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Voters Could Get the Chance to Ease Development Restrictions in San Francisco

A ballot initiative by San Francisco Mayor London Breed would make it easier for qualifying developments (e.g., developments that include affordable housing) to sidestep discretionary approvals.
February 6, 2020, 12pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Dan Backman

"London Breed, the mayor of San Francisco and a strong supporter of liberalizing development in her city and California, has not had much luck pushing new housing ideas through the city’s board of supervisors," reports Conor Dougherty. So Mayor Breed is trying a new strategy: taking the pro-housing-development cause to voters.

"On Wednesday, the mayor is expected to submit a ballot measure that would amend the city’s charter so that buildings with a substantial amount of affordable housing — somewhere between 13 and 20 percent of units, depending on size — could sidestep the legislative process as long as they conform to local zoning codes," reports Dougherty.

As noted by Dougherty, the proposed ballot initiative still has a long path to qualify for a public ballot in the city. Dougherty provides additional background on how the city makes it difficult for developers to win approvals of projects allowed "by right" in the city's zoning code.

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Published on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 in The New York Times
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