Posts Tagged ‘economy’

“CAR FREE” & “CAR SHARE” – What SFGov _Really_ Means When It Uses These Terms – One Weird Trick!

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Here you go – “CAR-FREE,” as seen at the western end of JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park:

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Is being without a car a good thing? IDK. The neutral approach would be something like NO CARS, or NO CAR DAY or NO CARS DAY. We should think about a befuddled foreigner in a rental car – what should be our message to him/her? Here’s how other cities do it, you know, in a politics-free manner:


See how that works? Yeah, JFK is a road through GGP, and yeah, people have been driving cars on it for well-nigh more than a century, but today is different. Today, this particular day, cars are banned. It’s NO CARS DAY. That’s the message you want to send, IMO. How about instructing these poor souls to USE FULTON OR LINCOLN instead? I mean we know they want to go west, so why not ease their befuddlement? Moving on…

To this – “CAR SHARE.” Did you know that “the sharing economy isn’t about sharing at all?” Let’s check the Harvard Business Review:

“When ‘sharing’ is market-mediated — when a company is an intermediary between consumers who don’t know each other — it is no longer sharing at all.”

So “car share” should be rental car or rent-a-car or car hire or something like that. Just anything but this:


Now why should SFGov favor one rental car company over another, why it should actively be promoting the so-called “sharing economy” is a mystery to me, but oh well.

Oh, here’s something, from Gerry Shih of Reuters:

Conway and Lee have an exceptionally close relationship.”

That’s appointed Mayor Ed Lee and longtime Republican Ron Conway.

Perhaps whoever ordered these stencils was trying to please Ron Conway…


Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Oh no, the bus is packed and you’re already late?

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Isn’t it ironic?

Dont’cha think?

In any event, our Exploratorium is doing fine at its new location.

That’s It, the Golden Age of Airbnb in San Francisco is Over: City Starts Accepting Short Term Rental Applications Feb 2nd

Friday, January 16th, 2015

The always-reliable Socketsite has the bad news.

Here it is, just posted by the Planning Department.

Oh, be sure to show them your half-million dollar liability insurance policy that I’m sure you already have (haha!).

If Airbnb is your bidness, you might even welcome these new regs. But if you are the more casual renter-outer, well, brace yourself for dealing with SFGov.

And here’s the kicker:

“You may not rent your unit (in all or a portion) as a short-term residential rental until you have received a Short-Term Residential Rental Registration number from the Planning Department.”

Choose wisely, Airbnbers…

“Short-Term Residential Rental Registry

Frequently Asked Questions

Applications Accepted Beginning February 2nd, 2015.

What is the SF Short-Term Residential Rental Ordinance?
On October 27th, 2014 Mayor Lee signed San Francisco Ordinance No. 218-14, amending the Administrative and Planning Codes to allow some residential properties to conduct short-term residential rentals without violating the requirements of the City’s Residential Unit Conversion and Demolition Ordinance (Administrative Code Chapter 41A) or the Planning Code. A short-term residential rental is a rental of all or a portion of your residential unit for periods of less than 30 nights. This law will become effective on February 1st, 2015. At that time, eligible Permanent Residents (owners and tenants) will be able to apply to place their residential unit on the Planning Department’s Short-Term Residential Rental Registry.

What can I do with a Short-Term Residential Rental Registration?
With a valid Short-Term Residential Rental Registration you may rent your primary residential unit for periods of less than 30 nights without violating the requirements of the City’s Residential Unit Conversion and Demolition Ordinance (Administrative Code Chapter 41A) or the Planning Code. This includes renting a portion or your entire unit while you are also present for an unlimited number of nights per year and renting a portion or your entire unit while you are not present for a maximum of 90 nights per year.

How can I apply to be on the Registry?
Short-Term Residential Rental Applications will be made available online and at the Planning Information Center (PIC) located at the ground floor of 1660 Mission Street. To register your unit, you will need to make an appointment with the San Francisco Planning Department to meet with staff and submit your application.Applications must be filed in person by the permanent resident whose name will appear on the registry. Applications may not be filed by representatives or agents. Drop-ins or dropped off applications will not be accepted. The Planning Department will begin conducting intake appointments on Monday, February 2nd. To schedule an intake appointment, please call 415-575-9179 after Monday, January 26th.

You may not rent your unit (in all or a portion) as a short-term residential rental until you have received a Short-Term Residential Rental Registration number from the Planning Department.

Who is eligible to register?
In order to conduct a short-term residential rental you must meet all of the following conditions:

  • You must be the Permanent Resident (owner or tenant) of the residential unit that you wish to rent short-term. This means you must live in that specific residential unit for at least 275 nights of any given calendar year. If you are a new resident you must have occupied this specific unit for at least 60 consecutive days prior to your application. If you own a multi-unit building, you may only register the specific residential unit in which you reside.
  • You must obtain liability insurance in the amount of no less than $500,000 or provide proof that liability coverage in an equal or higher amount is being provided by any and all hosting platforms through which you will rent your unit.
  • Your residential unit must not have any outstanding Planning, Building, Housing, Fire, Health, Police, or other applicable City code violations.
  • You may only register one residential unit.
  • Please note that residential units that are subject to the Inclusionary Affordable Housing Program and residential units designated as below market rate (BMR) or income-restricted under City, state, or federal law are not eligible to register.
  • Important note for tenants:  The Planning Department strongly recommends that you review your lease before submitting an application. The registration of your residential  unit on the Short-Term Residential Rental Registry does not override any lease agreements, homeowner’s association bylaws, Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs), or any other agreement, law, or regulations that prohibit subletting or use of your unit as a short-term residential rental.

Is there an application fee?
Yes. The fee for the initial application is $50.00. Your registration will remain valid for two years (pending the registered unit remains in good standing)

At your appointment you will need to provide all of the following items:

  • A completed Short-Term Residential Rental Application (download application packet here)
  • A Business Registration Certificate issued by the San Francisco Treasurer and Tax Collector’s Office
  • Driver’s License or State Issued ID Card issued at least 60 days prior to the short-term residential rental application date and valid for at least the next 6 months
  • Proof of  liability insurance in the amount of no less than $500,000
  • A signed affidavit agreeing to abide by all conditions of the short-term residential rental ordinance included within the application (download application packet here).
  • A check made out to the San Francisco Planning Department for $50.00
  • At least two of the following listed documents to confirm your primary residency at your residential unit:
  • Proof of a Homeowner’s Tax Exemption. Accepted as a form of residency confirmation only if the proof of a Homeowner’s Tax Exemption is for a property that is either a single-family dwelling or condominium; 
  • Voter Registration Card or Certificate with the address on the application, issued at least 60 days prior to the short-term residential rental application date. You may obtain a copy through the San FranciscoDepartment of Elections;
  • Proof of Vehicle Registration with the address on the application, issued at least 60 days prior to the short-term residential rental application date;
  • Proof of car insurance, showing address of registration, issued at least 60 days prior;
  • Original utility bill, issued by a public utility or PG&E, at least 60 days prior to the short-term residential application date. Copies and printouts will not be accepted. You may only use utility bills as one form of residency confirmation. Cable, cell phone, and internet bills do not qualify.

If you are a tenant of your residential unit you will also need to provide a copy of your lease or rental agreement. Please note that upon receipt of your completed application, the Planning Department will send a notice to the owner(s) of your unit, informing the owner(s) that your application has been received.

What will happen at my intake appointment?
Staff will review your application and related materials for completeness and intake. Only applications deemed complete at the time of submittal will be accepted for intake and further review. Additionally, staff will go over conditions and limitations of renting your unit as a short-term rental.

What happens after I’ve submitted my application?
It is expected that the Planning Department will review a completed application within fifteen (15) business days. If the Planning Department determines that your application meets the criteria then your unit will be added to the Short-Term Residential Rental Registry. You will you receive a “Short-Term Residential Rental” certificate by mail, which contains your assigned Registration Number. This registration number must be included at the top of all short-term rental listings’ descriptions (online or otherwise). We recommend that you place this certificate in plain view within your unit.

What can I do and not do once I have obtained a Short-Term Residential Rental Registration Number?
Once you have obtained a Short-Term Residential Rental Registration Number, you may use your residential unit as a short-term residential rental without violating Administrative Code Chapter 41A or the Planning Code  under the following conditions:

  • You may rent the residential unit (in all or a portion) while you are not present for a maximum of 90 nights per calendar year.
  • You may rent a portion of the residential unit while you are present for an unlimited number of nights per year.
  • You may advertise your residential unit on any and all hosting platforms under the condition that you list your registration number at the top of all listings’ descriptions.

What you may not do with your Primary Residence registered as a Short-Term Residential Rental:

  • You may not rent your residential unit or a portion thereof for more than 90 nights per calendar year while you are not also present during the time of the guests’ stay.
  • You may not rent illegal residential units or unpermitted spaces associated with your property.
  • If you are a tenant, you may not make more than your monthly rent from your short-term rental fees charged to guests.

Due to the expected volume of requests and inquiries related to this matter, please continue to check back on our website for the latest news and updates pertaining to the Short-Term Residential Rental Registry.

The Most Airbnb People You Could Possibly Imagine, Alamo Square Area, Western Addition, USA

Monday, August 11th, 2014

(Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That.)

This has been a remarkable change, over the past half-decade.

You see them, all over the place, every day, coming and going, taking photos of buildings, looking at maps, asking where “the Seven Ladies” are, asking where the “Full House house” is, and rolling luggage up and down the street, you know, that kind of thing.

Sometimes I don’t know if they’re Airbnb people, but other times, like this time, it’s easy to tell: 

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I don’t have a generalized beef against tourists – that makes me different from the typical Western Addition NIMBY.

In any event, this is what Airbnb looks like IRL on the street.

The Physically-Handicapped, Jaguar-Owning Drivers of the San Francisco-Based Lyft Taxi Service

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Ooh, here’s one:

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(It seems that most large luxury sedans in San Francisco have handicapped placards, the better to park you with, dear.)

And check it out, “Lyft drivers make $20+ per hour,” per a recent ad.


So, Lyft drivers are making $20/hr+ after paying for their expenses? Mmmmm…

Something doesn’t wash here, IMO.

Heh: “Laws Don’t Exist Merely to Frustrate the Business Ambitions of Coastal Hipsters” – Writer Paul Carr vs. Uber Taxi

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Via Monika Bauerlein comes this take-down of Uber Cab, and Lyft and Side Car and the like as well, I suppose.

A quote of a quote:

Matt Kochman… served as Uber’s founding general manager in New York before he left last year. Kochman left Uber to do consulting for transportation brands and startups, fed up with Uber’s irreverent attitude toward regulators. “Discounting the rules and regulations as a whole, just because you want to launch a product and you have a certain vision for things, that’s just irresponsible,” Kochman said.

Yep, pretty much.

The San Francisco Business Times Hosts Prayer Breakfast at the Hilton this AM – Praying for Ed Lee’s 49% Approval Rating

Friday, September 14th, 2012

(You know, praying that that percentage doesn’t drop too much further.)

Well, read the news and turn the pages. Here’s an recent ouchy from the HuffPo’s Aaron Sankin:

Ed Lee Approval Rating Drops: San Francisco Mayor’s Popularity Dips Below 50 Percent.

Whoops, how could that be?

Now let’s hear from Ron Russell of the Bay Area Observer. Just yesterday he pointed us to a couple things:

1. “Visa moving headquarters from San Francisco to Foster City

“…marks the departure of one of the best-known companies, with a global brand, from the city where it was born…”

2. “Gap moving workers to Pleasanton

“Social media companies and other tech companies are competing for space in San Francisco,” said Edward Del Beccaro, managing director with Transwestern Real Estate. “So other companies have to consider whether to renew their leases in San Francisco or look for other locations.”

Oh, and look at who else is leaving town. That’s right it’s the San Francisco 49ers:

Justin Herman Plaza, September 12th, 2012 – enjoy your weekend and then check out Homecoming 2012 this Sunday at 5:20 PM – this is a game you won’t want to miss – Detroit Lions. (I think I prefer the older uniforms, actually. Moving on…)

So, I’m struggling to understand how the City Family’s all-knowing, all-seeing Dear Leader Ed Lee, whose primary qualification for getting appointed appears to have been pleasing Willie Brown whether Willie Brown was doing something good or Willie Brown was doing something bad, is so obviously steering us in the right direction.

Will Twitter (the so-called “Mid-Market phenomenon”) ever employ 6000 souls in San Francisco? Hells no. So why do we base our planning around that prediction?

That’s the kind of thing I think about these days.

All right, enjoy your brekky at the Hilton, everybody, while I wonder who writes stuff like this:

“Cranes are in the air, office and residential towers are rising and San Francisco’s real estate market is red hot!”

“Join us for your tour of San Francisco’s future!”

Ooh, I have one too. It goes like:

“Let’s take the Golden State Warriors away from pathetic Oakland – It’s like stealing candy from a baby!”

Oh, and this:

“Let’s not talk about the failed America’s Cup anymore! At least not today.”

All right, back to “reality.” Here’s the invite. Enjoy:

San Francisco Structures
This event is sold out.

Building San Francisco:  Pipeline to the Future

Cranes are in the air, office and residential towers are rising and San Francisco’s real estate market is red hot!

This annual event takes a sweeping look at developments transforming San Francisco’s landscape, and the vision for the future.  Our all-star lineup of real estate and community leaders will share inside information on the pipeline of projects:  the Mid-Market phenomenon; sports team-led developments; Moscone Center expansion; key waterfront developments; what’s ahead for Mission Bay, and San Francisco is rapidly becoming the innovation capital of the world.  Join us for your tour of San Francisco’s future!


*Mayor Ed Lee, City of San Francisco
*Rick Welts, President & COO, Golden State Warriors
*Carl Shannon, Managing Director, Regional Director – Northern California, Tishman Speyer
*Joe D’Alessandro, President & CEO, San Francisco Travel

Partnering Associations:  BOMA San Francisco; SPUR; ULI San Francisco

Friday, September 14, 2012, 7:30am-10:00am
Hilton San Francisco Union Square – Grand Ballroom B
333 O’Farrell Street

San Francisco, CA 94102″

[UPDATE: Oblvious, as expected. Who’s the cheerleader now?

Edwin Lee ‏@mayoredlee Abt to take stage @SFBusinessTimes sold out event to talk job creation in SF, the #1 area for job growth in nation #SFBTevents“]

The Vanishing Construction Workers of San Francisco County Have Reappeared in Civic Center, Looks Like

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Remember back in the day, back when construction workers spent 2008 pouring suspended slabs of steel-reinforced concrete to build the UC Hastings Garage just to the east of State Building in Civic Center (the one Arnold tried to sell to insiders last year, or something)? Things were looking grim.

But now things seem better, workwise. Here’s the lot just to the west of our State Building – it’s the new San Francisco PUC Building at 525 Golden Gate.

Big Blue, the Old Federal Building, will be harder to spot from Civic Center soon, that’s for sure…

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Busy as a beaver high above the Civic Center / Tenderloin / Little Saigon area…

Looks Like Everything’s Working Out for the 4-Star-Rated UC Hastings Law School Parking Garage in the Tenderloin

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Never really noticed the UC Hastings College of Law parking garage after it got finished, but it seems to be doing all right. It’s got a four star Yelp rating so that’s not bad for a such a battle-scarred structure.

If they could fill up the first floor retail spaces facing Larkin then we’d be all set, huh?

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But the Vanishing Construction Workers of San Francisco who put this garage up have vanished once again. Oh well.

The New UC Hastings Law School Parking Garage is Finally Up in Civic Center

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Well, here it is. After all kinds of stress and strife, the University of California, Hastings College of the Law parking garage / multi-use building in the Civic Center / Tenderloin area (aka Little Saigon) looks done from the outside.

Soon the legal eaglets at the largest and oldest law school in the West (yes, older than vaunted Boalt Hall across the estuary in Berkeley) will be able to easily descend from their nests at historic 100 McAllister or the “Book Concern Building” to get to their small German cars – without hogging up spaces at the Civic Center Parking Garage (aka Victory Garden Basement).

Note the “sickly green tiling” put in by the Vanishing Construction Workers of San Francisco County.

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It’s up… and it’s good! Three points for UC Hastings.