Planners recommend changes in density bonus housing program

By J.K. Dineen : sfgate – excerpt

A plan to allow developers to build taller buildings in exchange for creating extra affordable housing should be scaled back to focus initially on vacant parcels such as gas stations and parking lots, the San Francisco Planning Commission has ruled in a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors.

After a seven-hour hearing Thursday that featured a parade of residents mostly railing against the affordable housing bonus program — or AHBP — the commission decided the program should start with the 215 “soft sites” where less than 5 percent of the parcel is covered by an existing structure. Most of the soft sites are located along commercial strips like Van Ness Avenue, Ocean Avenue, Geary Boulevard, Irving Street, Balboa Street, Lombard Street, Geneva Avenue and outer Mission Street.

Meanwhile, planning staff should do a more detailed survey of an additional 3,500 sites across the city that could be candidates, study potential displacement of businesses and consider refining the definition of affordable housing to include more lower-income residents, commissioners said.

“So you would be looking more at gas stations on Masonic or Geary and not something on the 24th Street corridor (in Noe Valley),” said Planning Commissioner Rich Hillis(more)



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