Currently, under the San Francisco Charter, the San Francisco Planning Code and other municipal codes, housing development projects require discretionary approval or approvals by various City agencies including the Board of Supervisors, Planning Commission, Board of Appeals, Historic Preservation Commission, and Arts Commission. Planning Code section 206.9 provides for Planning Department administrative review of eligible 100% affordable housing projects and educator housing projects.
Housing development projects with 10 units or more must comply with Planning Code section 415, the lnclusionary Affordable Housing Ordinance. Project must provide a certain percentage of housing units as affordable units; projects can comply with Section 415 by providing units on-site, off-site, or by paying an inclusionary housing fee. Units must be affordable to households earning between 55% and 110% of area median income (AMI) if the units are rental units or 80% to 130% of AMI if the units are ownership units.
Housing projects must comply with Planning Code and Building Code requirements, but in some circumstances may seek exceptions to those standards if the project provides on-site affordable units. There is no requirement that housing development projects pay prevailing wages or use skilled and trained workers. The Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) acquires, develops, and funds affordable housing programs in the City. Under current law, MOHCD provides various reports to the Board of Supervisors.
Amendments to Current Law
This proposal would amend the Charter to create a streamlined, ministerial approval process for three types of housing projects: (1) 100% Affordable Housing Projects; (2) Educator Housing Projects (both as defined in Planning Code section 206.9); or (3) "Increased Affordability Housing Projects." Increased Affordability Housing Projects are multi-family housing developments of ten or more units that provide on-site lnclusionary Housing Units under Section 415, plus additional affordable units in an amount equal to 8% of the total number of units in the entire project. During construction of projects, sponsors of 100% Affordable Housing Projects, Educator Housing Projects, and Increased Affordability Housing Projects with 10 or more units, would be required to pay prevailing wages. Educator Housing Projects, Increased Affordability Housing Projects, and Increased Affordability Housing Projects of 25 or more units, would also be required to use a skilled and trained workforce. Projects could not be located on sites under the jurisdiction of the Recreation and Parks Department or in a zoning district that does not allow dwelling units. Projects could not cause the demolition of an existing dwelling unit, or a national, state, or local historical landmark or contributory building in an historic district.
The proposal would amend the Charter to limit review of the three types of projects by the Planning Commission, Board of Appeals, Historic Preservation Commission and Arts Commission. The proposal would make other conforming amendments to the Planning Code and Business and Tax Code. The proposal would allow eligible projects to receive certain modifications to the Planning Code, would allow limited design review by the Planning Department, and would require ministerial approval within 180 days of submittal of a complete development application. Conditional use approval would continue to be required if necessary to allow on-site parking, approval of non-residential uses, modifications to applicable dwelling unit mix requirements, or the location of curb cuts. The Planning Commission would not accept or hear requests for discretionary review for eligible projects. Projects would be reviewed through an administrative process in a new Planning Code section 344.
The City would be required to adopt an ordinance to allow the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement to enforce the prevailing wage and skilled and trained workforce requirements.
The MOHCD, in consultation with the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing would be required to submit an Annual Affordable Housing Allocation Report, as well as an Annual Affordable Housing Progress Report to the Board of Supervisors, discussing progress on all affordable housing and supportive housing efforts from various departments within the City.
Source: Legislative Digest of Proposition E