Protecting the Economic Viability of Development Projects in an Age of Construction Material Cost Increases: One Solution

Unpredictable construction and labor costs continue to have a significant impact on project viability.  A September 2018 Meyers Research study, Cost Drivers Impacting Housing, funded by the California Homebuilding Foundation, identifies construction material shortages and costs as a significant factor impacting the supply of housing.  Framing lumber, ready-mix concrete, plywood/engineered wood, and gypsum were cited […]


Lease Consequences Upon Exercising Option to Purchase

What terms must be included in a lease option to purchase to ensure enforceability?  If a tenant exercises an option to purchase, when does the lease and related obligation to pay rent cease?  A recent Court of Appeal case, Petrolink, Inc. v. Lantel Enterprises, decided just these issues. (21 Cal.App.5th 375 (2018)).  In Petrolink, the […]


Land Use Legislative Update

Two legislative measures introduced at the Board of Supervisors last week provided some updates to land use policy in San Francisco. Mayor Breed Gives a Lifeline to Stalled Housing Projects Proposition C, which significantly increased affordable housing requirements on new housing projects, provided some relief with grandfathering provisions for many pipeline projects.  Projects that had […]


San Francisco Proposes New Roof Deck Policy: Drastic New Restrictions or Prudent Planning?

On August 30, 2018, the San Francisco Planning Commission received an informational debriefing from Planning Department Staff on a proposed new policy (Record No. 2018-005411CRV; the “Policy”) on construction of residential roof decks. The purpose of the Policy is to mitigate potential impacts to adjacent residents resulting from the addition of a roof deck, including, […]


Proposition 10 – Taking the Debate over Rent Control Back to the Local Level

This November, California voters will decide whether to repeal statewide limitations on local rent control.  A majority vote for Proposition 10 would repeal the Costa Hawkins Act, a 1995 law that limits the reach of local rent control measures to multi-family housing built before 1995, and forbids cities and counties from setting the initial rent […]


Proposed State Law to Tighten HOA Election Rules

A contentious new bill to amend state condo law is making its way through the California legislature. Senate Bill 1265 (“SB 1265”), introduced by Senator Wieckowski (District 10), would amend the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act (“Act”) to more tightly regulate homeowners association (“HOA”) elections. SB 1265 is intended to target perceived abuses of the […]


Board of Supervisors Considers Office Cafeteria Ban

One of the major themes in San Francisco land use regulation over the last few years has been an ongoing tug of war between the Board of Supervisors and the thriving tech industry.  As tech companies have moved in and brought new life to areas like Mid-Market (and soon Central SoMa), those companies have received […]


San Francisco Proposes to Loosen Reins on ADUs

Yesterday, the Board of Supervisors reviewed Supervisor Tang’s legislation that, if passed, will provide more flexibility for San Francisco’s accessory dwelling unit (ADU) program.  The Board unanimously passed the legislation on first reading.  As discussed in more detail below, the legislation proposes a number of amendments to the program including some that would allow expansion […]


San Francisco Board of Supervisors Preliminarily Passes New Noticing Scheme and Planning Department Rolls Out New Application Procedures

New Planning Code Noticing Provisions Last week, the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed on its first reading an ordinance that would amend the Planning Code to implement a number of process improvements. Included in those amendments are changes to simplify the Planning Code noticing requirements. The Planning Code currently contains varying notice provisions for several […]


Client Alert – Proposed Changes to HOME-SF Density Bonus Program

Legislation introduced by Supervisor Katy Tang would potentially allow a broader range of projects to use San Francisco’s local density bonus program, called HOME-SF. Supervisor Tang—who championed the original program—is proposing a three-tier system that links affordability percentages to the height increase a project seeks, along with other changes meant to speed up the entitlement […]