On May 29, 2020, the Judicial Council of California amended Rule No. 9 of its COVID-19 emergency regulations to add certainty and to shorten the tolling period for civil causes of action subject to statutes of limitation of 180 days or less, such as CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) lawsuits.

The new Rule is good news for developers of approved and soon-to-be approved projects. The tolling period now ends on a set and relatively near-term date, providing renewed certainty.

Previously, Rule No. 9 tolled all statutes of limitation from April 6, 2020 to the date 90 days after the Governor declares that the COVID-19 state of emergency is lifted.
Continue Reading Land Use Litigation Statute of Limitations Tolling Period to End on August 3, 2020

The Housing Crisis Act of 2019 (Senate Bill No. 330; Senator Skinner) goes into effect on January 1, 2020 and expires on January 1, 2025. It aims to address the statewide housing crisis by limiting the number of public hearings for new housing developments and reducing the timeline for permit review, placing limits on permit processing, limiting fees and exactions, and making it more difficult for local jurisdictions to deny or modify housing projects.
Continue Reading SB 330 Seeks to Speed Up Housing Production

Costs for many office and laboratory projects in San Francisco are poised to increase. On November 5, 2019, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a proposed ordinance that would more than double the Citywide Jobs Housing Linkage Fee (JHLF) rate for such projects. The ordinance now moves to the Mayor for consideration.
Continue Reading SF Board of Supervisors Approves Major Increase to Jobs Housing Linkage Fee

Costs for many non-residential developments in San Francisco are poised to increase. On September 19, 2019, the Planning Commission approved a proposed ordinance that would more than double the City-wide Jobs Housing Linkage Fee (JHLF) rate for office and laboratory development. The ordinance now moves to the Board of Supervisors for consideration.
Continue Reading SF Planning Commission Approves Major Increase to Jobs Housing Linkage Fee

San Francisco’s Community Opportunity to Purchase Act (COPA) became effective earlier this month but the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) has clarified that sellers of multi-family residential rental properties and certain vacant lots in San Francisco will not be required to comply until September 3, 2019 (90 days after the effective date).

Two affordable housing measures are currently proposed for the November 5, 2019 ballot: (i) City Charter and Code amendments to encourage certain 100% affordable and teacher housing projects by providing for a streamlined ministerial — i.e., no CEQA — approval process for qualified projects and (ii) an up-to $500 million affordable housing bond.

Continue Reading Two Affordable Housing Measures Proposed for November Ballot

Pending legislation introduced by San Francisco Supervisor Fewer would amend the City’s laws to give certain qualified non-profit organizations certified by the City (“Qualified Nonprofits”) the first right to purchase multi-family rental properties and certain vacant lots in San Francisco. 
Continue Reading San Francisco’s Next Big Move in Maintaining Housing Affordability: Nonprofits’ First Right to Purchase Multi-Family Rental Properties

SF Planning Dept. – Central SoMa boundary map

After over seven years of planning and public outreach, as of January 7, 2019, the Central SoMa Plan and its implementing legislation are finally effective.  The City’s analysis concludes that the Plan area has development capacity for over 8,000 new housing units (approximately 33 percent of which will be affordable) and over 30,000 new jobs, and will generate over two billion dollars of public benefits.
Continue Reading At Long Last: Central SoMa Plan Effective

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