Sup. Mandelman’s Fourplex Legislation Clears Major Hurdle By Passing Planning Commission

By Jo Kukura : sfist – excerpt

A plan that could turn 110,000 single-family homes into fourplexes passed the Planning Commission after hours of testimony, but is still likely to face contentious debate in committees and before the Board of Supervisors.

The density movement is coming to San Francisco housing, to borrow a phrase from Gavin Newsom, “whether you like it or not.” Newsom signed a pair of housing-density bills in September which make it easier to split up homes into duplexes and fourplexes, and to rezone some parcels near public transit for more units. And while this may delight the pro-development and “Legalize apartments” crowds, there is little guarantee landlords wouldn’t use the new density rules to toss out current tenants under the guise of “remodeling,” or just charge tenants the exact same rent for a unit they just cut the fuck in half…(more)

There is something a bit hinky about forcing density on a state that is running out of water. Let’s not punish ourselves and make our lives more difficult and more expensive during a major drought and pandemic where we have been told to wash our hands under running water for over two years by fining ourselves for using water as we are following instructions to be extra clean and careful.

When do we get back to reality and cut back on expansion policies during the drought? Work at home means less need for office space, opening up those spaces to be turned into housing. Delivery services are killing retail, leaving a lot of empty store space that may also be re-purposed.

Trickle policies do not work. The top down approach to governing has failed. If homeowners want to build out their homes to fit changes in their lives why should the government obstruct them? We need the opt in approach, not edicts from the state. Hopefully this legislation will be opt in.

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