Temporary Moratorium on Mission District Housing Introduced to Supes, May Appear on November Ballot

​On Tuesday, Supervisor Campos introduced legislation that would place a temporary moratorium on Planning approvals or issuance of permits for all market-rate residential projects with five or more units in the Mission District.  If passed, many multi-unit residential projects in the Mission awaiting Planning Approval would have to wait until the moratorium is lifted to move forward.  The legislation would also apply to permits for demolition, conversion or elimination of PDR uses in the District.  The initial moratorium would last for 45-days, but could later be extended for up to two years under state law.

The moratorium legislation, which is co-sponsored by Supervisors Mar, Kim, Avalos, and Yee, is an attempt to curb the displacement of longtime Mission residents.  The idea is to create a development-free period during which Planning and other City agencies could study the potential for updated zoning controls or other policies to combat displacement and develop more affordable housing in the area.  The moratorium would extend over an approximately 1.5 square mile area. (See Map Below)

Moratorium Boundary Map
Moratorium Boundary Map

The “urgency ordinance” requires 9 of 11 Supervisor votes to pass, and Supervisor Campos may have a difficult time eliciting the four additional votes needed.  As recently reported in SF Gate and the Business Times, Board President Breed, Supervisor Weiner, and Mayor Ed Lee have expressed concerns that a moratorium would actually exacerbate the neighborhood’s housing problems.   

The legislation comes on the heels of Monday’s announcement by Edwin Lindo of the San Francisco Latino Democratic Club that a coalition of affordable housing and advocacy groups plan to submit a measure for the November ballot that would halt market-rate housing in the Mission for up to 18 months.  

As the Business Times reported earlier this week, a draft of the ballot measure shows that the moratorium would apply to all projects larger than 20 units and would extend to the entire Mission neighborhood.  Early signs point to voter support for such a proposal, as a February poll of likely voters conducted by David Binder Associates found that 65 percent of the 600 people polled would support a ballot measure to halt “new project approvals in the mission District for one year.” 

Oakland Protestors Shut Down City Council Vote on Housing Development

The housing affordability debate is heating up across the Bay as well.

Protestors shut down an Oakland City Council hearing on Tuesday evening, preventing the Council’s anticipated vote to approve sale of public land to developers UrbanCore and Integral Development for construction of market-rate housing in Lake Meritt.

A group of approximately 40 protestors stormed into the Council chambers, chanting “Housing is a human right” and disrupting proceedings.  After a 10-minute standoff, the Council went into recess and eventually adjourned before a vote could be taken.  The protestors then occupied the Council chambers, forming a human chain and taking over the City’s tv system to broadcast their own meeting which lasted until 9 p.m.  

The protest followed an organized outside of the City Council Chambers prior to the hearing by 18 advocacy groups including Causa Justa, East Bay Housing Organizations and Service Employees International Union Local 1021.  

The project at issue, which is one of the few active market-rate housing projects approved in Oakland in recent years, would construct 298 units on a City-owned parcel at 12th Street and 2nd Avenue.  It was approved by the City’s Planning Commission in March, but must obtain approval from the City Council for sale of the land. 

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.