New Details on Transportation Sustainability Fee Released

​Last week, legislation that would replace the Transit Impact Development Fee (“TIDF”) with a new Transportation Sustainability Fee (“TSF”) was introduced at the Board of Supervisors.  As we wrote several months ago [San Francisco Approaches New Transportation Fee, Reduced Transportation Analysis], the broader Transportation Sustainability Program would do several things, including (1) replace the TIDF with the TSF, which will apply to residential development and increase the former fee rate on non-residential development, (2) eliminate the requirement of a transportation study for most projects, and (3) establish standardized transportation demand management measures that will apply to new development projects.  

The TSF ordinance would eliminate the existing TIDF and establish a TSF fee rate of $7.74/sf for residential uses, $18.04/sf for non-residential uses, and $7.61/sf for PDR uses.  The TSF would apply to all new non-residential and PDR development of more than 800 square feet, but would only apply to residential developments of more than 20 dwelling units.  New group housing projects would be subject to the full fee.

Certain fee reductions would apply.  Changes of use within existing buildings will receive a credit for existing uses.  Residential projects located only in certain plan areas (including Eastern Neighborhoods, Market/Octavia, Balboa Park) will get a reduction equal to the amount of the area plan fee that is dedicated towards transit expenditures.  

Projects that have a development application (building/site permit, conditional use, variance, Large Project Authorization, Downtown Authorization) approved prior to the enactment of the TSF are fully grandfathered (although non-residential projects would still be subject to the TIDF).  Projects with development applications filed by the time the TSF is enacted will be eligible for a 50% reduction in the residential TSF and will be subject to the existing non-residential TIDF.   Therefore it is important for projects to get a development application on file prior to the enactment of the TSF ordinance.  The Planning Department expects passage before the end of 2015, and likely the earliest it could be passed is in late October.  An informational hearing will be held at the Planning Commission tomorrow.

In-Law Units Expanded to Supervisorial Districts 3 and 8

Last week, the Board of Supervisors passed on first reading two pieces of legislation that would allow new in-law units to be constructed (above the otherwise-applicable density limit) in Supervisorial Districts 3 (North Beach/Northeast Waterfront/Downtown/Chinatown) and 8 (Castro/Upper Market/Noe Valley/Twin Peaks/Glen Park).  In District 3, the legislation allows one new in-law unit (even if the building is already above the density limit) in an existing building with four or less units and removes all density limits for existing buildings with more than four units.  In District 8, the legislation allows one new in-law unit (even if above density) in existing buildings with up to 10 units and allows two new in-law units in existing buildings with more than 10 units.  In-law units must be constructed within the existing envelope of a building and may not take space from any existing dwelling unit.  In-law units are not permitted in RH-1(D) zoning districts.

There was some debate at the Board about creating units to be used as Airbnb rentals.  The final legislation requires that a building owner disclose whether the unit is intended to be used for short term rentals.  

New Planning Application Fee Schedule Goes Into Effect August 31

Planning’s annual update to its application fee schedule has been released, and is set to go into effect on August 31.  You can find the fee schedule here: Get your applications on file now to avoid the increased fees.

The issues discussed in this update are not intended to be legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is established with the recipient. Readers should consult with legal counsel before relying on any of the information contained herein. Reuben, Junius & Rose, LLP is a full service real estate law firm. We specialize in land use, development and entitlement law. We also provide a wide range of transactional services, including leasing, acquisitions and sales, formation of limited liability companies and other entities, lending/workout assistance, subdivision and condominium work.