‘Hub’ plan at Market and Van Ness faces key vote

By : sfexaminer – examiner

Project would make room for more than 15,000 more residents in the transit-rich area

Planning officials on Thursday will weigh key approvals to upzone the area of Market and Van Ness, a plan which could make room for more than 15,000 more residents in the transit-rich area.

The San Francisco Planning Commission will take a vote on certifying an Environmental Impact Report for an 84-acre area development plan touching South of Market, Western Addition, Civic Center, and Mission neighborhoods. The zoning changes ,through what’s known as the Hub Plan, would increase height limits for 18 sites, boosting the number of units by 8,100 new residential units…

“It’s a big deal being decided in the middle of a pandemic,” Henderson said. “We as a city need to think about how we can house teachers and essential workers. We should be planning in that political paradigm, a post-pandemic reality.”… (more)

My turn: Don’t blame environmental law for California’s housing crisis

By Ashley Werner : calmatters – excerpt

California is facing a housing crisis of unprecedented proportions. Lower-income residents across the state must choose whether to pay for rent or food. People who can’t cover housing costs are forced to leave their homes, their neighborhoods and even the state.

But as legislators resume discussions regarding policy solutions, we must be clear: California’s environmental regulations did not cause the housing crisis and eviscerating the California Environmental Quality Act would harm disadvantaged communities.

Some developers claim the California Environmental Quality Act is a major factor behind the state’s unmet housing needs. But multiple studies have shown this act, a bedrock of California environmental law, plays a limited role in determining whether and where housing is built…

These policies would move us closer to ensuring all Californians have an affordable, decent quality home. We can and must address the housing crisis without sacrificing California’s core environmental protections.

Ashley Werner is a senior attorney for the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability in Fresno, awerner@leadershipcounsel.org. She wrote this commentary for CALmatters... (more)

Six YIMBYs on a mission

By J.K. Dineen : sfchronicle – excerpt

YIMBY Action, the pioneering pro-housing group, has about 2,100 members and chapters in San Francisco city neighborhoods. Here are some of the neighborhood YIMBYs who advocate for more residential development in their areas.

Jane Natoli
Neighborhood: Inner Richmond
Occupation: Financial crimes investigator

Steven Buss
Neighborhood: The Mission
Occupation: Software engineer at Google
(Google is owned by Alphabet, that reputedly the largest corporate owners of housing in the Bay Area.)

Caroline Bas
Neighborhood: The Richmond
Occupation: Consultant at accounting and tax firm Deloitte

Giovanna Guevara
Neighborhood: Sunnyside
Occupation: Researcher at NASA’s Ames Research Center

Phillip Kobernick
Neighborhood: The Haight
Occupation: Alameda County transportation planner

David Tejeda
Neighborhood: Sunnyside
Occupation: Contractor

CarLA attorney is Ryan Patterson, described as Facebook’s real estate manager…. (more)




Supes hit pause on India Basin megaproject amid air quality concerns

By Hannah Norman : bizjournals – excerpt

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has delayed its hearings for the $1 billion India Basin project after new environmental recommendations raised health concerns about air quality for potential residents….

However, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District presented mid-meeting new recommendations, including additional measures like the potential use of more environmentally friendly construction engines and hybrid delivery trucks.

The surprise recommendations made Board President Malia Cohen hit the pause button, saying it was unfair the board had not been notified of updates prior to the hearing, the Chronicle reports.

“This is a really big problem, because we’re talking about a community that has been raked over the coals for generations. And to be treated like this again … it’s disrespectful,” Cohen said in the meeting, per the Chronicle.

The board’s next meeting is on Oct. 16, when the hearing will resume… (more)

Probably good to do a little more testing and less at this time of massive building on questionable soil. Should we expect the foundations to sink, float, or rise? And what toixns may we expect to find in the soil?

SF builders struggle to keep transit center from rising

: sfchronicle – excerpt

Its neighbor, the Millennium Tower, might be sinking, but — get this — the new $2.2 billion Transbay Transit Center has the potential to go in the opposite direction. One of the main challenges the builders faced was keeping the three-block-long monster from rising.

“It’s like a ship — we are tying it down,” Transbay Joint Powers Authority Executive Director Mark Zabaneh explained at a news conference Wednesday when asked if the cracked beams that forced the new terminal’s closure might be the result of the building sinking.

According to the Transbay’s website, “Unlike adjacent high-rises that generally have foundations anchored into bedrock to keep from sinking, the transit center’s foundation must keep the building from floating up.”… (more)

What will we learn next about this poor landfill mass that everyone in the world, according to some people, wants to live and work on? How is this going to work when large quake comes or tsunami come to town? Will it all float away into the Bay? or out itno the ocean? Maybe it is time to have a lesson in geology? Let’s get the Science guy to explain it to us. We could start with an elevation view of the downtown soil conditions and the various types of foundations and experimental projects engineers have built so far, including steel rods into bedrock. floating slabs, tie downs. (comments welcome here or at the source.)

Affordable homes, not developer giveaways

By Maya Chupkov, Lisa Awbrey and Tes Welborn : sfchronicle – excerpt

In a recent op-ed published in the Examiner, Corey Smith, the paid Campaign Organizer for the citywide advocacy group for market-rate housing developers known as the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, or HAC, put on his “community hat.” The piece titled “Homes Not Cars on Divisadero” tilts non-existent windmills (no one is proposing any cars to replace any “homes” on Divisadero) in order to argue against a community-devised plan calling for more neighborhood-serving retail, affordable housing, and bike and transit improvements in exchange for a density giveaway after a recent upzoning of Divisadero…

Smith’s hasty dismissal of Affordable Divis made short work of the efforts of hundreds of neighborhood residents who devised the Divisadero Community Plan (www.affordabledivis.org) created over a four-month open planning process. The plan sought to balance the impacts of an ill-conceived massive density bonus conferred on the area by former Supervisor London Breed three years ago with no community participation.

Both SF Planning Director John Rahaim and Supervisor Breed later recognized the rezoning as deficient. In December 2015, Breed finally agreed with Affordable Divis that granting a huge development bonus without an increase in required affordability was an error, which she committed to correct by amending her rezoning legislation. No corrective legislation was advanced for over two years, and then the Mayor’s race took her complete attention(more)

Radioactive object found near homes at Hunters Point shipyard

This Treadwell and Rollo map may help you keep track of the parcels. A radioactive piece of metal was found on the top of the hill about a foot underground on Parcel A near an area that was declared safe for housing years ago.

A highly radioactive object has been discovered at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard next to a housing area that has been declared safe and free of radioactive contamination for more than a decade, The Chronicle has learned.

The finding is the latest problem at San Francisco’s most ambitious redevelopment project in a century — an effort to transform a 500-acre Superfund waste site into a bustling waterfront neighborhood of 12,000 homes.

The object — a radium deck marker about the size of a silver dollar, 1½ inches across — was unearthed Tuesday on a grassy slope beneath a stretch of newly built condos, less than a foot below ground. The state health department revealed the information Thursday in a “Progress Update” letter sent to the shipyard homeowners’ association and obtained by The Chronicle… (more)

Excelsior youth say mixed-use housing proposal would feed displacement

By Laura Waxmann : sfexaminer – excerpt

Youth from the Excelsior District and surrounding areas protested a controversial mixed-use housing proposal Saturday that they said would accelerate gentrification and fuel displacement in the largely working-class neighborhood.

Plans to construct 175 units of affordable housing at 4840 Mission St. — the current site of the shuttered Valente Mortuary — have been in the works since 2014. But earlier this year, the site’s nonprofit housing developer BRIDGE Housing Corporation, partnered with developer Emerald Fund to also transform an adjacent Safeway at 4850 Mission St. into 253 units of market-rate housing…

Former District 10 Supervisor John Avalos supported the protest — while in office, Avalos said he advocated for “a larger housing bond that was passed by voters” that helped fund the affordable project at 4840 Mission St.

The current version of the project “has broken an agreement that had been made when I was in office by a backroom deal with developers,” he said.

“People want the whole site to be affordable. Politically that is something to fight for,” Avalos said, adding that “100 percent affordability is not out of the question.”… (more)

Broken Agreement: The current Planning Department system for processing agreements does not have any legal teeth. This is a problem that many organizations has been raising as the state and city team up to force gentrifying dense development on neighborhoods that do not want it. This is why the residents are fighting back in city councils all over the state. They know they cannot trust the authorities to protect them, even when they negotiate in good faith. Once the developer has the entitlement, there is no incentive to build what was agreed to. Quite often the land with entitlement is sold to anther party, who disregards the agreement that got the entitlement for the previous owner.

Instead of working to make the entitlement process go faster and smoother, we need our city and state legislators to put some teeth in enforcement of the development agreements and we need some caps on the longevity of those agreements. This would be a positive route to producing affordable housing by assuring it gets built within a reasonable time frame. This would be a win for the renters and residents who need protection from greedy property owners and unscrupulous developers, who are generally owned by, or backed by, banks or large corporations. Small property owners cannot are kept out of this market.

The not-historic laundromat project is being delayed again, developer threatens lawsuit against SF

By Dianne de Guzman : sfgate – excerpt

The will-they-won’t-they dance of whether a Mission laundromat will be turned into local housing has reached another roadblock in its quest, and this time the developer is threatening a lawsuit.

The 75-unit building proposed at the Wash Club situated at 2918 Mission St. recently passed the hurdle of the city determining whether it was a historic site. Spoiler: It’s not — but now the San Francisco Board of Supervisors are onto a new topic regarding the building.

Namely, its shadows.

An appeal was filed by Mission organization Calle 24 which called into question whether the shadow cast by the potential building would have an impact on two neighboring schools.

Sup. Hillary Ronen addressed the issue in a Board of Supervisors meeting, asking whether both schools were considered in the Planning Commission hearing for the building, according to SF Weekly… (more)

There is a bit more to it than is covered in this article. Stay tuned as YIMBY Action and caRLA get ready to flex their newly armored muscles thanks to Scott Wiener’s bills that are being rammed through the state legislation. Next up is a newly amended SB 828, that is stuck so far in the Assembly as the clock ticks toward looming deadlines. See page for actions to oppose the bill: https://sfceqa.wordpress.com/oppose-sb-828/

Legislative Website Info

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