Campus crush - Page 2

SF State has ambitious expansion plans — and its neighbors aren't exactly thrilled

The university notes in a preliminary environmental review document that "the bulk of the University's parking needs is met through the multistory parking garage east of Maloney Field" and therefore it won't be adding any additional parking spots to accommodate 5,000 more students. Parkmerced tenants maintain their parking situation is already a nightmare, thanks to students snatching up spots in their community.
"If you think that you're going to confine the garbage, the noise, the disruption to all the residents by keeping everyone along Holloway, you're wrong," Michelle Miller, a resident of Parkmerced and the head of a local organization called Neighborhood Watch, said at the Oct. 24 meeting. "They filter out. They all want cars. If you keep your parking flat, that's not going to work."
University spokesperson Ellen Griffin told the Guardian that SFSU is interested in fostering a "collegial relationship" with Parkmerced tenants and the university will be taking their complaints seriously. University officials met with Parkmerced tenants Nov. 9 to discuss some of their objections. According to Parkmerced Residents’ Organization board member Arne Larson, the university said it would consider moving graduate students and professors to Holloway instead of pursuing the campus street idea.
Of course, SFSU doesn't have to do any of that. As a state entity, the university has the authority to create and adopt its own plans without involving the San Francisco Planning Department.
The university is preparing an environmental impact report — but no matter what the document says, the project can move forward without city review or approval.
Sarah Dennis, a senior planner with the Planning Department, told us her agency is concerned with the project on two counts: first, the campus street proposal threatens to drain 945 units from the city's already vulnerable rental housing stock; and second, the overarching plan endangers the basic historic and cultural resources of the city. The Villas Parkmerced is one of only four urban master plan communities in the country.
"We're hoping that they'll follow the good-neighbor policy and that we'll have the opportunity to get involved," Dennis said. "But again, that's all up to them."
District 7 supervisor Sean Elsbernd said that he too is concerned with the SFSU master plan.
"At this point [the university is] at least recognizing this is going to have a massive impact," Elsbernd told the Guardian, referring to the SFSU environmental impact report that is under way. "But we can guess what's going to be in that EIR when it's finally published: 'Oh look, they say there won't be much of an impact.' That's when the real fight happens." SFBG

Also from this author

  • Concierges on the cheap

    SF hotels outsource tourist services to the tour bus companies, unbeknownst to their guests

  • Mining metadata

    Supervisors OK the release of information buried beneath public documents

  • Shades of green

    The West Coast Green conference highlights San Francisco for its leadership — and shortcomings — in environmentally sensitive building