The Eastern Neighborhoods Plan is a bust

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Too much office space, too little affordable housing, industrial space destroyed – the report card is bleak.

The Planning Commission heard a report on the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan, which has guided development in a huge swath of the city, and from the public comment and the response of some commissioners, it’s pretty clear that this massive 20-year planning process isn’t turning out the way it was supposed to.

As Commissioner Dennis Richards pointed out, the plan was adopted in 2008 – before the Google buses, before the massive tech-boom displacement, before the Twitter tax break, before Uber, before Peninsula cities fully outsourced their housing problems to SF. It’s a different city today, and what made sense back then isn’t working any more.

In fact, some of what seemed to make sense back then has been, as land-use lawyer Sue Hestor pointed out, “a farce.” The transit improvements that were supposed to serve the massive explosion in market-rate housing developments simply haven’t happened.

Neighborhood activist Marc Salomon noted that people who moved into what were supposed to be transit-oriented developments have ignored transit and instead use private cars, Uber and Lyft (which have crowded the streets with many, many more cars) and the tech shuttles.

Pedro Peterson presented the summary report, starting off with the Department’s position that the plan was created to preserve Production, Distribution, and Repair spaces in the neighborhoods and to encourage housing development.

Reality: In the past five years, nearly a million square feet of PDR has been lost, and another 1.3 million will be lost of all of the proposed projects in the pipeline move forward…

Time, it appears, to reboot. In fact, the call by Sup. David Campos a couple of years ago for a temporary halt to all development while the city reviews this plan might need to be revived – before more damage is done… (more)

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