By Tim Redmond : 48hillsonline – excerpt
Parks panel — finally — shuts down a project that violates Prop. K. Breed appointments reflect moderate trend on the board
JANUARY 20, 2014 – The victory by Soma activists over a condo project that would shadow Victoria Manalo Draves Park has received fairly limited media attention. Just a J.K. Dineen story on an inside page of the Chron.
But it’s a pretty big deal on several levels.
Proposition K, the measure aimed at protecting sunlight in the parks, passed in 1984. It required both the Rec-Park Commission and the Planning Commission to give special approval to any project that would cast a significant shadow on a public park.
Since then, lots and lots of projects casting lots and lots of shadows have gone through. Never once has the intent of Prop. K been upheld.
But maybe, just maybe, as the city gets ever more crowded, the two commissions will start to notice that this is a serious problem – not to mention city law – and start acting accordingly.
The 5-0 vote came as the mayor was delivering his State of the City speech, and Sup. Jane Kim skipped that event to join community leaders in urging the Commission to oppose the project. “We have the smallest park space in the city and have the fastest population growth,” she told me. And Victoria Manalo Draves is the only park in Soma that’s open to all kinds of users.
And as Dineen notes: While 190 Russ St. is a small project by SoMa standards, the vote is significant because it is the first in a series of proposals near Draves Park. Nearby projects that will come before the commission include a 92-unit project at 301 Sixth St., a 34-unit development at 345 Sixth St., and a 116-unit project at 377 Sixth St.
Those are big-deal, big-money projects – but if the commissioners rejected this one, they will have a hard time making exceptions for the others… (more)