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Ditch condo lottery for conversion fee?

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Not that there's ever really a silver bullet for budget problems, but Mayor Gavin Newsom's proposing killing the condo lottery, and instead replacing it with a simple condo conversion fee -- a plan that could generate tens of millions for the city, according to the SF Examiner. And if the mayor's wishful thinking does come true, the Board of Supervisors would "immediately" adopt his legislation. As the supervisors insist, the proposal's a nonstarter: the lottery for allowing tenancies in common to convert to condos exists as a disincentive to landlords to kick out their renters and go condo. As has been true for a while, San Francisco limits condo conversions to 200 a year, with winners drawn from a lottery (though there are apparently ways to skirt the system). Ultraliberal supervisor Chris Daly on the extra money we'd get from a straight-up conversion fee: "(It) could go straight to Mother Teresa and it's still a bad idea." Reposted ...