San Francisco Man Has Spent 4 Years and $1 Million Trying to Get Approval to Turn His Own Laundromat Into an Apartment Building

To understand how difficult and expensive it is to build housing in San Francisco, observe the case of Robert Tillman. Tillman owns a single-story laundromat in the city’s Mission District. Since 2014, he has been attempting to develop his property into a 75-unit apartment building.

The city is in the midst of a housing affordability crisis, with an average one-bedroom apartment going for $3,400 a month. So you might think Tillman’s project would sail through the permitting process. Instead, the city’s labyrinthine process of reviews, regulations, and appeals has dragged on for four years. The project has cost the self-described “accidental developer” nearly $1 million so far, and he hasn’t even broken ground yet.

“It’s taken me longer to get to this point than it took for the United States to win World War II,” says Tillman, “and my site is the easiest site in the city to build.”


Fearless Leader,

Couldn’t you summarize the thread title to something short and snazzy to get clicks and also be visually appealing on your wonderful page??? Just sayin’…

You must be about as old as I am because younger people won’t remember Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Well, @sheriff, here are the years that Dragon born babies popped out in this dandy new world:

(needn’t go further back do I?)
and so on…

I am assuming you know where I hit…

Yes, the old cartoons were the best, I don’t care what anyone says…

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I am a rabbit ( a wascally one too) 1951. But enough off topic, let’s get back to Manch’s post.

What can you say, the Mission is a tough place to crack with all those lunatics who wouldn’t even approve a 100% affordable building. If Wiener’s bill passes, that should help him some as it would signal a change towards more dense housing that is near transit.

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What’s up with the Mission commies? So bat shit crazy it’s sad.

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They are basically bullies. They take pleasure in controlling other people.

I am glad there are people like this Robert still fighting them. Eventually the Mission resistance will crack when they run out of excuses.

These people are not even commies. Commies will happily take 100% affordable housing. No, these people just want to keep that place to themselves.

Most of all I blame the political system in SF and CA in general. Too many direct democracies, too many reviews to let random people hijack the process for their own benefits. They are the real special interests.


America won WW2 in less than 4 years…Get rid of all building zoning and rules and the housing problems would be solved in 4 years…The zoning process has just become a cesspool of special interest bullies…


Government is the problem, man. When you have too many regulations, commies and dummies will get you. Why aren’t these dummie commies going to Texas to stop their building?

Anti growth policies come from too much traffic. Texas will find out soon enough.

It boils down to property rights. Does a landowner have the right to build housing on his land? Does government or other poeple has authority to force him to build government regulated “affordable” housing?

It’s a power struggle between citizens and government.

Zoning regulation was not started to restrict the people who can live in a particular private housing. Regulated “affordable” housing basically deprives the regular income and high income people the right to live in those private housing.

Even some Texas cities have zoning. SF planning has radicalized

Liberals have decided that multi family housing is a public utility to be regulated. None have read the constitution, written when renters had no rights, could not vote. Been downhill ever since…

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Two Words: Rent Control

Fourth admendment

I don’t think anyone can argue that zoning is a bad thing. For example, if someone built a landfill next to your house how would you feel about that. Zoning is good for creating residential and business districts. You don’t have absolute rights to do anything you want with your property.

Inspections are good for new buildings. Health inspections are good for restaurants. Government should no go overboard though.

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Land belongs to the nation. You can use it within the constraints laid so long you pay property tax.

These people are insane