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Controversial Housing Amendment Heads to Ballot, Lawsuit Likely
Sunday, August 07, 2022

Controversial Housing Amendment Heads to Ballot, Lawsuit Likely

The Board of Supervisors voted 7-4 to submit a charter amendment called the Affordable Housing Production Act to the Department of Elections, raising the possibility of a lawsuit in the coming days.

The proposed amendment, which was co-sponsored by Supervisors Connie Chan and Aaron Peskin, aims to exempt certain affordable housing developments from discretionary review, which can significantly shorten construction timelines.

But its critics charge that the fine print in Chan’s proposal will make construction projects financially unfeasible, and that it’s designed to sabotage Affordable Homes Now, a similarly-named housing proposal backed by Mayor London Breed.

“We think our policies will result in more housing, more affordable housing,” said Corey Smith, Executive Director of the Housing Action Coalition, which backs Affordable Homes Now. “We’ll be looking forward to making our case for Affordable Homes Now being the best path for San Francisco to build as much housing as we can.”

Chan’s proposed amendment tacks on eligibility criteria not included in the mayor-backed amendment, including requirements for below-market-rate units with multiple bedrooms and size and rent limits for studios. Chan’s version also requires that the units be built by laborers who have completed apprenticeship programs, a requirement that has proven divisive among the city’s major unions.

Smith said that now that the amendment has passed, his organization plans to move quickly to file a lawsuit claiming that Chan’s amendment is illegal.

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In a letter to the Board of Supervisors last week, the Housing Action Coalition explained its legal basis for a lawsuit, saying that the Planning Department’s determination that the amendment is exempt from environmental review violates the California Environmental Quality Act. The letter also called Chan’s amendment a “sham” designed to split the vote and sabotage the competing charter amendment backed by Breed.

In an email on Saturday, Chan called the lawsuit “pathetic.”

  • ‘ In an email on Saturday, Chan called the lawsuit “pathetic.” ‘

    So respecting and following the law, is now deem “pathetic” by Chan — Great.

    Worst District 1 Supervisor ever — and that’s saying a lot.

  • Chan needs to make a living. Please stop attacking her. She is doing her best to represent her interest group.

  • “Special”,

    Chan is an elected official — she’s is welcome to make a living any number of ways, but not at the expense of the citizens of San Francisco (and those that are looking to live in our city.)

    Chan’s job is not to represent her “interest group” (whatever that is) — her job is to represent all of those living in her district as well as the City and County at large.

    Currently, she is doing neither particularly well — in fact, quite the opposite.

    She is an ideologue and her “efforts” — especially her nonsensical anti-housing policies — are hurting a lot of people and damaging the economic and social health of San Francisco.

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