a step toward saving the Mission

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Sup. Hillary Ronen has introduced legislation that might make some impact on the dramatic gentrification of the Valencia Street corridor and surrounding areas and the displacement of long-time neighborhood businesses by high-end restaurants and brewpubs.

The measure would require conditional-review permits for new restaurants and would ban new brewpubs in the area roughly bounded by 14thStreet, Guerrero, Cezar Chavez, and Potrero.

Ronen also wants to block the merger of ground-floor commercial spaces resulting in spaces larger than 1,500 feet (except for legacy business, arts, and community uses). And she would require than any new developments of more than 10,000 square feet provide storefront space of less than 1,500 square feet.

Light industrial use would be legal in most areas, and a conditional-use hearing would be required if any legacy business is replaced…(more)

Hundreds march in solidarity to avoid gentrification in Mission District

On Thursday afternoon, Mission Street was shut down for a few hours for a March to peacefully protest gentrification. The “March for Mission” which started at 20th and Mission Streets brought together local volunteers and organizations to send a message to City Hall that their voice needs to be heard.

Protesters ended the march at city hall, demanding funding to establish a Latino Cultural Corridor, affordable housing and transit equity. They aim to stop the massive influx of high-end businesses, projects, and luxurious housing. Protesters said that gentrification is driving out their neighborhood shops and threatening to turn Mission Street into another Valencia Street…(more)

Maybe it is time to take back Valencia. The posh restaurants have already topped out. Many are reputed to be closing already. What has gone up, is coming down, except for the rents, that is.

Transit, Vision Zero, Livable Streets, and other Highlights of the “Focus on the Future” Conference

: streetsblog – excerpt

hat if San Francisco becomes the next Detroit?” asked Jonathan Miranda, Director of Strategy at Salesforce.com, during a keynote speech this morning at the “Focus on the Future” conference in downtown San Francisco. Given the region’s meteoric growth, that may seem far fetched–but no more so than Detroit’s fall after the booming years of the auto industry. He said that given San Francisco’s inability to build sufficient housing, that’s a real possibility. “Companies are moving to Austin, Denver, Seattle–what happens if software and Silicon Valley start looking for a different place?”

Miranda’s warning was part of a theme at the conference about how important it is for the Bay Area to address issues such as housing costs, transportation, and the safety and livability of our streets. The conference is run by the “Self-Help Coalition,” an organization of 24 different California transportation authorities and government organizations which share planning and policy intel. The event also featured tours of the Central Subway, the Transbay Transit Center, and a discussion of the Better Market Street plan. (more)

GENTRIFICATION is the word that is making the rounds these days to describe the economic disparity that is plaguing the nation. Pretty much everyone is concerned about it but no one is attempting to solve the problem of extreme cost of living increases that are exasperating the homeless crisis and causing much of the stress in our cities.

GROWTH has limits and inviting disruptive high tech industries to experiment with our society is exacerbating the conflicts between the top and bottom levels of society as everyone scrambles for empty units like empty seats in a game of musical chairs.

DISRUPTION is not a game to be taken lightly, but, it is the new tech mantra that is being sold to cities that want to partake in the technology revolution. Citizens get no say in the matter and many are unaware that they are being sacrificed on the corporate alter of progress until it is too late.

COMPANY TOWN is the title of a movie that Investigates Tech Industry’s impact on tow of SF’s most vulnerable neighborhoods. There is a new attempt to mitigate some of the housing crisis by creating “company towns” that include housing on the corporate campus to alleviate some of the housing crunch.

SF property manager atones for greed, Boogaloos slated to reopen

By : missionlocal – excerpt

In life, Boogaloos served as a microcosm of Mission trends every bit as well as it served as a brunch spot. There were the tattooed, toddler-toting hipsters wiping vegetarian herb-cream gravy off their hoodies, and tucking into a “Temple O’ Spuds,” an Edmund Hillary-worthy mountain of potatoes, cheese, salsa, sour cream and green onions — a monument to the power of hangover food.

In death, like Ben Kenobi, Boogaloos became even more powerful, as a symbol of the Malthusian currents drowning all too many people and places in the Mission. In 2015, the restaurant was rocked by a proposed increase of its rent from $4,200 to a parodic $17,500. Then, while essentially on life support, Boogaloo’s was hit with a fire in March of last year, and has since been down for the count…

Venerable, quotidian businesses being served with mind-blowing rent spikes — making way for places that won’t serve the Temple O’ Spuds or the sort of people who’d order that — is a boilerplate script element these days in the Mission. As are ill-timed fires.

Boogaloos, however, has gone off-script. And it looks like this Mission story may yet have a Hollywood ending.

“We’re going to open it again!” crows co-owner Carolyn Blair Brandeis, who co-founded Boogaloos in 1994 with Philip Bellber. While Brandeis had bandied about the notion of relocating the restaurant elsewhere, that won’t be necessary. Boogaloos is slated to reopen in the very same 1927-vintage building on the corner of Valencia and 22nd, a handsome, low-slung structure advertising its long-ago occupants in unsettling terms on the marquee: “Cut-rate druggists.”… (more)

BARF! Density-loving Sonja Trauss is running for District 6 supervisor

By joe fitzgerald rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

A lot of interesting headlines come to mind with this announcement

BARF — it’s not just a gross-out verb, anymore. It’s a movement.

The San Francisco Bay Area Renters Federation has (ahem) induced headlines from the New York Times to The Atlantic, all while clashing mightily with neighborhood groups here at home, as the group encourages city officials to build, build, build.

Now, the pro-density movement is shifting from advocacy to realpolitik:

BARF leader Sonja Trauss is running for supervisor. She filed to run July 5, according to the Department of Elections, though the race isn’t until November 2018…

Oddly, she’s running to represent what are among the most housing-dense neighborhoods in San Francisco: District 6, which includes South of Market and the Tenderloin.

They’ve got apartments sprouting out their ears. So what good is her running?…

“Trauss really stuck her foot in her mouth last year, when she argued in a public meeting that resistance against tech workers gentrifying San Francisco is akin to racism against Latino immigrants”…


For starters, she likely to promote more tech disruptions in the city. Developers want to promote more Airbnb, Ubers, and Lyfts and Scoots and other, anti-human robotic corporations that will not only make life. Now they are all going to take the money and invest in real estate, the real winner in this game of Grab-and-Go politics.

Google and Facebook are already announcing they are building small cities in the Peninsula. They used to call them “company towns.” When the air goes out of the unicorn startup balloons, they will be sitting on a lot of prime real estate. It is called diversification and the techies are fast at work diversifying by becoming real estate magnates.

The BARFers are the forefront of the next wave of takeovers coming to the Bay Area. Good news is we have some time to get out the story to stop the movement. As Joe points out, Trauss has already discredited herself among most of the affordable housing advocates and especially in District Six, where the residents are already up in arms over the changes they are dealing with and the new population of homeless at their feet.

None of the city’s programs have brought the number of homeless down yet.



‘Appropriation At Its Worst’: Supervisor Slams ‘Bayview Is The New Mission’ Ads

By Meaghan M. Mitchell : hoodline – excerpt (includes video)

When it debuted last October, the new Waterbend Apartments (5880 3rd St.) became the first luxury apartment building in Bayview, with units starting at $2,800 per month.


Residents in the new condos popping up on 16th Street will soon be subjected to a major street overhaul that will make life in this fast lane less than lovely. Photo by zrants

Now, the neighborhood’s supervisor has put the luxury complex on blast for an advertising campaign that describes Bayview “as the next Mission.”

In a viral Facebook post, District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen called out the ads as an example of cultural insensitivity..

Cohen also expressed outrage with a cable TV commercial for Waterbend, which shows upwardly mobile young people “creating [their] culture,” and encourages them to “find the next big thing before anyone else.”…(more)

Thanks Malia for showing some righteous outrage. We get that the supervisors have no choice. They must object to obvious intentions to gentrify the neighborhoods, regardless of who makes them. Ad agencies and their clients should know better than to admit they are gentrifying the neighborhoods. Those selling points should be limited to closing comments of the sale if needed.

Most developers realize how hard it is for politicians to support gentrification and use more crafty language to get their projects approved. You want to include “family housing” in the mix . A gym and coffee shop are ok, but if you really want approval, add “childcare” in the mix and a few electric vehicle power stations. Don’t forget to add affordable units so you can have height limits lifted. No size limitation so just make them small to fit more in.

Why SF’s City Planning Department doesn’t get it

The Mission District and the SF of the future that planners are endorsing is not what San Franciscans want. Spirit matters

There is no designated Sociologist position on the 200+ staff of San Francisco’s City Planning Department. And a bachelor/masters degree in Urban Planning can be received from many universities throughout the nation without any requirement to take even an Introduction to Sociology 101 course. This explains a lot.

The inculcated dismissal of human social behavior and how it shapes cities came to mind once again as I read the department’s quibbling on the question of whether new development causes community displacement in the Draft Mission 2020 Action Plan released last week:

“The forces of displacement are varied and complex and the key is to deploy strategies and investment now to stabilize the neighborhood for decades to come … The city acknowledges displacementis real but believes the causes of displacement are complex and tied to larger [unnamed] systemic issues beyond development.”

For the metrics-oriented approach that dominates much of the national urban planning community and our local department these days, the conceptual problem is – despite a litany of statistics that document the widespread low-income resident and small business displacement that is actually happening now in the Mission District – missing data:

“The city also feels research on effects of market rate development will be inconclusive but is nevertheless scoping out a way to further study the nexus between development and displacement to determine what it is, if one exists.”

The problem with relying on metrics is that they can show what is happening – retrospectively – but not intrinsically why. Adding economic analysis, which the department superficially attempts to do by relying on input from other city agencies, can explain the immediate motivations of economic actors – property owners, businesses, developers, and nowadays “investors” – but still fails to capture the overall cultural and social dynamics of how cities evolve and change due to the collective behavior of large discrete population groups. That’s Sociology. And over time it is most of all those cultural and social dynamics that actually drive and determine the course of events. Urban economics follow the values they reflect, not the other way around… (more)

Stealing the future is like stealing the soul: I reserve the right to plan my own future and I reserve the right to change my mind as I go along. A lot of people and circumstances change throughout our lifetimes and that is why living in the future is futile. Right about now there are a lot of people who are incredibly inconvenienced by a government that put off fixing a major problem that was pointed out over a decade ago. How many more of these are out there, ignored disasters, waiting to happen because fixing them did not fit the plan du jour?

The planning departments (every department has one) do nothing about solving current issues. SFMTA can’t figure out how to handle traffic work today or even count it, but they claim if we give them 10 or 20 years they will have it all worked out. They can tell you the traffic counts for 20 years from now. Really? Sorry, but I don’t believe the parties who destroyed a functioning traffic and transit system are the ones to fix it. We need a system that works for the residents who are here now. Not a future perfect plan for a future no one can predict and will probably never happen.