Have You Filed Your Property Tax Appeal?

The Opportunity In these challenging economic times, real estate owners are looking for creative ways to cut operating expenses. Reducing real estate taxes is one means to do so. Every year, property owners have the opportunity to appeal the taxable value of their real property, a process commonly known as a “Proposition 8 Appeal”, named […]

This Week In San Francisco Land Use – August 19, 2009

New Dwelling Unit Demolition Legislation Would Require One-for-One Replacement Yesterday, Supervisor Mirkarimi introduced a bill at the Board of Supervisors that would limit the Planning Commission’s discretion in approving dwelling unit demolitions. The bill would prohibit the Planning Commission from approving a project calling for the demolition of structurally-sound dwelling units unless they are replaced […]

NC Districts: A Look Back, And Ahead

In San Francisco, neighborhood commercial zoning (“NC Districts”) have been around since 1987. These zoning controls attempted to clarify various desirable and undesirable uses within the naturally occurring neighborhood commercial strips throughout the City. These zoning districts run along some of the busiest streets in the City (Geary Boulevard and Van Ness Avenue, for example), […]

AB333: Stalled Subdivision And Condo Projects Get Help As New State Law Extends Maps for 2 Years

Throughout the Bay Area and state, subdivisions and condominium projects have been delayed during the housing slump due to developers’ difficulty obtaining construction financing. Many such projects have stalled in the middle of the mapping and entitlement process, before the project’s map has been recorded. Delayed maps are at risk of expiration, with the potential […]

LLCs and Real Estate Development:  Substantial Legal Protection for Developers?

Real estate development ventures often begin with the formation of a limited liability company (“LLC”). This entity structure has the benefit of protecting its members from personal liability “under any judgment of a court, or in any other manner, for any debt, obligation, or liability of the limited liability company, whether that liability or obligation […]

This Week In San Francisco Land Use

Final Members of Historic Preservation Commission Confirmed At long last, the San Francisco Historic Preservation Commission has a full membership. Yesterday, the Board of Supervisors confirmed the Mayor’s most recent nominees, James M. Buckley and Andrew Wolfram, for the final two vacancies on the Commission. James M. Buckley has a Ph.D. in architecture from the […]

DR Reform? Planning Commission Recommends Changes

On June 18, 2009, San Francisco Planning Commission approved a resolution supporting an overhaul of the Planning Department’s Discretionary Review (“DR”) procedures. The DR process essentially allows any person to “appeal” a project to the Planning Commission while the building permit is still at the Planning Department for review (i.e. before the permit is even […]

Court of Appeal Rules In Favor Of Church In Key Historic Preservation Decision

The power of a city to regulate (and severely limit) new land use through historic preservation policies does not extend to noncommercial properties owned by religious nonprofit organizations. This is the recent holding of the California Court of Appeal in a case that shields a local church group from the effects of a local landmark […]

Commercial Landlords May Recover More Than Rent If A Tenant Goes Dark

The California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, recently upheld a liquidated damages clause in a commercial lease, which was enforced due to the tenant’s breach of a continuous use covenant. In El Centro Mall, LLC v. Payless Shoesource, Inc. (May 21, 2009, G040038), Payless, a shopping-center tenant, closed its store before the expiration of its […]

This Week In San Francisco Land Use – June 4, 2009

In this Update issue we will be reviewing the Planning Department’s latest Transit Center District Plan public presentation that focused on development fees, a new city-wide TIDF (Transit Impact Development Fee) study, intended to expand TIDF reach, as well as the Whole Foods project at Haight and Stanyan that just died because of the lengthy […]