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In SoMa, city could hit office developers with new fees to help keep nonprofits from fleeing

November 23, 2014

By : San Francisco Business Times – excerpt

San Francisco developers looking to build office towers in parts of the South of Market neighborhood could for the first time have to pay extra fees to help create new space for nonprofits in the area.

The impact fees — aimed to help nonprofits that have started to flee the city because of high rents — could be adopted as part of the Central SoMa Plan. That zoning plan will set new zoning rules and add millions of dollars worth of land value to the 10.5 acres around the future Central Subway line. (The $1.59 billion subway line now under construction will run 1.7 miles from SoMa to Chinatown.) But the fee plan under consideration will likely be controversial in the business community…

The planning department would also institute a mix of mechanisms to help nonprofits, including instituting development bonuses for office developers that protect existing community facilities. The plan could also incentivize developers to build new space for organizations that focus on production, distribution and repair, or PDR

Giving teeth to affordable housing wishes

When voters approved Proposition K by a wide margin, they passed a measure that “attempted to ensure” that one-third of housing in the city is affordable. But it lacked regulatory enforcement. The planning department now appears to be taking up that goal as a mandate…

“What the city has done in past plans is, at a very aspirational level, talk about mixed-income and diversity of housing choices, and have had few actual mechanisms and no real strategy to get there,” he said. “You have to have a game plan built into the plan at the front end so you have more than just aspirations and cool ideas.”… (more)

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