San Francisco’s Failure to Address Zoning Reform May Result in Loss of Zoning Powers

The first edition of Rent Free features these tales: A federal boost to an Oregon church’s struggle to operate a soup kitchen on its own property, despite local zoning rules. City councils nationwide are passing changes allowing more housing and neighborhood stores. Meanwhile, San Francisco is risking losing zoning powers over a lack of reforms. San Francisco takes an average three years to approve new housing, driving up prices. Rent Free by Christian Britschgi looks at the fight for less regulation and more housing. The Board of Supervisors is considering an ordinance to speed up housing approvals; if the city doesn’t comply, it could lose housing authority. Legal and political issues have led to San Francisco missing state deadlines for housing regulation changes. Failure to meet new deadlines could lead to losing state funding, fines, and land use authority. But success in getting the changes could lead to the approval of unlimited housing projects. The fight over a 2024 California rent control initiative is escalating. A Department of Justice filing supports an Oregon church fighting zoning rules on soup kitchens. The latest city reforms in Alexandria and Durham are meant to create affordable, walkable, and diverse neighborhoods. California is gearing up for another nasty rent control fight in 2024.