Category Archives: planning

Academy of Arts University sets their sights on more SoMa sites

AAU expansion pland

AAU expansion plans

 

The Academy of Arts University, much more a real estate consortium than an educational institution, is finally about to release its Institutional Master Plan. A hearing at the Planning Commission is scheduled for December 10. Their current facilities and expansion plans will finally come under the scrutiny of the city. For years the AAU illegally converted office space to institutional facilities and bought up much of the affordable housing supply in low income parts of the city to be used as student housing. The Academy’s own system of mass transit links together their network of facilities throughout the city.  Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under housing, planning

San Francisco SoMa Residents Frustrated Over Construction Noise

from JAMIE WHITAKER
Candidate for District 6 Supervisor

The City’s leaders are prioritizing the profits of developers yet again (big surprise since they’re major political money contributors, right?). Please watch this news clip about the excessive numbers of nighttime construction noise permits that San Francisco’s Dept. of Building Inspections keeps approving with no regard for the impacts of sleep deprivation on all of our safety (sleepy drivers make for more accidents on the roads) and particularly the health, safety, and well-being of directly affected neighbors: Video | NBC Bay Area

There is an agenda item on this topic on Monday at San Francisco City Hall, Room 263 starting at 1:30pm – see Item 5: Hearing – Night Noise Permits in Residential Areas.

While most of us will be earning our mortgage payment at jobs and unable to attend, if this issue affects you in a major way, you’d better take time off to go testify and make public comment to ask the City to stop harassing and harming your health with the excessive issuance of nighttime noisy construction permits.

Will you sign this petition? Click here. Stop DBI’s Approvals of Harrasment with Excessive Night Construction Noise Permitting.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under planning, politics, quality of life

Pinterest sets sights on Western SoMa space

pinterest.pic

High tech golden child Pinterest triggered holy hell last summer when they announced their intention to move into the Design Center at Showplace Square, displacing dozens of fancy craft businesses and sending shivers throughout the rest of the PDR zoned properties in the area. So much so that Mayoral-loyalist Supervisor Malia Cohen even brandished a set of interim controls that were far from developer-friendly.

Barely a whimper was heard last week when Pinterest redirected their interest to 651 Brannan Street, a former industrial building several blocks away that was given office permissions back in the ‘90s when former Zoning Administrator Larry Badiner was giving away such valuable exemptions as freely as Halloween candy.  Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under planning, politics

Developers Aren’t Going to Solve the Housing Crisis in San Francisco

by DYAN RUIZ and JOSEPH SMOOKE
from [people. power. media]

[people. power. media] is an independent media channel focused on the perspectives of grassroots organizations and marginalized communities broadcasting on the internet and through social networking. This essay was published by two authors with San Francisco roots who have tired of the so-called conventional wisdom referenced in the following four myths.

Myth 1:
Housing is expensive because there isn’t enough supply.
Fact:
Housing is expensive because so many techies and investors want to rent and buy in San Francisco. Prices are mostly determined by high-end demand.

Myth 2:
Developers are building high-end housing because it’s expensive to build housing in San Francisco.
Fact:
Even if building costs are lower, developers will build expensive housing, as long as there’s enough demand for it.

Myth 3:
Let developers build taller buildings. Then prices will go down.
Fact:
Upzoning won’t solve the housing problem for many reasons.

Myth 4:
As long as you can upzone and deregulate, you can build and build to the point where prices will go down.
Fact:
That’s not the way that housing development works. Housing finance has limits.

Solutions:
Rethinking private and public sectors roles in a new economy

Read the full article at [people. power. media]

 

Leave a comment

Filed under economics, housing, planning

SoMa professor honored at Sunday’s Folsom Street Fair

Gayle-Rubin-1

Dr. Gayle Rubin, an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, was surprised to be given a “Key to the Fair” plaque from the Board of Directors at Sunday’s Folsom Street Fair. Gayle and her partner Jay are both longtime South of Market residents and Gayle spends as much time as her schedule allows in their converted industrial space on Sheridan Alley.  Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under community services, events, planning, social heritage

11th Street drag performance space clears last hurdle at city hall

District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener dragged out the same mischaracterizations of the Western SoMa Plan he always uses when entertainment folks are present, as the Land Use Committee of the Board considered a zoning amendment to legalize a nightclub in close proximity to the Kissling Alley Residential Enclave District. Relying on industry lobbyist Terrance Alan, the ethically-challenged former Entertainment Commissioner, for his facts, Wiener repeated his claim that the Plan was “unfriendly to entertainment.” He knows better but panders to the entertainment community every chance he gets.

Drag show impresario Heklina, a.k.a. Stefan Grygelko, has bought the building on the northwest corner of Folsom and 11th, formerly home to Caliente, the Oasis and Club VSF.

The committee agreed to send their positive recommendation to the full Board of Supervisors where a yes vote is a sure thing. No one votes against fun.  Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under entertainment, planning, politics

Recycling center looks DOA

recycling

by JIM MEKO

[Update: “With recycling centers dwindling in SF, one operator plans to bring the people to his business,” September 19, 2014, San Francisco Examiner]

Is this the last we’re going to hear about the recycling center at 10th and Harrison Street?

The available sign went back up yesterday. Ors Csaszar from Our Planet Recycling has cleared the lot over the last few weeks and it looks like he’s taking his bottles and cans and going away.  Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under community services, planning, politics

4Terra announces groundbreaking for a brand new SoMa neighborhood

SAVE THE DATE[3]

Leave a comment

September 14, 2014 · 4:25 pm

Kim protects PDR (at least until the November election)

by JIM MEKO

Supervisor Jane Kim followed through with her promise to the Flower Mart workers by introducing Interim Controls on Tuesday that would slow down the conversion of PDR (production, distribution and repair) businesses into high tech offices but put a 45 day lid on the controls. That’s just enough time to get her reelected in November.  Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under economics, planning, politics

Respected local architect designs 11th Street’s first non-residential building

350-11th-2

Stanley Saitowitz, a Principal in Natoma Architects of San Francisco, presented drawings for a four story office building proposed for 350 11th Street, the site of the notorious “purple building,” at a pre-application meeting last night. The possibility of more residential development on the entertainment corridor sent lobbyists into a frenzy and led Supervisor Jane Kim to amend the Western SoMa Plan to prohibit housing in the neighborhood.

Stanley Saitowitz is professor Emeritus of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. His design for the Beth Sholom Synagogue (2008) in San Francisco garnered international praise and awards, such as the High Commendation Award, Religion & Contemplation at the 2008 World Architecture Festival 2008.  Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under entertainment, planning, politics