As participants in a lawsuit challenging the legality of Prop B, the waterfront height limits ballot initiative passed last June, the SF Housing Action Coalition has reason to be optimistic that Prop B may not be valid. In a technical ruling today, Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos left the door open to the possibility that Prop B might not withstand the State’s legal challenge.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos denied the City’s request that the California State Land Commission’s lawsuit be thrown out. Of the five arguments the City of San Francisco made against the State Lands Commission’s lawsuit, which directly challenges the legality of Prop B, four were denied. In her finding, the State Lands Commission would have an opportunity to present factual evidence demonstrating the economic harm that has been and would be caused by Prop B. This may be relevant to her future ruling on whether Prop B violates state law. This will likely occur at a hearing on May 20th.
Tim Colen, SF Housing Action Coalition Executive Director said, “Today’s ruling gives us optimism that Prop B might not withstand legal scrutiny and may no longer be a barrier to building thousands of homes at all levels of affordability on San Francisco’s Port property.”
SF Housing Action Coalition advocates for the creation of well-designed, well-located housing at all levels of affordability. We believe that the City should thoughtfully increase heights and density for housing in under-utilized areas that are close to jobs and transit. The SF Port’s properties hold great potential to achieve this. Thousands of new homes could be built on the land subject to Prop B – a significant proportion of them below-market-rate. The SFHAC believes that ballot box planning is an ill-advised way to determine how Port-managed waterfront land should be developed because it will make it more difficult for the City to address its housing affordability crisis.
Image credit: Socketsite