Weighing a landlord's promise - Page 3

Parkmerced developer says rent control will be protected under new plan, but tenant advocates voice concerns

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An artist's rendering of the new Parkmerced, with more highrises and fewer garden apartments

Tenant rights activist Calvin Welch, who had not yet seen the latest draft of the development agreement when the Guardian caught up with him, said "we're agnostic" on the rent-control provision until having had a chance to carefully vet the final agreement. Yet he said the tenants were "absolutely right to be concerned," given the recent legal precedent.

Sup. Sean Elsbernd, whose District 7 includes Parkmerced, said he tuned into the hearings though he did not attend. Elsbernd said he would feel comfortable moving forward with the plan as long as he had assurance from the City Attorney's Office that the agreement was enforceable. "I don't want to see that project go forward without certainty," he said.

Christina Olague, vice president of the Planning Commission, acknowledged the strong concerns voiced by residents about the coming changes to the property. "We have to be sensitive to the emotions that we witnessed that day," Olague said. "We have to balance out a lot of different needs."

At the Dec. 16 meeting, more residents made comments echoing the furious opposition expressed on Dec. 9. At the same time, a small contingent of residents who favored the plan turned out to urge commissioners to approve it.

"I have witnessed consistent honesty from one source — the owner of Parkmerced, Rob Rosania," Daniel Phillips, who identified himself as president of the Board of Directors of the Parkmerced Residents' Organization, noted in written comments submitted to commissioners. "As long as I have known Rob Rosania and Stellar Management, they have made promises and kept them."

Yet it was clear that many other tenants were not convinced, and on Dec. 9, several lamented the idea that their homes would be knocked down and their longstanding community impacted by the new development.

Residents who oppose the development recently formed a new residents organization called the Parkmerced Action Coalition. Members of that group are opposed to the wholesale demolition of the 1,500 garden apartments and would rather see them retrofitted and preserved.

"We are living in panic," a woman who had lived in Parkmerced for many years told commissioners. "I am completely opposed to the tear-down of our community."

Comments

what is not included is;

a) the loss of openspace
b) the impacts of SFSU-CSU
c) cummalative impacts on Parkmerced as a single neighborhood by multiple developments.
d) lack of direct addressing of transit funding and major infrastructure.
e) a lack of preservation, and sustainable infill development
f) the lack of addressing of the existing towers that have NOT been structurally retrofitted.
g) use of the mills-act to look seriously at the feasibility of funding.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 21, 2010 @ 11:45 pm

Calvin Welch is a Haight Ashbury homeowner (acquired via eviction of previous tenants) and gets paid as the head of the nonprofit affordable housing developer cartel "Council of Community Housing Organizations."

Tenant rights activist? Puhleeze!

With Brown toadie P.J. Johnston and Calvin Welch in the mix, it is only a matter of time before Welch folds on command for a pittance of subsidy for CCHO's HOs.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Dec. 22, 2010 @ 10:59 am

We're supposed to read your critique of Calvin's bonafides and treat that seriously? You can disagree with his role and strategy, but Calvin has done more - through direct political effort - to protect low income tenants in this city than all of your holier than thou theorizing will ever accomplish.

Posted by yentu on Dec. 22, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

The Tenants Union has shifted billions of dollars from the pockets of landlords into those of tenants over the past 25 years, not the CCHO and Welch.

-marc

Posted by socram on Dec. 22, 2010 @ 1:27 pm

Another important point about the rent control proposal in the Parkmerced deal is that, even if for the sake of argument, we blindly assume the deal is somehow enforceable, the agreement is only with current tenants.

The whole point of rent control in San Francisco is to guarantee -permanent- affordable housing stock.

So even if the current tenants get a decent deal, San Francisco will still be losing over 1500 permanent rent controlled units by the middle of this century.

That loss is unacceptable.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Dec. 22, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

SFSU-CSU bought Stonestown Apartments and UPS blocks (part of Parkmerced) this purchase was a -1,000+ unit loss prior to any future build-out. With the increased TIC, condo-conversion, and owner-move-in efforts, we see steadily the effect in the suburbs of sprawl, and improper expenditure on roads to nowhere. We need adequate investment in infrastructure, build-up along ALL major transit routes, and sincere efforts not to improperly affect one community, without spreading the development into all neighborhoods cummalatively. CEQA is supposed to ensure a balanced approach, what is being presented terms itself "green" but is only green-$-greed, a wolf in sheep's clothing......

Pay attention to the developer agreement, what does a "washer-dryer-dishwasher" in every unit have to do with "sustainability"?

The MOU with SF-State was withuot "teeth" what makes the city think it is serving the public's best interests in these "negotiations" with corporations and financial sharks?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 23, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

For years, the suddenly militant languished doing nothing for themselves or their fellow residents. They in fact defaulted consistently on any commitments they made. This virus called "Parkmerced Action Coalition" is a hate based, poorly researched retaliation for the ills several very unhappy people have decided were caused by Parkmerced Investors, LLC. One former memberm, used her position to get employment through Rob Rosania for her daughter. Another "activist" moved out of Parkmerced when he could not gain a two bedroom townhouse at the same rate as a one bedroom flat. Another "militant" often flees to Humboldt county where she is undertaking her own property development. This list could go on and on, but these people discredit themselves each time they speak. They use fear tactics to gain support from fellow residents, and ignore the materials presented by a world-wide gathering of experts. Many resident comments were considered, but the "coalition" behaved like playground bullies towards anyone who varied in the least from their bigotry.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 21, 2011 @ 5:16 pm

The Jan 21 remarks of 'Guest' are total nonsense. I've been joining in with the residents of Parkmerced to fight this ridiculous, environmentally disastrous, demolition for profit scheme by Fortress investors, for several months now, in my role as an SF Green Party organizer, and personally witnessed over 150 current residents of the Parkmerced community turn out to one hearing to oppose this monstrosity.

They vastly outnumber the tiny faction of residents that has turned out to shill for the developers.

Why don't you name yourself 'Guest', so we can have a real public debate about this with people knowing just whose interest is being served by your deceptions.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Jan. 21, 2011 @ 9:31 pm