Mission District Interim Control Map

San Francisco’s Planning Commission has voted to consider enacting “Interim Controls” for new market-rate housing, office and retail developments in the Mission.

The stated intent is to provide the City “time to finalize a cohesive strategy to provide more affordable housing and economic stability” and “to complete its analysis of affordable housing needs, including potential sites for housing production.”

As proposed, the controls would be in place for six months and effectively put a temporary halt to the permitting of new developments with five or more units which hadn’t already filed a planning or environmental application, or for a building permit, prior to December 31, 2014.  Affordable housing and PDR developments would be exempt, but any project that would result in the loss of a single rent-controlled unit would be included, regardless of the project size.

The vast majority of proposed developments we’ve covered, including the so-called “Monster in the Mission” wouldn’t actually be affected by the controls.

In fact, of the nearly 1,400 units in the near-term development pipeline for the Mission, only 335 units would be impacted, which does include the proposed 117-unit development at 2675 Folsom and 54 units at 793 South Van Ness Avenue.

The Planning Commission could enact the proposed controls as soon as August 6, 2015.

39 thoughts on “Planning Commission Initiates Mission District Mini-Moratorium”
    1. As outlined above, the proposed interim controls will have little impact on the majority of projects in the near-term development pipeline and a nominal impact on the critical path for any project that has yet to file with Planning.

  1. Amusingly, nearly everyone who spoke at public comment was against this. Either it was bad policy, or it wasn’t strong enough.

    1. The government is so slow at doing anything that it has to stop the whole market!!!
      Our City Government is a total sham.

  2. Nice… my condo will now skyrocket in equity… sorry for anyone who wants to buy in this city. If you don’t understand that less supply equals higher cost of any good or service….then…. fire yourself.

    1. who wants buy? you come to the city to make money; then retire in the country; cities house the poor. look at 16th and mission.


    Let’s continue to improve the Mission the old-fashioned way: update existing housing. A 3 unit on my block was recently cleared and beautifully remodeled. The new residents are ambitious and affluent model citizens. This proven development model retains neighborhood charm and doesn’t contribute to over-crowding. Most importantly, it increases our property values.

    1. That is actually a great point. If we just improve things three units at a time, and don’t allow the landlords to raise the rent (because remodels are free) we could see real change by 2075. 2070 if the city really gets behind it and cuts back on the red tape.

    2. Great idea. Minor detail: those run down small buildings tend to have rent controlled tenants in them. I don’t think they want to leave to make way for the young and ambitious.

    3. “Was recently cleared” …

      Is that jargon from the marines or SWAT teams? An unfortunate choice of term at the least. But unfortunately it sounds deliberate.

      Is that kind of how like bank accounts will get “cleared” in the next stock market crash?

      Very few people care about your rising property values in the way that you think … And is that the only sign of a socially valuable nehgborhood? How clearly vain.

  4. How is this [opposed to the actual moratorium] a bad idea? I understand that this means more red tape, but compared to the moratorium, the Interim Control policy actually outlines an agenda, seems to address the specific problems / opportunities, and work with developers to fix them… rather than just putting a stop on anything 5 units or larger, that isn’t 100% affordable.

    Sounds like a much clearer step in the right direction to me.

      1. Clearly there is a need for additional “control” via the minds and megaphones of the neighborhood groups; certainly, this can’t go unchanged. I’d rather an outline of specific items to be addressed in a smaller zone, for a limited period of time, than a 2 year freeze on building because… one day the 13 or so lots in the neighborhood could be developed as “affordable housing”.

        1. i would argue that a moratorium should be put on any housing less than 10 stories and 400 units in the mission and massively expediting those >10 floors and 500 units. we should be building towers. the 5 unit developmetns won’t help at all

        2. I still don’t see why this is clear. Any neighborhood group can make a lot of noise, but the city still has the power to ignore them if the needs of the city outweigh the perceived needs of a tiny group in one small neighborhood.

          If they lose the referendum it will be quite clear that the majority of San Franciscans does not agree with them. My suggestion is to wait and see – and put plenty of energy into ensuring that more level-headed folks vote in the referendum.

  5. Socketsite, what was the vote – was it unanimous? I’d be surprised if there wasn’t opposition on the Commission to this (bad) idea.

      1. In true bureaucratic fashion they were only voting on the “intent to initiate” the vote, so that may have been the rationale some of them used in voting for it.

  6. “In order to address the lack of jobs available to youths and minorities, it is hereby decreed that no business shall be allowed to hire any youths or minorities until we can complete a study to find ways to increase jobs for youths and minorities.”

    1. You forgot the ban on new businesses, they need to study how creating a new business that would fill the need for jobs will effect the need for jobs.

  7. The current mayor of New York represents the left wing of the Democratic Party. How come he hasn’t heard of the brilliant idea of moratoriums on permits and construction?

  8. You’re right in that the majority of units you’ve covered here won’t be affected but 23% is still a large percentage if you ask me.

  9. At best, this is Planning saying, “Gee whiz. Maybe we wasted a lot of time and money on the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan. A decade or so. Millions of dollars. So, we need more, um, planning to figure it out.”

    What a joke DBI is any more. Every yahoo citizen gets to complain. Last week one lady in Noe Valley literally blew the whistle on EVERY SINGLE JOB CURRENTLY UNDERWAY, claiming work outside the permit. For every job! An inspector came out and checked every single site! ridiculous. Then at DBI itself, every automaton at every desk does his/her best to kick everything to the next guy/gal. It’s so broken. So, so badly broken. And the historic thing? pretty soon the faux stone flintstone facades are gonna be 50 years out, and will necessarily get reviews. It’s a mess. But how to fix it all? oh, more PLANNING.

    At worst it’s a supposedly apolitical city body bowing to political pressure. Because there’s already a plan!! The ENP. That’s what this is, actually. I wonder what happened behind closed doors. Ed Lee did something. Could that guy possibly stand for less? So empty.

    1. The Eastern Neighborhoods Plan correctly identified the threat to PDR jobs and working class housing, but it provided nothing but loopholes for developers to continue their plunder.

      1. meh. “nothing but loopholes” is inaccurate and meaningless. It provided specific guidelines for development. Plunder? I doubt you know what you’re talking about in any way.

        1. ENP cited specific buildings to preserve for the local jobs they provided, yet many of those buildings have or will be condoed, eg Bryant/Florida between 18th and 19th,

          There was no teeth to ENP guidelines. How many projects can you cite that the ENP stopped?

          If you don’t understand what I mean by. “plunder”, you must be in the realtor/builder/banker/landlord line of work.

          1. That’s right – times have changed! that’s why we need newer, smarter studies and refined regulations.

          2. You want SF planning dept to be agile and relevant? I wouldn’t hold my breath. They are not beholden to developers nor SF politicians, but only to their own internal inefficiencies, pass the buck-isms, etc.

  10. Six years later: how’d that plan to “finalize a cohesive strategy to provide more affordable housing and economic stability” work out? Surely after the drastic restrictions on development imposed in 2016, the Mission is a paradise of affordability?

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