Builder’s Remedy Inspires Property Owners to Pick Fight in Bay Area
West Coast Land Use and Environment attorney Daniel Golub was quoted in The Real Deal discussing a lawsuit involving the city of San Francisco. An attorney for Google bought a small piece of land in San Francisco with the hopes to build a few units of affordable housing. After a two-year dispute, the attorney ended up suing the city and is now looking to tap into builder's remedy to help get the units he proposed built. Builder's remedy is a law that allows a developer to bypass local zoning regulations in local governments that do not have a compliant housing element, so long as the development is 20 percent affordable to low-income people or 100 percent affordable to moderate income people. Mr. Golub explains that the state of California has looked at housing elements with more scrutiny this cycle, which is why builder's remedy is coming into focus.
"This provision isn't new, it's been part of the law since 1991." he said. "For a long time it didn’t matter because everybody had a compliant housing element. The state has since upped the requirements."
Mr. Golub also notes that anyone who is looking to file for builder's remedy applications should also be sure that their projects are adhering to the guidelines of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
"This is the one thing we’re probably spending the most time thinking about," he said. "We need to figure out a way to comply with CEQA if you’re going to move forward with these projects."
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