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(a) Purpose. This Section 343 establishes a Housing Sustainability District within the Central SoMa Plan Area (“Central SoMa Housing Sustainability District” or “Central SoMa HSD”) under California Government Code Sections 66200 et seq. The purpose of the Central SoMa Housing Sustainability District is to encourage the provision of on-site affordable housing in new residential and mixed-use projects in Central SoMa by providing a streamlined, ministerial approval process for such projects. The Central SoMa Plan anticipates that 33% of all new residential units produced within the Plan Area will be permanently affordable to households of very low, low, or moderate income. This Section 343 sets forth eligibility criteria, design review standards, and entitlement and approval procedures for projects seeking approval pursuant to the requirements of the Central SoMa Housing Sustainability District.
(b) Geography. The Central SoMa Housing Sustainability District shall include all parcels within the Central SoMa Special Use District, which is defined in Section 249.78(b). The entirety of the Central SoMa Special Use District is an “eligible location,” as that term is defined in California Government Code Section 66200(e).
(c) Relationship to Other Planning Code Provisions. Except as otherwise provided in this Section 343, all provisions of the Planning Code, including Section 249.78, that would be applicable to projects approved pursuant to this Section 343 shall apply to such projects. In the event of a conflict between other provisions of the Planning Code and this Section, this Section shall control.
(d) Eligibility. Projects seeking approval pursuant to this Section 343 shall meet all of the following requirements:
(1) The project is located in a zoning district that principally permits residential uses.
(2) The project proposes no less than 50 dwelling units per acre, and no more than 750 dwelling units per acre.
(3) A majority of the project’s gross square footage is designated for residential uses. All non-residential uses must be principally permitted in the underlying zoning district and any applicable special use district(s), and may not include greater than 24,999 gross square feet of office space that would be subject to the annual limit on office development set forth in Sections 321et seq.
(4) The project does not exceed a height of 160 feet, except that any project whose principal use is housing, where all such housing is restricted for a minimum of 55 years as affordable for “persons and families of low or moderate income,” as defined in California Health & Safety Code Section 50093, shall be deemed to satisfy this subsection (c)(4) regardless of height.
(5) If the project sponsor seeks a density bonus pursuant to California Government Code Section 65915 et seq., the project sponsor demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Planning Department that the project would not result in a significant shadow impact.
(7) The project complies with the following affordability requirements, as applicable:
(8) The project does not demolish, remove, or convert to another use any existing dwelling unit(s).
(9) The project complies with all applicable zoning and any adopted design review standards.
(10) The project sponsor complies with all Mitigation Measures in the Central SoMa Environmental Impact Report (Central SoMa EIR) that the Planning Department determines are applicable to the project.
(11) The project sponsor certifies that the project will comply with all applicable requirements of California Government Code Section 66201(f)(4).
(12) The project shall comply with Government Code Section 66201(f)(5).
(13) A project is not deemed to be for residential use if it is infeasible for actual use as a single or multifamily residence.
(e) Approving Authority. The Planning Department is the approving authority designated to review permit applications for compliance with this Section 343.
(1) Prior to submittal of an application for required approvals from the Planning Department, a project sponsor seeking to apply pursuant to this Section 343 shall submit an application for a preliminary project assessment (PPA), pursuant to Planning Department procedures.
(2) In addition to any requirements under other provisions of this Code for submittal of application materials, an application under this Section 343 shall be submitted to the Department on a form prescribed by the Department and shall include at minimum the following materials:
(A) A full plan set, including site plan, elevations, sections, and floor plans, showing total number of units, and number of and location of units affordable to very low or low income households;
(B) All documentation required by the Department in its response to the project sponsor’s previously-submitted PPA application;
(C) Documentation sufficient to support determinations that:
(i) the project meets all applicable zoning and any adopted design review standards;
(ii) the project sponsor will implement any and all Mitigation Measures in the Central SoMa EIR that the Planning Department determines are applicable to the project, including but not limited to the following:
a. An agreement to implement any and all Mitigation Measures in the Central SoMa EIR that the Planning Department determines are applicable to the project; and
b. Scope(s) of work for any studies required as part of any and all Mitigation Measures in the Central SoMa EIR that the Planning Department determines are applicable to the project. An application pursuant to this Section 343 shall not be deemed complete until such studies are completed to the satisfaction of the Environmental Review Officer.
(iii) the project sponsor will comply with subsections (d)(10) and (d)(11) of this Section 343.
(1) Hearing. The Planning Department shall conduct an informational public hearing for all projects that are subject to this Section 343 within 100 days of receipt of a complete application, as defined in subsection (f).
(2) Decision. Within 120 days of receipt of a complete application, as defined in subsection (f), the Planning Director or the Director’s designee shall issue a written decision approving, disapproving, or approving subject to conditions, the project. The applicant and the Department may mutually agree to extend this 120-day period. If no written decision is issued within 120 days of the Department’s receipt of a complete application, or within the period mutually agreed upon by the Department and applicant, the project shall be deemed approved. The Planning Director or the Director’s designee shall include any certifications required by California Government Code Section 66205(e) in a copy of the written decision.
(3) Grounds for Permit Denial. The Department may deny a Central SoMa HSD project application only for one or more of the following reasons:
(A) The proposed project does not fully comply with this Section 343, including but not limited to meeting all adopted design review standards and demonstrating compliance with all applicable Mitigation Measures in the Central SoMa EIR that the Department determines are applicable to the project.
(B) The project sponsor has not submitted all of the information or paid any application fee required by this Section 343 and necessary for an adequate and timely design review or assessment of potential impacts on neighboring properties.
(C) The Department determines, based upon substantial evidence in light of the whole record of the public hearing on the project, that a physical condition on the site of development that was not known and could not have been discovered with reasonable investigation at the time the application was submitted would have a specific adverse impact upon the public health or safety and that there is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the specific adverse impact. As used in this subsection (g)(3)(C), “specific adverse impact” means a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact based on identified objective written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions, as in existence at the time the application is deemed complete.
(5) Discretionary Review. No requests for discretionary review shall be accepted by the Planning Department for projects subject to this Section 343 . As long as the Planning Commission has delegated its authority to the Planning Department to review applications for projects subject to this Section 343 , the Planning Commission shall not hold a public hearing for discretionary review of projects subject to this Section 343 .
(6) Expiration of approval. Approval of a project pursuant to this Section 343 shall expire if the project sponsor has not procured a building permit or site permit for construction of the project within 30 months of the date of the Department’s issuance of a written decision pursuant to subsection (g)(2) of this Section 343 . If the Planning Director finds that the project sponsor has demonstrated good faith in its efforts to obtain the first site or building permit for the project, the Planning Director may extend the approval for the project for a maximum of six additional months. Such deadline shall additionally be extended in the event of any appeal of such approval for the duration of the appeal, and in the event of litigation seeking to invalidate the approval for the duration of the litigation.
(h) Design Review Standards. Projects subject to this Section 343 shall be reviewed for compliance with the design standards set forth in the San Francisco Urban Design Guidelines and the Central SoMa Plan’s Guide to Urban Design, which are on file with the Planning Department, as approved by the California Department of Housing and Community Development.
(i) District Affordability Requirement. At the request of the California Department of Housing and Community Development, the Planning Department shall demonstrate that at least 20% of the residential units constructed in the Central SoMa Housing Sustainability District during the life of the District and pursuant to this Section 343 will be affordable to very low, low-, and moderate-income households and subject to a recorded affordability restriction for at least 55 years.
(j) Monitoring and Enforcement. The Planning Department shall include, as conditions of approval of all projects approved pursuant to this Section 343 , monitoring and enforcement provisions to ensure that the project meets all labor and wage requirements and complies with all identified applicable mitigation measures. Projects found to be in violation of any of these conditions shall be subject to the Administrative Enforcement Procedures in Section 176.1 of this Code, including initiation of abatement proceedings or referral to the City Attorney or District Attorney for prosecution, if not corrected within 90 days of service of any notice of violation issued under Section 176.1(c). Conditions of approval shall include, but are not limited to:
(1) A project sponsor shall submit weekly reports to the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement, certifying that a project approved pursuant to this Section 343 is complying with subsections (d)(11) and (d)(12), if applicable to the project. Projects found to be in violation of subsections (d)(11) and (d)(12) shall be subject to penalties pursuant to Section 1741 of the Labor Code, in addition to any penalties assessed pursuant to Section 176.1 of this Code. All penalties shall be paid prior to issuance of the project’s First Certificate of Occupancy.
(2) The Planning Department shall monitor compliance with Central SoMa EIR Mitigation Measures.
(3) The Planning Department shall monitor and report the construction of affordable housing units under the Central SoMa Housing Sustainability District in its annual Housing Inventory, which shall include the following information:
(A) Number of projects approved pursuant to this Section 343.
(B) Number of projects under construction pursuant to approvals obtained under this Section 343.
(C) Number of projects completed pursuant to approvals obtained under this Section 343.
(D) Number of dwelling units within projects completed pursuant to approvals obtained under this Section 343.
(E) Number of dwelling units affordable to very low, low, moderate, and middle income households within projects completed pursuant to approvals obtained under this Section 343.
(k) Operative and Sunset Dates.
(1) This Section 343 shall become operative upon receipt of preliminary approval by the California Department of Housing and Community Development under California Government Code Section 66202 (“Operative Date”).
(3) Upon the expiration of this Section 343, the City Attorney shall cause this Section 343 to be removed from the Planning Code. Pursuant to Government Code Section 66205(b), this Section 343 shall govern the processing and review of any complete application submitted pursuant to this Section 343 prior to the Sunset Date.
(Added by Ord. 281-18, File No. 180453, App. 12/7/2018, Eff. 1/7/2019, Oper. 1/7/2019)