Lawsuit filed challenging San Francisco’s new Central SoMa zoning plan

A nonprofit housing group has filed the first of what is expected to be several lawsuits challenging the rezoning of San Francisco’s Central South of Market area, suits that could significantly delay the development of more than 6 million square feet of office space and thousands of housing units.

In the lawsuit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court on Monday, the Yerba Buena Neighborhood Consortium, the legal arm of the affordable housing group Todco, argues that the plan’s environmental study was inadequate because it didn’t take into account the impact the neighborhood changes would have on public services such as police, fire and recreation…

The deadline for filing a legal challenge to the plan’s environmental study is Thursday, and as many as three other lawsuits could be coming…

Even if there were no lawsuits, the realities of the time required for approvals and permitting in San Francisco means it’s unlikely that any construction would start before 2020. Elberling added that delays beyond that could be avoided if the city agrees to community demands.

“It’s up to the city. If the city wanted to work with us and address the problems, it would be finished this year,” he said. “If we resolve the problems this year, we could drop our lawsuit.”… (more)

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New SF Supervisor Matt Haney sees City Hall ‘conspiracy’ against District 6

By Heather Knight : sfchronicle – excerpt (includes audio track)

On day two of their job, most supervisors are arranging furniture, hanging pictures and figuring out the city’s email system. Matt Haney, on the other hand, was spinning conspiracy theories.

As we recorded the latest episode of the Chronicle podcast “San Francisco City Insider,” one answer in particular proved surprising. I asked him if it’s fair to call his District Six — the Tenderloin, Mid-Market and South of Market — a containment zone for the city’s ills.

Is City Hall OK with open-air injection drug use and dealing, human feces and dirty needles on the sidewalks, homeless camps and general filth as long as the misery doesn’t spill over the district’s borders?.

Yes, that’s the case, he said. And it’s even worse than that.

“It’s a conspiracy, and everybody’s in on it,” he said… (more)

https://player.megaphone.fm/SFO9676444570?

We support efforts to change the focus from installing bike lanes and wider sidewalks to establishing clean, safe, 24-hour public bathhouses and restrooms with proper amenities in some of the empty storefronts, as a first step to returning human dignity to the district as the first step. We hope that Matt will forgo the tendency to ignore the needs of the district in favor of tilting at straws. Let those Supervisors with clean safe streets worry about the city-wide issues.

CASA Compact video clips

For all you out there who want to learn more and share details about the CASA Compact, here is the link to the page that should set you up with more than you need:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_BuJGc-hEs6XaV9ys8Cg0utnt9mrnLt5

 

 

More Below Market Rate Housing Found Rented Out Illegally

by Joe Kukura : sfist – excerpt

We know you don’t always watch the little news video reports we embed in these posts, but you really ought to watch the CBS 5 report above on homeowners scamming the system and renting out Below Market Rate housing units illegally. “Get away! Get! Get! Get away!” shouts one woman as she is busted at a residence other than the one she was granted by San Francisco’s Below Market Rate (BMR) Ownership Program. “Stop recording. I’m going to call my attorney right now,” says another, found in Redwood City though she rents out her BMR condo at the Embarcadero. The illegal renting of BMR units has long been a problem, and CBS 5’s Susie Steimle does some fantastic journalist pounding of the pavement to find several homeowners who’d been awarded low-cost BMR housing, but were advertising these units as rentals on Airbnb and Craigslist in violation of the law(more)

Thanks to Joe Fitz for letting us know that sfist is back. This story comes to us from them. Perfect article to follow the last one, that claims, “Latest data shows you can’t bring prices down by building more housing. A major problem with writing legislation to produce affordable housing is the lack of enforcement, chronicled here. Enforcement is complaint driven. If you see something suspicious, it is up to you to inform the authorities. There is no tracking system to make sure the affordable housing is going to the people who need it.

Latest data shows you can’t bring prices down by building more housing

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

When prices soften, developers stop building. So that plan isn’t going to work.

A Dec. 29 story by the Chron’s real-estate reporter, J.K. Dineen, who knows the market as well as anyone in town, shows exactly why the Yimby agenda will never work in San Francisco. The story dropped in the middle of the week when news readership is the lowest of the year, so I’m not sure how many policymakers saw it. But it has critical information about the way housing markets really work.

To wit: Developers now think that the market for condos and apartments is “softening” – that is, it’s not rising as fast as it used to – so they aren’t planning to build any more, except at the very high end.

In other words, you can’t bring down housing costs by removing barriers to more market-rate housing – because as soon as those costs come down, the developers (and more important, the speculative investors who finance them) put their money somewhere else…

“Everything that is going forward is falling above the $2,000 (per square foot) price point,” Garber said. Projects with a projected price of $1,300 or $1,400 per square foot are not worth it to developers, he said. “In the short term, we are not going to see a lot of those delivered.”(more)

School officials, incoming supes want SF to spend windfall on teacher raises

By Jill Tucker, Trisha Thadani, Dominic Fracassa : sfchronicle – excerpt

All of a sudden, San Francisco has an extra $181 million to spend. It comes from excess education funds, and some officials hope that’s exactly how it will be spent: on education. Specifically, teacher pay raises.

So far, proposals at City Hall exclude using the money for schools, with Mayor London Breed pushing to fund homelessness initiatives. The Board of Supervisors’ three new, incoming members, however, say extra funding for schools will be a priority for them.

The windfall comes as the school district is facing a legal challenge to a new parcel tax that would raise $50 million annually, most of it for a teacher pay raise. School officials say that means they don’t have the expected funding to cover the 7 percent teacher pay hike. So, the windfall suddenly becomes a potential solution… (more)

Industry experts and SF notables reveal which neighborhoods they broke up with in 2018

By : sfcurbed – excerpt

Canceled?

There’s much to love about San Francisco—and much to loathe. And to confuse neighborhood ire and frustration with flippant snark would be a disservice to our readers and to the city we adore so deeply. Which is why we’ve asked our handful of industry experts and local notables to thoughtfully weigh in on the areas of San Francisco they had enough of in 2018… (more)

Not many neighborhoods are spared from distain. Most of the least popular are south of Market with SOMA and Market Street leading the pack. Interesting to note that the least appreciated are the ones with the most construction and the worst traffic. Of course the idea that you could even stem the tide of traffic accessing the multi-billion dollar Bay Bridge was always a farce. Until it falls down, it will be the route of choice for connecting the populace to the city. Until the city authorities establish a fast and easy parking process for people driving across that bridge, they will drive across town or whatever it takes to park.

We know that the cost are prohibitive. What isn’t?  Our regional MTC and other agencies would rather spend the billions of a new headquarters than help people park to get out of the their cars faster once they arrive. This kind of backward thinking makes SOMA and other points near the bay bridge hostage in the game of traffic control.