Just two months ago, with competing proposed housing density bonuses being debated by the Board of Supervisors and Mayor Lee, it appeared as if no progress might get made in the effort to allow the construction of taller buildings. But now, thanks to the tireless work of our elected officials, Curbed reports that developers will be able to build three extra floors on some buildings — as long as they're 100 percent below market rate. Oh, and only along certain transit corridors. Oh yeah, also, SocketSite reports that there's still a conditional-use permit required, and that none of this applies to developments that necessitate the demolition of any existing housing — regardless of how much housing is to be included in the new building.
The Examiner notes that the decision took "weeks of political wrangling," and precludes putting the question of density bonuses to the voters in November. The measure, which passed the board unanimously, is a compromised version of one proposed by Supervisor Katy Tang and Mayor Lee in 2015. Titled the Affordable Housing Bonus Program, the measure would have allowed two extra stories on market-rate development projects as long as they hit a 30 percent affordable housing threshold.
According to the Ex, Mayor Lee said the final measure "will make sure that smart, sensible and well-designed infill developments will provide thousands of permanently affordable homes for our families in San Francisco.”
Following yesterday's vote by the board, Supervisor Tang withdrew her effort to put the question of housing density bonuses straight to the voters on November's ballot. A bill that would give developers of some market-rate buildings housing density bonuses remains in committee.
The passage of this measure reassures worried San Franciscans that their elected officials are working to address the ongoing housing crisis — one small step at a time.
Previously: Rival Density Bonus Plans Vie For Support