Posts Tagged ‘avalos’

Uh Oh, Now There’s ANOTHER Lawsuit Against the City: Small Property Owners vs. the “Nonconforming Unit Ordinance”

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Man, San Francisco sure seems to be getting sued a lot by property owners a lot these days.

Get used to it, 2014′s going to be a bumpy ride.

To wit:

“January 29, 2014 

SMALL PROPERTY OWNERS OF SAN FRANCISCO FILE LAWSUIT TO BLOCK LAW

New Ordinance Would Discriminate Against Families Who Move Into Their Own Buildings 

SAN FRANCISCO, Tuesday, January 28, 2014 – Today, the Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute filed a lawsuit challenging Supervisor John Avalos’ Nonconforming Unit Ordinance on the grounds that the ordinance violates state law and fails to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The Nonconforming Unit Ordinance would legalize the practice of renovating and expanding “nonconforming units.” Nonconforming units are “grandfathered” residential units that exceed local zoning laws’ density limits. Controversially, the ordinance would also discriminate against nonconforming units that have been the subject of lawful “no-fault” evictions, which are allowed under state and local law. Such units would be denied building permits for up to 10 years following a lawful eviction – even for regular maintenance and minor repairs. Property owners would also be barred from rebuilding their units after a fire or earthquake.

“This legislation punishes families who move into their own buildings,” stated Noni Richen, president of the Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute (SPOSFI). “It could cause thousands of lawful housing units to sit vacant while the City denies permits for basic upkeep. Given the current housing shortage, this is unconscionable.”

“As we have shown again and again, we will not allow the City to violate property rights with these illegal schemes,” stated Andrew M. Zacks, SPOSFI’s attorney. “The state’s Ellis Act prohibits this kind of discrimination against lawful evictions. Moreover, cities are required to evaluate a new ordinance’s environmental impacts under CEQA. This legislation was rushed through without proper review.”

Nonconforming units are different from “in-law” units, which are generally unpermitted and illegal. For example, a permitted third unit on a parcel zoned for two units is considered a nonconforming unit. The City Planning Department’s Information and Analysis Group estimates that approximately 52,000 units in the city are nonconforming, comprising some 14% of the city’s housing stock.

A copy of the Nonconforming Unit Ordinance is available at http://zulpc.com/small-property-owners-file-suit-to-block-discriminatory-law/.

The Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute (“SPOSFI”) is a California nonprofit corporation. SPOSFI advocates for the Small Property Owners of San Francisco, a nonprofit organization that works to promote and preserve home ownership in San Francisco. Its focus is to protect the rights of small property owners and foster opportunities for first-time home buyers. SPOSFI members range from young families to the elderly on fixed incomes, and its membership cuts across all racial, ethnic, and socio-economic strata. Its members include San Francisco residents who own nonconforming residential units in San Francisco.

Zacks & Freedman, P.C. is a law firm dedicated to advocating for the rights of property owners. With experience and knowledge in rent control issues, zoning, permitting, transactional disputes and other real estate matters, Zacks & Freedman, P.C. has successfully advocated its clients’ positions before local administrative tribunals and at all levels of the State and Federal courts.

Uh Oh, Now There’s a Lawsuit Against the City for Recent Ellis Act Legislation – SFAA & realtors Fighting Us

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Read it and weep, San Francisco. We’re getting sued:

“For Immediate Release, January 29, 2014:

San Francisco Housing Associations File Lawsuit to Block Anti-Family Legislation

San Francisco – On Tuesday January 28, 2014, the San Francisco Apartment Association, Coalition for Better Housing and the San Francisco Association of REALTORS® filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of legislation known as the Avalos Ellis Act and Merger Prohibition Legislation.

 The legislation was passed by the Board of Supervisors and signed into law by Mayor Ed Lee in violation of building owners’ rights under the state law known as the Ellis Act.

 The legislation prohibits owners of multi-unit buildings from combining units in a building for ten years following an Ellis Act eviction or for five years following an owner-move in eviction.

 On a practical level, the legislation prevents families who own a building from creating a home that meets their needs. For example, the legislation prevents a family from combining two small units into a larger one to provide a home for a growing family. Couples with young children often find themselves in need of additional space they did not anticipate when they purchased a rental building, yet the legislation punishes them.

 Only 2 percent of new housing built in San Francisco since 2001 are single-family homes that provide adequate space for families, often with multiple generations living together. Lack of adequate housing to meet the needs of families has contributed San Francisco losing 5,278 people younger than 18 between 2000 and 2010, according to the census.

 “The San Francisco Association of REALTORS® supports the rights of private property owners for the free use of their property as their needs suit them.  This legislation only exacerbates the problems families face in finding adequate housing and drives out the families that have created the diversity we want and celebrate in our city,” said Walt Baczkowski, CEO of the San Francisco Association of Realtors.

 Because so few single family homes are being constructed, families rely on improving buildings they own, including tenancies in common to add living space. This legislation prohibits them from creating the home they need in a building they own.

 “Families are fleeing San Francisco due to a multitude of reasons that include a lack of adequate space for growing families that often include multiple generations. This legislation exacerbates that problem by punishing and limiting options for families who simply seek to create a home that meets the needs of their family,” stated Janan New, Executive Director of the San Francisco Apartment Association. “This legislation punishes hard working families, while doing little to protect renters.”

 The lawsuit states that the legislation is pre-empted by state law known as the Ellis Act, which allows building owners to take a building off the rental market and convert those units to condominiums or single -family homes. Under the law, building owners are already required to give occupants up to one year advance notice and provide relocation fees of $5,210 per tenant, up to a maximum of $15,632, plus $3,473 additional for tenants who are senior or disabled.

 “My clients are seeking relief from this just-passed legislation which unfairly takes away the right of individuals and families who simply want to create a home for themselves and their family in a building they own,” stated Jim Parrinello, attorney for the plaintiffs.

Progressives Consider 2012 and Beyond: A “Citywide Gathering” on Thursday, December 15th Called (John) “Avalos for All of Us”

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

From the Harvey Milk Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Democratic Club comes news of meeting that I’m calling Avalos for All of Us.

Check it:

“A Citywide Gathering - Former Avalos Campaign - Thursday, Dec. 15th - 6:30-9pm at 522 Valencia St.

Following the incredible Avalos campaign momentum, what’s next for the progressive movement in 2012 & beyond? What can we learn about the state of our movement from the 2011 Mayors race? What should be common priorities for progressives in 2012? Where can we build unity & be most powerful?

Let us know you are coming. And let us know if you cant come, but want to stay in touch and learn about next steps – at AVALOSFORALLOFUS@GMAIL.COMThis is a broad appeal without any particular formal organizational form, so it is not a ‘decision-making’ meeting but we hope it generates the ideas – both political and organizational — that will continue to build our strength in the city. 522 Valencia is upstairs from the new 518 Valencia: The Eric Quezada Center for Culture & Politics. Check it out at http://518valencia.org/

OK then.

Ah memories: Avalos for Mayor 2011 HQ on the day that the RUN ED RUN kids came by for a visit: 

Click to expand

Why is McDonalds Charging Sales Tax on Donations? Anyway, the New San Francisco Happy Meal is Exactly the Same as the Old

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Well here it is, the before and after of the San Francisco Happy Meal from McDonalds.

Today’s the day that the San Francisco’s Healthy Meal Incentives Ordinance kicks in. The upshot is that now you have to donate 10 cents to Ronald McDonald House in order to get the toy.

See?

Click to expand

(Note the apple slices in the upper right. They’ve been around for a while.)

But uh oh, is Micky Dee’s charging sales tax on the donation? Yes it is. I cry foul.* (Uh, San Francisco McDonaldses, can you do that? Do you need to rejigger your registers?)

This sign was just put up. It’s all “10 cents adds a toy.”

Now I’ll tell you, I can recall buying a Hamburger Happy Meal in Palo Alto last year for exactly two-fitty ($2.50). It had more fries plus the free toy (but it didn’t have apple slices or a slice of cheese for the burger.) Anyway, prices be going up, it seems.

Oh well.

*So, the only reason to charge sales tax is if the 10-cent purported “donation” is actually for the “retail sale of tangible personal property,” right? So which is it, a donation or a sale? I mean if I donated money to Ronald McDonald House on Scott Street, they sure as Hell wouldn’t tack on sales tax, would they? Mmmm… I paid ten cents extra to get a toy, right? Thinking out loud here, could it be that, as far as San Francisco is concerned, the 10 cents shows that the toy isn’t included “for free” and therefore the sale need not comply with the HMIO, but as far as the state of California is concerned, McD’s is just selling the toy for 10 cents, so therefore, obviously, a penny needs to be collected and forwarded to Sacramento for each sale? (But of course, if you walk up and offer your 10-cent donation for just the toy, they’ll say, “No dice.” They used to charge $2 for toy only purchases). Have the legal advisers for area McDonalds restaurants thought this through? I don’t know. Anyway, the approach they’re taking appears to be a giant F.U. to the City and County of San Francisco. I’ll tell you, the path they’re on is full of rusty nails and garbage pails. Just saying. But hey, what about McDonalds Corporation in Oak Brook, Illinois? Did they sign off on this? I wonder. (Did they indemnify the local owners? By contract, or, you know, some other way. I’m just curious about who came up with this ten cent idea.) Anyway, this is me thinking aloud, just raising issues. I can’t wrap my head around “ten cents adds a toy” and how that relates to state tax law. Like when I got my Android phone plus two-year contract for $50, I had to pay another $50 or so in sales tax because the phone is worth far more than $50. For example…

The Genius of The Tens: Avalos, Hibernia, Double-Decker, Bang Bang, Avalos, Hibernia, Double-Decker, Bang Bang

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Believe it not, it’s possible to attend UC Hastings Law School and then not suck on the teat of the commonweal in order to live in a six bed four bath out-of town mansion, ala the corrupt Randy Shaw of the corrupt Tenderloin Housing Clinic, which in some ways is actually worse than the now-notorious Chinatown Community Development Center.

Proof of this is The Tens.

Mid-Market tableau:

Via The Tens – click to expand

Outrageousness: Run Ed Run Minions Enter John Avalos for Mayor HQ to Ask About Posting an Ed Lee Sign in Window

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

[UPDATE: Further details here. Did John Avalos sign a Run Ed Run petition?]

This was the scene today at the brand new John Avalos for Mayor of San Francisco campaign headquarters down at 1750 Market near Octavia.

See? Some Run Ed Run people working Market Street asked the John Avalos for Mayor people for permission to put a Run Ed Run sign up.

The misguided Ed Lee supporters saw the Avalos signs and figured, well, the owner of this business isn’t afraid to have political signs in the front window so there’s no harm in asking.

Dude in the middle just might be an Avalos-er, but the person on the left and the person on the right are oblivious Run Ed Runners just doing what the Powers That Be, what the Agents of Fortune told them to do*:

Click to expand

Is this yet another genius move from political genius David Ho, that political pal of Rose Pak?

Only Time Will Tell.

*”San Francisco business and development interests are pushing members of the Board of Supervisors to publicly endorse Mayor Ed Lee’s potential run for a full term in November…”

San Francisco’s Attempt at a “World-Class” Arboretum Has Us Getting Mocked in the New Yawk Times Today

Friday, February 4th, 2011

The New York Times, The Bay Citizen – you pick ‘em:

Charging Fees to See Trees at Golden Gate Park’s Arboretum Doesn’t Even Pay the Bills

Arboretum Fees Don’t Even Pay the Bills

Yep and yep.

Is Phil Ginsburg the new village idiot now that the old Mayor has blown town? Does Phil Ginsburg have a “Life Coach” too, you know, someone to tell him how he’s always right and how he can See The Future better than anyone else? Tony Robbins, here we come.

Anyway, for some reason, our Strybing Arboretum needs to impress people on the East Coast, people in Boston, New York, and D.C. You know, an “Our arbo is better than your arbo” kind of deal. That’s what drives the Great Fencing Off of Strybing. And you taxpayers, you visitors, you foreigners, you auslanders, well you can just go to Hell.

Oh well.

The Moon-Viewing Garden as it looked before the Botanical Garden Boycott of 2010 to whenever:

Click to expand

So many koi, so little time….

Disaster! How Charging Admission at Strybing Arboretum Actually Loses Money Some Days – Avalos Solution?

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

All right, imagine you are in charge of running the paid admissions program at San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park. (Now, I’m going to make things hard on you by picking December 8th, 2010 to run this exercise, so brace yourself.)

Of course, you can only charge people who can’t prove they live in San Francisco and you have two gates to worry about so it’s tough. Your Main Gate got six paid visitors on Dec 8th so you took in $42 at $7 per. And the Friend Gate (that was dude’s last name, but apparently RPD will take your name off of whatever they used your money to fund after you die (like Strybing Arboretum, the former name of the whole joint)), aka North Gate, well, three teens came in that day so that’s $15 at $5 per head.

Your gross for the day is $57. The question is how much should you pay the two ticket seller/SF resident ID checkers in your employ to make the program to charge admission to non-residents sustainable?

Maybe one dollar per hour? Check it:

Well actually, the non-unionized toll-booth collectors make $11 an hour (since the minimum is $9.92, no benefits of course) so that the Arboretum can make enough scratch to fund three (3) unionized gardeners who make a lot more and, of course, get benefits.

Here are all the deets that I have about the paid admissions program:

Click to expand.

Now, what about San Francisco residents? How is that boycott coming along? Well, you make the call:

Free Admissions- Arboretum 2010

Hey, what if we charged everybody, residents and non-residents alike, money to get in? Wouldn’t that cut down on visitors even more?

Well, sure. Its all has to do with the elasticity of demand – how many people will just forget about the arbo (as I’ve already done) when they start having to pay.

Keep in mind that you taxpayers are still giving a ton of money each year to the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. Maybe they should just go private? You know, could just raise money to buy the land and then the new owners could run the place as they see fit? Why not? It would save San Franciscans a lot of money every year, right?

Now, Supervisor John Avalos has a solution to all this – he has an idea to take down the pay gates.

We should all listen to him.

But guess what, the Arbo is working on newer, betterer toll gates to replace the temporary boxes on wheels they use now.

This should be quite a fight…

Typical Happy Meal Banned in San Francisco – Eric Mar’s Legislation Passes With Veto-Proof Supermajority

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

The typical Happy Meal (or Kids’ Meal or what have you) with an included toy has just been banned in the City and County of San Francisco. Check it:

“This legislation is aimed at promoting healthy eating habits and to address issues related to childhood obesity.  The legislation encourages restaurants to provide healthier meal options.  To provide an incentive item, meals must contain fruits and vegetables, not exceed 600 calories, and must not have beverages that have excessive fat or sugar.”

Today’s vote at the Board of Supervisors was 8-3, which means that any veto from Mayor Gavin Newsom would get overridden with a quickness, one would presume. Robble robble, indeed.

Legislation author and District One Supervisor Eric Mar is aiming to “challenge the restaurant industry.” Well, mission accomplished.

Get all the deets from this uploaded doc: Healthymlsdig3

So, either McDonalds will alter its menu accordingly or you won’t be able to get the likes of these Barbie dolls, these “Youth-Focused Incentive Items” in the 415 come December 1, 2011:

The upshot is that McDonald’s es infeliz. Muy infeliz. See?

Just after the vote, McDonald’s spokeswoman Danya Proud said, ‘We are extremely disappointed with today’s decision. It’s not what our customers want, nor is it something they asked for.’”

So there you go.

All the deets:

“Supervisor Eric Mar’s Healthy Meal Legislation passes with a supermajority

The Healthy Meal Legislation sets nutritional standards for restaurant food that is accompanied by toys or other youth focused incentive items. Supervisor Eric Mar’s legislation is co-sponsored by Supervisors Campos, Chiu and Avalos and was supported by a broad coalition of grassroots community organizations, parents and health professionals.  Supervisors Avalos, Campos, Chiu, Daly, Dufty, Mar, Maxwell, and Mirkarimi voted in support of the legislation.

This legislation is aimed at promoting healthy eating habits and to address issues related to childhood obesity.  The legislation encourages restaurants to provide healthier meal options.  To provide an incentive item, meals must contain fruits and vegetables, not exceed 600 calories, and must not have beverages that have excessive fat or sugar.

“This is a tremendous victory for our children’s health. Our children are sick. Rates of obesity in San Francisco are disturbingly high, especially among children of color,” said Supervisor Eric Mar. “This is a challenge to the restaurant industry to think about children’s health first and join the wide range of local restaurants that have already made this commitment.”

The effective date of the legislation is December 1, 2011.

OK then.

What the suits had to say about this plus Your Amended Legislative Digest, after the jump.

(more…)

Candidate John Avalos Leads an Army of Supporters in the Excelsior

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

District 11 Supervisorial candidate John Avalos has an army of enthusiastic supporters that, literally, money can’t buy.

Of course you can pay people to help you out, but pound for pound, the best assistance you can get comes from committed volunteers.

A scene from Mission Street: 

John preparing for another ride in D11 with supporters.   

In these days of Instant Runoff Voting, it can be hard to hazard a guess as to who might win this election tomorrow but, after travelling up and down a short stretch of Mission in the Excelsior District, it’s apparent that Avalos is handily winning the battle of the campaigns.