SF Supervisor Ronen tries to reassure Mission tenants facing eviction over zoning

: sfchronicle – excerpt

San Francisco Supervisor Hillary Ronen sought to reassure 50 apprehensive entrepreneurs Friday that she was doing her best to ensure they wouldn’t be forced out of the offices they’re renting inside ActivSpace, a multiuse building on 18th Street in the Mission District.

Potentially hundreds of ActivSpace tenants practicing a broad range of trades — everything from marriage counselors to hair stylists to tattoo artists — could be at risk of eviction because their businesses are out of step with the building’s zoning.

ActivSpace is zoned for production, distribution and repair work, considered “light industrial” activities and known as PDR. The tenants are concerned that they’re technically operating illegal businesses and would be forced to vacate…(more)

This explains why hundreds of artists have left the Mission.

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Supes close to deal on budget ‘windfall’

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Mar offers plan to fund teacher raises, and it appears the progressive supes are going along, setting up a confrontation with the mayor.

With a hearing on Mayor London Breed’s proposal to spend most of the city’s education-money windfall on homeless services set for tomorrow, there is growing consensus among progressives on the board that some of that money should go to the school district.

Sources tell me that meetings with educators over the past two days have been productive and that Breed’s proposal will either be amended in committee or replaced with a new plan…

“Voters made it clear that they want to give teachers a raise, fund supportive housing, and early education, and we can and should respect the will of the voters. With this amendment, we can fund the goals of June’s propositions C and G, as well as November’s proposition C, all of which I strongly supported” Mar said in a press release…

The money comes from an excess in property-tax collections beyond what the state mandates much go to public education. It has been described as a one-time windfall, but this insightful piece by Joe Eskenazi at Mission Local suggests that the city may be taking in an additional $200 million or more every year for several years to come… (more)

 

Walton wants tech, healthcare to hire more SF residents

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

One of San Francisco’s newest supervisors said Tuesday he plans to introduce legislation to expand local hiring requirements to businesses in technology, healthcare and other sectors.

The City has required since March 2011 that builders of public construction projects hire a certain percentage of their workers from San Francisco. The program, commonly referred to simply as local hire, is largely celebrated for connecting those most in need to well-paying jobs.

Now Supervisor Shamann Walton has asked the City Attorney to draft legislation that would extend that requirement to other job sectors, like technology and healthcare.

Walton told the San Francisco Examiner in a text message that he is still working out the details. There are legal challenges to telling private businesses who they must hire, but Walton said the requirements could come through contracts that tech companies and hospitals need to have with city government. He will also explore whether just having a city business license would be sufficient for the city to require local hire… (more)

Why hire people from outside the area that need new housing when you can hire residents who are already housed? I like this thinking.

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)

Bay Area housing market cooling off, but prices still expected to rise in 2019

By Chris Nguyen : abcnews – excerpt

In the Bay Area, homes are taking longer to sell and aren’t getting as much money as they did just a few months ago. After years on the up, the red-hot housing market appears to be cooling off.

“This is a more normal market and I hope it stays like this,” said Gustavo Gonzalez, president-elect of the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors. “People are still coming to this area and they’re still working here and they’re making good money and they want homes, so there’s a limited supply (and) lots of demand.”… (more)

Could some of the tax and legislative changes, raising interest rates, and the switch to temporary housing noted elsewhere be responsible for a cooling housing market? One new threat to foreign investors could be threats to the H1-B visas that the administration is threatening to pull.

a step toward saving the Mission

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Sup. Hillary Ronen has introduced legislation that might make some impact on the dramatic gentrification of the Valencia Street corridor and surrounding areas and the displacement of long-time neighborhood businesses by high-end restaurants and brewpubs.

The measure would require conditional-review permits for new restaurants and would ban new brewpubs in the area roughly bounded by 14thStreet, Guerrero, Cezar Chavez, and Potrero.

Ronen also wants to block the merger of ground-floor commercial spaces resulting in spaces larger than 1,500 feet (except for legacy business, arts, and community uses). And she would require than any new developments of more than 10,000 square feet provide storefront space of less than 1,500 square feet.

Light industrial use would be legal in most areas, and a conditional-use hearing would be required if any legacy business is replaced…(more)

Mayor London Breed’s huge political fumble on Prop. C

By Joe Eskenazi : missionlocal – excerpt

San Francisco’s mayor could have confounded and neutralized the city’s political left for years by embracing homeless measure Prop. C. Instead, she isolated herself, rejecting it with specious arguments.

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

London Breed is the mayor, and you are not. We have “takes.” She makes “decisions.” The mayor’s decisions carry weight. They are tangible…

So, make no mistake: Breed’s firm rejection of homeless measure Proposition C — a choreographed Friday announcement coming in lockstep with Sen. Scott Wiener and Assemblyman David Chiu — was a crushing and credibility-destroying decision.

This was rendered even clearer by Monday’s splashy announcement from Marc Benioff, the city’s favored benevolent billionaire, that he was going all-in on supporting Prop. C. The measure’s backers had, previously, likened themselves to David battling the Downtown powers-that-be Goliath… (more)

There are better places to live and work that have nothing to do with Prop C and taxes. Businesses have soured on San Francisco for the same reason we all have. A high cost of living should at least guarantee a high quality of life and San Francisco is not delivering. We are poor has-been version of a once great city and no one seems to know how to pull us out of a race to the bottom, or if they do, they are being ignored.

RELATED:

New study says rent control doesn’t discourage new housing

USC researchers say the data shows that Prop. 10 wouldn’t stifle housing production. That’s a direct challenge to the real-estate industry campaign

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

The landlord lobby – and it’s one of the most powerful interests in the state of California – is spending more than $40 million to convince voters not to support Prop. 10 – a measure that would allow (but not require) cities to impose effective rent controls…

The USC study, sponsored by the California Community Foundation, suggests that rent control tends to keep rents lower even in uncontrolled buildings, helps preserve housing and community stability – and has little discernable impact on the construction of new housing.

The study’s authors are not economists. The lead author, Manuel Pastor, is a sociologist. The two other authors, Vanessa Carter and Maya Abood, are urban planners.

But unlike the Stanford economists who put out a complex study on the economics of rent control, complete with equations that almost nobody can understand, the USC report looks at the existing literature on rent control… (more)

The market appears to be in a self-correction mood that could slow development regardless of how the outcome of Prop C and the repeal of Costa-Hawkins.