California Considers Stringent Restrictions on Commercial Evictions

As COVID-19 continues to shape our economic future, elected officials are weighing how to intervene in commercial evictions. Some municipalities have imposed temporary moratoria on evictions. Senate Bill 939 (“SB 939”), introduced on February 6, 2020 by Senators Scott Wiener and Lena Gonzalez, would go much further. The legislation would impose significant Statewide restrictions on […]

San Francisco

City Expands Demolition Controls to High-Value Homes

For years, San Francisco has required a conditional use permit as a prerequisite to demolishing a residential building. In addition, the building could not be demolished until a building permit for the replacement structure was approved. The theory behind the prohibition is that existing housing is the City’s most affordable housing and should be preserved. […]

SB35 Vallco

Court Upholds City of Cupertino’s Approval of SB 35 Vallco Project

Less than two weeks after issuing a decision that required the City of Los Altos to approve a 15-unit SB 35 project, the same Santa Clara County Superior Court judge (“Court”) issued a second favorable decision upholding the City of Cupertino’s (“City”) decision to approve an SB 35 project that would redevelop the former Vallco […]


California Superior Court Reverses Denial of an SB 35 Project

In a groundbreaking ruling, the Santa Clara County Superior Court found that the city of Los Altos acted in bad faith when it denied a 15-unit density bonus project that was proposed under SB 35 and subject to the Housing Accountability Act (HAA). Instead of sending the project back to the City for further consideration, […]

Rent Protections

New/Pending Local and State Rent Protections

San Francisco Rent Increase Moratorium: Last week, the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an emergency ordinance that would temporarily prohibit rent increases otherwise permitted by the Rent Ordinance. Initially introduced by Supervisor Peskin, the ordinance is based on a finding that prohibiting rent increases will reduce risk of displacement, “which is essential for public health […]

Municipal Governments

Shelter-in-Place Order Sparks Rapid Transition to Digital

As San Francisco meets the broad set of challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, San Francisco’s municipal agencies are implementing new processes to help assure that the measures that have been put in place to keep us safe during this challenging time do not hamper the progress of permitting. Procedures at the Department of Building […]


Senator Wiener Takes Aim at Single-Family Zoning

After SB 50 failed to pass earlier this year, Senator Scott Wiener introduced a new housing bill that aims to increase density across the state and provide cities a streamlined process for upzoning certain areas of their communities. Although more modest than the sweeping overhaul that was proposed under SB 50, this bill would effectively […]

City Agencies

Updated City Agency Operations and Procedures During Shelter in Place

San Francisco Boards, Commissions, and Departments have begun to adapt their operations and procedures in response to the Shelter in Place restrictions, and for land use practitioners, this means project processing activity is on the rise. By contrast, on March 31 the Department of Public Health issued an Order that further restricted allowed construction to […]


COVID-19 Business Assistance and Eviction Moratorium

Local governments, the State of California, and the federal government have or will soon pass a number of measures meant to protect businesses from the economic effects of the coronavirus. This week, we summarize several business assistance programs and available funding sources, as well as San Francisco’s moratorium on commercial evictions. (San Francisco has also […]

City Agencies and Shelter-in-place

City Agencies During Shelter-in-Place

We hope that everyone is staying healthy and safe.  Pursuant to the San Francisco and Bay Area Shelter-in-Place Orders, our physical offices are currently closed.  However, our attorneys and staff are all working remotely, and are connecting with clients and city staff members via email and phone. In this week’s e-update, we wanted to summarize […]

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