Bay Area Council Housing Reforms Paying Dividends

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Housing reform legislation the Bay Area Council sponsored and supported in recent years is paying dividends for homebuilders and a state desperate to overcome entrenched local housing opposition. In Belvedere in Marin County this week, the City Council approved a 40-unit project, including 12 units designated as affordable, that had been stalled and blocked for more than two years.

Compelling the action was Council-backed legislation (SB 1633) that threatens cities with a $10,000 per unit fee for imposing frivolous environmental review requirements on projects. The city was also facing the prospect of seeing the project increase in size under legislation the Council was instrumental in passing many years – the so-called Builder’s Remedy – that allows for projects to be doubled in size when cities fail to have in place a state-approved housing plan. The Council participated in the City Council hearing and reminded the city of the importance of approving new housing. The Builder’s Remedy has become a go-to tool statewide to overcome local housing resistance. In San Francisco, legislation the Council sponsored (AB 1287) is helping developer Aralon Properties increase the size of a proposed housing development on the site of an existing parking garage in the city’s Telegraph Hill neighborhood from 102 units to 132 units, including 26 units set aside for middle- and lower-income residents. To engage in the Council’s housing policy work, please contact Vice President Louis Mirante.

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