Category Archives: planning

SoMa Development Tsunami

Change both good and bad is nothing new to SoMa. But now the neighborhood’s special character is threatened by an unprecedented wave of proposed development.

Nearly every block in the area bounded by Market, 2nd Street, Townsend, and the Central Freeway on Division Street, has at least one project seeking approval from the city.

Pending projects in the neighborhood as of August 2015

Pending projects in the neighborhood as of August 2015; doesn’t show projects that are already approved; Source: San Francisco Planning Department web site

These projects are not a done deal. They have to seek approval from the Planning Commission—and in some cases from the Board of Supervisors.

Other neighborhoods have stopped inappropriate development by persuading the city to modify projects or to reject them altogether. We can, too.

The South of Market Leadership Council has long served as an information clearing house and forum for discussion about neighborhood planning. Continuing that tradition, we’re providing the following list of significant projects and the dates of their upcoming hearings at the Planning Commission.

September 3, 2015:

  • 75 Howard, APPROVAL (Items 14 and 15 on the agenda)
    220’ tall high-rise on the waterfront, extreme luxury housing
  • 5M (Fifth and Mission) mega-project PRESENTATION (Item 16, 3:30 p.m.)
    For more info, contact the South of Market Community Action Network (DontSupersizeSoMa@gmail.com) Share this information flyer with your neighbors.

September 17, 2015:

  • 5M mega-project APPROVAL
  • 1532 Harrison APPROVAL
    7 stories, 136 residential units (formerly 6 stories, 119 units of group housing)

September 24, 2015:

  • 525 Harrison (right next to the bridge) APPROVAL
    raise Rincon Hill heights and shrink required separation distance between towers

October 1, 2015:

  • 363 6th Street STAFF REPORT
    9 stories, 104 residential units, shadows Gene Friend Rec Park

October 15, 2015:

  • 363 6th Street APPROVAL

What You Can Do:

  • Contact District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim (Jane.Kim@sfgov.org).
  • Share this information with your neighbors, your formal and informal neighborhood organizations, your local merchants, your schools, your places of worship, and anyone you know that shares your love for South of Market.
  • Subscribe to the SoMa Leadership Council e-mail list by sending an e-mail to SoMaJournal@yahoo.com with your first name and last name in the e-mail.
  • Get involved with the SoMa Leadership Council or any other SoMa neighborhood organization.
  • Tell the Planning Commission what you think about specific projects either in person during public comment at one of their Thursday afternoon meetings at City Hall (Room 400) or in writing. You can find Planning Commission meeting agendas here. To learn how to sign up to receive notices for public hearings regarding these proposed South of Market neighborhood development proposals and changes, please e-mail SoMaJournal@yahoo.com and ask for information on how to be added to the Planning Department notification mailing lists.
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From casket factories to convention centers: a photographic memory

Ted's Howard Street

from BRIAN WALLACE

Janet Delaney will be presenting photos from the current de Young exhibition, Janet Delaney: South of Market, at St. Patrick Catholic Church on Mission Street, on Thursday July 16. Preservation Planner Jonathan Lammers will provide an overview of SoMa’s oft-contested development history.

Janet Delaney built a darkroom in the third bedroom, and started photographing her neighborhood. South of Market was filled with industry: casket factories, blacksmiths, sign shops, auto mechanics. It was a working class neighborhood with families, a growing gay population, and artists. But that was about to change, and Delaney wanted to capture it on film.

Read more and listen to radio interview:

http://kalw.org/post/south-market-soma-photographic-memory-one-san-francisco-s-changing-neighborhoods

 

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High-rise towers threaten Rincon Park

rincon high-rises

by DAVE OSGOOD

Environmental groups and neighborhood advocates gathered recently at Rincon Park on San Francisco’s waterfront to announce a new campaign to protect the well-used waterfront park from being darkened by shadows from proposed new high-rise luxury towers.  Later this summer, developers are expected to ask city officials to approve two tall new luxury high-rise condo towers:  one rising to 240 feet at 75 Howard facing the Embarcadero and another rising to 400 feet at 160 Folsom, a block from the waterfront.  As proposed, the two towers would be far taller than the 8 Washington “wall on the waterfront” luxury condos that voters overwhelmingly rejected.  Continue reading

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“A new era” for the Flower Mart

The owners and vendors of the Flower Mart and the Kilroy Corporation have signed an agreement that guarantees the 100 year old institution will remain at its current location for generations to come. The document includes assurances that the existing vendors will continue to be able to rent at an affordable rate, that the vendors themselves will make the decision as to whether the new location will be underground or at street level, that the new development will provide twice the amount of parking that currently exists (and new space for outdoor markets and community events) and recognizes the ownership rights and ability to pass the affordable rates on to the next generation or to any other entity of the vendor’s choice. Continue reading

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SF Chron reports, “Flower Mart developer heads off thorny ballot fight”

Last-minute negotiations have headed off what could have been a costly ballot fight between tech money and longtime small businesses that are feeling priced out of San Francisco — in this case, at the Flower Mart in the South of Market.

San Francisco Chronicle →
San Francisco Examiner →

 

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Eagle “plaza” and Russian-based developers pursue height loophole for numerous SoMa projects

Imagine one additional floor squeezed into this project. That's what Michael Yarne and Build Inc. have decided to do after their ploy to avoid paying for affordable housing fell through.

Imagine one additional floor squeezed into this project, which is already at the maximum height allowed. That’s what Michael Yarne and Build Inc. decided to do after their ploy to avoid paying for affordable housing fell through.

by JIM MEKO

The Planning Department convinced many of us who were involved in community planning to accept an additional five feet of building height in our recent rezonings. Planning Commissioner Dennis Richards, who recalls the promises made during the Market/Octavia process, requested an explanation. John Rahaim, the Director of the Planning Department, explained the intent to the Planning Commission recently:

“The intent of that provision, and that has been put in place now in many places across the city, the intent now is to provide an extra five feet of height on the ground floor, to provide a more generous ground floor, higher ceilings for retail space and a better proportion of the building along the street.”  Continue reading

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Private party for Mayors Conference closes Rincon Park access to public

20150620_USCM2015_ClosedRinconPark800

by JAMIE WHITAKER

Without any communications from The Port of San Francisco or the Mayor’s Office to anybody that lives along the SoMa waterfront, it was a great surprise to find that the BCDC’s supposed Public Access Seating Area that sits between Waterbar and Epic Steakhouse was closed to the Public because the U.S. Conference of Mayor’s party planners decided to buy the Embarcadero Pedestrian Promenade and Rincon Park away from the Public starting around 5pm today (Saturday, June 20th) to set up their party – and I’m guessing it will continue to be closed off to the public on Sunday.  Continue reading

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