ParkMerced.jpgThe San Francisco Board of Supervisors narrowly gave initial approval today to a plan to add thousands of apartments and demolish others at the Parkmerced complex near San Francisco State University.

The board voted 6-5 in favor of certifying the environmental review of the project at the large complex at 19th and Holloway avenues, where developers are looking to expand by adding about 5,700 new residential units and replacing about 1,800 units in the next two to three decades.

Discussion between supervisors on the project was interrupted by two women who said they were residents and yelled angrily in opposition to the plan.

The plan has drawn strong opposition from residents who say it will displace and inconvenience them and create traffic gridlock.

While sheriff’s deputies were removing the women from board chambers, one flailed wildly at a deputy while cursing out the supervisors.

She was taken out of City Hall and released without being arrested or cited, sheriff’s spokeswoman Eileen Hirst said.

Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, who represents District 7, the southwest part of the city that contains Parkmerced, said he was “solidly behind this project.”

He said he was confident that amendments to the agreement proposed by Board President David Chiu at a committee meeting earlier today would help protect the rights of Parkmerced tenants.

Chiu’s proposals, made at a special meeting of the board’s Land Use and Economic Development committee, included allowing residents to petition for compensation for construction impacts or a loss of patio open space, and imposing penalties on the developer if rent control provisions are not honored.

The supervisors who voted against the plan were David Campos, Ross Mirkarimi, John Avalos, Jane Kim and Eric Mar.

Campos said although the developer and other supporters have done as much as possible to assuage residents’ concerns–Elsbernd estimated there have been more than 200 meetings on the issue–“there are times when going as far as possible is simply not enough.”

The San Francisco Planning Commission had approved the final environmental impact report on the project in February, but the next month it was appealed by opponents.

Supervisors delayed their vote on certifying the plan while considering the appeal.

The board’s vote today gives initial approval to the plan, which will come in front of the supervisors again in two weeks for final approval. There is no board meeting next week.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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