Supes Reject Mission Development Moratorium

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors rejected a proposed moratorium on market-rate housing development in the city’s Mission District late Tuesday night.

The vote on whether to put in place a 45-day development moratorium in the neighborhood was taken just before midnight, with seven votes in favor of the moratorium, and four against it. The interim emergency measure needed the approval of nine supervisors to pass.

Supervisor David Campos, who represents the Mission District, took to Twitter early this morning shortly after the vote and thanked his colleagues who voted in favor of the moratorium, despite the overall defeat.

The four opposing votes were cast by Supervisors Julie Christensen, Mark Farrell, Katy Tang and Scott Wiener.

The moratorium, if passed, would have halted residential development in the Mission District and would have potentially provided the community time to come up with a plan to buy and develop the remaining 13 parcels of land that have been identified by the board’s Budget and Legislative Analyst as feasible locations for affordable housing.

The Board of Supervisors meeting, which began as scheduled at 2 p.m. Tuesday, saw a large crowd of moratorium supporters, many of whom are artists and Hispanic residents for which the Mission District is known.

The moratorium supporters filled the board chambers, as well as two overflow rooms and the hallways outside the chambers. Supporters remained at City Hall past midnight.

A group of opponents to the moratorium who chanted and rallied ahead of the board’s vote gathered to express their disagreement with the plan earlier Tuesday.

Among them was Supervisor Farrell, who represents the Marina District and Pacific Heights, among other neighborhoods in the northern part of San Francisco, and said the moratorium would “only cause housing prices to rise.”

Because the city is in the midst of a housing crisis, it needs to produce more housing at all income levels, not less, Farrell said.

He said there is no guarantee that the 13 properties proposed for affordable housing will be sold to the city at a reasonable price and said that there is no clear funding source for those developments.

Supervisor Jane Kim, who represents the Tenderloin and South of Market neighborhoods and who voted in favor of the moratorium, said the real issue is not the moratorium, but about crafting a plan where San Franciscans can afford to live in the city.

Kim introduced the Public Waterfront Height Increase ballot initiative at Tuesday’s meeting in response to a recent proposal by the San Francisco Giants.

With 60 percent of San Franciscans qualifying for affordable housing, Kim said the Giants’ plan doesn’t do enough to create affordable housing for residents, yet proposes to use city subsidies to develop taxpayer-owned sites.

Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News

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