Trial Court Challenges to State Housing Laws

In the last few weeks, two California trial courts interpreted state housing development laws—SB35 and the Housing Accountability Act—in ways that limit their applicability to cities. While trial court opinions are not binding on other courts, these decisions may give development opponents tools to slow the creation of new housing supply. The decisions are summarized […]

New California ADU Laws Aim to Remove Barriers and Boost Development

While campaigning for Governor, Gavin Newsom pledged to build 3.5 million new units by 2025 to combat California’s housing crisis. One way to meet this ambitious goal is through the construction of accessory dwelling units (“ADUs”). Since 2017, California lawmakers have passed several bills to streamline the ADU approval process. However, exorbitant fees and strict […]

Citywide Jobs Housing Linkage Fee Increase on Office and Lab

On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed legislation increasing the Jobs Housing Linkage Fee (“JHLF”) for office and laboratory projects.   While some grandfathering applies to pipeline projects, as of January 2021 new large office projects will be assessed the JHLF at a rate of $69.60 per gross square foot (“gsf”); smaller office developments […]

New Legislation Aims to Limit “Intermediate Length” Rentals

Following recent controversy over furnished rental properties that skirt the short term rental regulations by requiring tenants to stay for at least 30 days, Supervisor Peskin introduced legislation last week aimed at reigning in such projects. The ordinance would create a new “Intermediate Length Occupancy” under the Planning Code and would provide corresponding amendments to […]

California Incentives

California Adds Incentives for Developers and Homeowners

Governor Gavin Newsom announced this month that he has signed 18 bills into law that will boost housing production in California. Many of these bills fall into two categories: first, bills that reduce barriers for developers to build large-scale housing (more than four units), and second, bills that reduce barriers for homeowners to build accessory […]

Rent protections

Statewide Rent Control & Eviction Protections Signed into Law

For over 20 years, Costa Hawkins has set the parameters for rent control in California by limiting a city’s ability to enact rent control regulations that apply to units built after 1995. Many local rent control ordinances provide a much earlier cutoff than what is permitted under State law. For example, San Francisco’s rent control […]


COPA is Here – Now What?

The Community Opportunity to Purchase Act (COPA) was approved unanimously earlier this year.  COPA legislation became effective on June 3, 2019, however, the COPA program rules were not published until September 3, 2019 by the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD).  The COPA program applies to the sale of all San Francisco multi-family […]

Jobs Housing

ALERT: Jobs Housing Linkage Fee on Offices Could Increase

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  Jobs Housing 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 […]

San Francisco

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 […]

Ellis Act Eviction

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 […]