Supervisor Gordon Mar Passes Resolutions Pushing for Fixes to SB-50
On Dec. 17, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and The San Francisco County Transportation Authority both passed resolutions opposing Senate Bill 50 unless amended.
The Transportation Authority resolution, passed unanimously, cites the impacts the bill would have on transportation service and infrastructure. This is the first such resolution by a transportation authority, which in San Francisco manages congestion, conducts long-range transportation planning and funds transportation improvement projects.
“Housing development doesn’t happen in a vacuum. We must plan for increased housing density comprehensively – with improvements to transportation and other infrastructure, and services to go with the housing,” District 4 Supervisor Gordon Mar said. “Transportation authorities should be concerned, and take action, on development bills that impact – and are directly tied to – our work. As a body, we need to stand firm on opposing a bill that undermines our community transportation plans, unless and until our concerns are addressed.”
The Board of Supervisors also passed a resolution opposing SB-50 with a 10-1 vote, which is supported by affordable housing developers, tenants rights advocates, neighborhood associations and members of the San Francisco labor community.
Mar advocated for significant changes to SB-50, including new funding for transportation planning and service delivery, exemptions for local community planning, increased affordability requirements, and more robust protections against displacement. SB-50, authored by State Senator Scott Wiener, would upzone large parts of San Francisco without community input or increased affordable housing requirements. It was put on hold in the state legislature, but is expected to return in January.
“As we work to address our concerns on SB-50, it’s not enough to say what we’re against -– we need to say what we’re for and how we can work with state legislators to address the needs of our communities. That’s what these resolutions do, and I remain committed to working hand-in-hand with my colleagues and constituents to expand affordable housing opportunities in my district and across San Francisco.” Mar said.
In Mar’s first year in office, he has secured historic investments in westside planning for affordable housing, including funding nonprofit staff for affordable housing planning in D4; funding a neighborhood needs assessment, including affordable housing needs; working with Board President Norman Yee and Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer to secure a dedicated westside planner in the Planning Department and $300,000 in state funds from Assemblymember Phil Ting for westside affordable housing capacity building. Previously, Mar released the City’s first-ever Jobs-Housing Fit report, and today passed legislation to require this reporting annually; secured the Sunset’s first-ever small sites acquisition and is developing an incentives program for ADU construction.
Together, Mar’s resolutions propose significant amendments to SB-50 to tie transportation incentives to housing increases, exempt local San Francisco community plans and provide sufficient opportunity to create local community plans that will increase housing development, increase affordability requirements and protect tenants. They also ask that SB-50 exempt “sensitive communities” to protect vulnerable tenants, require higher affordability contributions above existing local standards and adequately protect tenants with funding and enforcement.
Supervisor Hillary Ronen commented, “I understand why Senator Wiener might want to push unwilling cities to step up and do their share to address our regional and statewide housing crisis. But we in San Francisco are not dragging our feet; on the contrary, we have a pipeline of more than 75,000 units. What we are lagging on is housing that is affordable to our workforce and low-income families. We have to be sure that SB-50 addresses those specific needs and that we are not simply adding to the profit potential of private developers.”
Fewer added, “We know that upzoning to allow for more market-rate housing will increase land values and displacement pressures, so it’s critical that upzoning is tied to an equitable increase in the amount of affordable housing and community benefits we get from developers who reap the additional profits. To ensure development without displacement, we must also have strong and enforceable tenant protections to prevent existing communities from being priced out.”
“Developer giveaways in SB-50 won’t solve our problems,” said Mar. “We need to give communities a seat at the table in planning for more housing in their neighborhoods; to capture the value created when we upzone, to use that value for more affordable housing and community benefits; and to provide meaningful, enforceable protections against displacement and gentrification.”