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When Does Inclusionary Zoning Go Too Far? San Francisco Might Find Out

In June, San Francisco voters will consider a ballot initiative that will raise the affordable housing requirement of the city's inclusionary zoning from 12 to 25 percent. Even housing advocates are concerned Proposition C might go too far.
May 12, 2016, 2pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Eric in DUB

[Updated 5/14/2016] According to an article by Kriston Capps, a San Francisco ballot initiative would implement an aggressive inclusionary zoning requirement that is potentially too aggressive even for supporters of affordable housing. 

According to Capps, Proposition C "would more than double the required on-site affordable-housing requirement for new developments"—from 12 percent to 25 percent. The proposition will appear before voters in June, but in the meantime, a surprisingly large coalition of housing advocates is voicing concern about how far the initiative is will to go.

The San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association has warned that Proposition C could “undo the grand bargain” that created the city’s housing trust fund. The San Francisco Housing Action Coalition says that the results of the city’s own analysis of the ballot measure are “not encouraging to those who believe that increasing overall housing supply is essential to addressing our housing affordability crisis.” And earlier this month, The San Francisco Chronicle urged its readers to vote against Proposition C.

Capps proceeds to sample the argument of those organizations and others in opposition to Proposition C. Chief among those concerns: that the additional costs of building that many affordable housing units would stop residential development altogether. Despite the outpouring of opposition, Tim Colen, the executive director of the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, expects the initiative to pass.

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Published on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 in CityLab
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