Gov. Jerry Brown’s housing plan could wipe away development rules in Los Angeles and San Francisco

Robert Tillman owns a coin-operated laundromat in San Francisco’s Mission District, a neighborhood at the epicenter of California’s housing crisis. Over the last 2½ years, he’s spent nearly $500,000 on plans to tear down the business to build apartments. But although the city has zoned the property for apartments, Tillman hasn’t gotten very far.

Local residents can file a formal complaint to the city to hold up Tillman’s project because they don’t like how it looks, how tall it is or where people will park, starting a chain of appeals leading all the way to the Board of Supervisors. Environmental lawsuits could add years of delay amid exploding demand for new homes in a region with six times as many new jobs and people as housing units added from 2010 to 2015, according to a study by the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley.

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