Lawsuit filed challenging San Francisco’s new Central SoMa zoning plan

A nonprofit housing group has filed the first of what is expected to be several lawsuits challenging the rezoning of San Francisco’s Central South of Market area, suits that could significantly delay the development of more than 6 million square feet of office space and thousands of housing units.

In the lawsuit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court on Monday, the Yerba Buena Neighborhood Consortium, the legal arm of the affordable housing group Todco, argues that the plan’s environmental study was inadequate because it didn’t take into account the impact the neighborhood changes would have on public services such as police, fire and recreation…

The deadline for filing a legal challenge to the plan’s environmental study is Thursday, and as many as three other lawsuits could be coming…

Even if there were no lawsuits, the realities of the time required for approvals and permitting in San Francisco means it’s unlikely that any construction would start before 2020. Elberling added that delays beyond that could be avoided if the city agrees to community demands.

“It’s up to the city. If the city wanted to work with us and address the problems, it would be finished this year,” he said. “If we resolve the problems this year, we could drop our lawsuit.”… (more)

Supervisors back appeal, delay housing project on Mission District laundromat site

By Laura Waxmann : sfexaminer – excerpt

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday sided with Mission District activists challenging a housing development on the site of a former laundromat, ordering the developer to conduct a shadow study looking at the project’s impacts on an adjacent school.

The board voted unanimously to require additional study on the plan to build 75 units of market rate housing at 2918-2924 Mission St. in response to an appeal filed by the Calle 24 Cultural District…

But according to Ronen, the school will soon be part of The City’s Shared Schoolyard Program, which seeks to open school yards to the public after school hours.

“There has been, in my opinion, not enough analysis as to how the shadow impacts of this project will impact that public open space,” said Ronen… (more)

Thanks to everyone who made this happen! This is truly an amazing victory that is shared by all the districts as all our Supervisors supported this outcome by voting unanimously to uphold this CEQA appeal.

One of the most memorable comments came from a citizen who asked how this board can send representatives to protect children at the border and ignore the needs of the children in the Mission.

Dramatic vote could slow Mission development

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Supes signal the end of the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan — and denounce Trumpist rhetoric from market-rate housing advocates

A remarkable, stunning vote happened at the Board of Supes Tuesday: By a 9-0 margin, the members agreed that a big market-rate housing project in the Mission needs a full environmental review.

That spells the end of the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan, puts every other developer in the area on notice, and sends a signal to the Planning Department that displacement and gentrification have to be a central concern for all project approvals.

And it happened in part because a representative of SFBARF made comments in favor of the project that the supes found so totally offensive that one of them wanted anything to do with it.

The project, at 1515 South Van Ness just off 26th, is on the edge of the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District. The appellants say that the project needs a full environmental impact report, because the general EIR on the Eastern Neighborhoods is way, way out of date(more)

Sanctuary City has taken on a new meaning that may shift the political climate in a surprising way. We have sensed a negativity that is finally being exposed for what it is. Now city hall has chosen to close ranks to protect its own. For that we are grateful.

Opponents to appeal after SF planners approve ‘Beast on Bryant’

By J.K. Dineen : sfgate -excerpt

Mission District development opponents pledged to continue to battle against the “Beast on Bryant” housing development a day after the Planning Commission approved what would be the largest residential complex in the neighborhood’s history.

On Thursday, night the Planning Commission voted 5-2 to approve 2000-2070 Bryant St., a complex that would contain 196 market-rate apartments and an additional 139 affordable homes. Developer Nick Podell, who owns the property, would build the market-rate building while dedicating a third of the land for the affordable units, which the city would pay to construct.

Opponents of the Bryant Street project plan to appeal the project to the Board of Supervisors, according to Peter Papadopoulos of the Mission Cultural Action Network. He said the environmental review of the project failed to take into consideration the impact of 40 market-rate housing developments spread throughout the Mission, a number greater than what was anticipated in the 2010 Eastern Neighborhoods plan, which rezoned the area.

“This is going to be one of the most built-out sections of the city outside of downtown, in what is now a neighborhood of single-story warehouses” Papadopoulos said. “Right now the projects are being studied one at a time with no consideration of the cumulative impact on a given block, neighborhood, or the city at large.”…

The Bryant Street project could be a bellwether for three other market-rate Mission District housing projects in the pipeline: the “Monster in the Mission” at the 16th Street BART Station, which has been stalled by litigation between the property owner and the developer; the 157-unit project Lennar is proposing at 1515 S. Van Ness Ave.; and Axis Development’s proposed 117-unit project at 2675 Folsom St… (more)

CEQA appeal filed by opponents of free Sunday parking

The History:

After receiving n a negative CEQA ruling by the Planning Commission, the SFMTA Board decided  it could suspend enforcement of Sunday meters for the two year budget cycle beginning July 1st.

Mario Tanev and James Birkelund, on behalf of Livable City and the SF Transit Riders Union, filed a appeal to the CEQA ruling on May 15, 2014, to stop the revocation of Sunday parking enforcement.

Where it stands:

The SFMTA’s FY2-15-2016 Two-Year Capital Budget provides for a statutory exemption for the establishment, modification or restructuring of rates, tolls, fares, and/or charges.

The Board must act prior to passing the SFMTA’s proposed budget, thumbs up or thumbs down.

If the Board sustains the appeal, then Sunday meter enforcement continues indefinitely, and the green light is there for them to go to evening meter enforcement, as advocated by Cheryl Brinkman at the SFMTA Board meeting on April 15th.

What we need to do:

Write letters of concern to the Supervisors and show up if possible at the Supervisors meeting on Tuesday to speak on blocking the appeal. Sign the petition to put the Restore Transportation Balance on the ballot in November: