SF Apartment : July 2016


Residential Development and Nightlife Compatibility

Bursting at the seams with a population of 852,469 within 47 square miles, San Francisco is the second most densely populated major American city, trailing only New York, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The second tech boom has brought a large amount of new residents into the City, and as a result, a large amount of residential development. With only a finite amount of available land to develop, new housing has been constructed mainly in mixed-use areas where residential and commercial spaces neighbor one another. Oftentimes, these commercial spaces are home to music venues, or what the Entertainment Commission refers to as Places of Entertainment.

In an effort to reduce potential conflict between existing Places of Entertainment and new residential development in San Francisco, the City and County envisioned and passed legislation championed by Supervisor London Breed together with the Entertainment Commission in 2015 under Administrative Code Chapter 116 called Compatibility and Protection for Residential Uses and Places of Entertainment.

The Compatibility ordinance requires developers to engage with music venues from the onset, ensuring cohesion between residential developments and Places of Entertainment. It encourages the best available noise control technologies and management practices whenever possible, providing notification processes to inform residents in industrial, commercial, and mixed-use neighborhoods near Places of Entertainment of possible noise levels, and by requiring design features in new residential construction to promote the compatibility of residential uses and entertainment uses.

This ordinance authorizes the San Francisco Entertainment Commission to hold a hearing on any proposed residential development located near a Place of Entertainment and allows the Commission to provide written comments and recommendations to the Planning Department and Department of Building Inspection about any noise issues related to the proposed project. It also requires lessors and sellers of residential property constructed or converted to condominiums after 2005 and within 300 feet of Places of Entertainment to disclose to new lessees and purchasers about the potential for noise and other inconveniences potentially associated with nearby venues before they rent or buy. Finally, this law establishes that no permitted Place of Entertainment located near a new residential development shall be a public or private nuisance on the basis of noise if the venue operates in compliance with its permits and appropriate laws.

As San Francisco grows, it is important to protect the reasons why people want to call San Francisco their home in the first place. Our city’s Places of Entertainment, including music venues, nightclubs, bars, and theaters, not only attract 16 million patrons and generate over $800 million in spending annually, but more importantly are an integral part of what makes San Francisco our home.

To learn more about the Compatibility and Protection for Residential Uses and Places of Entertainment ordinance, or to take the first steps in this process as a developer or project sponsor, please visit our website at: http://sfgov.org/entertainment. Additionally, the SFAA has prepared a lease addendum that is free for members to comply with this law. The City’s complete list of Places of Entertainment can be found on the SF Planning Department’s Information Map database.

Shelters to Shutters

A new non-profit organization has found a unique solution to tackling the issue of homelessness in cities across the country by partnering directly with the multifamily housing industry.

Shelters to Shutters (S2S) is a national 501(c)3 organization founded by Christopher C. Finlay, Managing Principal of Middleburg Real Estate Partners. Shelters to Shutters partners with property management companies to provide employment and housing opportunities to ready-to-work individuals experiencing homelessness.

How does it work? The organization operates as an employee referral service, identifying, pre-screening, and interviewing job candidates and matching them with open entry-level employment opportunities provided by the participating property management partners.

All of Shelters to Shutters’s candidates want to return to a life of self-sufficiency and have a desire to start a career in property management. These are individuals with past employment history who have a background in customer service, painting, landscaping, or other skills that lend them to be great employees for the multifamily industry.

Shelters to Shutters sources candidates through partnerships with local non-profit organizations serving the homeless with job training and supportive services. Individuals are screened to meet the specific employment criteria for their property management partners. If a candidate is a good fit, they are hired as a full-time employee of the partner company. The partner company provides one year of discounted on-site housing to assist the individual in returning to a life of economic self-sufficiency and S2S provides ongoing case management support to assist with the transition.

Individuals coming through Shelters to Shutters have achieved a 96 percent annual employment retention rate with our property management partners vs. the industry average of 49 percent.

S2S has partnerships with national and regional property management firms, including Equity Residential, AvalonBay Communities, Paragon Properties, Bonaventure Realty Group, Waterton, Finlay Management, Elmington Property Management, Freeman Webb, Middleburg Real Estate Partners, and Drucker & Falk.

The program not only provides assistance to individals facing homelessness, it successfully helps industry identify and retain good employees.

To learn more about Shelters to Shutters and view videos of success stories, visit www.shelterstoshutters.org. To inquire about becoming involved in the program, contact Oluchi@shelterstoshutters.org.

May 16th SFAA Members Meeting

The May SFAA member meeting, held at the Jewish Community Center, was sponsored by Barbary Insurance and moderated by David Wasserman of Wasserman & Stern.

The meeting began with the monthly Legal Q & A, followed by a welcome from Eric Andresen, SFAA Board President; a legislative update from Janan New, SFAA Executive Director; and guest speakers James Parrinello of Nielsen Merksamer Parrinello Gross & Leoni, LLP; and Heidi Palutke, Research Counsel, California Apartment Association.

Among the topics discussed was a potential fire legislation that would require building owners to file annual paperwork with DBI stating that fire alarms in the common areas of their buildings are loud enough for every tenant to hear. Also, fire drills would be required in buildings with 16-plus units. In cases of tenant turnover, building owners would be required to install firewalls to prevent fires from spreading to neighboring buildings.

This conversation led to the residential fireplace disclosure addendum called the “Wood Smoke Rule,” which went into effect June 1, 2016. The rule requires anyone selling, renting, or leasing property in the Bay Area to disclose the significant health impacts from exposure to particle matter found in wood smoke.