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San Francisco Supervisor Seeks To Limit 'Monster Homes' In Some Neighborhoods

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – San Francisco Supervisor Rafael Mandelman on Tuesday proposed legislation that would curb the construction of luxury "monster homes" in select residential neighborhoods.

Mandelman's proposed ordinance would only apply to his supervisorial District 8 and create a new Central Neighborhoods Large Residence Special Use District, which would comprise of the neighborhoods Glen Park, Noe Valley, Dolores Heights, Mission Dolores, Diamond Heights, Twin Peaks and Eureka Valley.

Under the proposed legislation, new construction and residential expansion projects within those neighborhoods would be subject to new requirements, including a Conditional Use approval from the San Francisco Planning Commission for residential units that are over 3,000 gross square feet. Also, the legislation bans any construction project that would result in a single-family home exceeding 4,000 square feet.

"The way much of San Francisco is zoned today makes it easier to flip existing housing into monster homes than to build small apartment buildings for regular working people," Mandelman said in a statement. "We've done a really good job of building housing for millionaires and billionaires over the last decades when we should be building housing for the middle class."

The proposed ordinance is a revision of an ordinance he introduced last year that would've placed such restrictions on new construction and residential expansion projects citywide. However, when the original ordinance was introduced at the Planning Commission back in September, the commission recommended Mandelman revise the ordinance to only include his district, where the issue of large residential developments was the most urgent.

"I see a steady stream of older 1,200 or 1,500 square foot homes in neighborhoods like Noe Valley and Glen Park being converted into 5,000 square foot mega mansions for one household that flip for $6 or $7 million," he said. "If you're building 5,000 square feet of housing, you should be building housing for two, three, or four households in that building."

Back in 2017, the city's Board of Supervisors approved a similar legislation for the Corona Heights neighborhood, called the Corona Heights Large Residence Special Use District. The 2017 ordinance, authored by then Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, placing requirements on large residential development projects over 3,000 square feet.

"The Corona Heights Large Residence (SUD) has been an invaluable tool for our community by making sure that when a monster home is proposed we get notified well in advance and have a chance to push back on objectionable developments," Corbett Heights Neighbors President Bill Holtzman said. "We hope this initiative will be embraced by other neighborhoods in District 8."

With Mandelman's ordinance introduced, the Board of Supervisors' Land Use and Transportation Committee is expected to hear the ordinance sometime next month before heading to the full board for a vote.

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