Housing for the rich moves forward -- fast


A proposal to build the most expensive condos in San Francisco history will come before the Board of Supervisors May 15 -- and then before the Port Commission May 16, and then before the Board's Finance Committee May 16, a jumble of hearings and votes that may make it more difficult for critics to be heard.

The 8 Washington project will be one of the most critical votes the board will face in 2012 and will make a lasting statement about the city's housing policy. And it's on an odd fast track.

At the board's May 15 meeting, the supervisors will consider an appeal to the certification of the project's environmental impact report, and will vote on approving the conditional use authorization for the building complex. If either of those is rejected -- that is, if project sponsor Simon Snellgrove can't line up six votes to approve the EIR and the CU -- then the whole thing goes down in flames. The project would still exist in theory, but in practice it would be another two years before it could come back again.

If both of those approvals get through, then the actual development agreement and the financial documents for the project come before the Port Commission the next day -- May 16 -- at a highly unusual special hearing set for 9am. That's a tough time to get people to come out and speak against a project, but the Port says it's necessary, and here's why:

One hour later, at 10am, the board's Budget and Finance Committee will consider the same thing. And the Port wants this to get through Budget and Finance before that panel is entirely consumed with the next city budget.

So there will be two nearly simultaneous hearings, both at City Hall, on the same topic, early in the morning. A little difficult for people who want to testify at both. What if the Port hearing goes on until, say, 11:30 or noon (there have been plenty of three-hour hearings on contentious land-use issues in this city)? What if the Budget Committee starts discussion on the item before the Port is through with it?

Brad Benson, the Port's special projects director, told me that his agency was "in touch with the chair of the Budget Committee. We get the point that people can't be in two places at the same time." 

But still, it all seems awfully rushed -- particularly since, according to project opponent Sue Hestor, the state Lands Commission also has to sign off on this, and that won't happen until July.






Even if it is for the people you hate.

Posted by Guest on May. 09, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

which supervisors are the sponsors of the proposal, tim? who should be contacted on the board about this? some names are needed.

Posted by MPetrelis on May. 09, 2012 @ 4:31 pm

One could call them all and they will still vote as they had planned to vote before you made the call. They don't care what you or I think.

It reminds me of those who say, "we need to push the Democrats to the left." [naive] For the past 12 years people have been "pushing the Democrats to the left" with protests, faxes, sit-ins, arrests, letters, phone calls, e-mails, petitions, forums, meetings (you-name-it) and in the meanwhile the Democrats have moved farther to the right, not the left. Because they don't care what you or I think. They don't work for us, they just pretend to hoping easily-duped people will still vote for them and send them dinero.

In this election year, at the national level I see that one corporatist, pro-war politician who shall remain unnamed has *supposedly* changed his view on one particular issue solely to buy votes (his timing could not be more blatantly obvious), and some of the media are gushing over him with applause. It's a sickening display to watch. What gullible people!

Posted by Guest on May. 09, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

decisions of a politician elected by a majority. It's often a small activist coterie who make all the noise but that doesn't mean the silent majority want the same thing. Generally they do not.

We need more housing, period.

Posted by Anonymous on May. 10, 2012 @ 5:39 am

"It's often a small activist coterie who make all the noise"

Millions worldwide rally for peace
Huge turnout at 600 marches from Berlin to Baghdad

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2012 @ 1:01 pm

The vast majority of people do not endlessly whine, nor do they have the time to hang out all day at city meetings. A small noisy minority may attract some headlines but in the end, they cannot be allowed to influence politicians - we have elections for that.

I encourage our politicians to vote their values - the values their voters told them they wanted to see. And most of us want more housing in the city, at all levels of affordibility. Every new housing units helps just a little - hate and discrimination against successful people never helps.

Posted by Anonymous on May. 10, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

"The vast majority of people do not endlessly whine..."

But whining is your main occupation. That's all I see you doing on here is whining, while you accuse others of whining. Do you ever look inward, or are you too busy whining?

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2012 @ 6:28 pm

It's fighting irrelevance.

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2012 @ 6:56 pm

Glad you signed on to defeat this, I had heard there would be some potential sites within the proposal to fly a flag and was worried you might miss out on a chance to comment.

Question for everyone else sharpening their pitchforks over the loss of a fenced off private tennis and swimming club:

Why is it ok that the game is so massively stacked against development in this town?
Even in this article, Tim is complaining that people wont have enough time to relay how this project will personally ruin their lives.

Sue Hestor, like Bruce Brugman, has made a pretty substantial living toeing the Telegraph hill dwellers "build nothing anywhere near anything" party line. You people should be aware of who you are in bed with

Posted by greg on May. 09, 2012 @ 5:19 pm

I'm still waiting for the headline that tells us about how the former owners of the SF Bay Guardian have sold their building to a non-profit that will develop affordable housing. (Which, of course, will be sold significantly below market value so as to make the project economically viable.)

Posted by Progressive Lost on May. 09, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

BANANA - Build ANything ANywhere Always.

Posted by marcos on May. 10, 2012 @ 5:43 am

It is creating housing where there currently is none. Yes it is for high income people, but given the location, is anyone really surprised? The construction job will create jobs, the project and homes will increase our tax base, the people living there or just visiting there will spend money here in the city.

Is the objection just that the condos are high end?

Posted by Dnative on May. 10, 2012 @ 7:22 am

If you picture yourself as a KKK member and there was a development in your home town that would provide housing for people of color you would be against it regardless of any other circumstances.

That is basically the Redmond mindset. The fact that the land is currently used for surface parking and a walled off private tennis club is irrelevant. The project would help 'them'. In this case the 'them' is rich people but it is the same concept of racial and class hatred.

Posted by Troll on May. 10, 2012 @ 7:44 am

But if he opposes housing for the successful, it's somehow OK?

Some some prejudices and discriminatory practices are good and some are not?

Posted by Anonymous on May. 10, 2012 @ 8:33 am

Poor, poor oppressed rich people, their plight is as bad as, no, worse than the descendants of slaves and subjects of racism.

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2012 @ 8:49 am

on stereotypes about members of different races and classes?

How enlightened of you? Why so much hate?

Posted by Anonymous on May. 10, 2012 @ 10:00 am

There is nothing wrong with discrimination unless it is driven with economic power. Building luxury condos discriminates against the 99% who needs housing. That is hatred.

Discriminating against those with power is not wrong, it is intelligence.

Posted by marcos on May. 10, 2012 @ 10:48 am

oh, wonderful, wonderful teachings. Tell us how we should live, oh Great one!!!!

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2012 @ 12:02 pm

His brain should be preserved for science.

Posted by Anonymous on May. 10, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

So If I'm a poor farmer who needs a roomate, and I wont rent to another poor black man because I dont like black people, there is nothing wrong with that?

This is probably the stupidest thing I have ever seen you type Marcos, and thats saying something.

Posted by greg on May. 10, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

>Discriminating against those with power is not wrong, it is intelligence.

Right on, and about time.

Listen, I got nothing against rich people. Some of my good friends have money. But why can't they stay in their own neighborhoods, with their own kind? Just stay on your own side of the fence, richies, and we won't have any problems.

Posted by Steroidal Progressive on May. 10, 2012 @ 12:20 pm

Tim is following a well-trodden path.

Posted by Anonymous on May. 10, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

SO the developers of 8 Washington are going to make their products available to a wide range of economically situated families or are they going to socially engineer a segregated, gated community only open to people with lots of money?

Sounds like a sunset town to me.

Posted by marcos on May. 10, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

Unless you think that making anything that somebody somewhere can't afford is an example of social engineering as well as hate.

Everything you buy has a price and not everyone can afford everything. When was there a time or place where that wasn't true?

But if the city bans all new housing for a class of people, then that is prejudice and discrimination.

Posted by Anonymous on May. 10, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

I'm more interested in your comment that some kinds of discrimination are ok.
Care to clarify that zinger?

Posted by greg on May. 10, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

People discriminate all the time and it is not problematic. We all have preferences that drive our choices.

Discrimination is only wrong when economic power prevents people without economic power from having access to opportunities.

In the case of 8 Washington, it is a purely business transaction. Developers bought the government and they are using their political property to enhance the value of their real estate.

There is nothing wrong with discriminating against all of that.

Posted by marcos on May. 10, 2012 @ 1:43 pm

Most racism exists in poor southern states, not in affluent northern and western states. Your idea that discrimination has anything to do with money is wide of the mark.

You are entitled to oppose any development. But if the city were to adopt a policy that banned any housing that targeted a particular class of people, then that would be discriminatory.

Banning all new build housing except for the poor is social engineering of the very worst kind. Luckily for the rest of us, the city has no such discriminatory policies and these homes will get built. NIMBY's should not prevail.

Posted by Anonymous on May. 10, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

discrimination against an economic class of people if you were to explain your belief that in fact there should be no "for profit" construction of housing in SF.

And also your belief that only sub-market housing should be built.

And that you believe that such social engineering policies would be justified if the city adopted them, which fortunately they do not.

And that your political views would be considered left-wing even in Eastern Europe.

Posted by Anonymous on May. 10, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

Many of the people living there may be over 40, and would have a hard time finding a place in youth centric, hip, up and coming neighborhoods, where I've heard age discrimination is fairly common. Try searching craigslist for rooms in the Mission, and note how many requests for "under 30" or "under 40"s you see? San Franciscans as a whole really do try to be uniquely sensitive to injustice in any form they see it in, and try to promote fairness in every aspect of civic life, and while it can make us the object of national punchlines, it's also one of our city's great strengths. Perhaps next, San Franciscans should look into this less publicized, but seemingly common and accepted form of discrimination.

Posted by myklValentine on May. 10, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

and "diversity" excluded any class of person. If we deny housing to those who are white, over 40 and affluent, how can be claim to be diverse?

Posted by Anonymous on May. 10, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

What's next, now I have to like pistachio ice cream, I can't discriminate against it?

Posted by marcos on May. 10, 2012 @ 1:13 pm
Posted by Anonymous on May. 10, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit: racial and religious intolerance and discrimination.

Reductio ad Absurdum

Posted by greg on May. 10, 2012 @ 1:43 pm

the willingness to stereotype classes of people. We frown on those who claim that "blacks are lazy or criminal" and yet somehow Tim and Marcos invite us to stereotype those with money as evil and undesirable, and hope we won't notice that that is really exactly the same type of thinking.

I personally find it sad that so much of mainstream progressive thinking relies on stereotyping, categorisation and hate. Liberal thinking and politics promised so much and yet became mired in divisive class warfare.

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

I think you deserve the benefit of the doubt of assuming you didn't actually mean that.
Lots of the anti-immigrant hysteria in our country comes from regular, working class folks without much "economic power" to speak of, who don't want to compete with people who are willing to work harder for less. Meanwhile, Silicon Valley's 1% are sponsoring work visas so people can cross the pacific and enjoy the opportunities that America offers.
Most of the KKK's foot soldiers have been piss poor, and while many would argue they were incited by the upper class, most of the actual cross burning was NOT done by the 1%. To say that the poor southern working class was manipulated by the big bad seductive rhetoric of the time is a tacit nod to the belief that the poor lack initiative or intellect.
Do you think that the hicks who killed Mathew Shepard were "driven with economic power"? They were almost certainly members of "the 99%". Were they manipulated by balding middle aged capitalists smoking cigars like the ones in Tom Tomorrow's cartoon?

When somebody puts a good or service on the market that I cannot afford, I suppose that is technically "discrimination", but not hatred.
Hatred is an ugly thing. Not everybody can afford everything.
To equivocate the two statements siphons meaning from the true horror of the word hatred.

Posted by myklValentine on May. 10, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

then almost everything that is made is "hateful". Is making a Mercedes car a hate act against me because I can't afford a Mercedes?

If I can only afford a burger, is it "hate" if there is a sushi joint next door to me?

Marcos has gone off the deep end here. Tim held the gun and Marcos pulled the trigger.

Posted by Anonymous on May. 10, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

Sometimes, Marcos, you really outdo yourself when it comes to inane remakrs.

Posted by Anonymous on May. 10, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

losers and failures, presumably because that makes him feel better. So that makes his politics very simple:

rich = bad; poor = good
private - bad; public = good

See how easy it is?

Posted by Anonymous on May. 10, 2012 @ 8:29 am

Critics of development projects like these are often full-time activists who don't have regular jobs and who therefore can easily fritter hours away at City Hall.

It's the ordinary Joe who works a day job that can't attend these meetings. Which is why so many of these meetings are crammed with activists and almost no ordinary folks.

The meetings at City Hall that I have watched on CCTV, and occasionally in person, have been mostly populated by the kind of people i almost never meet in the usual day-to-day. Political meetings attract activists and not ordinary people. They give a totally false picture of SF residents and voters, which is why I encourage the Supes to ignore all this whinery. And approve a project that most residents can see will benefit everyone.

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2012 @ 5:54 pm