Category Archives: Uncategorized

Write a Letter to Planning – Oppose 1532 Harrison Street!

10/11/2015 Update: Planning Department did not honor their commitment to the community and instead just explained it is allowed by the Planning Code that they did not take the time and care to legislate the 5′ bump properly in the first place. If they had properly written the General Plan amendments to reflect what was promised to the community, this should not have been allowed.

Planning Department Shooting Itself (and Us) in the Foot – Tell Them To Stop It!

When the Western SoMa Plan was being worked on by all those “Citizen Planners” engaged in the process, the Planning Department asked that they add 5′ to the already increased height re-zonings in order to provide a more graceful groundfloor specifically for use as Retail or Production/Distribution/Repair (PDR). The stakeholders took the Planning Department’s word, and accepted 65′ zoning instead of 60′ zoning, for instance, at 1532 Harrison Street with the clear mutual understanding of the spirit and intent of that additional 5′.

Fast forward to 2015, and the Planning Department is pushing forward a proposal for 1532 Harrison Street at this Thursday’s meeting (October 8, 2015) which proves them to be liars if they follow through. The proposal allows structures to be built up to the additional 5′ bump without a 15′ groundfloor for Retail or PDR.  Instead, the building is proposed to be digging into the earth 5′ deep and building 7 floors (at 10′ each) of residential uses.

This doesn’t just result in a big fat lie to SoMa and the breaking of trust for SoMa residents in the Planning Department and Planning Commission, but it also will send a warning signal to the Sunset and the Richmond neighborhoods that the Planning Department cannot be trusted.

Please click this link for an already prepared email to sign your name at the end and send to the Planning Department’s Planner for 1532 Harrison (Richard Sucre), the Department Head (John Rahaim), the Planning Commissioners, and the Mayor (because the company proposing exploiting the 5′ bump in zoning is employing a former Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development employee – making it seem even more awful that the Planning Department is breaking its word to the community in my opinion).

Thank you.

If the link above doesn’t work, here are the suggested pieces for the email:


Suggested Subject line of email: Opposition Letter to Case No. 2013.1390CUA, 1532 Harrison Street

Email body template:

Dear Planning Commissioners,

I am writing to ask that you oppose the design for Case No. 2013.1390CUA, 1532 Harrison Street because it does not meet the Western SoMa Community Plan’s agreed upon spirit and intent of the additional 5′ zoning bump in all of its structures that seek to build to 65′ heights because they lack the agreed upon 15′ ground floor intended for retail or production/distribution/repair (PDR).

Oppose 1532 Harrison Street using 65′ to shove in 7 floors of residential instead of a 15′ ground floor retail or PDR space with 5 floors of residential above that retail or PDR use.

Please do not flush the Planning Department’s and the Planning Commission’s integrity and credibility down the toilet, scaring off the Sunset, Richmond, Excelsior, and other neighborhoods that may be ready for greater residential density but unwilling to trust the Planning Department after observing the betrayal of the South of Market community and time the SoMa community invested in the Western SoMa Community Plan.

It will be much harder for Planners to work with San Francisco residents if the perception is that your word means nothing.  Please, do not shoot yourself in the foot.  Send 1532 Harrison Street back to the architect to include a 15′ ground floor in all structures that are designed to maximize the heights to 65′ at 1532 Harrison Street.  Please do not destroy your and your department’s public integrity for this one project.

Thank you,



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Soak, an urban bathhouse in five shipping containers, at Mission Bay


SF Curbed reports that the newest addition to Mission Bay will be Soak, an urban bathhouse in five shipping containers, which is officially moving ahead with the recent blessing of the Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure, the successor to the Redevelopment Agency that oversees the Mission Bay redevelopment area. The idea, says Soak founder Nell Waters, is to conjure the communal spirit of the urban bathhouses of yore, but with a 21st-century ethos of resource consciousness.  Read more 


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Kim dumps more noise into Western SoMa neighborhoods



Hard on the heels of her vote to restrict your ability to sue noisy nightclubs, Supervisor Jane Kim introduced legislation last week that would open up primarily residential portions of the Western SoMa Plan Area (from approximately 7th Street to 12th Street, from just shy of Mission Street all the way down to Harrison Street) to Limited Live Performance permits. Continue reading

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“Co-living” scheme succumbs to practicalities of affordability

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 6.14.28 AM

Build Inc’s cluster of six story buildings at 1532 Harrison, across the street from the SF Eagle, will no longer pursue an unconventional “co-living” arrangement that takes advantage of the city’s “group housing” code provisions, bowing to pressure to provide a more ordinary housing model that comes with the inclusionary housing requirements most housing is already required to provide. Continue reading


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Campos proposes moratorium on new housing in the Mission

Supervisor David Campos proposed a halt to new housing production in his District this week.  Continue reading

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Ballot-box planning offsets pay-to-play politics

from the San Francisco Chronicle

When Proposition B to require a citizen vote for any waterfront height increases was proposed, opponents like SPUR said it was bad policy to do ballot-box planning. But voters had seen enough of city-hall planning lately — like the proposed 8 Washington St. that would have offered multimillion-dollar condos on waterfront land, or a basketball arena and shopping center on Piers 30-32 — to understand the threats of another high-rise wall on the Embarcadero waterfront. Continue reading →

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Chinese chef meltdown at “SO”

The sign outside SO on Thursday. Photo via Eater

The sign outside SO on Thursday. Photo via Eater



A chef at popular Asian wings spot SO (1010 Bryant Street at 8th) apparently stormed out and forced the closure of the restaurant after getting one too many whiny customers Thursday night. Somebody clearly asked about gluten-free items, because one of the angry things the chef put in his “we’re closed” sign on the door was “[we] don’t give a shit about gluten free.”

Customers also probably ask whether SO uses MSG (they do) a little too often, because that was front and center on the sign, right after, “We are closed because of YOU … (customers).”

Also, according to an employee who spoke to Eater, there was an incident involving a party who refused to pay their bill because their food was too spicy. Anyway, the chef just “needed to cool off” and they’re back open today.

Sidenote: MSG is delicious.

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South Beach Democratic Club hosts D6 Supe candidates tomorrow night

[9/9/2014 update: To receive the Club’s endorsement a candidate must receive 60% of the votes cast. Here are the results]:
District 6 Supervisor – No Endorsement
State Assembly District 17 – David Campos
Public Defender – Jeff Adachi
Superior Court Judge – Daniel Flores
Board of Education – No Endorsement
Community College Board (3 seats open) – Wendy Aragon and Thea Selby
Community College Board – No Endorsement

Jane Kim is seeking reelection in a sleepy race that has only attracted three challengers. Rincon Hill activist Jamie Whitaker, Tenderloin community organizer Michael Nulty and David Carlos Salaverry, an independent cabinetmaker-contractor, part-time Uber driver and a Republican, are all seeking to unseat the first-term Supervisor to represent District 6.  Continue reading

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A curious lack of curiosity

340 bryant

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

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Controversial ex-commissioner flacks for Build Inc.’s 1532 Harrison project


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

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