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San Francisco & CEQA: Supervisors Reject Development Lacking Gentrification Study

A challenge to the environmental review of a planned housing development in San Francisco’s Mission District was unanimously upheld last week, shocking city officials and housing advocates.

Until now, similar challenges by antrigentrification advocates using the convoluted California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) as a mechanism against displacement have been unsuccessful.

Speaking with the San Francisco Chronicle, Arent Fox land use partner Tim Tosta said the argument that a wider lens can legally be used to appeal an environmental report is highly questionable. He noted that the California Environmental Quality Act would only come into play if the project created physical changes to the site. For example, the act would apply if the project were to result in residential units being demolished or if it were to directly create so many jobs that it would result in housing shortage.

“Socio-economic issues are important, but they are not CEQA issues,” Tim said. “CEQA is often treated as dumping ground for a whole host of issues that have nothing to do with CEQA. It is not a dumping ground.”

To read the full article, click here.


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