With San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors having just voted to continue their hearing of a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) based appeal of the City’s plan to mitigate the projected environmental impacts of its ambitious Central SoMa Plan to September 25, the Planning Commission hearing at which Supervisor Kim’s proposed amendments to the plan, which include incentives for the construction of on-site affordable housing units, requiring proposed developments to secure building permits within 30 months of project’s being approved and increasing the potential for additional housing to be built) won’t be held until September 27, at the earliest.

As such, assuming the validity of the plan’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is upheld and Planning adopts the aforementioned amendments, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors won’t be able vote on the actual adoption of the plan until early October.

If adopted by the Board, the plan would then head to the Mayor for a signature. And if signed, the City’s Central SoMa Plan would go into effect 30 days later, assuming no legal challenges are filed. We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Orland

    Objections to and threatened litigation in the courts from any BOS denial of appeals from Planning figured prominently in a feature Bay Area section article in this morning’s Chron. According to its author J. K. Dineen, an actual appeal by any of four potential complainants could stall adoption of the Plan by the City for “several years.”

    • Posted by Dave

      In addition to lawsuits, initiatives are a threat to the plan. This really is an effort to get more office space in the City at a time when sites available for major office development are dwindling. Without a stringent tie of a certain number of housing units built/underr construction before any office space is approved, the plan would have greatly worsened the housing crisis. There was an effort by office developers to get an exemption to M for the area. That would have been wrong as up to 4 million feet of office space could have been built without any additional housing. The plan is likely DOA for many reasons and that is good.

      • Posted by JWS

        Dave, I am glad you are seeing the light for our need for more housing. If this is truly how you feel, you may want to reconsider your views on housing in SF in general, as I don’t think anyone here can name one multi-unit housing project this year you haven’t wanted downsized, eliminated, or used for other uses. Central SOMA’s jobs/housing balance would work quite well if the various Mid-Market/SOMA projects and Hub towers you don’t like would move forward, let alone the various other projects stuck in EIR/area plan/permitting/entitlement/soaring construction cost hell.

      • Posted by SFRealist

        JWS apparently does not know how the anti-development mindset works.

        You always approve of housing IN GENERAL. The key is finding a reason to oppose every project individually. There’s always a reason not to do a specific project (too much parking, not enough parking, too windy, not enough affordable housing, too much affordable housing, transit fees, etc.).

  2. Posted by Robert Ristelhueber

    That first paragraph is the longest, most convoluted graph I’ve seen in awhile. I got a headache just reading it.

    • Posted by AndrewK

      If the comma preceding “requiring” at the end of the subordinate clause of the adverbial clause of place is changed to an open parenthesis, it’s easier to read.

      • Posted by Frisco

        The unopened closed-parenthesis after “built” is where I gave up

  3. Posted by Matt M

    Glad to see push back against this. I would like to see more housing included in this plan.

    • Posted by RobBob

      A ten year delay to alter the plan to accommodate more housing is just going making the problem worse. I am guessing you are just another complainer who did not attend any of the planning department evening outreach meetings that happened over the course of the last ten years. The last thing we need is to start this process over again.

      We need to be upzoning other residential areas of San Francisco and increasing their density, not fighting over trying to change the central soma plan which will already increase the absolute amount of housing in the area quite a bit.

  4. Posted by Mark Cole

    No MORE office space should be built in SF. Almost all land use (except for public and nonprofit purposes, and limited retail) should be for HOUSING ONLY! This is central SOMA plan is one more planning disaster for SF.

    Upzoning existing residential areas is not an answer! It raises the price point and value for developers on all housing sites in SF, which escalates unaffordable pricing and pushes the working middle class out of SF.

    • Posted by SFRealist

      Increasing supply does not increase price.

      • Posted by Michael

        That’s wrong. Development drives gentrification – or hyper-gentrification – and results in higher prices/rents. You need to get past ‘basic economics’ and ignore YIMBY stooges to understand how development impacts a city/neighborhood.

        • Posted by SFRealist

          Nope. Basic economics drives prices in housing. The law of supply and demand was around long before YIMBYs existed. If we want to limit price increase, we need to increase supply in proportion to demand.

          • Posted by SocketSite

            The relevant point is the development/investment in a neighborhood typically shifts the demand curve, leading to higher average prices despite the resultant increase in supply.

          • Posted by SFRealist

            That presupposes demand. Consider Berlin or Rome (or Detroit or Cleveland), which have some nice neighborhoods, but not enough demand for high prices.

  5. Posted by Mark Cole

    Increasing luxury housing supply increases all prices in a compact city – it’s basic economics 101. Look at Manhattan and Shanghai and Tokyo and London. Lots of new high-rise housing has escalated prices, not brought them down. Increasing working middle class housing, on the other hand, does not increase a city or neighborhood’s price point.

    • Posted by SFRealist

      Nope.

      Price is set by both supply AND demand. The cities which you mentioned do have high prices, but you’re ignoring demand. Like San Francisco, they also all have high demand. Look at housing prices in Berlin. There are some very nice neighborhoods in Berlin, but low demand and high supply mean low prices.

  6. Posted by k1ate

    Sorry, but that’s *not* basic economics. you are assuming all goods (housing) is equal and ignoring the impact to pricing of substitute and complimentary goods (houses). A nice 2 br condo in one building is a substitute for a nice 2 br condo in another; it is not a substitute for a 3 bedroom house with a yard. We are building lots of “3 brs” which is driving demand for “3 brs” which is making “3 brs” the only profitable thing for builders to build, and we aren’t incentivizing/supporting/stabilizing “2 brs”. Not all supply is equal (substitutable), not all demand is equal.

    Given how the Italian economy works, and generational wealth transfer, Rome/Italy is a terrible comparison. There is also little to no development in Detroit or Cleveland, so they aren’t an apples to apples comparison for us.

    To oversimplify further (but it’s true!): People wanted housing in London, at multiple price points. Only housing at top 1% price points was built. People in the next 99% price points still want housing. The next 2% will stretch their budgets trying to get to the housing that is available, which encourages sellers to jack up their prices, and builders that might have built at a lower price point to build at a higher price point.

    (if this all sounds like a house of cards to you, join the club)

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