San Francisco to vote soon on new settlement offered by Academy of Art University

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The wheels are in motion to finally approve a settlement dating back several years between the City of San Francisco and the Academy of Art University, one of the city's biggest landlords.

On Wednesday, the proposal will go before the Historic Preservation Commission, and then before the Planning Commission on Thursday before it reaches the Board of Supervisors.

RELATED: SF suing Academy of Art University for alleged permit violations

The Academy of Art University owns more than 40 buildings in San Francisco. Between the years 2000 and 2011, the university doubled its real estate holdings. The Planning Commission quickly determined that the academy was violating the city's land-use laws.
"Illegal conversions of residential housing and single resident-occupancy hotels to uses that are prohibited by the planning code," explained San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin.

In 2016, the City of San Francisco sued them.

A few months later the Academy agreed to settle, but unable to meet some of the demands of that settlement, the Planning Commission and City Hall have agreed to consider the new proposal.

The university would give the city 58 million dollars.

RELATED: Academy of Art University accused of violating San Francisco planning codes

Here's the breakdown:

- Twenty million would go to pay for permit fees, fines and a payment to the City's Small Sites Fund to purchase rent control properties controlled by the city.

- The bulk of the money, about 38 million, would provide money for affordable housing in the city.

- The Academy has also agreed to vacate certain properties like this one on Pine Street that was once a residential hotel for low-income residents and converted into student housing.

"We're going to try to right that wrong with this settlement and put some more affordable housing back online that San Francisco sorely needs," added Peskin.

The Academy of Art University did not wish to comment.

Still pending is another case brought forward by the federal government, which alleges that the university used illegal tactics to enroll students from 2006 to 2010.
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