By Austin Walsh : smdailyjournal – excerpt
Amidst local control fight, officials push ahead mixed-used plan despite reservations
Indicating they felt backed into a corner by state legislators ardently pushing for housing development along the Baylands, Brisbane officials reluctantly agreed to permit building at the highly-watched site.
The Brisbane City Council unanimously approved moving toward a ballot measure allowing construction of as many as 2,200 housing units and 4 million square feet of commercial space in a potentially transformative development, according to video of a meeting Thursday, March 22…
The challenge in balancing health and environmental concerns borne by a proposal to build on contaminated land against the constant encroachment on local authority relating to land use decisions was the source of great discomfort for most officials…
Under the decision, city officials will return before councilmembers with a proposed General Plan amendment allowing to build between 1,800 and 2,200 housing units as well as up to 4 million square feet of commercial space at the Baylands. The upcoming discussion will also detail environmental remediation requirements and a fiscal impact analysis of the project. The decision is slated to ultimately give way to a fall ballot measure, allowing voters to have the final say in determining whether development is allowed at the site…(more)
How is it environmentally sound to build homes on contaminated land? Will the new homes come with a disclaimer that reads: “Enter at your own risk, home may contain carcinogens and other unhealthy contaminants that may cause cancer, asthma, and other respiratory ailments that shorten your lifespan by over 10 years.” This is not the only project that may need major cleanup. How long will it take when Hunter’s Point and Treasure Island are already in line? This project could take longer than the housing crisis. What happens if the residents vote it down? Will the state sue them the way it did San Francisco to take back the right to determine the use of land?
San Francisco taxpayers are barely aware that Treasure Island suffered a major clean-up scandal involving the Navy and Tetra Tech, EC, Inc., seven years before recent media attention was focused on the “faked” cleanup at Hunters Point.
It took entities who were not the Navy to bring to light mishandled cleanups at both Treasure Island and Hunters Point. As early as 2001, Lisa Davis wrote the SF Weekly article, “Fallout,” that, with close public scrutiny, would have raised huge red flags about the Navy’s pattern of faulty Bay Area cleanups and the danger of constructing housing on their bases… (more)
In San Francisco we have at least one ballot initiative coming up. This may become the only way voters have to SAY NO when their leaders refuse to do so.