The City Should Leave The Funk Zone Alone

I really like the Funk Zone. It’s hip, scruffy, avant, counter-culturesque, Cannery Row-ish. A refuge for the young and creative. The City has established a Design Overlay for the area. It, along with rising real estate values could be the kiss of death for the Funk Zone. I wish they would just leave it alone and let creative entrepreneurs do their magic. (more…)

Rent Control: Politicians vs. Tenants

Rent Control has been proven by many reliable economic studies to be counter-productive. While the goal may be to help low-income renters, the law actually does the opposite: it reduces the housing stock for those who need it and favors mostly white middle-class renters. Data shows that no rental housing market in California has been improved by such policies.


Affordable Housing: Fixing The Unfixable

Our politicians often make campaign promises to solve the “housing crisis” or homelessness. Most of these promises are empty and politicians know it. Housing in Santa Barbara can never be “affordable”. Homelessness can be managed but not solved. There should be a Truth in Campaigning law. 


What’s Happening in Santa Barbara Real Estate?

This article was written in 2018 as Santa Barbara was recovering from the disastrous fire and flood. It notes that real estate values were at an all-time high which indicated a “risk off” investment position. The pandemic and the Fed’s flooding the economy with $4 trillion in new money have caused asset prices to reach historical highs. This makes this analysis even more relevant in light of the subsequent frenzied scramble for better yields and better climes.


Power, Districts, and Gentrification

District based elections will have a polarizing effect on local government. Instead of having the “at large” representation we have now, each district will be competing for limited government resources. With at large representation there is at least some commonality among the council members who don’t necessarily have to fight for specific neighborhoods, but can see the needs of the entire community. District elections will be a mistake.