Election 2013: Voters Reject Waterfront Condo Plan

San Francisco voters today rejected two ballot measures that would have allowed a condominium project to be built along the city’s waterfront.

Propositions B and C addressed plans for 8 Washington, a proposed 134-unit condo complex located in the city’s Financial District north of the Ferry Building.

According to unofficial results as of 10:20 p.m., voters rejected Proposition B by a 62 to 38 percent margin, while Proposition C lost with 67 percent of city residents voting no.

The city’s Board of Supervisors last year approved increasing the maximum height allowed for buildings on the lot to make way for the 8 Washington project, but opponents gathered tens of thousands of signatures to put the plans on hold and put a referendum on the ballot in the form of Proposition C.

The project’s supporters put a competing measure on the ballot as Proposition B.

Opponents called the project a “wall on the waterfront” that would make the area inaccessible to the public.

Proponents including Mayor Ed Lee and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said the project would create 30,000 square feet of new public open space on a site that currently has an asphalt lot and a private club blocked off by a 1,735-foot-long fence.

Jon Golinger, a spokesman for the opponents, called the results a “resounding rejection of the Lee administration’s way of doing business on our waterfront.”

Golinger said the project was “rubber-stamped” by city officials but voters were clear that “they didn’t like what they saw.”

David Beltran, a spokesman for 8 Washington’s proponents, was not immediately available to comment on the results.

There were only two other measures on San Francisco’s ballot — 69 percent of voters approved Proposition A, which protects the recently implemented Retiree Health Care Trust Fund from being used by the city for other budgetary needs.

Proposition D, which called on the city to use all available resources to reduce its costs for prescription drugs, also passed with the approval of 80 percent of voters.

All four measures on San Francisco’s ballot needed only majority approval to pass.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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  • Colin

    What a jerk city SF is. That condo development would have been great for the overall ambience of the area.

  • Chris

    Sad people didn’t realize that Boston Properties was one of the largest doners trying to stop the project. You’re ignorant if you think they care at all about blocking off the waterfront, they probably just want to swoop in and get the site themselves.

  • cedichou

    Good. Landlords in San Francisco have 138 fewer units to compete with, and rents and property prices will increase faster (SF builds 1,500 units/year and needs at least 3,000 to keep up with demand. 138 units would fill almost 10% of the yearly missing unit gaps).

    Why do the Stewarts, Boston Properties and SF progressives hate tenants?

  • native

    This land is owned by the city. We the people of San Francisco SHOULD vote on what goes there. We can put a beautiful park there or a scaled back version of condo’s, not the super rich gated community that was planned.

    • phuong

      Isn’t it possible, though, that 138 high priced units would have drawn away the types of people who would pay half a million above asking price on houses in the Haight (http://haighteration.com/2013/11/today-in-depressing-real-estate-news.html) and drive down both demand and the number of people who can afford $3,000/month, thereby reducing rent?

      • native

        Why should the water front be exclusively for the super rich.Your ok with segregation and gated communities on the some of the most beautiful views in the city. I’m not. I also don’t believe that people are going to change their minds. If they want to live in the Haight they are going to buy in the Haight. So I don’t think your theory works.

        • phuong

          Sure, but I don’t think you can speak for everyone who is looking to buy in San Francisco. If a house and a condo were the same price and the buyer values a view more than the neighborhood, they may well choose the waterfront. It’s giving those rich buyers options.

          If I’m standing at Smitten thinking about getting a scoop of super smooth texture mint ice cream, but I prefer the flavor of secret breakfast from Humphrey Slocombe, maybe I’ll go over to Humphrey Slocombe.

          • native

            I was only referencing your comment about the Haight. They can buy a condo on the water front now ,there are thousands of them.What I’m saying is, there is only so much water front.
            This land is owned by the city . It has the potential to be used by many not the few.

          • phuong

            Maybe those people that bought the Haight house didn’t want a waterfront condo that could have been blocked by another condo in the coming years. 😉

          • native

            Should we always get every thing we want ? Only if we can afford it. 🙂