The Land Use Committee of the Board of Supervisors heard a presentation on the Western SoMa Community Plan by Task Force members and sat through several hours worth of public comment yesterday. The Plan was favorably received, despite another effort by the entertainment lobby to make last minute changes, and will likely be heading to the full Board in two weeks for final adoption.
Supervisor Jane Kim introduced a package of non-controversial house-keeping amendments and the three members of the Land Use Committee sparred over a series of more substantive items. Most noteworthy was an attempt by Supervisor Scott Wiener to change the impact fee and affordable housing mechanism for “Major Developments,” taking away a percentage of the fees that would go towards affordable housing and redirecting them towards transit improvements. Supervisor Kim voted against the measure but Supervisor David Chiu supported the Wiener motion, and requested more information on how this impact fee/affordable housing mechanism has worked so far in other zoning districts. Land Use members indicated that they may rescind some of the amendments based on the more complete information.
In December the Planning Commission adopted a zoning change recommended by Supervisor Kim that would rezone 11th Street between Folsom and Harrison Streets to permit more entertainment venues and prohibit further residential development. The Land Use Committee concurred but differed with the Planning Commission’s recommendation to grandfather in “the purple building,” which has had a residential project in the works since 2004.
Efforts to allow more nightclubs and allow second floor bar and restaurant uses along Folsom Street and to spread limited live performance permits into the residential neighborhoods of the Plan area went nowhere.
The committee also rejected an attempt to increase office uses along 9th and 10th Streets and chose not to allow architectural offices in the SALI zoning district south of Harrison Street. They did agree to allow lot mergers in WMUO along Townsend Street that would result in a single building’s street frontage up to 200 feet instead of the original recommendation of 100 feet.
The committee will take final action on all the amendments next week and, if all goes well, will forward the Western SoMa Community Plan to the full Board for adoption.