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 […]

Housing Production

Housing Production Legislation to Watch

The start of another legislative session is upon us. Last week at the outset of the 2021-2022 legislative session, several bills impacting housing production were introduced. Some are similar to bills that weren’t passed last year. Below are four bills to watch as they wind through the Legislature. SB9 (Atkins, Caballero, Rubio, Wiener) SB9 is […]

Notice of Completion

Reduce Exposure to Mechanics’ Liens

While contractors typically enjoy a 90-day period to file a Mechanic’s Lien once a project is completed, project owners in California can take steps to significantly shorten this deadline by recording a Notice of Completion (“Notice”).  The Notice gives written notice that an entire project is completed.  A Notice that is properly recorded and served […]

Save Our Small Businesses Initiative

Proposition H and New Processing for ADUs

Proposition H Adopted by Voters Proposition H was adopted by the voters at this November’s election.  Titled, “Save Our Small Businesses Initiative”, the initiative ordinance gives existing businesses more flexibility in their operations and speeds approvals for new businesses in the City’s Neighborhood Commercial (“NC”) Zoning Districts.  The initiative reduces the approval requirement for many […]

density bonus

California Increases Density Bonus to 50%

Starting in 2021, residential projects in California with on-site affordable housing can get a density bonus of up to 50%.  Currently, under Government Code Section 65915—commonly known as the Density Bonus Law—the maximum bonus is 35%.  It is available for projects that include 11% very low income below market rate (“BMR”) units, 20% low income […]

Task Force

Task Force Recommends Fee and Permit Changes

There are few cities that have not been negatively impacted by COVID-19.  Since March, San Francisco and the surrounding cities have been largely shut down, with businesses opening in a staggered manner based on infection and death rates.  Nonessential office workers remain at home.  Seven months into this “new normal”, a number of studies and […]


Central SoMa Clean Up Legislation Moves Forward

Last week, the San Francisco Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of legislation that would “clean up” parts of the Administrative and Planning Code that were previously amended in connection with the Central SoMa Area Plan. The Central SoMa Area Plan was the result of a multi-year planning effort which rezoned much of a 230-acre area […]

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