Discuss how you make neighborhoods better without pricing the housing out of the range of the average resident.

Please select one of the following topics for your Term Paper and write a 1,500 word paper on the subject.  You can use the suggested links or find your own.  Grading will be based on original thought and an understanding of the subject matter.  Copying directly from outside sources must include credits and be used only to support a specific point.   This paper will represent 30% of your final grade.

  1. Proposition 13 – Split Roll Taxes

On many occasions in the past various groups as well as state legislators have suggested that California should implement a split roll tax measure, as an amendment to the existing Proposition 13 rules governing California property taxes and assessments.  Split roll taxes would allow for a different structure of assessment and taxation for commercial property, as compared to residential property.

Here are suggested links that will provide some background on the issue:




Please take a side, either in favor of or opposed to Split Roll taxes and make your case.  Include a discussion of the intended and unintended consequences that would result from your position on the issue.  Consider whether residential or commercial properties should bear the largest burden of property taxes and how the benefits of those taxes are shared.  Who is bearing the largest burden now?  Also consider alternatives to Split Roll taxes that should be considered.

  1. Gentrification and Affordable Housing

The Mayor and the Board of Supervisors are attempting to deal with the serious increase in housing costs in San Francisco.  Both rents and property values have gone up dramatically in the past 5-10 years.  This increase has come from many directions, including the tech boom and what is generally referred to as “gentrification” of our older neighborhoods.

What is gentrification, and is it good or bad?  What is the impact on filling empty stores in a low income neighborhood with retailers that bring more people into the area, thereby increasing demand for housing and then housing costs?  Who should pay the cost of building affordable housing, when land prices are at record highs and there are so many fees charged by the City for new construction that drive up the initial cost?

Here are a few links to consider:





Discuss how you make neighborhoods better without pricing the housing out of the range of the average resident.  Discuss potential solutions that you think should be considered to provide more affordable housing.

  1. Neighborhood Planning

Select either the neighborhood that you live in or any neighborhood within San Francisco for this paper.  The area should include both single family and multi-family housing and a neighborhood commercial district.  Discuss what changes you think should be implemented by the City to address the future needs of that neighborhood.  Discuss issues related to traffic, parking, transit, neighborhood-serving businesses and population density.

Here are some links that will provide background for your plan:






Your paper should form the basis of a new planning code for that neighborhood, setting priorities for future development and growth, and including public benefits.  Include a discussion about the community’s resistance to change, and how that resistance should be addressed.

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