On March 3, San Francisco voters will consider Proposition E (“San Francisco Balanced Development Act”)[1], which links the City’s “Proposition M” office allocation scheme, originally approved by voters in 1986, to affordable housing production. Proposition M currently limits the amount of office space that the City may approve annually, with 875,000 square feet added to the allocation for large office projects (50,000 square feet or more) each year in October. Continue Reading SF’s Proposition E Links Office Allocation to Housing Production

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

Effective December 16, costs for many office and laboratory projects in San Francisco are now higher. As we previously reported, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the more than doubling of the Citywide Jobs Housing Linkage Fee (JHLF) for such projects in November. The Mayor declined to veto the ordinance but instead returned it unsigned, expressing concern in an accompanying letter that the JHLF increase “must be done in a way that takes into account economic analysis, financial feasibility, and the different impacts experienced by our small businesses.” See our November and September blog posts for more information about the JHLF increase and the related nexus analysis and feasibility assessment.


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

In September, the California Legislature approved AB 1482, the Tenant Protection Act of 2019. Governor Newsom signed the bill on October 8, making California the third state this year to impose statewide residential rent control, behind Oregon and New York. The legislation also includes “just cause” eviction provisions. Continue Reading California Passes Rent Cap and Eviction Protections with AB 1482

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). That date is the deadline for MOHCD to release a formal implementation program, including a list of “Qualified Nonprofits” that have been granted certain rights of first offer and first refusal under COPA.

MOHCD has also confirmed that it will not require COPA compliance if a property owner has entered into a “binding contract for sale” prior to September 3, 2019. That term is not defined, but appears from the COPA legislation to include not only a binding purchase and sale agreement but possibly also other forms of contract, e.g., an option to purchase.

Although not addressed in the legislation, MOHCD has also provided guidance for property owners that list property subject to COPA for sale prior to September 3, 2019, but have not entered into a “binding contract for sale” prior to that date. Under that scenario, the yet-to-be-identified Qualified Nonprofits must be given a right of first refusal (ROFR), but not a right of first offer. Because the ROFR would be the seller’s first contact with “Qualified Nonprofits” they would presumably have 30 days (rather than five days) to respond; however, that wasn’t specified by MOHCD. The ROFR process is summarized in our March blog post and this graphic.

As reported in our May blog post, the San Francisco Apartment Association has stated that it believes the legislation is “illegal and unconstitutional,” and has indicated it plans to bring litigation against the City this year. We will be monitoring any legal developments surrounding the legislation.

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

On April 24, Senator Scott Wiener’s SB 50 passed the Senate Governance and Finance Committee with bipartisan support, incorporating amendments that limit the bill’s scope. It is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee on May 13. As previously reported, SB 50 mandates a combination of “equitable communities incentives” and a streamlined, ministerial approval process designed to promote housing production for qualifying projects on eligible sites. The amendments are part of a compromise agreement with Senator Mike McGuire and incorporate provisions from his previously competing measure, SB 4. Continue Reading Senator Wiener’s SB 50 Moves Forward with Compromise Amendments