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San Francisco's Prop. B Challenged in Court

by Scott Donald, Irvine, August 2014


As we reported last month, San Francisco's Proposition B was overwhelmingly approved in June. The measure requires voter approval on new developments in the Port of San Francisco that exceed current height limits.


However, now the California State Lands Commission has filed suit to block enforcement of Prop. B, charging that it infringes on the state's rights. "Proposition B is invalid because it specifically targets state-owned tide and submerged lands, over which the Legislature has expressly precluded the right of local initiative," the complaint said.


San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said officials will vigorously fight the lawsuit. In a prepared statement, Herrera said the lawsuit has implications beyond Prop B. "The State Lands Commission seems to have embraced the notion that any local initiative, and by extension any land use regulation approved by a Board of Supervisors or Planning Commission affecting port property is barred by state law, and therefore invalid. That view represents a radical departure in law and practice from land use decision-making in San Francisco and elsewhere."


A case management conference on the lawsuit is scheduled for December 17.