It can be entertaining watching EssEff politics. Three days after I read this article in the Examiner (titled "Eviction fight takes strange twist" in the print edition) it is still on my mind. With all the talk at the city, county and state level about so-called "affordable housing" and new fees and new ordinances like item 9a here in B'game, it should not come as a surprise that new lawsuits will follow.
But the City can take the cake as we see here
The Mid-Market buildings, not far from City Hall and Twitter's Market Street headquarters, are zoned commercial but were rented out — in violation of city housing code — to tenants since at least the 1990s. San Mateo County resident John Gall and his business associates, who bought the building in 2012, served the tenants with eviction notices in late 2013 after receiving a permit from The City to demolish the walls between the units and return the building to commercial use, a move needed to comply with a 2007 notice of violation from The City.
However, that demolition permit was revoked last year under pressure from elected officials. And now (Supervisor Jane) Kim is pushing new temporary zoning controls that would require a landlord to obtain Planning Department approval before commercial buildings converted to residences could be converted back to commercial use. The law only applies to certain parts of Mid-Market and South of Market.
Anyone surprised that this kind of maneuvering will land even a politician in court? A property owner is precluded from fixing a violation and then subjected to what is often known as "spot re-zoning". I'm guessing the plaintiffs have a pretty good case here. And it likely will not be the last one.