Last spring, we reported on Senator Scott Wiener’s SB 827, which proposed major increases in height and density for qualifying housing developments. Battle lines quickly emerged, with supporters claiming that the legislation was a bold, necessary solution to the housing affordability and climate change crises, and opponents asserting that it was a threat to neighborhood stability and an invitation to gentrification. The bill was ultimately killed in Committee. On December 3, Senator Wiener introduced SB 50. Continue Reading Senator Wiener Introduces Recrafted Legislation Providing Height and Density Bonuses, Other Incentives for “Transit-Rich” and “Jobs-Rich” Projects
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
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.
[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.
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.
San Francisco wasted no time implementing AB 1505, which authorizes localities to adopt ordinances requiring developers to provide on-site inclusionary affordable housing units in rental projects, provided that there is an alternative means of compliance such as in-lieu fees or off-site inclusionary rental units. As explained in our prior post on 2017’s 15-bill housing package, AB 1505 supersedes case law that deemed on-site inclusionary rental unit requirements an impermissible form of rent control under the state Costa-Hawkins Act.
Barring any last-minute surprises, the Board of Supervisors will finally adopt compromise inclusionary housing legislation on July 18th that would, as shown in our summary comparison chart, make many major changes to the City’s existing program. The key provisions of the legislation affecting large projects with 25 or more residential units can be found in our prior blog post on this topic.
Recent noteworthy changes, including an important change to existing grandfathering protections for certain pipeline projects, are summarized below.
Having trouble keeping up with the seemingly endless torrent of new housing laws? You are not alone. Here is our summary of the key pending State and San Francisco legislation aimed at increasing housing/affordable housing production: