On September 30, Governor Brown signed AB 2923, which could pave the way for BART to develop up to approximately 20,000 residential units, plus about 4.5 million square feet of office and commercial uses, on about 250 acres of BART-owned land. It requires cities and counties to adopt local zoning standards for BART-owned land that conform to BART Transit Oriented Development (TOD) zoning standards and establishes a streamlined approval process for qualifying projects. The law sunsets on January 1, 2029. Continue Reading Major BART Housing Bill Passes

Proposition C—the Commercial Rent Tax for Childcare and Early Education—is set to take effect on January 1, 2019, and increase the Gross Receipts Tax (“GRT”) on commercial rents in San Francisco.  As discussed in our previous post, Proposition C competed with Proposition D—the Housing For All Commercial Rent Tax—and prevailed with San Francisco voters in June. Continue Reading Update on Commercial Rent Tax: Tax For Childcare Passes, Faces Legal Challenge

This summer, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved legislation that increased the Transportation Sustainability Fee (TSF) for large non-residential projects, amended the HOME-SF (Housing Opportunities Mean Equity-San Francisco) Program to temporarily (through 2019) reduce Program requirements, and created a new administrative approval process for 100% Affordable Housing Bonus Program projects. Continue Reading Summer Summary: Recent Changes in Local Law

California voters will consider a November ballot initiative (Proposition 10) that would repeal the 1995 California Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act (“Costa-Hawkins”). Costa-Hawkins generally limits rent controls that may be imposed by local jurisdictions on housing units in buildings with a certificate of occupancy issued after February 1995, prohibits local jurisdictions from expanding rent control to include “vacancy control,” and exempts single-family homes and condominiums from rent controls, with limited exceptions. Continue Reading California Voters Poised to Weigh in on Major Changes to Rent Control Law

Earlier this summer, Bay Area voters passed Regional Measure 3 with 54% of the vote, authorizing $4.5 billion of transportation improvements throughout the region. Commuters will pay a $1 toll hike on seven Bay Area bridges, excluding only the Golden Gate Bridge, beginning on January 1, 2019. Our original article summarizing RM-3 lays out the planned improvements.  Continue Reading RM-3 Passed – What Happens Next?

Competing special purpose tax measures are on the San Francisco June ballot, both of which would raise the tax on gross receipts from the lease of commercial space in San Francisco.  The tax rates in the measures – generally, 1.7% and 3.5% – would be a steep increase over the current gross receipts tax rate applicable to commercial rents of around 0.3%.  Either proposed tax would be in addition to the gross receipts tax already in effect and would become operative on January 1, 2019.

Continue Reading Commercial Landlords Beware: Competing Tax Measures on June Ballot

On the June 5, 2018 primary ballot, voters in the nine Bay Area counties will vote on Regional Measure 3 (RM-3).  The measure would authorize toll increases on seven Bay Area bridges – all but the Golden Gate Bridge – to fund large-scale improvements to the region’s transportation infrastructure.  If approved, tolls would increase by $1 in January 2019, with subsequent $1 increases in January 2022 and 2025.

The legislation aims to remedy the Bay Area’s “traffic epidemic” by funding approximately $4.5 billion of transportation improvements over the next 25 years.

Continue Reading Regional Measure 3 Aims to Reduce Transportation Woes

SF Planning Dept. – Central SoMa boundary map
SF Planning Dept. – Central SoMa boundary map

On May 10, 2018, the San Francisco Planning Commission voted unanimously to adopt the Central SoMa Plan and its Implementation Program by certifying the EIR and recommending approval of implementing legislation, with modifications. It also recommended approval of the proposed Central SoMa Housing Sustainability District (HSD), which is separately sponsored by Mayor Mark Farrell and Supervisor Jane Kim. The Central SoMa legislation will next be considered by the Board of Supervisors.

Continue Reading Latest Updates to the Central SoMa Plan: What’s New?

SF Planning Dept. – Central SoMa boundary map

[Originally posted on March 23, 2018, updated on April 11, 2018]

Following more than six years of planning and public outreach, the City initiated the formal approval process for the Central SoMa Plan (Plan) at the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission on February 27 and March 1, respectively. The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) and Planning Commission held informational hearings on the Plan on March 21 and March 22, respectively. The HPC also considered initiation of the formal landmark designation process for certain buildings and districts identified during the Plan process. The Planning Commission is scheduled to consider the EIR and approvals on May 10, with the Board considering the legislation thereafter.

Continue Reading San Francisco Finally Poised to Adopt Central SoMa Plan

[Originally posted on March 19, 2018, updated on April 11, 2018]

Building on the state’s major housing legislation from 2017, Senator Scott Wiener’s SB 827 proposes major increases in height and density for qualifying housing developments. A project would generally qualify if it is within either a 1/2 mile radius of a major transit stop or a 1/4 mile radius of a stop on a high-quality bus corridor, as defined in the bill. The legislation was introduced in January and was amended on March 1 and April 9, principally to address tenant relocation and inclusionary housing concerns and to extend the operative date of the bill to January 1, 2021 (with a potential one-time one-year extension) to address timing concerns raised by San Francisco and other local jurisdictions. For qualifying sites, permitted heights would be at least 45 to 55 feet (originally, 45 to 85 feet), regardless of local height limits, unless the height increase would result in a specific, adverse impact, as defined in the bill. Major areas of the state, including large portions of several of its largest cities, would be affected.

Continue Reading Land Use Showdown: Battle Lines Are Drawn in SB 827 Housing Density and Height Debate