Posts Tagged ‘law’

Prop F Update: Let’s Look at Both Sides of SF Proposition F (2015), the Airbnb Law – Fixing Frisco’s Broken Short-Term Rental Mess

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

(I’ll tell you, I don’t care what you do or where you rest your noggin at night. Fundamentally, I’m not a NIMBY – I don’t care what you do. I’ll admit I think it’s noteworthy when I spot Airbnb users in the Western Addition or the Sunset or wherever, ’cause they stand out (without realizing it) like a sore thumb, but I don’t have anything against tourists milling about, you know, per se. It’s funny, they ask me about parking laws. I try to help out. I tell them which way to curb their tires, ’cause a lot of them just don’t get it. And I’ll add that I know people who use Airbnb, and I know people who make some money letting rooms and units via Airbnb and the VRBO. But obvs I don’t own Airbnb options or anything and I’ll also note that I don’t own any hotels or anything.)

So that’s where I stand. No conflicts of interest – how refreshing, non? Now let’s take a look at Prop F via ShareBetterSF:

1. Limits short-term rentals to 75 nights per year, regardless of whether a ‘host’ is present

THIS LOOKS GOOD TO ME. THE WHOLE “HOST PRESENT” THING APPEARS TO BE A GIANT LOOPHOLE COOKED UP BY AIRBNB ITSELF IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE OFFICE OF SUPERVISOR DAVID CHIU. THE RULES THAT HE AND AIRBNB CAME UP WITH ARE A HUGE, UNWORKABLE MESS, IMO.

2. Requires quarterly reports to the Planning Department on the number of nights a unit is rented to tourists

IF YOU’RE RENTING OUT A ROOM OR A UNIT, YOU’D NEED A REGISTRATION NUMBER AND YOU’D NEED TO REPORT HOW MANY TIMES YOU DID IT EVERY THREE MONTHS. SOUNDS PRETTY SIMPLE TO ME. SOUNDS A LOT SIMPLER THAN, SAY, THE EXTRA WORK YOU’LL HAVE TO DO WHEN ANNUAL TAX TIME COMES. IF THIS IS TOO MUCH OF A BURDEN ON YOU, THE PERSON RENTING OUT ROOMS, PERHAPS YOU SHOULDN’T BE IN THIS BIDNESS?

3. Fines ‘hosting platforms’ (like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway) for listing unregistered units

BAM. IF YOU HAVE A REG. NUMBER, YOU CAN LIST. IF YOU DON’T, YOU CAN’T.

4. Provides other building tenants, neighbors and neighborhood associations with notice when a unit is registered as a short-term rental

SO SFGOV WOULD SEND OUT A BRACE OF LETTERS EVERY TIME A UNIT GETS REGISTERED – THIS IS A ONE-TIME DEAL, RIGHT? AGAIN, DOES THIS SEEM SO UNREASONABLE?

5. Allows other building tenants & neighbors to go to court to protect their rights to the quiet enjoyment of their homes when the City fails to enforce the law

SO THERE ARE YOUR TEETH. THIS IS WHY AIRBNBER’S WILL ACTUALLY PAY ATTENTION TO SF PROP F 2015.

[INTERMISSION]

NOW LET’S HEAR FROM AIRBNB::

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1. WELL, YEAH, I GUESS, AIRBNB – YOU COULD CHARACTERIZE THINGS THAT WAY. BUT LET’S SAY AN AIRBNBER FROM WALNUT CREEK BUYS A BUILDING IN SF AND THEN AIRBNBS ALL THE UNITS 365/366 DAYS A YEAR – THIS IS WHAT THE PROP F PEOPLE WOULD CALL “RUNNING A HOTEL.” IF I WERE SAID BUILDING OWNER LIVING IN WALNUT CREEK, I’D BE VERY AFRAID OF PROP F, SO I’D FOLLOW THE NEW RULES, RIGHT? IS THAT SO BAD?

2. WELL, I LIVE IN SF, AIRBNB. SO I DON’T THINK YOU’RE TALKING TO ME. BUT i’LL SAY THAT I THINK THE “DATA” WE’RE TALKING ABOUT IS HOW MANY TIMES A QUARTER AIRBNBERS ARE IN BUSINESS, SO NO BIG DEAL, RIGHT? SO FAR, YOU’RE NOT REALLY SCARING ME AWAY FROM PROP F HERE, AIRBNB. LET’S SOLDIER ON…

3. SFGOV AND AIRBNB HAVE MADE A HASH OF THIS PROCESS SO FAR. THE CURRENT SYSTEM ISN’T WORKING, SORRY. THIS IS WHY PROP F QUALIFIED FOR THE BALLOT, RIGHT?

4. HEY, AREN’T MOST IN-LAW UNITS IN TOWN ALREADY “BANNED?” I THINK SO. I THINK IT’S BECAUSE THEY AREN’T CODE COMPLIANT. WHY SHOULDN’T WE LEGALIZE THESE UNITS FIRST, IF THAT’S WHAT WE WANT TO DO, AFORE WE START WORRYING ABOUT HOW MUCH MONEY WE CAN MAKE OFF OF THEM? AND IF THIS IN-LAW ISSUE IS SUCH A BIG CONCERN A FEW YEARS DOWN THE ROAD AFTER THE POSSIBLE LEGALIZATION OF THESE UNITS, WELL, THEN WE CAN VOTE AGAIN, RIGHT? PERHAPS THIS WILL BE A BIT CUMBERSOME, BUT THAT’S WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU HAVE A REGULATORY CAPTURE SUCH AS THE ONE WE’RE IN.  

So, IDK, am I missing something here? What am I missing? Any beef anybody has against Prop F is displaced anger – the people who created the current situation are the ones responsible. Oh what’s that, Airbnb, you say the rules from Prop F are “too extreme?” Well, that’s because, unlike the current regs,  you didn’t write them. See how that works, Airbnb? Perhaps you should have cooked up a fairer set of rules for yourself, and then Prop F never would never have gone on the ballot, right?

So tell me, Gentle Reader, what am I missing here?

Otherwise, I’m a-voting YES ON PROP F.

Here’s What It Looks Like When the SFPD Hands Out a Bunch of Sit/Lie-Type Tickets in the Golden Gate Park Panhandle

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

I suppose these people were in sleeping bags like at 11:00 AM or so and that attracted some attention from the SFPD?

Does our newish sit-lie law even apply to this location at this time of day? IDK.

But once you start accumulating these kinds of nuisance citations, you might start thinking about moving on down the road to a new town…

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A sleepy napper in the lower right corner:

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A U-turn:

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And cold busted – sign here please, Ma’am:

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On It Goes in the 94117

The Best Stunt Uber Has Ever Pulled: Basically Giving Away Nutcase Bike Helmets in Philly Today

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

It seems odd how hostile our local San Francisco and state California Bike Coalitions are in regards to head buckets. The idea of requiring the use of helmets is a real Membership splitter, something like 50-50, so it’s best not to spoken of, one supposes.

OTOH, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and Uber are offering up $60-something bike helmets for ten dollars today, instant delivery included:

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I think I got me a first-generation Nutcase, the kind will the less-sophisticated latch. I think I’d install the Uber app to get in on this deal, were it offered in Frisco…

Anyway, pretty good, Uber!

“RIDE SAFELY: GET A BIKE HELMET ON DEMAND

APRIL 21, 2015 POSTED BY PHILLY
Uber is committed to connecting Philadelphia with safe, reliable, and affordable transportation options. And with this week’s launch of Indego, Philly’s new bike share program, we’re extending that commitment to bicycle safety.

Request HELMET in the Uber app to receive a Nutcase Metroride commuter helmet on demand in exchange for a $10 donation, which will go to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, a champion of Indego.
HOW IT WORKS

On April 23 at 11am, open the app and request HELMET
A driver-partner will arrive in minutes with your Nutcase Metroride commuter helmet*
You will be charged a $10 donation per helmet, which Uber will match and donate to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia
Limit of two helmets per request. Available while supplies last or 4pm, whichever comes first
The Metroride adjustable helmet fits most S/M and M/L head sizes (21 5/8″ – 22 3/4″ or 55 – 59cm)—it may not fit heads outside of this size range
The HELMET option will be available in the Philadelphia area, from 63rd Street to the Delaware River from West to East, and Lehigh Avenue to Pattison Avenue from North to South.

Interested in donating more than $10? Visit the Bicycle Coalition’s website.
ABOUT THE METRORIDE HELMET & NUTCASE
Style meets safety with “The Original” Metroride commuter helmet from Nutcase. Designed with commuting in mind, the Metroride features a lightweight frame, ventilation for a cooler ride, and a removable visor for sun and rain protection. The Metroride is one size fist most (S/M and M/L; 21 5/8″ — 22 3/4″ or 55 — 59cm) and comes with an adjustable spin dial, as well as foam padding for a customized fit. The Metroride is certified CPSC/CE/ASNZS for bicycle riding.

Portland-based Nutcase has been designing innovative and stylish bike, skate, snow, water, and motorcycle helmets for the past seven years.

Lawyer’s Corner: RPD Says Slacklines and Hammocks Violate the Park Code, But Do They Really?

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Here you go, this was just the other day in GGP:

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RPD calls this kind of thing “affixing items to trees” on their newish signs, but I don’t see where this language comes from, you know, in the SF Park Code.

So yeah, if you cut down a big tree to have some fun with the stump, I can see how that’d be citeable.

But I don’t see how slacklining or romantic hammocking is an automatic violation of the SF Park Code.

So, I’m saying the newish signs from RPD are incorrect.

So I’m saying that the RPD should go to the BOS to fix this sitch,

JMO

UC Hastings Dean Frank Wu Has Become the J. Peterman of SF – Here’s His Pre-Apology for Snubbing You at the Gym

Monday, August 11th, 2014

I’ll tell you, I never before have encountered an entity the likes of UC Hastings Dean Frank Wu.

So that’s the baseline, but now he’s just kicked things up a notch (BAM!) with:

Why I Might Not Say Hello to You at the Gym

And here’s one reaction from the peanut gallery:

The Tens @thetens · Just RTing this to remember the ridiculousness RT @uchastingslaw Why I Might Not Say Hello to You @ the Gym @FrankHWuhttp://ow.ly/3o8yn3 

Feel free to read Dean Wu’s bits from LinkedIn and the HuffPo, linked below.

Hey, what about this:

Wu’s a talker more than a listener and his in-your-face style is not always welcome.

Yeah, I hear you, Daily Recorder.

All right, enjoy. I can’t say I’ve read all these bits linked below, but, at the very least,  some of the titles are amusing.

Actually, I’m surprised he hasn’t already been profiled by our local MSM, you know, with photos of him riding to school through the TL on one of his motorcycles, that kind of thing. There’s a lot of material to work from, what with his relentless columns with writings on all topics ala Larry King or, indeed, Hastings alum and Mayor of San Francisco for the past two decades Willie Brown.

To repeat, I never before have encountered an entity the likes of UC Hastings Dean Frank Wu.

Take Charge — Nobody Else Is Going To

Well Look, Gannett Co Inc’s “The Bold Italic” Venture is Operating a _Paid_ Intern Program – But What About Before?

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

[UPDATE: IMO, The San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner (and family) are conducting their intern programs properly. IMO, San Francisco Magazine is not. Those are the ones I’ve looked at.)

Here’s the current ad from TBI:

“Hello writers! Are you a Bold Italic fan looking to get on the other side of the screen with us? We’re looking for two social media-savvy bloggers interested in interning at The Bold Italic HQ (Hayes Valley, SF) for the fall season. The gig lasts four months (mid-August through December), and is for 3-5 days a week. And yes, we pay our interns ($15/hr). We can give you school credit if you need it.”

That appears to be fine, so it’s time to take TBI off of secret double unpaid intern probation.

But how did Gannett / the Bold Italic get on intern detention in the first place? Well, it was the offers of unpaid internships. You can see an example of one below. (It’s the sort of thing that can get a Fortune 500 chain store outlet like The Bold Italic sued, you know, for not paying at least the minimum wage.)

All right, TBI, Go Forth And Sin No More.

Ah mem’ries:

The Bold Italic is looking for an intern!

The Bold Italic is a website about local discovery in San Francisco. Our mission is to help people become better locals by equipping our members with rare intel, backstories, and potential adventures. The Bold Italic is a project of Gannett, the publishing company that owns USA Today and other media outlets.

Most recently our writers engaged in shooting guns, performing stand up comedy, working a day at a pot club, and getting hands-on lessons from a butcher – all right here in San Francisco.

We’re looking for a cracker-jack intern to help us inspire San Franciscans to interact with their city.

Duties to include:
– General office administrative duties.
– Helping to draft promotional material.
– Contributing ideas for editorial, publicity, and marketing projects.
– Assisting with events.
– Other duties assigned by the Producers and Merchant Relations staff.

Skills we are looking for:
– Strong familiarity with San Francisco.
– A people person.
– Detail oriented.
– Responsible and on time.
– Excellent communication skills; writing experience a plus.
– Social media savvy.

This is an excellent opportunity for someone who is looking to get involved with an online publication.

This is an unpaid 3-month internship, but we can offer hands-on experience and college credit.

Please only apply if you can dedicate 10-15 hours per week.

Send your resume and cover letter to info@thebolditalic.com

Dennis Herrera Throws Down: Tells “Monkey Parking” to Drop Mobile App for Auctioning City Parking Spots – $300 Fines?

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

[UPDATE: SFist (lots of comments already), Slate, and the San Francisco Chronicle are on the case.]

Gotta say I sort of saw this one coming.

And it’s not just Monkey Parking that’s in trouble today. Check out the craigslist ad from ParkModo (cached website) (@ParkModo – no Tweets yet, or maybe they were deleted?), posted on June 17th, 2014:

Earn $13.00 P/H Just To Park! (mission district)

Our company is launching an awesome app that rewards people to sell their on-street parking spots before leaving to people who need a spot.

To help us promote the app, we are looking for 20 people with cars and iPhones to park around the mission and use the app to offer their parking spots to people looking for parking.

The hours will be from 5:30-9:00 pm Thurs-Sat starting June 26th.

This is how it works:

1. You download the app from the app store.
2. When you want to work, you will contact our field manager to check in.
3. The field manager will then instruct you as to what area and type of spot you are to park in.
4. You will then find a spot in the area and park.
5. Once you are parked, using the app, you will offer the spot for sale. 
6. While you are waiting for someone to purchase the space, you will distribute postcards and promote the app.
7. Once someone purchases the spot, you will complete the transaction with the buyer and then find another space to park in and start the process all over again!

If you are interested, please click on the link below (Paste into your browser) and provide your information so we can contact you and get you started.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1To5Ck5FrPBMrh35SvJp-WDRg0WDyaLLyuo1_MS8pyV8/viewform?usp=send_form

We look forward to working with you!”

I think ParkModo’s operations will now be on hold, for a little bit at least. But do you want some more from them? See below.

Now, all the deets about all these troubled businesses, from Herrera’s office:

“Herrera tells Monkey Parking to drop mobile app for auctioning city parking spots

Motorists face $300 fines for each violation under existing law, City Attorney says — and three startups could be liable for penalties of up to $2,500 for each transaction

SAN FRANCISCO (June 23, 2014) — San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera today issued an immediate cease-and-desist demand to Monkey Parking, a mobile peer-to-peer bidding app that enables motorists to auction off the public parking spaces their vehicles occupy to nearby drivers.   The app, currently available for iOS devices, describes itself on the Apple iTunes App Store as the “the first app which lets you make money every time that you are about to leave your on-street parking spot.”

The letter Herrera’s office issued this morning to Paolo Dobrowolny, CEO of the Rome, Italy-based tech startup, cites a key provision of San Francisco’s Police Code that specifically prohibits individuals and companies from buying, selling or leasing public on-street parking.  Police Code section 63(c) further provides that scofflaws — including drivers who “enter into a lease, rental agreement or contract of any kind” for public parking spots — face administrative penalties of up to $300 for each violation.  Because Monkey Parking’s business model is wholly premised on illegal transactions, the letter contends that the company would be subject to civil penalties of up to $2,500 per violation under California’s tough Unfair Competition Law were the city to sue.  Such a lawsuit would be imminent, Herrera’s office vowed, should the startup continue to operate in San Francisco past July 11, 2014.

Technology has given rise to many laudable innovations in how we live and work — and Monkey Parking is not one of them,” Herrera said.  “It’s illegal, it puts drivers on the hook for $300 fines, and it creates a predatory private market for public parking spaces that San Franciscans will not tolerate.  Worst of all, it encourages drivers to use their mobile devices unsafely — to engage in online bidding wars while driving.  People are free to rent out their own private driveways and garage spaces should they choose to do so.  But we will not abide businesses that hold hostage on-street public parking spots for their own private profit.”

Herrera’s cease-and-desist demand to Monkey Parking includes a request to the legal department of Apple Inc., which is copied on the letter, asking that the Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant immediately remove the mobile application from its App Store for violating several of the company’s own guidelines.  Apple App Store Review Guidelines provide that “Apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available to users” and that “Apps whose use may result in physical harm may be rejected.”

Two other startups that similarly violate local and state law with mobile app-enabled schemes intended to illegally monetize public parking spaces in San Francisco will also face legal action in the form of cease-and-desist demands this week, according to the City Attorney’s Office.  Sweetch charges a $5 flat fee when its users obtain a parking spot from another Sweetch motorist.  Sweetch drivers who pass their spots off to other Sweetch members are refunded $4 of that fee.  ParkModo, which appears poised to launch later this week, according to recent employment postings on Craigslist, will employ drivers at a rate of $13.00 per hour to occupy public parking spaces in the Mission District.  As with Monkey Parking and Sweetch, ParkModo then plans to sell the on-street parking spots to its paying members through its iPhone app.  Sweetch and ParkModo members who make use of the apps to park in San Francisco are also subject to civil penalties of $300 per violation, and both companies are potentially liable for civil penalties of $2,500 per transaction for illegal business practices under the Cali04fornia Unfair Competition Law.

A copy of Herrera’s demand letter to Monkey Parking and additional information about the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office is available at: http://www.sfcityattorney.org/.”

And here’s a little more from ParkModo:

“We are currently rolling out the beta in the following cities…

San Francisco – As beautiful as city it is, parking is just as bad! Not only is there way to much demand for the supply, but the parking police will catch you if they can! Be among the first 1000 people to download the app and get $5 in free parking!

New York – Instead of calling it the city that never sleeps, they should call it the city that never has parking! Get in on ParkModo and earn some serious cash and stop wasting your time. We know every minute in ny is precious.

Chicago – There may be wind here, but there is certainly no parking! Use ParkModo and fly like the wind when you need a space!”

Mayors Behaving Badly: How This Photo from KRON’s Stanley Roberts Doesn’t Necessarily Show Oakland Mayor Illegally Texting

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

All the deets from Channel 4’s Stanley Roberts, he of People Behaving Badly fame.

If she was texting, then that against CA law, but if she was using her iPhone(?) as a wayfinding device, then this starring performance might not have been against the law.

Here it is:

You Make The Call

Seen on the Street: Owner of Expensive Lexus LS 460 Luxury Sedan Votes “SNOWDEN FOR PRESIDENT”

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Another UCLA Law alum for Snowie:

Click to expand

Law School Chancellors Reviewing 16-Year-Old Movies: Frank Wu of UC Hastings on Ronin (1998)

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Here it is, apropos of nothing, from Frank H. Wu, Chancellor & Dean of UC Hastings College of the Law on the HuffPo.

But we’re not talking about the recent film 47 Ronin, non non. We’re talking about plain old Ronin, from when you were in elementary school, Gentle Reader.

Now the thing about Dean Frank is that he’s new in town. It’s unfortunate he’s already embraced certain corrupt local institutions, such as the Tenderloin Housing Clinic. Granted, he sometimes needs to deal with such entities to get his job done, but he doesn’t display an awareness of the fact he’s living in the most corrupt big American city west of Chicago. For instance.

No matter, I entirely agree that Ronin is worth your time. (And I’m shocked that its Rotten Tomatoes score is down in the ’60s. This is one of the best films you can see with a rating that low.)

You oughtta watch the whole thing.  

“The University of California’s Hastings College of the Law (UC Hastings or Hastings) is a top tier public law school in San Francisco, California, located in the Civic Center neighborhood. Founded in 1878 by Serranus Clinton Hastings, the first Chief Justice of California, it was the first law school of the University of California…”