcomed.

 
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