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David Campos Might Propose Moratorium on Market-Rate Housing in the Mission

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Here's the part no one disputes: San Francisco is in the midst of a very serious housing crisis. Since 2010, the city has grown by 45,000 people, but the production of new housing lagged at just 7,500. SF's median rent continues to outpace New York's, and rents are growing even faster in Oakland. Like prices, anxiety about gentrification and displacement has nowhere to go put up. But what to do about it? That's where everyone starts to disagree. Groups from the provocatively acronymed SFBARF to the urban think tank SPUR advocate building more housing at all income levels; others, like the Mission neighborhood coalition Calle 24, want to ensure that more new development is affordable. Now Supervisor David Campos is working with Calle 24 on a proposal that could put new restrictions on market-rate developments around the 24th Street BART station—or even place a temporary moratorium on market-rate housing in the area altogether, the San Francisco Business Times reports.

The area in question spans from Mission Street to Potrero Avenue, and from 22nd Street to Cesar Chavez—a section of the Mission designated as a Latino Cultural District by the Board of Supervisors last year. Axis Development Group recently filed a Preliminary Project Assessment for a site in the area; Axis proposes to demolish a Folsom Street warehouse and replace it with four stories of residences designed by David Baker Architects.

Supervisor Campos hasn't released a proposal yet, but the Business Times reports that his ideas might take the form of new rules that would dictate what can be built around the 24th Street BART station, or it could be a flat-out moratorium on approvals of new market-rate housing. Other possible steps include a special-use district that would add new regulations to override existing zoning, or interim zoning controls that would require the Planning Department to add more layers of review to new projects.

An out-and-out moratorium might not pass legal muster in California courts, though. The Business Times notes that in 2009, a Second District Court of Appeal threw out a temporary ban on multifamily projects in West Hollywood. The city needed to meet a higher burden of proof that new multifamily units were a harm—e.g., that development was compromising public heath and safety—and show that it had exhausted other options to ensure the development of affordable housing.

· Video: Let's Have an Honest Conversation About the Housing Shortage, Shall We? [Curbed SF]
· SF's Population Is Growing Way Faster Than Its Housing Stock [Curbed SF]
· Projectile Proposal [Curbed SF]
· SFBARF [Official Site]
· Calle 24 [Official Site]
· SF Supervisor Wants to Limit Mission Development, May Pitch Moratorium [SF Business Times]
· More Units Proposed for the Mission, SF's Housing Hotspot [Curbed SF]