• Coblentz Hosts Pro Bono Clinic with the Justice & Diversity Center

    On February 16, 2017, Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass teamed up with the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Justice & Diversity Center to host a real estate and facilities pro bono legal clinic. The clinic featured an educational presentation by Coblentz attorneys Barbara Milanovich, Valerie McDermott, Misti Schmidt, and David Anderson, who provided attorney volunteers with an overview of lease negotiation, administration and litigation, property ownership, land use, and tax considerations.  After the presentation, Coblentz volunteers paired up with in-house counsel from several Bay Area offices to help six small nonprofits assess their real estate and facilities “wellness” and identify potential legal issues.

    Companies represented by in-house counsel included Apple, Inc., Seagate Technology, Oracle Netsuite, and Essex Property Trust.  Non-profit participants included Delivering Innovation in Supportive Housing (DISH), San Francisco Housing Development Corporation, Swords to Plowshares, Downtown Streets Team (DST), and Spanish Speaking Citizens’ Foundation.

    Categories: News
  • Inclusionary Housing Recommendations a Mixed Bag for Developers

    The City is one step closer to sorting out inclusionary housing requirements and local implementation of the State Density Bonus law now that the City Controller has released its final recommendations to the Board of Supervisors. The good news for developers is that recommended on-site and in-lieu fee percentages are below Proposition C levels. On the other hand, an “in-lieu” fee for density bonus units is now being contemplated.

    The legislation passed by the Board of Supervisors in the wake of Proposition C directs the Controller, working with an appointed Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and independent consultants, to conduct a feasibility study and make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors.

    According to those recommendations, the Controller would:

    • Reduce the on-site requirement from 25 percent (generally) under Proposition C to 14 to 18 percent for rental projects and 17 to 20 percent for ownership projects, with an annual increase of 0.5 percent over a period of 15 years.
    • Reduce the percentage requirement used for calculating in-lieu fees from 33 percent (generally) under Proposition C to 18 to 23 percent for rental projects and 25 to 28 percent for ownership projects, with an annual increase equal to 1.3 to 1.4 times the rate of the on-site increase — if the Board of Supervisors wants to avoid incentivizing payment of the in-lieu fee.

    As noted in our December blog post, once inclusionary housing requirements are finalized, the City will need to determine how they interact with the State Density Bonus law. Notably, the Controller also recommends requiring an inclusionary housing “in-lieu” fee for density bonus units, which would be additive, meaning that millions of dollars of additional fees could be due for market rate housing projects with otherwise required inclusionary housing units provided on-site. To illustrate, a 100 unit building with 20 low-income units would qualify for the maximum 35 percent density bonus under the State Density Bonus Program, yielding a 135 unit building comprised of 20 low-income units, 80 market-rate units, and 35 market-rate bonus units. Assuming here that the 20 low-income units would meet the City’s forthcoming inclusionary housing requirements, the Controller’s approach would nonetheless apply the City’s in-lieu fee to the 35 bonus units.

    The Board of Supervisors will ultimately decide whether and how to implement the Controller’s recommendations, which are currently scheduled to be considered by the Planning Commission on February 23, 2017.

  • Transportation Demand Management Program Takes Effect in SF: How Will Your Project Comply?

    On February 7th, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the implementing ordinance for San Francisco’s Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Program. Pending the Mayor’s approval, the TDM Program will take effect in March. What does this mean for project sponsors?

    Developers must now incorporate TDM features into their projects, chosen from a menu of options in the City’s adopted TDM Program Standards. As the number of on-site parking spaces proposed for a project increases, developers must include more TDM features such as bicycle parking and amenities, car-share parking, and vanpool programs.


    Menu of Options from TDM Program Standards: 







    To see how these new requirements would apply to your project, check out the Planning Department’s interactive web-based tool (soon to be updated to include the amendments to the TDM Standards discussed below), or its Excel tool (already updated to include amendments).

    Project sponsors are now required to submit a draft TDM Plan along with all Preliminary Project Assessment applications (and Development Applications for projects that have already submitted PPAs), and must discuss TDM measures and solicit community feedback at all required pre-application community meetings.

    Since our last post on the topic, important changes were made to both the implementing ordinance and the TDM Program Standards, which can be reviewed and modified by the Planning Commission at any time. Grandfathering language was added to the ordinance—projects that filed an Environmental Evaluation Application or Development Application on or before September 4, 2016 must meet 50% of the TDM target. Projects filing a Development Application between September 4, 2016 and January 1, 2018 must meet 75% of the TDM target.  After 2018, no grandfathering is available.

    The TDM Program Standards were amended by the Planning Commission on January 19th, and larger projects obtained some relief through these amendments. Large projects must only obtain 80% of the total available TDM points—without that amendment, some large projects would have exhausted the available number of TDM points. A previous version of the Standards would have required those projects to reduce parking below the amount permitted under the Planning Code. Numerous other changes were made, including amendments to address small projects and revised point totals available for providing on-site affordable housing.

  • Richard Patch Recognized as Client Service All-Star by BTI Consulting Group

    Richard Patch has been named among the best attorneys for client service by corporate counsel in BTI’s 2017 Client Service All-Star list.

    The annual list from BTI Consulting Group Inc. is based on direct feedback from more than 300 corporate counsel of large businesses and Fortune 1000 companies with $1 billion or more in revenue identifying attorneys who stand out for delivering superior client service. The Client Service All-Stars excel in six common traits identified by corporate counsel and legal decision makers: having superior client focus; demonstrating an exceptional understanding of the client’s business; superior legal skills; delivering efficient, value-added service; being innovative thought leaders; and delivering outstanding results.

    According to BTI, the class of 2017 Client Service All-Stars is “especially sought after by clients as their needs have shifted in response to the surge in complex work. These attorneys are proactive in building client relationships. They take, and make, the time to understand their clients in-depth—their business, their objectives, and their goals. This elite group enjoys a clear cut advantage over the competition.”

    As a senior trial and appellate lawyer, Richard Patch is widely regarded as one of the leading satellite, cable and telecommunications lawyers in the country. Richard was also recognized as a BTI Client Service All-Star in 2014, and Coblentz has been recognized in BTI’s Client Service A-Team for several consecutive years, where corporate counsel continue to rank Coblentz in the top firms nationally for client service excellence.

    The Coblentz litigation group was ranked in the top 15 percent of all U.S. law firms for Commercial Litigation and Class Actions as featured in BTI’s Litigation Outlook 2017, which annually provides in-depth analysis of the litigation market from direct feedback in interviews with corporate counsel at the world’s largest companies.

    Categories: News