Land Use

In tech-dominated Mid-Market, arts center beats the odds


Is there a place for community theaters and nonprofit arts and education programs in pricey San Francisco? The 950 Center for Art and Education, a project that will be housed on the corner of Market and Turk streets in San Francisco, has gained a foothold against the odds.Read more »

Critics urge caution on fast-moving Warriors arena deal


UPDATED The proposal to let the Golden State Warriors build a new sports arena complex at Piers 30-32 is moving forward quickly, with the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee considering approving its fiscal feasibility tomorrow (Wed/14), the Land Use Committee hearing its design and transportation aspects on Monday, and the full board scheduled to move it forward on Tuesday, two days before Thanksgiving. Read more »

Why should a Republican dentist decide what gets built in San Francisco?


The Board of Supervisors is almost evenly divided on confirming Mayor Ed Lee's appointment of Republican dentist Michael Antonini to his fourth four-year term on the city's powerful Planning Commission. After delaying its decision at each of its last two board meetings, the board is expected to finally decide this Tuesday.Read more »

Life and death in Sunnydale


Photographs by Sarah Phelan

On the first Friday afternoon in September, as most folks were trying to get an early start on their Labor Day weekend, C.L.A.E.R. director Sharen Hewitt and her advisory board member Carrie Manuel welcomed friends, family, neighbors—and a handful of D10 candidates—to a basketball hoop dedication ceremony outside C.L.A.E.R.’s office on Brookdale Ave at the heart of the  violence-racked Sunnydale housing project in Visitacion Valley.

By afternoon''s end, Hewitt had managed to get D 10 candidates Malia Cohen, Kristine Enea, Chris Jackson, Tony Kelly and Marlene Tran shooting hoops with a dozen African American youngsters who live in Sunnydale, the city's largest public housing project, and talking about what they have learned about life and death in this deceptively pleasant-looking sun-and-fog bathed spot that overlooks the Bay, backs onto McLaren Park and the neighboring Gleneagles Golf course--little knowing that within two hours, yet another young black man would be fatally shot one block away from C.L.A.E.R.'s office. Read more »

Evaluating the criteria the city uses to classify folks as gang members


I recently asked Deputy City Attorney Yvonne Mere about the criteria the city uses to determine if someone is a member of a criminal street gang.

More precisely, I wanted to know if any of the 41 young black men named in City Attorney Dennis Herrerra’s recently filed gang injunction in Visitacion Valley were named simply because they were seen affiliating with documented gang members and frequenting gang areas. Read more »

Farewell, Mayor Michael Cohen


No one who has been closely tracking the shipyard development will be surprised that Michael Cohen. Mayor Gavin Newsom's top economic advisor, is leaving City Hall.  Folks have long speculated that city officials would start jumping ship--and even become real estate developers themselves--the minute the ink dried on Newsom’s signature on the deal. Read more »

D. 10 candidates split on Lennar’s plan


One of the key questions at the Potrero Hill Democratic Club’s forum for D. 10 candidates revolved around Lennar’s Candlestick Point-Hunter’s Point Shipyard redevelopment plan.

The current Board of Supervisors recently approved Lennar's plan by a 10-1 vote (D.6 Sup. Chris Daly dissented). Following that vote, Mayor Gavin Newsom rushed to sign twelve pieces of legislation that approve and enable what could shape up to be the largest redevelopment project in San Francisco´s history.

"Today is a historic day for San Francisco and a testament to so many who have worked for more than a decade to secure this critical engine for our City´s economic future," Newsom said in a press statement, after he signed off on the Lennar deal. "I want to thank Sup. Sophie Maxwell for spearheading this effort throughout her entire tenure on the Board of Supervisors and our State and Federal representatives including Speaker Pelosi and Senator Feinstein as we take a giant leap forward towards our shared vision of jobs, housing, and hope for the Bayview-Hunters Point community."

But with Maxwell termed out in January, the successful candidate in the D. 10 race stands to inherit a plan that has been approved, but apparently isn't funded yet. And by my accounting, the majority of the candidates who spoke at the D. 10 forum expressed reservations with Lennar's proposal, with only a few firmly against it, and only a few firmly in favor of it. But read their comments, decide for yourself--and keep tracking this fascinating race!

  Read more »

Board had to ask for Lennar's approval...


Images by Luke Thomas

The Board of Supervisors found itself in the humiliating position July 27 of having to ask for the approval of Lennar and the city's Redevelopment Agency before it could amend Lennar's massive redevelopment plan for Candlestick Point-Hunters Point Shipyard.

If that's not an argument for reforming how this city approaches redevelopment, I don't know what is. Especially since the Board's meeting illustrated only too well how thoroughly Lennar's local executives, who used to work for the city under Mayor Willie Brown,  understand this game and how to outfoxed any resistance to their ongoing effort to eat San Francisco whole. Read more »

Lennar's plan illustrates San Francisco's redevelopment problem


Today, the Board of Supervisors confirmed that though they are elected officials, they have been told that they can't do anything except second a massive redevelopment plan for the Bayview that was developed, first by Mayor Willie Brown and then by Mayor Gavin Newsom's administrations. in cohoots with Lennar, an out-of-state private developer, and approved by a bunch of Brown and Newsom's political appointees.

"At this point, a deal has been done and the Board has been neutralized," Arc Ecology's Saul Bloom said today. "It says a great deal about the process."Read more »