Home Demolition Legislation Planning, Building Codes – Controls on Residential Demolition, Merger, Conversion, and Alteration [File No: 181216]
The Home Demolition Legislation would prevent middle-class homeowners from performing regular renovations & maintenance on their homes — even for safety hazards such as dry rot.
The legislation dramatically expands the number of projects that need a “residential demolition permit” to include anything that removes 25% of external or internal walls. This will include many kitchen remodels, plumbing and wiring maintenance, and even dry rot removal.
The legislation also requires all of these projects to get Conditional Use Authorization before any work can begin. Conditional Use Authorization can take several months or years to obtain and can cost a property owner thousands of dollars.
The Peskin Demolition Legislation may force homeowners to wait weeks and months for City approval to resolve safety hazards on their property.
For demolitions and alterations that are required to resolve an imminent safety hazard, the homeowner must obtain a written determination from the Department of Building Inspection, Fire Department, or Department of Public Works before they can begin any work. The departments must verify that the alteration is the only feasible and absolutely necessary way to correct the hazard.
This is an incredibly bureaucratic and unprecedented procedure that may force a homeowner to wait weeks and more likely months before they can take care of a safety hazard. In the meantime, the homeowner or tenant must live with the hazard on the property.
The Departments will deny the property owner’s application if it is found that there is any other possible solution to addressing the safety hazard — even if demolition or alteration is the easiest, fastest, most effective, or most affordable solution.
The Peskin Demolition Legislation will clog the Planning Department and Planning Commission with an endless number of small homeowner projects — slowing the entire pipeline down and preventing critical affordable housing projects from moving forward.
By requiring Conditional Use Authorization, the legislation will force dozens of small projects into the Planning Department pipeline — over-stretching department staff and grinding the pipeline to a halt.
The clog won’t just slow down homeowners. It will also stop affordable housing projects from moving forward as well. Planning Department staff will be forced to divert time and resources towards tackling “residential demolition” conditional use permits, preventing them from moving affordable housing projects forward.