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

Assemblyman David Chiu has unveiled his long-promised legislation to establish a modified version of the state’s former redevelopment program, aimed at creating major state funding for affordable housing, transit, and other infrastructure. Chiu introduced AB 3037 as placeholder legislation on February 16 and amended it on March 19. Committee hearings began on April 11.

Continue Reading Assemblyman Chiu Unveils AB 3037 Community Redevelopment Proposal

ConstructionThe State Density Bonus law has been in effect for almost 40 years, but it has required a prolonged housing crisis to push San Francisco to adopt a local implementing ordinance.  Last year the Board of Supervisors adopted the 100 Percent Affordable Housing Program for affordable housing projects, but was unable to agree on a program for market-rate projects.  Supervisor Katy Tang has now introduced legislation that would consolidate existing and add new density bonus programs to local law.

The Affordable Housing Bonus Program (AHBP) renames the existing 100 Percent Affordable Housing Program and adds three new components: 1) the HOME-SF Program; 2) the Analyzed State Density Bonus Program (ADSBP), and 3) the Individually Requested Bonus Program (IRBP).

Continue Reading Affordable Housing Bonus Program Takes Shape in San Francisco

california-state-flagShortly after being sworn in as California State Senator on Monday, former San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced SB 35, placeholder legislation addressing barriers to housing production. The legislation currently consists of a one paragraph intent statement, focusing on streamlining and providing incentives for creation of housing, and removing local barriers to creating affordable housing and complying with regional housing needs obligations.

Continue Reading Senator Wiener Moves Quickly out of the Gate on Housing Bill

San Francisco Ballot MeasuresPrior to the November 8 election, we reported on the long list of local propositions on the San Francisco ballot, including a number of measures impacting real estate taxes, land use and governance.  The results were of course eclipsed by national news, but there are some significant local developments, updated here.

Continue Reading San Francisco Election Results: Which Real Estate Measures Passed?

Admittedly the issues may appear benign compared to the Presidential race and the drugs, sex and other provocative topics on the state ballot.  But San Francisco voters again face a long list of significant local propositions on November 8th, and among them are a number of measures impacting real estate taxes, land use and governance.

Unfamiliar Terrain summarizes the key measures impacting our industry:

Continue Reading A Plethora of Propositions: Real Estate Tax, Land Use and Governance on the San Francisco Ballot