The Game – 250 – Housing in Brisbane

Throughout the Bay Area, everyone – residents, would-be residents, employers and leading elected officials – are crying out for a solution to the regional housing shortage. And many of them have decided Brisbane is standing in the way. The Game is housing, the Game is on.

It may be the sole remaining large parcel of Bay Area land available for housing – 600 acres of landfill and an old railyard in Brisbane. For more than a decade, the city has wrestled with what to do with this plot of land – contaminated, but vacant. Now, there is regional pressure to build housing there, and not just a little – enough to triple the population of a city that has long been described as tiny and sleepy.

Last month, the city council voted 5-0 to begin the process of putting on the November ballot an amendment to the city’s general plan that would allow for the building of up to 2,200 housing units, double the number that currently exists in Brisbane, and up to 4 million square feet of commercial development.

Citywide polling from 2015 shows that Brisbane voters feel mixed, at best, about the proposal, but state legislators and regional news outlets have been sharply critical of the Brisbane City Council for not considering a plan that called for 4,000 housing units.

Here to talk in our 250th episode about this complicated and pressure-packed issue are Clarke Conway, Mayor of Brisbane, and City Manager Clay Holstine.

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