A Handful of San Francisco Planning Updates

Final Passage of UMU Office Legislation Back in February, we covered Supervisor Ronen’s proposal to substantially limit office uses within Urban Mixed Use (“UMU”) districts. You can revisit our prior update here. As originally introduced, the legislation would have prohibited office use on the upper floors throughout the UMU district (where currently permitted), and would […]

Housing Entitlement

Oakland Entitlement Extensions, Is California Next?

On July 27, 2020, Oakland City Administrator, Edward D. Reiskin executed Emergency Order No. 6 extending planning entitlements that have not expired as of March 9, 2020 (when Oakland’s COVID-19 Local Emergency was first declared), but are set to expire on or before August 1, 2022, by two (2) years. A project sponsor must submit […]

Affordable Housing

SB 1085 Emerges from Crucial Committee Vote

SB 1085 Clarifies that Affordable Housing Fees Do Not Apply to Affordable or Density Bonus Units When Senator Nancy Skinner introduced Senate Bill 1085 (SB 1085) in February, the bill proposed numerous revisions to the state Density Bonus Law. Many were geared toward incentivizing the development of moderate-income rental housing, including a 35% density bonus […]


Pending State Bills Seek To Boost Housing

This week’s update focuses on five pending bills in the State Legislature, all of which are intended to encourage housing development. These bills, if passed into law, could have a significant impact on housing production and real estate development in San Francisco. A typical mechanism in these bills for expediting housing production is to make […]


San Francisco Expands ADUs and Electronic Permitting

State Law Changes to ADUs Incorporated into Planning Code Early this year, state law changed to allow additional flexibility in adding Accessory Dwelling Units (“ADUs”) to existing and proposed housing. In May, some of those changes were incorporated into Planning Code Section 207. Additional changes to align the Planning Code with state law are expected […]


San Francisco Tax Update

Homelessness Gross Receipts Tax Upheld On June 30, 2020, the First District of the California Court of Appeal upheld the legality of the City and County of San Francisco’s “Homelessness Gross Receipts Tax.” This tax ranges from 0.175% – 0.690% of taxable gross receipts (depending on the industry), and is 1.5% for administrative offices. This […]

Homeowners Association

Recent California Condo/HOA Laws

The Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act (“Davis-Stirling Act”) is the primary body of law governing condo projects and homeowners associations (“HOAs”) in California. The state legislature enacted several bills that went into effect in 2020 that affect common interest developments (CIDs) such as condominium projects. The following is a brief summary of some recent changes […]

Small business

Mayor’s Measure Proposes to Cut Red Tape for Small Business

Even before COVID-19’s devastating economic impacts, the process of opening a small business in San Francisco was often difficult, lengthy, and expensive. Between high rents and operating costs and the shift to online shopping and food ordering, many small business have been forced to close. Retail vacancies have risen with many potential new businesses deterred […]

Storefront Tax

Delay to San Francisco’s New Vacant Storefront Tax

We all have experienced this: a favorite store or local restaurant closes down after decades in business, citing the difficult climate to do business in San Francisco.  The rent is too high, costs to operate are too much, people shop and order food online instead of in person.  The numbers of closures have proliferated over […]

San Francisco

Legislation Imposing Moratorium on Commercial Evictions Fails to Pass

Senate Bill 939 (“SB 939”), which was the subject of our June 17th Update, would have imposed significant statewide restrictions on commercial evictions and allowed tenants to renegotiate or terminate their lease. The Legislation failed to advance from the Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday, and will not move forward this session. In response, SB 939 sponsors, […]

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