Board passes downtown parking curbs

New parking restrictions for the downtown area were passed Tuesday to prevent traffic congestion as more residential development is being proposed for the area.

Opponents worried that establishing the strict parking restrictions would limit housing developments in the area, where more than 10 skyscrapers are currently in development. The legislation, advocates say, supports the use of public transportation and will limit car use in an already congested city.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who sponsored the legislation, said it would “make sure, as we continue to build high-rise residential properties in the downtown core, we don’t end up with levels of congestion that make the downtown so clogged that nobody wants to go there.”

The Board of Supervisors voted 9-1 with no debate. It enacted a maximum number of one parking spot per four new housing units. The original language stipulated a three-fourths parking space per new housing unit.

Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, who voted against the legislation, said the restrictions go too far and worried it would limit the development of housing that families can afford.

The legislation provides a parking exemption for units that have 2 bedrooms and are larger than 1,000 square feet. Buildings of this size can have one parking space per housing unit.

The legislation had originally blocked curb cuts for hotels and banned downtown parking garages. The approved legislation allows for one level of an outdoor parking garage.

It also stipulates that a housing development between 50 and 200 units must include one space for a car-share vehicle.

IN OTHER ACTION

CONSENT FORM REQUIRED IN AIDS TESTING: San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center must now obtain a consent form and provide counseling for anyone it tests for HIV/AIDS, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved.

MINIMUM WAGE BUSINESS TAX POSTPONED: A proposed tax on businesses to fund enforcement of The City’s minimum wage ordinance was delayed for a week at the request of Supervisor Sophie Maxwell. Maxwell said she wanted a delay to continue talks with Mayor Gavin Newsom. Newsom last week said he didn’t understand the need for the tax because his proposed budget includes salaries for two city minimum wage enforcers.

TENANT RIGHTS SUPPORTED: The Board of Supervisors passed by a 7-3 vote an ordinance that penalizes a landlord if the landlord restricts a tenant’s access to parking, garages and laundry rooms. Such a violation could award the tenant with a rent reduction. The City’s Arbitration Board would make the ruling.

jsabatini@examiner.com

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