Laws

Two Legislators Take Aim at Statewide Planning Laws

In an apparent backlash against recent housing bills, two California state legislators have introduced a constitutional amendment that would essentially revoke the state’s ability to regulate land use. If approved, this amendment would allow cities to avoid compliance with state laws aimed at increasing housing production, making it more difficult to meet the housing needs […]

size

Size Restrictions Proposed on San Francisco Homes

San Francisco policy-makers continue to scrutinize the size of dwellings in an attempt to manage affordability and housing stock.  Merits aside, policy-makers have expressed a consistent concern about demolitions, expansions, and new large-home construction.  The latest measure is an ordinance introduced last month by Supervisor Rafael Mandelman (District 8), whose district includes the Castro, Noe […]

Hostile Use of Another’s Property & Prescriptive Easements

A recent case provides further insight into what is considered “hostile” or “adverse” with respect to obtaining a prescriptive easement right.  A prescriptive easement is where one acquires a right to use another’s property, not by express agreement, but through the use of another’s property without permission.  More specifically, to establish a prescriptive easement, the […]

Housing

Cities’ Upcoming Need to Identify Housing Opportunity Sites

The next RHNA (Regional Housing Needs Assessment) cycle is quickly approaching, which means that all Bay Area cities will be taking a closer look at their Housing Elements and determining whether they have enough land zoned to accommodate more housing. In June 2020, the California Housing and Community Development (“HCD”) provided the Bay Area its […]

new law

New Law Limits Rental Restrictions in Condo Projects

A new law became effective on January1, 2021, that impacts common interest developments (“CIDs”) (including condo projects and planned developments) and homeowners associations (“HOAs”) in California.  Assembly Bill 3182 adds Civil Code Section 4741 to the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act (“Davis-Stirling Act”), which is the primary body of law governing CIDs and HOAs in […]

Downtown Plan

Plan Updates in Oakland and SF

This week, we discuss Oakland’s most recent status report on its proposed Downtown Specific Plan and San Francisco’s kickoff of its own General Plan update. Oakland’s Downtown Plan Progresses, with Changes Oakland’s sixth area plan—and the first to focus exclusively on the downtown area—is moving forward again, but with modifications based on feedback provided on […]

interim zoning controls

New Interim Density Controls for Residential-Commercial Districts

In January the Board of Supervisors passed interim zoning controls for parcels in RC, RM, and RTO (excluding RTO-M) zoning districts. The controls require Conditional Use Authorization (“CU”) for most new construction or alterations that do not maximize residential density. Sponsored by Supervisor Peskin, the interim zoning controls became effective on January 21st and are […]

Proposition C

Proposition C Upheld by Court of Appeal

California’s First District Court of Appeal (“Court of Appeal”) has rejected arguments from business and tax groups challenging the validity of San Francisco’s Proposition C, the Early Care and Education initiative.  The Court of Appeal held that citizen initiatives to enact a special tax only require a simple majority vote to pass, even if an […]

Proposition 19

Unforeseen Effect of Proposition 19

Despite San Francisco’s reputation as a high-rent city, it maintains a substantial inventory of older, lower-rent units that primarily cater to working- and middle-class renters. The prevalence of these units arises from a combination of factors: strong rent-control laws and eviction protections, combined with favorable tax treatment under Proposition 13 and subsequent parent-child transfer exemptions […]

Affordable Housing

Impact Fee Update

San Francisco School Fees Expanded On January 11, 2021, San Francisco issued the 2021 Impact Fee Schedule. One change of note is the calculation of the San Francisco Unified School District Fee (“School Fee”) as applied to multi-unit residential developments. The change would increase the fee on such developments by increasing the space in the […]

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