Western SoMa Plan faces little opposition as it moves towards December 6 adoption hearing

More neighbors – fewer land use attorneys – participated in helping to create the Western SoMa Community Plan at one of three Town Hall meetings held at Bessie Carmichael School

Following two informational hearings before the Planning Commission, the Western SoMa Community Plan moves relatively unscathed towards its December 6 adoption hearing. Following that Planning Commission action, the Plan will still require approval by the Board of Supervisors and the signature of the Mayor. If all goes well, the Plan could go into effect early next year. 

Over the last seven years, the members of the Western SoMa Citizens Planning Task Force have devoted thousands of hours of their own personal time to creating a new Community Plan, one that will preserve and enhance what is already here while making sensible land use decisions to accommodate growth in a way that doesn’t ruin what we already have.

Two areas in the Plan have sparked controversy. The Task Force attempted to create growth management tools, first through an annual housing cap, which failed to gather sufficient votes to be included in the Plan, and then later through a less intrusive method of metering new market rate housing known as the Community Stabilization Policy. Any attempt to control the impacts of development on Western SoMa continues to draw fire from Tim Colin and his Housing Action Coalition.

Entertainment industry advocates also continue to argue that new housing along the 11th Street corridor is incompatible with nightclubs and they appear to have won Supervisor Jane Kim’s support. She has indicated that she favors down-zoning 11th Street from Folsom to Harrison to prohibit any more housing and the Planning Commissioners appear to favor an option that would apply mixed-use office controls to the one block area.

Otherwise, public comment on the Plan itself has been almost non-existent. Recent area plans, such as Market/Octavia and the Eastern Neighborhoods, were bogged down for months in the face of seemingly endless and acrimonious hearings.

Jim Meko, chair
SoMa Leadership Council

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4 Comments

Filed under meetings, planning, politics

4 responses to “Western SoMa Plan faces little opposition as it moves towards December 6 adoption hearing

  1. “Entertainment industry advocates also continue to argue that new housing along the 11th Street corridor is incompatible with nightclubs and they appear to have won Supervisor Jane Kim’s support. ”

    Kim=tool

    She could care less about residents that have lived in this area for before she was born.

  2. Hi,
    We’re just starting to get Isis St and Bernice street organized. On the surface, this downzoning of 11th street seems like it will have a negative impact on people living in the area, but I’m not certain of my opinion yet. Is there anything we can do at this late date to slow it down?
    Thanks, Ernst
    isis.soma@gmail.com

    • Sorry, you’re a bit late. The Plan did go through seven years of process and an enormous amount of outreach. It was adopted unanimously last night. It does still have to be approved by the Board of Supervisors but they’re bound by a Charter provision that limits them to an up or down vote only. On the other hand, congratulations, you’re living in one of the newly created Residential Enclave Districts.
      – jim

  3. Abi Fitzgerald

    Ernst,
    Just FYI, while the overall plan was adopted unanimously, it was a long meeting (you can watch it online) and some of the issues at hand were not even fully understood by the commissioners (not their fault, it was complex). However, it wasn’t as if they all just sat down and 7 “ayes” were voted within minutes. On the contrary. Additionally, the 3b option which is in regards to your concern (11th street issue), was only passed 4 to 3. So it passed yes, but it wasn’t simple and I got the sense that the commissioners just wanted to move on after 8 years of planning. I don’t blame them.

    Jim, while I was hesitant (just as were the commissioners) about accepting every point, I commend the overall work that you have done for this neighborhood and look forward to being involved in the future. I also hope that you can educate us on your points of view, maybe come to our next meeting (whenever that is!). Congratulations on seeing this plan come to fruition.

    -Abi Fitzgerald

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