SF Planning

MEDA does the Royal Cuckoo, Mission and Valencia Merchants get compromise imposed by Planning- Upzone Option effective 2018, New 17th & Folsom Park, Getting What We Deserve, 1296 Shotwell vs. 1515 So Van Ness, ZSFG Again, & PDF+SFmade, Calle-24

Royal Cuckoo License at 19th & Mission Threatened by MEDA Mom and pop show owners Paul Miller and Debbie Horn said that losing the right to serve beer and wine could mean the end of their business. Supporters pointed out that the Royal Cuckoo is neither a fancy restaurant nor a bar. Its eight wooden barstools and largely bilingual staff have made it a welcoming respite for many on the bar-studded block of 19th street. Regardless, Medina was adamant. “What happened on Valencia, just to be very clear – most of the retail there was evicted and we had a lot of fancy restaurants and bars that came in,” he said. He added that because the market is already a licensed liquor store, its owners could sell that license and transfer it to another Mission location while keeping the restaurant permit at the market.

“While we celebrate the Royal Cuckoo bringing their culture and residency to the area, we have to balance what the 30 percent poverty population that lives here [needs],” said Medina in an interview after the meeting.

Despite the clear support among those who attended the meeting, Medina remained insistent that the couple’s plans of legitimizing their license by converting their retail space to a restaurant fails to comply with the community standards developed by MEDA and other community groups under MAP 2020.

Laura Waxmann reporting for Mission Local on May 26, 2017 "I was at the meeting...I used to support MEDA. The fact that they are spending energy to squelch this small, local business which is more like a labor of love/work of art, tells me that MEDA is feeling poweless against the monolithic forces of actual disruptive change and are grasping pathetically for some small victory to justify their existence. They have done good work, they should get back to that! ---Brian Lease

"I agree. At least in this case MEDA sounds sketchy. MEDA comes off as a bully who is trying to micromanage the mission and dictate what goes on here. The Mission belongs to us all! --- Ryan MacPhee

"Royal Cuckoo is the quintessential community business. To oppose a business with such strong community ties and community support is simply another MEDA tactic to drive a wedge into the community to further MEDA’s divisive agenda. MEDA’s tactics border on outright extortion. --- Pat Cogan

Click through for a spirited discussion!


Planning Commissioners Allow new Restaurant space on Valencia Planning Commissioners approved the addition of a restaurant into the existing events venue and retail space called Amado’s, formerly Viracocha, on 21st and Valencia streets. The commissioners voted unanimously, 5-0, to allow Amado’s to add a restaurant at the back of its street-level commercial space, but also required that it increase the amount of space reserved for retail in the front of the space from 600 to 700 sqft..

Phil Lesser, the president of the Mission Merchants Association, several commissioners, and David Quinby’s landlord Victor Makras all spoke highly of the project, praising Quinby’s management of the space and one of his other businesses, the Riptide.

Former Mission Merchant President and now North Beach activist Al Ribaya has attempted to make a go of a clothing store on the corner after taking over the Viracocha lease with Mission resident Quinby before cutting his losses in February.

“I think this is a magical location, the wood in the room, you smell it you feel it, it’s magical,” said Commissioner Rodney Fong. “It’s a pretty good shot at saving the magic that is there.”

“We understand they need a kitchen to support the downstairs venue and to get a liquor license, We wrote the letter of support with the understanding that the ground floor was going to be substantially retail. Now that we’re seeing that there’s really no substantial retail we feel like we have to revoke our support of the project.” said Eileen Rinald owner of Ritual Coffee and Valencia Merchant member i. Sean Quigley, president of the Valencia Corridor Merchant’s Association and owner of Paxton Gate said he initially supported the project on the conditions the alcohol license applied only to the basement and the street level would remain retail.


San Francisco's Housing Density Compromise effective 2018

It’s a win for those who advocate for housing at all income levels. It’s a win for those who believe supply and demand exists, and think San Francisco’s affordability and displacement crisis requires more home creation,Todd David, executive director of the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition,

Under state law, developers already have the option of circumventing San Francisco rules and building higher after only a few basic concessions, although few attempt it. SPUR praised the stalled legislation in 2016, saying: It will increase the overall supply of housing (both affordable and market-rate), it will encourage higher densities at appropriate locations near transit, it will create a much-needed middle-income housing program, and it will improve the feasibility of certain vacant and underutilized sites. All without public subsidy.

Supervisor and legislation author Katie Tang ’s compromise amendments imposes 12 percent of the units at 55 percent AMI, 9 percent at 80 percent AMI and 9 percent of units at 110 percent AMI. “The city doesn’t really invest any dollars into housing for middle-income and workforce households,” Tang said at the meeting. “The majority of public dollars go to low income households—which is absolutely necessary, but we’re missing a huge segment of our population.The inclusionary housing deal would begin January 2018. The program hopes to lure developers to build on more than 200 so-called soft-sites in areas along commercial corridors and near transit in The City by granting 20 additional feet in height—two floors—beyond the existing zoning. In exchange for the height boost, developers commit to building 30 percent of the units on site at specified below-market rates.

Supervisor Hillary Ronen's legacy business exemption was defeated after the longest discussion of the evening with only Ronen and supervisors Sandra Fewer, Jane Kim and Norman Yee supporting it. More amendments are expected, eviction protections for existing home have already been added.

“Some corridors such as Taraval (Street) struggle,” Supervisor Tang said. “When you have more density, more people can walk to the Laundromat or coffee shops. And that helps all the small businesses we’re not thinking about.” The program lures developers to build on more than 200 so-called soft-sites in areas along commercial corridors and near transit in The City by granting 20 additional feet in height—two floors—beyond the existing zoning. In exchange for the height boost, developers commit to building 30 percent of the units on site at specified below-market rates.

  • sfgate.com/bayarea/article/S-F-supes-OK-taller-buildings-in-exchange-for-11168644.php

  • https://sf.curbed.com/2017/3/14/14923454/affordable-housing-bonus-program-ahbp-return-2017

  • sfexaminer.com/sf-grants-developers-20-foot-height-bonus-exchange-affordable-housing/

AirBnB and the City declare Truce The supervisors on May 23, 2017 also unanimously approved a settlement with short-term rental services Airbnb and HomeAway. The companies must now accept responsibility for insuring that all of their local hosts are registered with the city and paying taxes and fees on their legislatively restricted part-time business.

17th and Folsom Park Opening Soon First New City Park in 10 years

17th & Folsom Park Opening Celebration Friday, June 23 - 3:30 to 6:00 pm ​​ 2080 Folsom Street, San Francisco, The opening ceremony will also include the unveiling of the new park name The Spring 2017 opening was been delayed by the record setting heavy rains but the park has the potential to be a wonderful community asset. Special features include an ambitious water feature referencing Mission Creek, a performance space/outdoor classroom, portable toilet area, just two public entrances to fenced in park, adult fitness equipment area next to the water feature, widened sidewalk on 17th Street and a community garden. The space, a former parking lot, will also see construction for an affordable housing project by MEDA on the other half of the lot.

Is SF Planning Department Emphasizing Design for Ages or Repeating Mistakes

“Dealing with the city Planning Department, which doesn’t understand architecture, is a very slow process,” Stanley Saitowitz tells author Michael Webb in “Building Community: New Apartment Architecture,” published this spring 2017 by Thames & Hudson.. “We have a lot of trouble with the preservationist spirit in that department, now that almost every district of San Francisco is considered historic and every new building has to comply with its character. We firmly believe in respecting scale; Planning wants textbook replicas.”

John Rahaim, planning director since 2008. “And we’re not asking for ‘textbook replicas.’ Our guidelines make it clear we want architecture of our time.”

"Saitowitz is right, just look at Mission Bay - absolute dreck. No coordination, no vision, no awe, no wonder, no delight, no majesty just boxes.juniperoSerra

The building on Octavia [see photo for 8 Octavia at Market and freeway onramp] designed by Saitowitz is an abomination and a conspicuous eyesore that sticks out like a sore thumb. Alfamail


Mission Housing Watch 2017

Will be Mission Local’s attempt to keep track of all the new development in the neighborhood. Find data from the Planning Department and created maps and lists of the planned and completed projects in the neighborhood, with links to stories. But first the starting benchmark. Market-rate units since 2008: 1070 [David Campos elected] Affordable units since 2008: 144 Planned growth under the Mission Area Plan: 1,700

Total units built since 2014: 387 Affordable units since 2014: 39 Promised units from Supervisor Hillary Ronen: 5,000.

More at MissionLocal.org/housingwatch/

Why does everything new getting built in the Mission look like it’s made of earth-tone Legos? or how Code, Costs and Opposition Make for Repetitive Architecture

February 2017 Hayes Valley uses the community process to improve design while the Mission focuses the builder on how to get square footage built. by Laura Wenus for Mission Local surveys the informed views of Ann Cervantes, John King, Orrin Goldsby, Kerman Morris and John Lum. https://missionlocal.org/2017/02/code-costs-and-opposition-make-for-repetitive-architecture/​

6 versus 9 Holds up 96 unit Senior Project on Transit Corridor

Nonprofit affordable housing developers Chinatown Community Development Center and the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) had their project appealed by Inner Mission Neighbors in January.

The above 1296 Shotwell near Chavez project would have 93 studios and 2 or 3 larger units on 9 floors. Project developer MEDA says it will be for seniors making up to 50 percent of area median income, or $37,700 for a single person household. A fifth of the units would be reserved for formerly homeless seniors making up to $15,100 a year, and the site will have no parking in accordance with the city’s transit oriented development strategy. In early December 2017 the project won a go ahead before the Planning Commission to seek a new San Francisco height bonus, to allow it to go to 85 feet in a lot zoned for 65 feet or 6 floors. Neighbors say that at nine stories, the 96-unit senior housing at 1296 Shotwell St. near 26th Street would be too tall and dense, robbing sunlight and causing congestion in a residential area.

“We support low income senior housing at 1296 Shotwell Street,” said Craig Weber, a nearby homeowner who has led opposition to the project for months. “It’s too tall, has no parking, and puts high density on a residential street. You need to consider that, please.” he told Mission Local report Joe Rivano Barros.

The controversy has been simmering for most of 2016. Todd Lappin, founder/publisher of the well known neighborhood blog Bernalwood, who named a prior version of the project the “Great Wall on Shotwell,” and compared it to the 9 story US Bank building at Mission & 22nd Streets now supports the project with its current design.

Dairo Romero with MEDA noted the contrast the project represents from the usual role he and MEDA often plays in projects before the Planning Commission where they seek to kill or delay new housing but had switched roles here.

“Most of the time we are against something. This is actually only the second time I’ve been here in support of something,” he said. “But we brought our people out here today because we are in support of something — we want more affordable housing for our seniors.”

Can Hillary Ronan Calm the lose-lose housing wars? Two months prior, in a parting shot, underscoring the polarizing politics of housing in the Mission, outgoing Supervisor David Campos, in a surprise move, killed the nearby Lennar project for 1515 South Van Ness at 26th St The project was remanded to the city’s Planning Department, with instructions to report on the potential impacts of gentrification its market-rate units would bring to the area.

https://missionlocal.org/2016/12/senior-housing-on-shotwell-brings-foes-together/ http://sf.curbed.com/2016/10/6/13189882/1296-shotwell-affordable-housing-opposition http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/news/2017/01/17/nimbys-affordable-housing-mission-district-sf.html



Check back here for updates as these stories unfold

Another Gigantic Building for SF General Campus

The [Chan Zuckerberg?] Research Building will complement the general hospital's 284-bed inpatient tower, which opened in 2016 with Zuckerberg's name prominently featured on the exterior and their new acronym ZSFG. This new project will cost about $1 billion to build, with some support on top of bond money from philanthropists such as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, UCSF MD Priscilla Chan. The 175,000-square-foot research building is currently a parking lot but while the architect is not known announced plans call for breaking ground by spring of 2018. Although the UCSF press release calls its neighborhood Potrero Hill, it is on the Mission side of the established 101 freeway border between the two Greater Mission neighborhoods and the parking garage which anchors the west end of Lower 24th Street is expected to expand. In 2016 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and doctor wife Pricilla Chan moved into a home on Liberty Hill in 94110 and started a philanthropic venture [CZI] saying they would spend $3 billion over the next 10 years to help cure all diseases. Their first move has been to establish an impressively funded nonprofit in Mission Bay called Biohub.



What is PDR and and other mysteries of SF City Planning

These are the 4 PDR or "Eastern Neighborhoods", Mission, Potrero Hill, Central Waterfront and East SOMA [South of Market] The Planning Department has adopted the term Production, Distribution and Repair or PDR to refer to the very wide variety of activities which have traditionally occurred and still occur in our industrially zoned areas. PDR businesses and workers prepare our food and print our books; produce the sounds and images for our movies; take people to the airport; arrange flowers and set theatrical stages; build houses and offices; pick up our mail and garbage. PDR includes arts activities, performance spaces, furniture wholesaling, and design activities.

In general, PDR activities, occurring with little notice and largely in the Eastern Neighborhoods, provide critical support to the drivers of San Francisco's economy, including the tourist industry, high tech industry and financial and legal services, to name a few. PDR businesses also tend to provide stable and well-paying jobs for the 50% of San Francisco residents who do not have a college degree.

  1. Residential Zones: (generally portions of the Mission, Potrero Hill and Dogpatch) encourage development near strong transit service.

  2. PDR Zones: ensure space for existing and new PDR businesses and activities.by prohibiting office, retail, and institutional uses while grandfathering exist legal use in these areas

  3. Mixed-Use Zones: neighborhood commercial zones with a variety of residences and retail

  4. Special Use Districts: Near Mission Bay are special use districts to encourage emerging medical-related businesses and institutions. The first legislation by D9 Supervisor Hillary Ronan was to add restrictions for ground floor use in the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District in January of 2017

Proposition X passed by voters in November of 2016, requires development projects in the Mission or South of Market to get a conditional use authorization if the project would demolish or convert space used by production, distribution, repair, arts activities or nonprofit groups and requires the new development to replace the demolished or converted space.

Prop. X can be amended by the Board of Supervisors legislatively by a two-thirds vote of its members. For example Supervisor Jane Kim is hoping to amend the law in 2017 to exempt historic structures from the problematic replacement requirement.

SFMade is the city’s preeminent nonprofit advocate of urban manufacturing. The SF Mission features the three most prominent stars of their program.

Timbuk2 Factory Store 587 Shotwell St @ 19th St (415) 321-6806 http://www.timbuk2.com/ https://localwiki.org/sf/Timbuk2 San Francisco based messenger bag company that was established in San Francisco in 1989 by former bike messenger Rob Honeycutt and originally called Scumbags

Betabrand 780 Valencia St @19th St (415) 692-7433http://www.betabrand.com/ https://localwiki.org/sf/Betabrand Home of Dress Pant Yoga Pants, Disco Hoodies, Bike to Work Pants, and tons more Chris Lindland, Matt Their, Jared Graf, Colin Stuart, Lana Hogue, Aaron Magness, Anthony Jaffe Betabrand carried more than 300 crowd-created products in its catalog.

Ritual Roasters 1026 Valencia St 415.641.1011 https://www.ritualroasters.com/ https://localwiki.org/sf/Ritual_Coffee_Roasters a pioneer in the delicious shift in coffee consciousness since founder Eileen Hassi Rinaldi opened their doors on Valencia Street in 2005 Considered part of the "third wave of coffee" independent companies which both roast their own beans, wholesale, and operate cafes. Their peers include Blue Bottle Coffee Company and Four Barrel Coffee http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/New-Ritual-for-cannabis-coffee-lovers-10886740.php

Can PDR Zoning be seen as Temporary Transition Zoning?

In the sense that everything including these restrictions are temporary but in the life cycle of a typical business they can mean success or failure and frustration with twisted Kafkaesque City Planning logic. The 1987 Mission Liquor Laws created city's most restrictive liquor license ban [Mission Alcohol Restricted Use District § 249.60 (formerly 781.8)] lasted till 2013 before Supervisor Scott Weiner with David Campos consent updated its illogical assumptions that equated all alcoholic beverages with the cheap small bottles favored by the hopelessly lost and homeless.

"The city’s planners have incited major speculation and property value inflation by proposing to remove protections for PDR in Central SoMa, an area bounded by Market, 6th Street, Townsend, and 2nd Street, exclusive of areas in the Downtown Plan, in behalf of massive upzoning for new office, residential, and hotel development. Though the plan’s EIR has yet to be published, much less certified, since at least early 2014 planners have been citing its proposed upzoning in their staff reports to the Planning Commission recommending approval of new projects." 48hills.org/2016/11/03/wont-sfmade-support-prop-x/

Where is SFMade support Prop. X? SF's outspoken advocate for local manufacturing is on the wrong side on a measure that would save ... local manufacturing BY ZELDA BRONSTEIN - NOV 2016

Overall, the end result has been less than satisfactory. Property owners are told their proposals will take years and cost more in soft costs than total urban construction elsewhere while the few units added especially compared to the great potential continues to exacerbate displacement and hardship for longtime residents.

More Planning Resources

sf-planning.org/mission-action-plan-2020 & facebook.com/missionactionplan2020 The purpose of the Mission Action Plan is to retain and attract low to moderate income residents and community-serving businesses, artists, and nonprofits in order to strengthen and preserve the socioeconomic diversity of the Mission neighborhood. More info Claudia Flores SF Planning Department (415) 558–6473 claudia.flores@sfgov.org or Dairo Romero MEDA (415) 282–3334, ext 103 dromero@medasf.org & https://www.facebook.com/ missionactionplan2020

The purpose of the Mission Action Plan is to retain and attract low to moderate income residents and community-serving businesses, artists, and nonprofits in order to strengthen and preserve the socioeconomic diversity of the Mission neighborhood. More info Claudia Flores SF Planning Department (415) 558–6473 claudia.flores@sfgov.org or Dairo Romero MEDA (415) 282–3334, ext 103 dromero@medasf.org




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