Posts Tagged ‘ordinance’

One Weird Trick to Avoid Paying Ten Cents for a Paper Bag in SF – The Answer Will Amaze You: French Fries!

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Is this “french fries or onion rings” exception to the SF Checkout Bag Ordinance documented anywhere?

Check it:

Click to expand

‘Cause I’m not seeing it. (Is there something in there about messy food?)

Anyway, order freedom fries or onion things if you want to stick it to the man and save money.

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.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera Sues Former Supervisor Michael Yaki for More Than 70 Violations of City’s Lobbyist Ordinance

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Well, I suppose I can’t oppose enforcement of the Lobbyist Ordinance.

[And I'll mention that the "Yaki Compromise" would have had numerous salutary effects and would have saved lives lost due to the horrible Octavia Boulevard project.]

Herrera sues former Supervisor Yaki for more than 70 violations of City’s lobbyist ordinance

Lobbying for Rescue Air Systems, Inc. in the legislative process involving Fire Code revisions, Yaki ‘brazenly flouted a law with which he had no excuse to be unfamiliar’

SAN FRANCISCO (Dec. 4, 2013) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today filed suit against former Supervisor Michael Yaki for more than 70 violations of the city’s lobbyist ordinance during the time Yaki was paid to advocate for the interests of his client, Rescue Air Systems, Inc., in the legislative process that revised San Francisco’s Fire Code earlier this year.  According to the complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court this morning, “Yaki flouted the lobbyist ordinance in every way” by failing to register as a lobbyist, failing to disclose the amounts and sources of payments for lobbying, and failing to report his lobbying contacts.  The complaint, which was filed with 15 accompanying declarations from Board members, legislative aides, fire commissioners and S.F. Fire Department Chief Joanne Hayes-White, alleges that Yaki misrepresented his identity as a paid lobbyist when trying to set up meetings with five Supervisors.  

The city’s lobbyist ordinance provides for civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation, or three times the amount of compensation scofflaw lobbyists fail to report — whichever is greater.  Yaki himself voted to support the ordinance in 2000 while a member of the Board of Supervisors.

“San Francisco’s Lobbyist Ordinance is a good government cornerstone that brings needed transparency to our local legislative process,” said Herrera.  ”It imposes a simple requirement on lobbyists to disclose the nature and extent of work they do for their clients, and other paid advocates have managed to comply with it thousands of times.  Unfortunately, in the case we’ve filed today, the evidence is overwhelming that Mr. Yaki brazenly flouted a law with which he had no excuse to be unfamiliar.  Our lobbyist ordinance fulfills a very important function in our local government, and its aggressive enforcement is essential to the legitimacy of the law itself.” 

San Carlos, Calif.-based Rescue Air Systems, Inc. manufactures a patented “firefighter air replenishment system,” or FARS, which San Francisco’s Fire Code has required since 2004 for new buildings with a height of 75 feet or more.  When city policymakers undertook their periodic revision to the local Fire Code beginning last year, Fire Chief Hayes-White was among numerous city officials to oppose extending the FARS requirement because the San Francisco Fire Department had never used or trained on the system, and because firefighters “do not have confidence that the air coming from the FARS pipes is safe and breathable, or that the system has been checked and maintained on regular basis,” according to Hayes-White’s declaration.  

Yaki engaged in extensive lobbying efforts over a period of more than a year on Rescue Air Systems’ behalf to retain the FARS requirement.  According to the city’s complaint and supporting declarations, the former supervisor lobbied fire commissioners, S.F. Fire Department officials, staff in the Mayor’s Office, and members of the Board of Supervisors and legislative aides to extend the legal requirement for an air replenishment system that only one company — Yaki’s client — manufactured.  The City Attorney’s Office’s investigation secured evidence of at least 70 lobbying contacts, including more than 10 lobbying meetings with Supervisors and their legislative aides and more than 50 emails to city officials on behalf of Rescue Air Systems’ interests in the Fire Code revision process.  

Yaki’s lobbying efforts ultimately proved largely unsuccessful.  San Francisco’s Fire Commission passed a motion recommending that the FARS requirement be altered to offer developers a choice of whether to install FARS or a firefighter service elevator to facilitate oxygen delivery.  That recommendation was adopted as part of the San Francisco Fire Code amendments unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors in September, which Mayor Ed Lee approved on Oct. 3, 2013.  

The case is: Dennis Herrera in his Official Capacity as San Francisco City Attorney v. Michael Yaki, San Francisco Superior Court, filed Dec. 4, 2013.  Due to the large file size of the 468-page court filing, the complete presskit with accompanying declarations is not being emailed but is available for download on the City Attorney’s website at: http://www.sfcityattorney.org/index.aspx?page=570.”

Explaining to the Employees of Yammer Microsoft How They’re Not Really “Giving Back” to the Mid-Market Area

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

I don’t know, you can look right here for one version of the story about why Yammer Microsoft is doing so, so, soooooo many great things for San Francisco.

Or you can ask Microsoft Yammer why it doesn’t want to pay its fair share of taxes.

Leave us begin.

In 2004, the Mayor of San Francisco signed a law that closed a tax loophole.

Later on, that very same Mayor took a lot of money from the owner owner of a building with which you Microsoft Yammerers should be familiar, the Twitter Building:

Prospective Twitter Landlord Gave Newsom Rent Deal

That kicked off the whole tax boondoggle that Microsoft Yammer is taking advantage of now.

Oh, here it is:

“THIS COMMUNITY BENEFIT AGREEMENT 2013 MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING is made as of January 1, 2013 in the City and County of San Francisco, State of California, by and between YAMMER, A SUBSIDIARY OF MICROSOFT(“Microsoft”) and the CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO, a municipal corporation (“City”) acting by and through the City Administrator”

And it goes on and on talking about all the things that Microsoft is obligated to do for non-profit organizations that just happened to have endorsed Appointed Mayor Ed Lee.

So, well meaning white people who appear to be so, so, soooooo very proud of giving monitors worth (let’s hope) at least the contractually obligated $10,000 agreed to by MS….

….my question to you is this:

WHY DON’T YOU SIMPLY PAY YOUR FUCKING TAXES INSTEAD OF DOING ALL THIS POLITICALLY-CONNECTED, PAT-YOURSELF-ON-THE-BACK RIGMAROLE?

I’ll do all the legwork if you’ll give me some basic tax and income information. So maybe some years that could end up being a lot of money. I’d say, ooh, IPO! That’s going to cost Microsoft SF a few million bucks. And then you’d cut a check for the general fund.

There’d be no Ron Conway-type exception for you.

What’s that? You can’t afford to pay the oppressive taxes and loophole closures signed into law by the San Francisco Mayors of Yesteryear?

You know, I don’t believe that, Yammer Micro$oft.

What’s that, you’d rather move to Brisbane or someplace in San Mateo County?

Well, then be my guest. (You know, most people pricing apartment rentals in town lately would welcome your departure. You think I’m joking? No, I’m srlsy.)

What’s that, you like “giving back” to the corrupt Twitterloin, ’cause you think it’s a kewl thing to do and whatnot?

Fine, do that AND pay your fair share of taxes to the General Fund, why not?

That would be groovy.

But what you’re doing now is getting involved with SFGov corruption in the most corrupt big American city west of Chicago.

Just saying.

Oh, here’s some reading material to explain what you’re involved with, Microsoft. It’s from a time long before Yammer.

Enjoy your private-public neo-corporatism.

All the deets, in searchable form, after the jump.

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Attention Shoppers: Grocery Stores to Start Charging for Bags October 1, 2012 – BYOB – Bring Your Own Bag

Monday, August 13th, 2012

This new tax is a done deal.

Check it: 

Click to expand

“CTIA -The Wireless Association” Explains Why Its Suing Us Over Gavin Newsom’s “Cell Phone Right-to-Know” Ordinance

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Well, after saying it was going to do so, the cell phone industry is actually suing us.

All the deets are below.

The friendly face of the Cellular Telephone Industries Association, aka CITA, The Wireless Association. This fellow has a big beef with our little town.

CITA Vice President of Public Affairs John Walls

“CTIA-The Wireless Association® Files Challenge to San Francisco’s “Cell Phone Right-to-Know” Ordinance

WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2011 – Today, CTIA-The Wireless Association® asked a federal court to block the enforcement of San Francisco’s “Cell Phone Right-to-Know” ordinance. CTIA’s challenge argues that the Ordinance is barred under the First Amendment and conflicts with federal law governing the safety of wireless devices.

As CTIA explains in its motion, the Ordinance requires retailers to distribute misleading statements and graphics that send the false message that cell phones approved by the FCC are not safe. In fact, the FCC limits radiofrequency emissions from cell phones to ensure that phones sold in the U.S. emit RF energy far below levels shown in scientific testing to have any adverse health effects. The FCC’s standard includes a wide margin of safety for all users. Last year the FDA categorically concluded that there is “No Evidence Linking Cell Phone Use to Risk of Brain Tumors,” and earlier this year the Chairman of the FCC, Julius Genachowski, said that he was “confident that [the FCC's] standards are protecting the health of people.”

CTIA-The Wireless Association Vice President of Public Affairs John Walls released the following statement:

“The materials the City would require be posted and handed out at retail stores are both alarmist and false. The FCC and FDA have repeatedly found that cell phone use does not pose a danger to human health. The Ordinance recommends such things as turning the phone off when not in use, a suggestion that would render critical emergency communications unavailable to San Francisco residents.”

More deets after the jump

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Legislation by David Chiu, Scott Wiener, and Dennis Herrera Takes on Security Issues at Parking Lots

Friday, September 30th, 2011

I’d put this one in the “Worthy Initiative” category, but some parking lot owners might not.

Click to expand

I could see this saving a few lives over the years…

All the deets:

Legislation by Chiu, Wiener, and Herrera takes on security issues at parking garages and lots

Proposed amendment to SF Police Code seeks to improve the safety of patrons of San Francisco’s vibrant entertainment industry and the surrounding neighborhoods

SAN FRANCISCO (Sept. 29, 2011) — Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, Supervisor Scott Wiener, and City Attorney Dennis Herrera today announced a major legislative step to curb late night public nuisance and criminal activities in parking garages and lots, in particular at those garages and lots near entertainment establishments. The proposed ordinance seeks to amend sections of the San Francisco Police Code regarding commercial parking permits and empower the City Attorney’s Office to pursue civil action against those who violate those sections.

“Making parking lots near nightclubs more secure will make it safer for people to patronize our vital entertainment industry,” said Supervisor David Chiu. “I appreciate the opportunity to work with Supervisor Wiener, City Attorney Herrera and the industry to put forward this much-needed legislation.”

More deets after the jump

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“First Resort” is the Bay Area’s Fake Abortion Provider per the Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights (BACORR)

Friday, September 30th, 2011

All right, let’s say that this is your search:

Get an Abortion San Francisco

Which link would you click on?

This one?

“Abortion Info – Women’s Pregnancy Clinic | FirstResort.Org

Counseling and prenatal care 450 Sutter St, Suite 1740, San Francisco (415) 627-9175″

Get up to speed on this issue here and read a fresh release from BACORR below.

Via BACORR:

“FIRST RESORT MISLEADS IN ITS ADVERTISING, BACORR FINDS.

First Resort is well-known as Anti-Abortion in the Pro-Life Community; Misrepresents Itself & Advertises Under Abortion Services to the Non-Activist General Public.

First Resort, currently being investigated by the City Attorney’s office, misrepresents services it offers via Google advertising, in a recent Chronicle Op-Ed, and over the telephone. Over a 6 month investigation, the Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights (BACORR) has researched First Resort’s mission, ties in the Pro-Life community, and misrepresentation of itself to the general public.

This is first and foremost a consumer protection issue, not a political or religious debate.

First Resort is a Christian organization whose mission is to make an “abortion free world, “ as stated in paperwork filed with the state. However, under Google searches, “Abortion San Francisco,” “Abortion Services San Francisco,” and “,” First Resort is the second paid listing on the results page. Google is the most popular internet search engine.

After Golden Gate Planned Parenthood in San Francisco lost its charter, First Resort CEO Shari Plunkett states, “Our call volume has never been higher.” (Email to supporters, dated 4/14/2011) Though First Resort usually tells callers they do not offer abortions, recently they said yes, they do offer abortions.”

More deets after the jump

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Dennis Herrera Throws Down: Teams Up With Supervisor Malia Cohen to Battle Bogus “Crisis Pregnancy Centers”

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

[UPDATE: Heather Knight has some useful details, particularly about a woman who named her child after a book from the Old Testament / Torah. OK fine.]

San Francisco City Attorney and mayoral candidate Dennis Jose Herrera held a presser this AM along with District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen, District 3 Supervisor and mayoral candidate David Chiu, and District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener regarding Malia’s new legislation about “crisis pregnancy centers.”

All the deets are below.

But you make the call:

What the Hell is this?

And check this photo from famous Steve Rhodes.

And guess who was there at City Hall this morning? Some Catholic League types, or Catholic reporters, something like that.

(It will be interesting to see how a few particular Supes vote on this one…)

Click to expand

Cohen, Herrera take on S.F. ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ for deceptive marketing tactics

Proposed ordinance, City Attorney demand letter target misleading advertising by centers that push hidden agenda for ‘abortion free world’

SAN FRANCISCO (Aug. 2, 2011) — Supervisor Malia Cohen and City Attorney Dennis Herrera today announced joint legal and legislative steps to halt deceptive marketing by so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” in San Francisco, which purport to offer non-judgmental abortion services and counseling to women with unwanted pregnancies, but that instead push an anti-abortion agenda on those seeking constitutionally protected medical services. Cohen and Herrera announced their initiatives at a City Hall press conference this morning.

Cohen’s legislation, which she will introduce at today’s Board of Supervisors meeting, is entitled the “Pregnancy Information Disclosure and Protection Ordinance.” If enacted, Cohen’s measure would explicitly prohibit limited services pregnancy centers in San Francisco from making false or misleading statements to the public about pregnancy-related services that the centers offer. While some crisis pregnancy centers openly acknowledge their pro-life advocacy, many misleadingly target women in search of abortion services though false advertising — and then employ manipulative and fear mongering tactics on their visitors to dissuade them from obtaining abortions. Crisis pregnancy centers commonly offer few services other than anti-abortion rhetoric, but the proliferation of Internet search engines has given anti-abortion centers an effective way to misrepresent themselves as bona fide clinics, offering prominent paid links in response to search queries for “abortion” and related terms within their region.

“One of the most serious threats to reproductive rights today comes from so-called ‘crisis pregnancy centers,’ which misrepresent themselves as non-political medical providers, but that push anti-abortion propaganda and mistruths on unsuspecting women,” said Cohen. “The legislation that will be introduced today would prohibit these limited services pregnancy centers in San Francisco from misleading the public about the services they perform. It’s a measured, thoughtful approach that balances the free speech rights of anti-abortion activists with constitutionally protected reproductive rights for women. I appreciate City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s office working with me to craft a policy to protect women in San Francisco, while minimizing possible legal risks.”

In tandem with Cohen’s legislation, Herrera took a first step today toward a possible legal action under California law against San Francisco’s most egregiously misleading crisis pregnancy center, First Resort, Inc. Herrera’s demand letter to the anti-abortion crisis pregnancy center in the medical building at 450 Sutter Street expressed serious concerns about the veracity of the center’s print advertising and Internet marketing, which imply to prospective clients that First Resort offers abortion services or referrals to abortion providers — when it in fact does neither.

Herrera’s letter notes that First Resort has purchased paid Google advertisements to secure top placement in search results for abortion providers in San Francisco. Moreover, the letter details several of First Resort’s public representations to prospective clients that are false and misleading, and which contrast starkly with the organization’s stated purpose — as revealed in its state licensing documents — to achieve “an abortion-free world.”

“First Resort is certainly entitled to advocate for ‘an abortion-free world’ to anyone who wants to hear it, but the center is breaking the law by misrepresenting itself as an abortion provider for the purpose of luring women with unwanted pregnancies to its office,” Herrera said. “This is an insidious practice that victimizes women who are, in some instances, already victims. It’s especially problematic because the delays these centers can cause interfere with women’s time-sensitive, constitutionally protected right to reproductive choice. I’ve taken this step to demand that First Resort clarify its purpose in accordance with state law. Moreover, I applaud Supervisor Malia Cohen for her leadership to further tighten restrictions on this unethical practice here in San Francisco.”

And see what NARAL Pro Choice California has to say about all this after the jump

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OMG Food Trucks! San Francisco’s Official “Mobile Food Facilities” Town Hall Meeting is Coming February 25th

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

The BOMA has all the deets:

“The SFDPW will hold a Mobile Food Town Hall to address any concerns regarding the Mobile Food Facilities Ordinance on February 25, 2011 at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, Atrium Conference Room”

Well, maybe not all the deets, like the time it will start, but that’s OK, we’ll get that situated soon ‘nough. Just mark you calendars at this point.

What’s it like to step out of your tired, struggling, old-school bricks-and-mortar lunch spot with six idle employees and one customer at 11:30 AM to see a regular hirugohan phenomenon? It  looks just like this, as seen on Mission:

Click to expand

In other news, horrible Alison Rowe of struggling, poorly-rated (relatively – we can get into that if you want, but probably you don’t want to do that) Harvest & Rowe, you know, that place what looks like a sleepy bank lobby most of the time, has won her crazy battle against the harmless Japacurry food truck.

Oh well.

(But sometimes you win the battle and then lose the war. We’ll see.)

Anyway, I’ll post the time of the Town Hall when I figure it out.