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The City Council will hear appeals against 76 condo conversion projects Monday, as activists claim the city needs to study the cumulative impacts of the condo conversions before any more rental units are changed into for-sale homes.
Two nonprofits, the Affordable Housing Coalition and Citizens for Responsible Equitable Environmental Development, argue that the city is wrongly exempting condo conversions from having to complete the full environmental review required of typical construction projects.
The groups, who say they will carry out their efforts in court if the council denies their appeals, say the city should have learned that there are substantial impacts on the community’s infrastructure – roads, parking and water, among others – after watching the conversion of 19,000 apartments over the past two-and-a-half years.
They want a citywide, cumulative study of the impacts of condo conversions. If the study proves that those effects are significant, the groups want to require studies for every individual condo conversion.
The council heard one similar appeal before last month, but denied it. Save for Councilwoman Donna Frye, the council said that converting apartment complexes into condo buildings had no real impacts, as a conversion was in essence only changing ownership.
Cory Briggs, the appellants’ attorney, said he was “99 percent sure” that the council would not change its stance.