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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  • goodmaab00

    Ignored in the article above, is the issue that when a new owner appeals the developer agreement, we will have a lot of homeless people displaced by the development.

    The ignoring of the towers, transit best routing, impacts environmentally, and the improper hearings, notifications, and ammended documents stink of a backroom deal.

    Sean is playing political hardball, and he stymied an attempt by Avalos to stand up on the issues.

    The developer is playing the game with a rigged deck, and we all will see the results….

    Instead of a 6-5 vote against we have a 6-5 vote for.
    What is obvious now is how Chiu played devils advocate, talking nice to tenants rights groups and advocates but bailing ship when the water’s got rough.

    Perhaps Chiu needs to be reminded by progressives prior to the final vote, why he was elected.

  • goodmaab00

    Ignored in the article above, is the issue that when a new owner appeals the developer agreement, we will have a lot of homeless people displaced by the development.

    The ignoring of the towers, transit best routing, impacts environmentally, and the improper hearings, notifications, and ammended documents stink of a backroom deal.

    Sean is playing political hardball, and he stymied an attempt by Avalos to stand up on the issues.

    The developer is playing the game with a rigged deck, and we all will see the results….

    Instead of a 6-5 vote against we have a 6-5 vote for.
    What is obvious now is how Chiu played devils advocate, talking nice to tenants rights groups and advocates but bailing ship when the water’s got rough.

    Perhaps Chiu needs to be reminded by progressives prior to the final vote, why he was elected.

  • Greg Dewar

    in all the hyseterics about this , no one seems to note one fact almost everyone can agree on – Park Merced as is is a very shitty place to live, and has been for decades.

    For over 20 years I’ve usually known at least a few people who’ve lived there, either in the tower or in the bungalows, and the sad fact is, it’s a horribly overpriced, piece of crap development. even with the “improvements” the current owners have made. Before that, it sucked even worse. There’s several Facebook groups made up of nothing but complaints about repairs and other issues. Fact is, the place is falling apart, is made up of shoddy construction that isn’t going to last much longer, whether this thing is approved or not. I remember friends who lived there while going to State and they always talked about how crappy it was to live there.

    It says a lot when so-called “progressives” who are happy to push feel good measures about the environment and housing, when presented with a chance to build more rental housing vs. pricey pied a tierre condos vote no, all so a few people can continue to live in a car-dependent, falling apart, obsolete development that is a drag on the city. I guess it’s easier to say such things in junk mail than it is to do so.

  • Greg Dewar

    in all the hyseterics about this , no one seems to note one fact almost everyone can agree on – Park Merced as is is a very shitty place to live, and has been for decades.

    For over 20 years I’ve usually known at least a few people who’ve lived there, either in the tower or in the bungalows, and the sad fact is, it’s a horribly overpriced, piece of crap development. even with the “improvements” the current owners have made. Before that, it sucked even worse. There’s several Facebook groups made up of nothing but complaints about repairs and other issues. Fact is, the place is falling apart, is made up of shoddy construction that isn’t going to last much longer, whether this thing is approved or not. I remember friends who lived there while going to State and they always talked about how crappy it was to live there.

    It says a lot when so-called “progressives” who are happy to push feel good measures about the environment and housing, when presented with a chance to build more rental housing vs. pricey pied a tierre condos vote no, all so a few people can continue to live in a car-dependent, falling apart, obsolete development that is a drag on the city. I guess it’s easier to say such things in junk mail than it is to do so.

  • QCas

    In the overall scheme of things, the net benefits of the project outweigh the costs to current rent-controlled residents of Parkmerced, who will still continue to be protected. The plan will will add a net of close to 6,000 new residences to the area. This is something that is absolutely needed in San Francisco where the shortage of affordable housing is notorious.

  • QCas

    In the overall scheme of things, the net benefits of the project outweigh the costs to current rent-controlled residents of Parkmerced, who will still continue to be protected. The plan will will add a net of close to 6,000 new residences to the area. This is something that is absolutely needed in San Francisco where the shortage of affordable housing is notorious.

  • Fixer

    Greg, I saw you also make these comments on your blog, but the fact is, these apartments are not expensive, and they are not crap. The apartment I lived in in the actual city was far more expensive and far shittier (although you didn’t have to deal with MUNI if you worked downtown, so that was good). Moreover, they don’t require the multi-thousand dollar deposit move apartments demand (my deposit here was $350). I live in a non-renovated unit and I seriously don’t get people ripping on the condition of these places. They are fine.

    Do you have kids? A lot of families live out here, and with the way these garden apartments are set up, the kids can play in the middle green areas while the parents can keep an eye on them from their apartments. That is not going to happen in towers. Towers will drive families out.

    Management sucks? How will a new building change that? Garden apartments: the management sucks. New building the management will suck. Everyone complains about apartment management everywhere. Parkmerced just have a greater number of tenants, thus a greater number of complaints. If my former landlord had a yelp page, it would have been burning up with complaints, but there were only six tenants.

    This developer’s “promises” about rent control aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. They will be preempted by state law, and I guarantee, as soon as it becomes an issue, the developer will make sure to use state law to their favor.

    MUNI is suddenly going to improve out here? Transit first? Yeah, if you believe that, I’ve got a shiny golden bridge to sell you.

    The developer wants to build a bunch of towers, and house people like rats in a maze. Whatever, after my lease is up I’m moving back into the city (I needed an apt immediately and for cheap and this place worked), so I’m not really that invested either way.

    But I don’t appreciate this developer pissing on my leg and telling me it’s raining.

  • Fixer

    Greg, I saw you also make these comments on your blog, but the fact is, these apartments are not expensive, and they are not crap. The apartment I lived in in the actual city was far more expensive and far shittier (although you didn’t have to deal with MUNI if you worked downtown, so that was good). Moreover, they don’t require the multi-thousand dollar deposit move apartments demand (my deposit here was $350). I live in a non-renovated unit and I seriously don’t get people ripping on the condition of these places. They are fine.

    Do you have kids? A lot of families live out here, and with the way these garden apartments are set up, the kids can play in the middle green areas while the parents can keep an eye on them from their apartments. That is not going to happen in towers. Towers will drive families out.

    Management sucks? How will a new building change that? Garden apartments: the management sucks. New building the management will suck. Everyone complains about apartment management everywhere. Parkmerced just have a greater number of tenants, thus a greater number of complaints. If my former landlord had a yelp page, it would have been burning up with complaints, but there were only six tenants.

    This developer’s “promises” about rent control aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. They will be preempted by state law, and I guarantee, as soon as it becomes an issue, the developer will make sure to use state law to their favor.

    MUNI is suddenly going to improve out here? Transit first? Yeah, if you believe that, I’ve got a shiny golden bridge to sell you.

    The developer wants to build a bunch of towers, and house people like rats in a maze. Whatever, after my lease is up I’m moving back into the city (I needed an apt immediately and for cheap and this place worked), so I’m not really that invested either way.

    But I don’t appreciate this developer pissing on my leg and telling me it’s raining.

  • Adi

    We really need to have rent control on all rental units, including newly built units.

  • Adi

    We really need to have rent control on all rental units, including newly built units.