Legislation to ban condo conversions for at least the next decade and to then prohibit conversions of 5+ unit buildings seemed headed for passage by the full Board of Supervisors tomorrow but just days before the vote Supervisor Scott Wiener used a parliamentary maneuver in a last ditch effort to stop it.
Supervisor Mark Farrell introduced the original legislation with co-sponsor Wiener last year to allow owners of tenancy-in-common units convert their properties to condominiums in exchange for paying a fee. Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, working with tenants rights advocates, added numerous provisions to Farrell’s proposal, leading to Farrell withdrawing his support for his own legislation.
Wiener, backed by Supervisors Farrell, London Breed, and Katy Teng, used an obscure rule to move the original legislation to the full Board on June 11 along with the amended version that passed out of committee last week. As a result, two distinctly different pieces of legislation, one sponsored by Supervisors Chiu, Kim & Yee, supported by tenant organizations, and the other sponsored by Supervisors Farrell & Wiener and supported by the real estate industry, go before the Board tomorrow.
Supporters of Farrell’s initial proposal oppose Chiu’s addition of a 10-year moratorium on the condo lottery and changes to conversion eligibility rules when the lottery does resume that would prohibit conversions of five-and six-unit buildings while making it more difficult for others.
“The one wild card here is no one knows where the Mayor is,” Wiener told the SF Bay Guardian, noting that neither side is likely to get the eight votes that would be needed to override a veto. “The Mayor, if he wanted to, could have significant leverage in crafting a compromise.”
Chiu said that he’s confident that his version of the legislation has the six votes needed to pass, but that it is still unclear what Mayor Lee will support, despite Chiu asking Lee to weigh in publicly in February and privately during a meeting yesterday. As Chiu told the Guardian, “We’ll see.”