As part of the commitment to preserve the scale, well-being, and character of Noe Valley, NNC does far more than just help neighbors address monster houses, "McMansions," starter castles, and trophy homes.  We also take a long view on City and State planning proposals to ensure that the best interests of Noe Valley and San Francisco are considered.  Senate Bill 827 and reforming demolition controls are two of the current issues and initiatives meriting scrutiny.

Senate Bill 827 (and 828)

New legislation, Senate Bill 827 (proposed by State Senator Scott Wiener), would allow 5- to 9-story buildings with as many units as can be fit in the building envelope anywhere in the City that is near a frequently served bus or trolley line.

If passed, Senate Bill 827 would:

  • Remove present height controls.
  • Allow a developer to jam in as many units on a lot as can be fit – horizontally and vertically.
  • Remove minimum parking requirements.
  • Take away your voice in neighborhood planning.

If passed, Senate Bill 827 also would:

  • NOT protect tenants who will be displaced by construction.
  • NOT provide any additional affordable housing.
  • NOT provide for needed infrastructure to support new units.
  • NOT provide for added demand for public safety services.

A companion bill, Senate Bill 828, stands to increase the State’s “Regional Housing Needs Allocation,” or “RHNA.”  If passed, S.B. 828 will define San Francisco as not having enough market rate housing, and thereby would make another bill by Senator Wiener, Senate Bill 35, effective.  This legislation forces any city that does not meet its housing production goal to allow developers to build anything anywhere with no neighborhood notification, no Discretionary Review, and no design guidelines.

Here’s what the League of California Cities has to say about S.B. 827:

“Senate Bill 827 would undermine locally adopted General Plans, Housing Elements (which are certified by the Department of Housing and Community Development), and Sustainable Community Strategies (SCS). Senate Bill 827 allows private for-profit housing developers and transit agencies to determine housing densities, parking requirements, and design review standards within one-half mile of a "major transit stop" or along a "high-quality transit corridor" which could be miles away from an actual bus stop. Under existing law, cities are already required to zone for densities at levels necessary to meet their entire Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA). Additionally, Senate Bill 827 would provide developers a means to generate additional profits without any requirement to build affordable housing.
“Exempting large-scale developments from General Plans, Housing Elements, and zoning ordinances goes against the principles of local democracy and public engagement. Public hearings allow members of the community to inform their representative of their support or concerns when planning documents are developed. Public engagement also often leads to better projects. Disregarding such processes will increase public distrust in government and could lead to additional ballot measures dealing with growth management.”

See for yourself! You can find the text of Senate Bill 827 here.