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Wiener’s housing density legislation faces hometown opposition

March 30, 2019

By Laura Waxmann : sfexaminer – excerpt

State Sen. Scott Wiener’s second attempt to pass legislation increasing housing density near transit is meeting with renewed resistance at home in San Francisco as it heads toward its first committee hearing.

Wiener’s Senate Bill 50, a revised version of last year’s controversial Senate Bill 827, promises to tackle a statewide housing crisis by requiring cities to allow for denser, taller construction near transit hubs. The bill is scheduled to be heard in committee on Tuesday.

While SB 50 has won endorsement by Mayor London Breed, it has failed to sway a number of city supervisors who last week announced formal opposition, citing a lack of protections against gentrification and the bill’s failure to mandate robust community benefits from developers.

District 4 Supervisor Gordon Mar introduced a resolution opposing SB 50 and calling for city leaders to work together with state legislators to craft a number of amendments. Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee, along with supervisors Rafael Mandelman, Sandra Lee Fewer, Aaron Peskin, Shamann Walton and Hillary Ronen, co-sponsored the resolution.

The resolution states that while SB 50 provides temporary exceptions for “sensitive communities,” the bill would exacerbate negative social and environmental impacts by restricting local authority to “adopt long term zoning and land use policies to assure equitable and affordable development” in those communities.

In a statement issued last week, Mar said that he supports increasing density near transit, including in his own district, but is advocating for “the opportunity to plan for our own neighborhoods with permanently affordable housing, more open space and more robust community benefits.”… (more)

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