The Planning Commission voted last Thursday to support the Affordable Housing Bonus Program (AHBP) and move it forward to the Land Use Committee. They clearly believe building more affordable housing is an important City priority.
The Commissioners listened and voted on a number of individual aspects of the AHBP. It’s now up to the Planning Department to incorporate the recommendations before it heads to the Board of Supervisors for approval.
- Program Eligibility (Passed 4-2): No parcels that currently has housing would be eligible for the AHBP. Priority for development will start with ‘soft-sites’ like parking lots and vacant gas stations, pictured above.
- Neighborhood Specific AMIs (Passed 4-2): Survey the income characteristics in each neighborhood and try to match them to existing HUD benchmarks in order to provide housing for current neighborhood residents.
- Public Review and Approvals (Passed 4-2): They recommended requiring Conditional Use permits (proving project is ‘necessary and desirable’) for every project applying for the AHBP.
- Design Guidelines (Passed 4-2): No lot mergers until Planning Commission creates guidelines. Planning Department would be required to analyze each project’s design guidelines.
- Commercial Use (Passed 4-2): Allows Commission to weigh in on business use to promote local businesses.
- Small Business Retention (No Vote): Recommendation was a minimum 18 months advance notice for any demolition for current businesses and for relocation fees to be paid for by developers.
The Planning Commission decided to endorse all of the individual amendments of the AHBP rather than the endorsing it as a whole. The individual recommendations move forward with positive momentum.
The SFHAC team was there in force for the full hearing, live tweeting and organizing supportive speakers. If you wish to read a quick twitter recap check out #SupportAHBP.
We will track the AHBP and keep you posted when its next appearance, probably at the Land Use Committee, will be.