DZLU MEETING DATE: August 24, 2021 (via Zoom)
1. ONGOING PROJECT UPDATES
a. 659 UNION (Columbus)
RHN’s support letter was issued on 8/6/21.
A Pre-Application meeting via Zoom was held on 8/31/21.
A DZLU representative attended this virtual meeting and reported that it appears there were approximately 25-30 attendees. Several questions focused on whether the residential units would be rentals or condominiums. The sponsor has not yet made that decision. In response to another question about the ability of previous tenants to return at their rent-controlled rate, the sponsor will follow applicable requirements to reasonably accommodate identified prior tenants. Regarding a question about construction impacts on an adjacent restaurant on Powell St., the sponsor will aim to address concerns.
2. ONGOING POLICY UPDATES
a. HOUSING—SF LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS
Supervisor Mandelman’s proposal to regulate so-called “monster homes” was brought to the Planning Commission on 7/22/21. Commissioners and many offering public comment expressed concern about the broad reach of the proposal and the rationale behind the 2,500 sf expansion trigger for Conditional Use review. Some felt that overly restricting expansions conflicts with the desire to accommodate larger families. Ideas were floated to vary controls by site or district, as opposed to a “one-size-fits-all” approach. The concerns raised in District 8 (Noe Valley, Dolores Heights, Glen Park, Corona Heights) may not apply in the same way in other locations. Utilizing FAR (floor area ratio) was another idea that was proposed to tailor limits on size to site area. Others recommended offering carrots rather than sticks to achieve the legislation’s ends, for example, coupling allowable size with provision of additional units. See reports from DZLU meetings earlier in the year for more detail.
The Commission continued discussion to 9/23/21 and suggested discussing this item together with Sup, Mandelman’s proposal to allow fourplexes on RH-1 lots zoned for single-family use, also discussed in earlier DZLU reports.
b. HOUSING—STATE LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS
The California legislature has passed SB 9 and SB 10 and the
Governor has until 10/10 to either sign or veto the bills.
As discussed in prior DZLU reports, SB 9 would preempt local regulations and would allow for duplexes or lot splits on single-family zoned lots, the latter of which would result in a four-plex, analogous to Sup. Mandelman’s proposal discussed above. The new law would not apply in historic districts, and developments must adhere to local objective zoning and design standards. A property owner must live in one of the units for three years. The impact on Russian Hill and on other neighborhoods that are already at a high density is anticipated to be modest as there are few RH-1 parcels zoned only for single-family use.
SB 10 gives cities the option to rezone a parcel for up to 10 units without going through the CEQA process of environmental review. This law would apply to San Francisco only if the Board of Supervisors were to choose to adopt it.