Density must steer clear of corruption

Examiner readers : sfexaminer – excerpt

“Density done right in The City,” In My View, Feb. 9
Density must steer clear of corruption

Thank you Peter Cohen and Fernando Marti for the excellent opinion piece on density. There are fantastic locations where density can be done, and essential housing built. The question is who is invited to the table and, if we are selecting the best proposals, when the players are invited to the table.

The recent article on the SFUSD property Ruth Asawa School of the Arts and the proposal to move it downtown stinks of pay-to-play. The site is prime real estate near Glen Canyon Park, and if we do allow the move to occur, that site should be set aside for 100 percent affordable housing, and co-op and rental housing development. Along with an improved transit investment for routes like the 44 O’Shaunessey.

Another such site is the Stonestown Shopping mall empty parking lots. Planning Commissioners mentioned it prior during the SFSU-CSU and Parkmerced proposals, but nothing has happened yet.

Street studies along major existing lines — and along major roads like Sunset Boulevard — could indicate, along with Geary and major arteries like Taraval and Judah, single-story infill. The problem is whether the infill is “done right” or just densified for dollars.

The proposals easily will be played with due to the AHBP, proposed up-zoning, so money and profits are being promoted. The question is the scale and existing character of the neighborhoods and if they will take the “design” time needed to study the existing properties elevations and numbers for well designed and implemented scaled increases, or if the flood gates will just open and we get no real comprehensive community based planning and approval process.

Too many buildings are popping up that are devoid of good design and well-thought elevation studies. We, therefore, need not only a public advocate, but a design review board and planning commission with people appointed by the communities in which these buildings will be placed.

Let’s put the spotlight on the buildings being approved and the process they get there.

We can do better in S.F., and we must or Super Bowl 50 signs, and pied-a-terres for the jet-setting will be the only things built in The City.

Density done right must include a public process that is not corrupted as its planned.

A. Goodman
San Francisco.
.. (more)


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