SF officials clash with Bayview residents over community center

By Dominic Fracassa : sfchronicle – excerpt

Residents in San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood are dismayed by what they see as a covert effort by city officials and a private developer to muscle a mixed-use, affordable housing project onto the site of a long-planned community center at 1550 Evans Ave…

The recently released emails also came as a surprise to city PUC officials, who say they were largely cut out of the city’s deliberations about the site. The agency said it is not inclined to tear up its designs for the community facility to add housing.

“When I saw the (emails) I got really upset,” PUC General Manager Harlan Kelly said.

He had been approached by city officials in the past, including Lee and District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen, who represents the Bayview, about developing housing at 1550 Evans, but said he was clear he had reservations. Kelly thought the matter had been settled and said he was blindsided to see the emails, some sent as recently as last month, showing that other city departments had not given up on the housing idea…

Rahaim agreed that Build Inc.’s conceptual drawings for the space were problematic.

“Frankly, it’s not very good, and it’s not a plan that I would support,” he said.

The PUC may own 1550 Evans, but it needs Planning Commission approval to build the community center. Rahaim said the Planning Department received the PUC’s preliminary paperwork for the community center project “two or three weeks ago.”…(more)

Looks like there are a lot of plans for this piece of real estate owned by the PUC that were earmarked for a new community center with educational facilities. A lot of city agencies appear to be involved, which raises the question, “How many agencies does it take to change a light bulb these days?” Too many.

RELATED:

CCSF weighs partnership with school district, SFSU for proposed education center in the Bayview

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is seeking a partner to build an “academic and skill-building center” next to a proposed 40,000-square-foot Southeast Community Facility at 1550 Evans Ave., where a currently vacant building will be razed. The project also includes a 5,000-square-foot pavilion, an educational center and more than 100,000 square feet of public open space.

The proposed community center will replace an existing facility at 1800 Oakdale Ave. That center and its adjacent greenhouses were constructed with community partners to compensate for the environmental and social impacts following the expansion of the Southeast Treatment Plant in the 1970s and ’80s, according to the PUC website…

Both Rizzo and Trustee Rafael Mandelman pointed out that the construction of the SECF at 1800 Oakdale Ave. came in response to the sewer plant expansion, which drew criticism from residents of the neighborhood. They suggested that the PUC should foot the bill for the new community center at 1550 Evans Ave., which will be replacing it.…(more)


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