ALERT: Jobs Housing Linkage Fee on Offices Could Increase to $69.60 per Square Foot

This Thursday, the Planning Commission will consider legislation to more than double the Jobs Housing Linkage Fee (“JHLF”) on both office and laboratory uses. The legislation is authored by Supervisor Matt Haney and co-sponsored by five other supervisors (Fewer, Ronen, Mar, Peskin, and Walton) who, together, comprise a majority of the Board of Supervisors. The […]


San Francisco Tax Battles Continue

Much has been written about the social ills facing the greater San Francisco Bay Area, what solutions have potential to make an impact, and to what extent the business community should be required to fund them.  Debate raged in advance of the November 2018 election, when approximately 61% of San Francisco voters passed a gross […]


Recent Case Confirming A Defense To An Ellis Act Eviction

The Ellis Act allows owners of residential real estate to take their properties off the rental market if they fulfill certain conditions, including the removal of all units at the property from the rental market.  A recent case entitled Hilaly v. Allen clarified one of the specific conditions precedent to an Ellis Act “eviction” and […]


Hotel Conversion Ordinance and Google’s $1 Billion Housing Pledge

In 2008, the Board of Supervisors passed a law restricting conversions of large hotels (100+ keys) into condominiums.  Conversions were allowed with a Conditional Use approval if a corresponding number of new hotel rooms came online in the past year. If more units were proposed for conversion than had been constructed, a lottery would take […]



Seismic, Structural, Geotech Peer Review: Start Early or Face Delays

At the outset of any new construction, addition, alteration or retrofit of an existing structure, the design team should identify whether the project is in soft soil and/or liquefaction zones, as defined by the California Seismic Hazard Zone Map; or in another zone requiring additional review such as the Slope Protection Zone or Maher Zone. […]


Draft Downtown Oakland Specific Plan to be Released This Summer

Later this summer, Oakland will be releasing its draft Downtown Oakland Specific Plan (the “Plan”).  A preliminary draft plan was released earlier this year (which can be accessed here).  The preliminary draft is the initial version of the draft Plan.  The Plan presents Oakland’s transformative ideas and recommendations for the future development of the downtown […]


The Land Use Week in Review: Starts and Stops and Starts

SB 50 Advances Out of Committee Two weeks ago, we wrote about State Sen. Scott Wiener’s SB 50, a new version of last year’s SB 827 that aims to boost housing density near public transit.  It’s one of the more ambitious initiatives to address California’s housing crisis – and one of the most controversial.  This […]


Third District Court of Appeal Finds that Lay Opinion on Aesthetics Can Support A CEQA “Fair Argument”

On December 17, 2018, California’s Third District Court of Appeal affirmed a judgment setting aside El Dorado County’s approval of a proposed Dollar General store in Georgetown with a mitigated negative declaration.  The Court held that while aesthetics are subjective, “lay opinions can provide substantial evidence to support a fair argument that a project may […]


SF Planning Commission Considers Proposed Statewide Housing Bill

Last Thursday, the City’s Planning Commission held a lengthy informational hearing on SB 50 – proposed statewide legislation intended to spur housing development in transit and job-rich areas. SB 50 was introduced by Senator Weiner on December 3, 2018.  It is essentially a revised version of last year’s failed SB 827, reformulated to expand its […]