Meet Elizabeth Hansberg

Fullerton’s Future?

Friends, you may be excused for not knowing who Elizabeth Hansberg is. Very few people know, or care who is on their Planning Commission. But it matters.

Elizabeth Hansberg is our current Planning Commission Chairperson, appointed by the egregious Ahmad Zahra. “So what?” I can hear you saying. Well, contemplate this: she says she is an urban planner, and boy, does she have an urban plan for Fullerton: 13,000 new housing units is the plan, a concept that would increase our population by as much as 33%, upward of 200,000.

“What’s this?” you ask. Here’s the deal. Ms. Hansberg is a “housing advocate” which means jamming as many apartment blocks as is possible into Fullerton. The non-profit she started – People for Housing, now affiliated with something called YIMBY (Yes In My Backyard) lobbies government agencies to build housing units. And lots of them. The website brags about lobbying the Fullerton City Council with images of yet another Planning Commissioner in tow – some political opportunist weenie called Jose Trinidad Castaneda,

Their mission is to pursue the current philosophy current in Sacramento to build hundreds of thousands of new units no matter the impact on the current property owners, the infrastructure or the environment. Slow Growth and sustainability advocates are her nemesis.

Naturally this has raised accusation that her movement is nothing but a pawn of the big development interests who are desperate to sink their shafts into the mine of cross-zoning in-fill housing monstrosities. Her cohorts deny this charge, but it still rings true. Why? Because she actually solicits opportunities from developers to engage in political advocacy on their behalf. It’s right there on the website. It gives every indication of being little more than a self-congratulatory shake-down effort.

So who does fund People for Housing, and what are the implications of having this person on our Planning Commission? 

Stay tuned.

36 Replies to “Meet Elizabeth Hansberg”

  1. Sounds like a classic case of disqualifying bias.

    Predeclaring housing suitable for approval, particularly outside of the already established general plan, necessarily means she cannot fairly evaluate projects on their own individual merit in a quasi judicial setting.

    Dick Jones? Paging Dick Jones. Wake up, Dick.

  2. This Castaneda guy should be disqualified too. As another one of those Never Miss A Photo Op creeps like Zahra.

  3. Demonizing developers sounds more like The Observer than FFFF.

    I spoke in favor of the 37-unit infill townhouse development on Bastanchury next to Beechwood School, when many of my neighbors spoke against it. If that makes me a YIMBY, too, so be it!

    Local government should respect property rights and changing market conditions. Cities over-zoned for commercial uses for hoped-for sales tax revenue. Many of those sites now lay fallow–empty auto dealers, semi-abandoned strip centers, empty big boxes with vastly over-sized parking lots, etc.

    There’s a big difference between lobbying “government agencies to build housing units” and simply allowing the market to do so. City Hall should not be in the housing business, but neither should it block evolving trends in private development and land use.

      1. Creep is right, Castaneda haunts the Nextdoor app like the two bit strumpet he is. Perfectly fit for the bill. Oozing righteousness at every turn, but would sell his own mother for a chance at a seat.

    1. Norby, I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but apparently it’s necessary.

      Property rights violations are takings. Entitlements that include zone changes and general plan amendments are a form of giving; so are density bonuses and parking requirement waivers.

      Now please just go away once and for all. Your neighbors will thank you on the way out.

  4. Thanks, Mackenzie. Nice to have an actual name attached to a post. Insults are not arguments.

    Property rights are natural rights, not “a form of giving” granted by the government.
    “Life, Liberty & Property”–Locke.

    Land use should be determined by the market. The origin and history of zoning reflect exclusionary policies based on class and race, and fallacious ideas of incompatibility. They transferred enormous power from individuals to bureaucrats.

    1. There is no “market condition” when the State dictates every single facet of development from zoning to what colors you can paint things. The municipal code is a nightmare of bureaucratic bungling used to dole out favors to connected interests and crony friends.

      You don’t even own your property these days, you lease it from the State vis a vis property taxes. Don’t pay? They take it from you. So please go quote Locke in a century where he was still relevant.

      1. You are right.

        Whether we like the laws or not (philosophically or not) they were put in place 100 years ago and are still the single biggest factor in property value – except for low recessions and speculative bubbles. The granting of zoning that changes the value of property – in some cases by huge factors, and granted to political campaign contributors is appalling. Norby is rattling off his usual tripe and if you follow his record you’ll see a trail of awful projects in Fullerton that never should have been approved.

      2. There is no “market condition” when the State dictates every single facet of development from zoning to what colors you can paint things.

        True dat. And 1600 Commonwealth is going to be sold to affordable housing developers. As planned for many years.

    2. Show me a natural right in operation and I’ll show you a unicorn. Locke. What a hoot.

      If the government increases the value of your property simply by upzoning then it has bestowed wealth on you, quite possibly to the detriment of your neighbor and diminishing the value of HIS property.

      Don’t like zoning, Norby? Go live in Haiti. Or, better yet go live in a box by the railroad yard.

      1. We should have some sort of debate! Get some beers and discuss it. There’s surely benefit in having productive discussion. But if we’re not intending to solve anything and just vent, then yea, the city shouldn’t have the right to bestow upon economic advantages to one party over another or worse the detriment of another, but here we are.

        1. You have hit upon the intellectual AND practical basis of having these sorts of regulations, even if in the specific instance many land use requirements are bureaucratic and stupid.

          Norby’s formula requires us to discredit the impacts on others of decisions that benefit one person. There is no inherent right to do anything you want with your property so can it be a “right.”

    3. Christ, Norby, if you’re going to dredge up a Seventeenth Century dude, try yo find one who wasn’t a paid hack.

    4. Spouting cliches isn’t an argument either, Mr. Norby. It’s even worse when you didn’t bother really reading the post and so completely missed the point.

  5. I think you meant Houston, not Haiti.

    Then there’s Lakewood, the perfectly planned city from the ‘50s. Some people like it.

    But there’s no downtown, nor any other kind of urban mix that makes places interesting & unique. Some people like that, too.

    Zoning micromanages land use and freezes it in time. Times change, and changing a zone adds time & money to housing costs.

    Some of Fullerton’s worst projects were where bureaucrats dictated land use and design—like the fake 2nd story, SE Harbor/Commonwealth

    1. And now bureuacrats at City Hall and SCAG are mandating massive, high density development. Jesus Norby get a fucking clue.

  6. nice we can walk and chew gum at same time but not clear how this turned into property rights argument. it is about another lobbyist corrupting the city in a never ending line of thieves with their fingers in fullerton cookie jar. some of us are pissed off from the fingering

    1. This is not about anybody’s conceptions or misconception of “property rights.” This is about a Plpanning Commissioner who has an extremely biased agenda and who subsists on government grants and quite possibly what can be squeezed out of developers by “advocating” for a project. It stinks either way. Norby for some reason interjected himself in a conversation by diverting attention from it – always a bad sign. But Norby has also tried to be a lobbyist for developers.

    2. Exactly! How in the hell did these 2 get on the planning commission?
      Lemme guess: Dumb and dumber (Zahra and Silva).

      1. No, that creep Castaneda is the appointment of Fred Jung, who ought to reverse it. I don’t think Jung though that through.

  7. “The non-profit she started – People for Housing, ” A reputable blog on homeless persons with mental illness describes non-profits as poverty pimps. These non-profit/poverty pimps wander in with promises to alleviate human misery by forming “coalitions” with the “community” to alleviate/ameliorate (insert mentally ill homeless, economic homelessness, drug addiction homeless, living in semi-poverty with constant threat of becoming homeless due to high rents), the reader gets my point. The first rule for non-profit/poverty pimps is to intentionally misidentify the problem. Majority of homeless are chronically, gravely disabled due to their mental illness. Building affordable housing does not cure debilitating, life-long schizophrenia. These persons need the city and state to fund long-term, residential ,mental health milieu. However, this approach does not generate profits like non-profits/poverty pimps plan to facilitate, not actually build, affordable housing. Second rule for non-profit/poverty pimps is once problem misidentified then show annual statistics report while wisely avoiding actual numbers to show lack of affordable housing is rapidly increasing homeless population in town/city. It isn’t lack of mental health, residential treatment for mentally ill who are homeless because they can’t get a job because they are gravely disabled by schizophrenia causing them to live on the streets, but due to lack of affordable housing. Third rule for non-profit/poverty pimps is to scapegoat a segment of a town/city’s population mean spirited, conservatism as blocking the success of their humanitarian venture with tax dollars. Meanwhile these non-profits/poverty pimps receive funding to help fix the misidentified problem while ensuring a healthy livelihood for themselves by skimming “administrative fees for administering the erroneous plan to facilitate(not build) affordable housing by “building bridges” between government and private developers. In other areas of business this is known as a finders fee.

  8. Creep is right, Castaneda haunts the Nextdoor app like the two bit strumpet he is. Perfectly fit for the bill. Oozing righteousness at every turn, but would sell his own mother for a chance at a seat.

  9. Speaking of non-profit/poverty pimps, if I correctly recall, there was an”affordable housing” project in Fullerton called Heritage Square. It was touted as providing affordable housing for city of Fullerton’s teachers, firefighters and other employees of this city. What was odd, when looking at Transparent California which lists all public employees who live in California, many of the salaries for Fullerton’s teachers, firefighters, librarians had six figure salaries. Also odd was the income required to purchase an affordable Heritage Square house was the median income or higher for Orange County, CA.. Worse is Heritage Square tore down affordable apartments for 140 low income tenants who were displaced from their homes to build affordable housing on this same lot. If correct, this scenario is far from caring about low income wage earners and more about municipal governments using tax dollars to invest in lucrative, private ventures. Who profits from this arrangement? Where are the forensic accountants?

    1. Who profits? The bureaucrats whose job it is to shuffle people around and the favored developer who gets tax credits and “differed” equity in the project.

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