Critical Updates to the San Francisco Maher Ordinance: Construction Permitting Related to Subsurface Conditions

In August 2013, the City of San Francisco adopted sweeping changes to Article 22A of the San Francisco Public Health Code also known as the “Maher Ordinance.” These changes greatly expand the types and number of properties potentially subject to Department of Public Health (DPH) review and oversight related to the characterization and mitigation of hazardous materials in soil and groundwater. What is the Maher Ordinance? Created in 1986, the Maher Ordinance requires that properties located along certain portions of the City known to be underlain by artificial bay-margin fill be evaluated for the potential presence of soil or groundwater […]

Critical Updates to the Polanco Act

In October 2013, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 440, which helps facilitate the cleanup and redevelopment of blighted urban properties (i.e., Brownfield sites). This new law, referred to as Polanco 2.0, is an expansion of, and successor to, the original Polanco Redevelopment Act, which effectively ended on February 1, 2012 with the formal dissolution of local redevelopment agencies. Under AB440, cities, counties, and some housing authorities (“local agencies”) can now compel responsible parties to clean up their blighted property, or can directly perform the cleanup themselves. Local agencies are authorized to investigate blighted properties and prepare cleanup plans, or require […]