A whole bunch of condo conversions are set to occur in the next couple of years as the Board of Supervisors voted last night to approve legislation to clear a backlog of over 2,000 TICs in the current lottery system. Under the new legislation, rather than having to wait and wonder when they can turn their units into full-fledged condos, TIC owners will be able to pay a one-time $20,000 fee to convert to a condo, and the money raised will go into an affordable housing fund. Those TICs not yet in the system, however, may be waiting a long time to convert though, with the lottery put on hold for ten years, until 2014.

Also, the bill was amended to disallow apartment buildings of five or more units from ever becoming condos, which protects tenants in the long run, and which won the support of tenant advocates.

TIC owners who have been passed over by the lottery more than once will get priority, and there will be a seven-year window in which the backlog of 2,200 TICs can convert.

Chiu says the new legislation is "balanced," and he's happy that the impasse over this issue has ended.

The Board passed the new legislation with a vote of 8 to 3, with Supervisors Mark Farrell, Scott Wiener, and Katy Tang voting against — interesting given the fact that Farrell and Wiener co-authored the original legislation, which Chiu later amended with the ten-year moratorium, and the exclusion for buildings of five units and up. With 8 supervisors in favor, that's enough to override any veto by the Mayor, should he want to do that.

For his part, Wiener voted against the legislation, according to a rep in his office, because he was unhappy with two parts of Chiu's amendments — namely new owner occupancy requirements once the lottery resumes, about which he'd requested a small change (he wanted to ensure that transfers between owners wouldn’t put people back to the beginning of the lottery process, i.e. if one owner sold their unit and another owner moved in, that would count as continual owner-occupancy), and a "poison pill" in the legislation that will bring the entire conversion system to a halt in the (probably inevitable) event of a lawsuit against the city.

[Castro Biscuit]