Ingleside Terraces Homes Association

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Ingleside Terraces Homes Association has taken a active role in issues that impact our neighborhood during its over century of existence. News and issues that are of particular interest to our neighborhood will be posted here. Please visit regularly. Discussions on these topics occur on the Ingleside Terraces GoogleGroups email group. Instructions on how to join are here.

March 2014: In-Law Legalization Effort Threatens Single Family Neighborhoods

IMPORTANT: There will also be a public hearing at the Land Use Committee Meeting on Monday, March 24 at 1:30pm in City Hall. This will be the only public hearing on this legislation! Attend if you can.

Many of you may have read David Chiu's article Fighting to Preserve Affordable Housing in SF in the SF Examiner. As is typical with proposed "beneficial" legislation, it is rationalized by anecdotal cases, promises what it cannot deliver, and is silent on the full consequences of its passage. Your ITHA Board, at its January meeting this past week, voted to take a formal position opposing this legislation as not only does it subvert our CC&R's but will permanently remove single-family homes from not only our neighborhood but the entire city.

What is not revealed in David's article is that once an in-law unit is legalized the entire home goes under rent control permanently as a multi-unit residence no longer protected by the Ellis Act. Additionally, the unit can never be removed to convert the home back to single family. This is an attempt to perform a legislative end-around the failures of previous re-zoning attempts to remove single-family homes.

To be clear, this is not addressing the renting of rooms in a home - but actual secondary units that include a kitchen. As you might imagine there are legitimate safety concerns as a percentage of these were not done to code. Does the City know or put forth this percentage? No, they don't but, instead throw out a 40,000 number based on un-named surveys and assume all were not done to code. The idea that now "legalizing" these units will grow affordable housing is entirely unsubstantiated. According to real estate agents I have talked to, having such a residence without Ellis Act protection and under rent control, significantly reduces the value of a home by 20% or more. Not only is there no financial incentive to do this but, the legalization will cost money thus making the units less affordable or the homeowner will totally eat the cost. Of course any legalization would also be deemed a property improvement by the City, thus triggering a property tax re-evaluation upwards. Quite frankly, we don't see homeowners lining up to legalize.

Now, to be fair, even if we were to accept this 40,000 number, it includes illegal or should I say un-documented units that exist in multi-unit buildings as well, such as flats, duplexes, etc. As these are already zoned multi-unit and under rent control, they are in an entirely different classification. Neither I, nor your Board has an issue with providing them with a path to legalization.

The result of this ITHA Board resolution, is a letter putting forth arguments and rationale as to why this legislation should not be brought forward for single-family homes. You may read this letter here. In addition the West of Twin Peaks Central Council which is made up of 20 neighborhood associations in western San Francisco has also taken a position opposing this legislation which can be read here.

Finally, as with any group of this size and diversity, there will be those who are in support of this legislation despite its neighborhood impact. I respect that; however, your ITHA Board is obligated under its bylaws to oppose legislation that will subvert our CC&Rs. Thanks in advance for your understanding.

If you are likewise concerned, we ask that you make you opinion known by send a letter or email today to our Board of Supervisors, the Land Use and Economic Development Committee and the mayor. Feel free to use any of the arguments in the linked documents above and read the actual legislation at the links below.

Full Text of Ordinance

Legislative Digest of Ordinance

Mayor Edwin Lee
Office of the Mayor
San Francisco City Hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 200
San Francisco, CA 94102-4689
Telephone: (415) 554-6141
Fax: (415) 554-6160
mayoredwinlee@sfgov.org

Land Use and Economic Development Committee
San Francisco Board of Supervisors
San Francisco City Hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 244
San Francisco, CA 94102-4689
Telephone: (415) 554-5184
Fax: (415) 554-5163
Andrea.Ausberry@sfgov.org 

Supervisor Norman Yee
San Francisco Board of Supervisors
San Francisco City Hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 244
San Francisco, CA 94102-4689
Telephone: (415) 554-6516
Fax: (415) 554-6546
Norman.Yee@sfgov.org

Additional contact information the the other Supervisors is available here.

Mark Scardina

President, ITHA