Think residential projects in San Francisco could not get more complicated? Think again.

On December 11, 2018, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors introduced legislation that would significantly impact the demolition and modification of residential units (BOS File No. 181216). The Planning Code requires most “demolitions” of residential units to obtain Conditional Use (“CU”) approval after a hearing by the Planning Commission, whether or not the unit is […]


Solving the Housing Crisis?  Housing Legislation and Related Initiatives to Watch in 2019

The year has just started, but there are already several pending pieces of housing legislation and other initiatives to watch in 2019, both locally (San Francisco and Bay Area overall) and statewide.  The 2019-2020 legislative session opened in Sacramento just last month and 26 housing bills have already been introduced.  This article summarizes a few […]


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 […]