How red tape and bureaucracy fuel San Francisco’s housing crisis
It can take at least 87 permits, 1,000 days of meetings and $500,000 in fees to get a development fully approved in San Francisco.
Brazilians call this "creating difficulties in order to sell solutions."
No no no! The problem is greedy developers and landlords. We need to stick it to these fat cats then they’ll build more units.
I keep reading these same diagnoses again and again: but what can we do about it? Defund DBI? Fire everyone in Planning?
How do other cities like NYC operate in this situation? So instead of visiting those cities to see how best to let addicts shoot up in peace, we should be sending our supes to study how other cities' bureaucracy functions.
A couple years ago my neighbors son was selling his house in Mission Terrace and after property was in escrow someone reported him to the city for lack of permitting a few things by comparing old photos from Zillow to current listed photos. His realtor said no problem. However, he had to par 7k cash to a third party (he could not contact) to get these approved. Realtor supposedly gave money to expediter.
Will somebody make a rap song out of this article so people will hear it?
Every year we see all these posts about how bad SF government fucks up this city but the sheer mention of voting some non hyper progressives into City Hall and you get downvoted into oblivion.
Bring in some people, regardless of party, and let them actually fix this problem.
Or keep complaining about all of it while also re-enabling the people who let this slide.
SF board of supervisors should have a requirement to take office: shadow a simple building permit process from the perspective of a citizen. Sit in on every call/meeting, see every fee the citizen has to pay for the BS work staff does (or doesn’t do).
They wonder why we have a housing crisis
Vote everyone of them out. SF is controlled by progressives since 2016 and things only got worse
This would have been a better editorial with a proper editor. WTF is it with the Examiner and Chronicle and really bad editing?
In 2021, San Francisco issued permits for just 2,000 homes, and in 2022 there was similarly anemic building activity. By contrast, Seattle — a city of comparable size — issued more than 10,000 permits.
Seattle is almost twice the area of SF with less population. Not a good analogy.
To understand the sweep of the problem...
The word you're looking for is "scope"
San Francisco abounds with such examples....
Oh Jesus Christ I give up.
My friend from Alabama recently built a project… he went down to the building department and showed them what he wanted to do… they said it should be fine so he paid $2,500 and submitted later that month. The process took 2 weeks and they started to have a public meeting but then my friend said he did not feel like having a public meeting because they already agreed it was a use within his rights and having a meeting would just make some old person come up with a bad faith complaint. The city planner agreed so they cancelled the meeting and granted his permit on the spot. $2,500 and 2 weeks to look over his plans to be sure they meet building code and are safe. We really could have a system like this in any part of the country. We choose not to on purpose… I am doing a project in Santa Rosa California now I wanted to do an infill project where I took an old style lot that was 12,000 square feet and split it to make two lots and houses. It took me 4 years and $80,000 just for the split part and it was finished last year but I am still waiting over a year for the city to give me my new address and APN so I can get a loan to construct!