Archive for March, 2007

Live near the Panhandle? Wanna park in the DMV lot?

Looks like yet another push is being made to find a way to open the DMV lot on Broderick between Oak and Fell to parking again during non-business hours.

The lot was open in the late-1990s, but due (as always) to too many people not getting their cars out in the morning, they just shut it down. And with that, dozens of nearby residents were forced back onto the streets to find overnight parking.

The NOPNA blog has info on a potential re-opening as well as a link to a survey that you should fill out to give the powers-that-be your $0.02 about how important it is for you or your friends to have more parking near the Divisadero corridor…

Public Parking in the DMV lot [NOPNA blog]


Most S.F. kids get first choice for public school

Having many clients who are over-anxiously awaiting news of whether their child got into ANY of their chosen schools, it’s good to hear that nearly 70% of kids this year got into their first choice!

I know more than one person that said they’d start planning their move out of the city if they didn’t get into an acceptable school (notices are in the mail now and should arrive today or tomorrow).

Here’s hoping everyone got what they wished for…

From SFGate this afternoon,

Nearly 70 percent of those San Francisco families that applied got their first choice of the city’s public schools after the initial round of student assignments for the upcoming school year, district officials announced Friday morning.

Students are expected to receive a letter this weekend indicating to which school they were admitted.
District officials said a vast majority of students will be happy with the news.

Overall, 67 percent of incoming kindergarten, sixth grade and ninth grade students got their first choice, up from 62 percent last year.

And 87 percent of students got one of the up to seven choices they could list on the enrollment application, up from 84 percent last year. [more…]

Most S.F. kids get first choice for public school [SFGate]


Time to rethink housing policy: an editorial

Plan C GraphMike Sullivan from Plan C penned an editorial that ran in Thursday’s Examiner, and is re-run on their own site. In it, he questions the need for the condominium lottery, given the dramatically lower incidence of no-fault evictions (see the graph at the left), and the many current laws that make post-eviction condo conversion very difficult, if not impossible.

From the Examiner,

TICs have been criticized by some who claim that they create incentives for evictions. However, while TIC sales surged over the last year, San Francisco’s rent board reported that evictions decreased in 2006. So-called “no-fault” evictions, such as evictions under California’s Ellis Act, decreased by more than 10 percent in 2006. Out of more than 200,000 rental units in San Francisco, there were just over 500 no-fault evictions in 2006 — a reduction of almost 60 percent from five years ago.

San Francisco passed legislation in 2006 to disqualify condo conversions for most buildings with Ellis Act and other no-fault evictions. This was intended to discourage building owners from evicting tenants to clear buildings for TIC formations (the thinking being that if owners knew that their units could never qualify for condo conversion, they would be less likely to evict tenants in the first place). However, the reduction in evictions reported above happened before this legislation was passed — meaning that evictions were headed downward even before the punitive legislation was passed.

What these numbers together tell us is that San Franciscans are finding ways to create homeownership opportunities through TICs without evictions. That’s a very good thing for San Francisco. [more…]

With more than 1700 TIC units sitting in the lottery queue right now (nearly all of them OWNER OCCUPIED), and only 200 conversions allowed per year, it will still NINE YEARS to clear that backlog, and that’s only if nobody else enters the lottery.

And we all know that won’t be the case.

So if those units are already off of the rental market and will never be rentals again (at least not for any less money than they’d be if they were condo-converted), why punish those who live there? Remember, these are struggling San Francisco families, many of whom have been LONG TIME San Francisco tenants.

I know it’s nothing but pure comedy to think that our current crop of ‘Supes would even so much as read this editorial, let alone consider it (why let reality get in the way of political agenda?). But since people love graphs and statistic, Mr. Sullivan puts them down and argues fairly against condo conversion restrictions.

If only those 1700+ TIC owners (plus probably 2000 more that haven’t met their residency requirement yet, but will be entering the lottery in the next couple of years) had half the time that the tenant activists do to swirl up a storm of publicity. Then we might actually see some changes. But for whatever reason, homeowners in this town just don’t see the importance of the grassroots efforts. They just aren’t willing to take the time.

And until they do, we’ll continue to watch the tenant majority have its way at the polls each and every election.

Time to rethink The City’s housing policy [Examiner]
Plan C SF [official site]

(image courtesy of Plan C)


Don't be late for Sunday Open Houses… Daylight Savings Time is this weekend!

Just a reminder that we get to ‘spring forward’ at 2am on Sunday morning this weekend, March 11th.

You’ve probably been deluged with reminders that you may have a near-Y2K situation on their your hands technology-wise, but I thought I’d throw yet another reminder out as well.

I’m just looking forward to possibly having enough time to walk the dog while there’s still some daylight left after work on Sundays again…

Get Ready For The Big Time Switch [CBS News]


Planning commission meets about Armory on March 8th

Thanks to Socketsite for catching this one…

Looks like the Planning Commission is giving both the NIMBYs and the NITBYs a chance to voice their opinions on the past, present, and future use of the Armory at 14th & Mission.

The meeting is on Thursday, March 8th @ 10AM, and the agenda is nothing more than “1800 MISSION STREET – southwest corner of Mission and 14th Street – Informational hearing on the occupancy of the Mission Armory by a film production studio (d.b.a.”.

Informational hearing? I think this is just a chance for those far and wide to try to stop a legal and allowable use of a building that was fought over for too damn long.

I think what Peter Ackworth (owner of did was brilliant. But despite his following all available rules and laws, as well as going above and beyond to be a good neighbor, people just won’t acknowledge that they blew it.

Fight about something for long enough, and you lose that opportunity forever.

Let this be a lesson learned.

Or on the other hand, perhaps this will be yet another lesson learned for those that dare challenge the progressive activist community…

And if you can’t be there in person, watch it live on SFGTV

Notice of Special Meeting [SFGov]
The pornographer’s purchase of the Armory faces more roadblocks [SFBG]
NITBY: a new category of obstructionist? [SFHomeBlog]
Porn wins, housing loses [SFHomeBlog]