A San Francisco conundrum: There’s a shortage of affordable rental units, but affordable rental units are not being built fast enough. Enter the in-law unit, long a popular asset in its many forms – from converted “murder-basement” garages that no person should live in but inevitably will because they have no other choices, to cute, private, bright little apartments tucked away at the top of or at the rear of a nice house.
The city has been grappling with how to regulate this spectrum, and legislators have now agreed to allow for the addition of so-called “Accessory Dwelling Units” to existing buildings under certain conditions. The latter include stipulations on rent control in many cases and minimum square footage. The legislation also prohibits unit-adders from renting the new “awesome cute studio in a hip neighborhood!!!” on Airbnb because it prohibits short term rentals (though that hinges, of course, on the city’s ability to enforce).
Having taken care of that, the city has moved on to the problem of navigating one of the smallest yet least accessible metropolitan areas anywhere. The solution is encapsulated in a 50-year plan.
That’s right. In apparent recognition that our transit system is, um, in need of some attention, city thinkers are getting together to create this “Connect SF” plan by sometime in 2018. So, you know, if you’re planning on getting around between now and 2068, maybe get a bike or something.
Snark aside, the good folks at MUNI do want your input on what works and what doesn’t (though whether that’s in relation to Connect SF or not is unclear). You can give feedback here, in multiple languages.
And while the rental market is still tight and the housing market as a whole is still hot, and while predictions about a potential crash one way or another are still not really reliable, I do continue to read about how the condo market might be catching up to demand. This week’s example: the condo price index has gone negative, reports SocketSite. Plus more condos are for sale, while fewer are being sold.
On crashes – we’ve talked before about that now (in?)famous New York Times piece about how people are almost eagerly anticipating a tech crash, so I was a little baffled by this Business Times story combining a few different sound bites from investors who say a tech payroll tax (which local techies are sort of all over the map on) would tank the local economy by driving tech elsewhere.
The argument goes, California has one of the highest tax burdens on business anywhere, and taxing them more will make them go away. Okay, but… 1) some number of people would react to that statement with “good riddance,” and 2) if the highest taxes in the nation didn’t stop them from coming here to begin with, why do we expect them to leave if that margin is bumped up a little bit higher?
And oh yeah, tech isn’t the only hustle in town. Here’s what’s going on in business turnover:
Capp Street Crap has two scoops on local restaurant sales this week: Radish is for sale, along with the entire building, and a couple of blocks away, Osha Thai of molded butt chair fame is also for sale.
It’s not all about closing though – local favorite La Taqueria is adding a new location, expanding to Turlock of all places.
And while Nostra Spaghetteria is languishing over on one end of the Valencia corridor, more expensive pasta is on the way for the other end of Valencia.
Other higher-end eats around the neighborhood: 22nd and Alabama now has a sushi joint with a prix fixe menu of $65 per person, and Central Kitchen is back from a brief hiatus. Remember how they closed to reinvent themselves as more unassuming? Well they’re open again, with a menu that includes duck ragu and beef tartare. The most unassuming thing I can find on that menu is that they included a potato dish under the “vegetables” category, a logic I apply to my nutrition habits more often than I should publicly admit.