July’s HANC meeting focused on the latest “market based solution” being proposed in Sacramento to address the City's and the State’s “housing crisis”: Gov. Brown’s “by right” proposal and AB2801, a mandatory “density bonus” program that will allow up to a 35% bonus in the size of all housing developments proposed at the local level.
The Tenants Union’s executive director Deepa Varma joined HANC’s Housing and Land use Board member Calvin Welch in discussing the impacts of these proposals on San Francisco. In a word, the impacts would mean “displacement” of existing residents and small businesses. In a any area like San Francisco with virtually no open space and a red hot real estate market, mandatory density bonuses and the development of housing without a public hearing process (that is developing “by right” , not local approval) would most likely mean that existing buildings would be demolished in order to make way for more dense buildings allowed by the new policies.