Sue Hestor is obviously annoyed by the Planning Department’s less than credible attempts to expedite the conversion of service and light industrial space to office use. She’s currently butting heads with planner Erika Jackson over 340 Bryant Street, an empty building. Turns out one of the former tenants was one of Sue’s associates. Sue writes:
“There is an email dated 4/14/14 from you to developer’s attorney Kevlin where you describe the building rather ‘neutrally’ as being ‘currently vacant.’ Since this is a PDR building and the former industrial tenants were involuntarily moved out, I do not believe this understatement is correct. You have an email from Jim Heron about how he and all other tenants (which were arts or light industrial) were evicted in December 2012. It seems to be the commercial equivalent of residential tenants being evicted, then the apartment building being described as ‘vacant.’” Continue reading
by JIM MEKO
SoMa neighbors who attended Jane Kim’s 10th and Harrison recycling center meeting two weeks ago were surprised to find an email from Terrance Alan in their inbox on Friday. Alan, the ethically challenged former entertainment commissioner, had nothing to do with the center but Kim’s office apparently shared the sign-in sheets with him. Continue reading
As the San Francisco establishment bemoans the loss of the George Lucas museum to Chicago and chafes at the opening of a new 49ers stadium 45 miles south of the city, in an essay titled “Lucas might be gone, but the force stays right here,” San Francisco Chronicle columnist Carl Nolte reminds us that “We still have Clement Street. And 18th Street on Potrero Hill, Stockton Street in Chinatown, Valencia Street in the Mission, Irving Street in the Inner Sunset, Taraval Street in the Parkside.”
“So what makes a neighborhood?” Nolte asks. “There are certain essentials, like a Muni line down the shopping street, stores, a bank branch, a neighborhood restaurant or two where they know the customers. There should be a school and at least one church. A community garden. A park is important. A branch library and a bookstore are prized.”
In an impressively prescient piece, Nolte reminds us to keep our priorities straight. Read more →
By JIM MEKO
Last time we checked in on our buddies over at the Planning Department, they were putting the finishing touches on their “Central SoMa Plan,” an ambitious new area plan that would devastate our neighborhood’s service and light industrial base and blow the lid off job protections built into the recently adopted Western SoMa Community Plan. As Planning Director John Rahaim reportedly said, “this is really about expanding downtown.” (see “The attack on SoMa – a new downtown?”)
In light of the fact that their own calculations show that the Central SoMa scheme would destroy about 1,800 good working class jobs in order to build more high tech offices, they have proposed a nifty solution right around the corner in “the Eastern Neighborhoods” that would incentivize the construction of brand new production, distribution and repair (PDR) space (you’re not gonna believe this) by allowing even more high tech office space to be built on land that was set aside as a “haven for PDR businesses.” This new construction would provide 33% new PDR space at a cost of allowing in 66% more high tech office space. Continue reading
by ALLISON ARIEFF
New York Times
The tech sector is, increasingly, embracing the language of urban planning — town hall, public square, civic hackathons, community engagement. So why are tech companies such bad urbanists? Read more →
District 6 residents will have an opportunity to participate in the WalkFirst Investment Strategy – a review of existing city crash data – by helping to collect community feedback, document findings, and analyze risk factors that cause pedestrian collisions at a focus group set for Monday, December 16 at 5:30 p.m. in Room 278 at City Hall.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is hoping to get as much community feedback as possible about how the City should prioritize funding for pedestrian safety improvements.
The meeting on December 16 will last about 90 minutes. Each participant will receive a $15 Clipper Card. If you are interested in helping out, please send an email to walkfirstSF@gmail.com.
WalkFirst has also launched an interactive online tool. Visit http://walkfirst.sfplanning.org/index.php/home to learn more about WalkFirst, pedestrian safety and to give your feedback about what the City should fund.
by JIM MEKO
The Eastern Neighborhoods Community Advisory Committee (ENCAC) holds the pursestrings for all the money collected from new developments in the various plan areas of the Eastern Neighborhoods. Continue reading