Anniversary Issue: First, do no harm - Page 2

A sustainable land use plan is about what we don't allow as well as what we do

Because you are building housing for folks who work in a place that is not connected to San Francisco by public transit."

Welch says the city also needs to invest more in transit infrastructure.

Pointing to Market-Octavia and the Eastern Neighborhoods, Welch notes that while the City Planning Department is calling for increased density there, Muni is proposing service cuts.

"This is beyond bizarre," Welch said. "It will result in dramatic increases in density in areas that are poorly served by transit. That's the dumbest kind of growth."

Welch says sustainable land use has local employment opportunities at its heart.

Noting that 70 percent of residents worked in San Francisco 20 years ago, Welch says that only a little over 50 percent of local jobs are held by San Franciscans today.

"Most local jobs are held by people who live outside San Francisco, and most San Franciscans have to go elsewhere to find work. It's environmentally catastrophic."

<\!s> Protect endangered communities

Earlier this year, members of a mayoral task force reported that San Francisco is losing its black population faster than any other large US city. That decline will continue, the task force warned, unless immediate steps are taken.

Ironically, the task force's findings weren't made public until after voters green-lighted Lennar's plan to develop 10,000 (predominantly luxury) units in Bayview-Hunters Point, one of the last African American communities in town.

San Francisco Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Fred Blackwell has since recommended expanding his agency's certificate of preference program to give people displaced by redevelopment access to all of the city's affordable housing programs, an idea that the Board of Supervisors gave its initial nod to in early October. But that's just a Band-Aid.

And community leader and Nation of Islam Minister Christopher Muhammad has suggested creating "endangered community zones" — places where residents are protected from displacement — in Bayview-Hunters Point and the Western Addition.

"It's revolutionary, but doable," Muhammad said at the out-migration task force hearing.

<\!s> Don't build car-oriented developments

BART director and Livable City executive Tom Radulovich predicts a silver lining in the current economic crisis: "The city will probably lose Lennar."

He's talking about two million square feet of office space and 6,000 square feet of retail space that Lennar Corp., the financially troubled developer, is proposing in Southeast San Francisco.

"We should not be building an automobile-oriented office park in the Bayview," Radulovich said. "Well-meaning folks in the Planning Department are saying we need walkable cities, but Michael Cohen in the Mayor's Office is planning an Orange County-style sprawl that will undo any good we do elsewhere. This is the Jekyll and Hyde of city planning."

<\!s> Buy housing

Ted Gullicksen at the San Francisco Tenants Union says that since land in San Francisco only increases in value, the city should buy up apartment buildings and turn them into co-ops and land-trust housing.

"The city should try to get as much housing off-market as possible, grab it now, while it's coming up for sale, especially foreclosed properties," Gullicksen said. "That's way quicker than trying to build, which takes years.