California’s Ellis Act preempts a key section of San Francisco’s Planning Code, penalizing a landlord’s withdrawal of a unit from the rental market by denying for ten years any permit to merge the withdrawn unit with any other. San Francisco’s Planning Code section 317 which denied housing unit mergers for ten years after an apartment owner had withdrawn one of the units to be merged from the rental market conflicted with the Ellis Bill (Gov. Code 7060.2) by penalizing conduct (withdrawing a unit from the rental market) that the Ellis Bill specifically permits.
California Court of Appeal, First District, Division 3 (Jenkins, J.); September 19, 2016; 2016 WL 4990057