The San Francisco Planning Commission Considers – And Should Adopt – A Favorable Policy On Extension

On February 19, 2009, the Planning Commission held an informational hearing to discuss its policy on previously approved entitlements that have time-restricted performance conditions pertaining to commencement of construction. The Planning Department staff recommended a favorable policy on expired entitlements citing and recognizing the impacts the current global economic crisis has on land-use development projects. […]

Commercial Property Owners Beware: Another Tax (Yes, One More) Could be Coming

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors, in an effort to help close the City’s budget gap, is considering a June special election to ask the voters to approve a new gross receipts tax. If the measure makes the ballot and receives voter approval, then most businesses that operate in San Francisco would be saddled with […]

Small Residential Buildings:  To Condo or Not to Condo

Constant tinkering with the rules poses challenges to small building owners The San Francisco condominium conversion laws have changed in recent years and can be difficult to follow. Building owners wishing to convert must navigate through myriad rules concerning owner-occupancy requirements, tenants rights, prior-eviction issues, a complex application process, and, unless eligible for bypass, the […]

More San Francisco Land Use Regulations for 2009

The quantity of new land use ordinances that came out of the Board of Supervisors in 2008 was truly mind-boggling. From the very large (the Eastern Neighborhood rezoning, that we reported on in our Dec. 9 E-Letter) to the very small (legislating the size and font type for historic movie theater marquees) there was more […]

Buyer Beware:  Is Your Purchase Agreement Enforceable?

California Court of Appeal strikes down a “free look” contract In a case that may have some scratching their heads, the California Court of Appeal refused to enforce a real estate purchase agreement because the buyer had the right to terminate the agreement at any time, without penalty. Steiner v. Thexton, 163 Cal. App. 4th […]

Sustainability Plans in 2009: Planning For New Requirements (With More On The Way)

San Francisco’s Acting Permit Services Manager and former Chief Building Inspection Officer, Laurence Kornfield, recently announced creation of a “sustainability plan” as one of every building owner and manager’s “must do’s” in 2009. Kornfield is right: whatever the market may bring in 2009, it is surely just the beginning of increased environmental regulation for buildings. […]

Eastern Neighborhood Plan Passes:  FINALLY

Today the Board of Supervisors passed on second reading the Eastern Neighborhood Plan (the “Plan”); it is now official. Barring a veto, this action brings to an end a long and complex process and rezones a broad area of eastern San Francisco (East SoMa, Central Waterfront, Showplace Square, Potrero and Mission neighborhoods). The Plan is […]

San Francisco’s Green Building Ordinance

San Francisco’s new green building ordinance went into effect on November 3, 2008. Almost every new building in the City—from the single-family home to the high-rise tower—is affected by this legislation. Projects required to comply include: New construction, Group R (residential) occupancy buildings; New construction, commercial buildings of Group B (business) or M (mercantile) occupancies […]

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