Governor Brown’s proposed Streamlining Affordable Housing Approvals bill could potentially fast track the approval and permitting process for tens of thousands of units in San Francisco’s housing pipeline, allowing code compliant projects with up to ninety-five (95) percent market-rate units to be developed “as of right” and prohibiting the City from requiring conditional use permits or other discretionary reviews which can add years and uncertainty to a development’s timeline.
Projects within one-half mile of a major transit stop, either existing or planned and defined as “a rail transit station, a ferry terminal served by either a bus or rail transit service, or the intersection of two or more major bus routes with a service interval frequency of 15 minutes or less during the morning and afternoon peak weekday commute periods, and offering weekend service,” would need to provide five (5) percent of its total units to very low income households, or ten (10) percent to lower income households, to qualify for “as of right” development.
For project’s outside a transit priority area, a level of affordability “equal to or greater than at least twenty (20) percent or more of the residential units restricted to and occupied by individuals whose income is eighty (80) percent or less of area median gross income,” would qualify.
And any required design review would have to be completed within ninety (90) days of being submitted to the City, “and shall not in any way inhibit, chill, or preclude” development.
Introduced as trailing legislation to California’s 2016-2017 budget, the bill would apply to all cities and counties, including charter cities, “because the Legislature finds that the lack of affordable housing is a matter of vital statewide importance.” But the bill will require both State Assembly and Senate approval and it’s likely to be met with local opposition and lobbying.