Rent control is sticking point in Parkmerced debate

|
(110)

After a marathon debate at the March 29 Board of Supervisors meeting lasting several hours, a vote to certify the environmental impact report (EIR) for the masssive Parkmerced overhaul was pushed back until May 24.

Sup. David Campos raised concerns about the plan, saying the outstanding issue for him was questions surrounding whether a provision of the development agreement guaranteeing preservation of rent control could be enforced. He said he did not feel supervisors could rule on the EIR without having that issue settled. Campos made the motion to continue, which was seconded by Sup. Sean Elsbernd and agreed upon unanimously.

"I have to say that for me, there is still a question that remains that has to do with the potential loss of rent control housing," Campos said. "I understand that there are differences of opinion with respect to that issue, but I am still puzzled as to whether or not we have all the information that needs to be had to make an informed decision here. I think that something as important as this project requires that we have as much information as we can."

Elsbernd, whose District 7 includes Parkmerced, raised concerns about the impact to residents of living in a long-term construction zone, but he said he was convinced that the project could help improve public transit and serve to limit congrestion on the western side of the city. "It's one step backward to get two steps forward," he said of the increase in roughly 6,000 parking spaces that would go along with the project. "The west side is dramatically underserved when it comes to public transit, and it's only going to improve with a project like this."

But Campos, who sparred with Elsbernd at many turns throughout the lengthy discussion, said it was hard to see how traffic along 19th Avenue would improve with the addition of so many more cars. "You're talking about 9,450 parking spaces, plus 1,681 street parking spaces, so the total number is 11,131. ... So I'm trying to understand how such a significant increase will actually help congestion, which is what was said earlier. How's that something that will actually make things better, not worse?"

Comments

So who cares what he has to say about it? But then again David Campos has an opinion on every issue under the sun and he's not at all shy about sharing them, so color me unsurprised.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Mar. 30, 2011 @ 11:24 am

Don't you think the addition of over 11,000 cars on already congested 19th Ave. and the potential loss of thousands of rent controlled apartments are something David Campos and the other supervisors SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT???

Posted by Guest Jerry on Mar. 30, 2011 @ 6:45 pm

NO I DON'T SO STOP YELLING

Posted by Guest on Mar. 30, 2011 @ 7:49 pm

this affect multiple districts.

it affects the balance of housing in the city (this district lost 1,000 units of rental housing already to SFSU-CSU...) but than again they do not live in your home, but maybe you would like to open-your-doors to a few people who need affordable housing, rental housing into your home since you oppose so much the equitable density expression so many people are using...

Posted by goodmaab50 on Mar. 30, 2011 @ 10:54 pm

We all have to live with the loss of rent controlled apartments - a huge number of lost apartments that affect all tenants. And 10,000 more cars on our streets affects all of us, not just District 7 residents.

Of course developers would love it if they only had to negotiate with Sean or Malia or Carmen or Scott or Mark for development projects in Districts 7, 10, 4, 8 and 1 respectively, but thank goodness the city doesn't work that way. The other supervisors are there so that a district supervisor doesn't get always get rolled by a powerful developer pushing a terrible project onto the city.

Posted by Robert on Mar. 30, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

Except for District Six which always gets rolled by poweful developers for terrible projects. Planning drew the lines that divided D6 into planning areas, each of which just happened to be within 150' of Chris Daly's condo.

That meant that almost all of D6 was rezoned over the past five years with the residents being rezoned being excluded from the table.

Eastern Neighborhoods--Planning invited SPUR and HAC to the table but shunned residents. Market/Octavia--Planning kept Hayes Valley charming and upzoned Market Street and Van Ness in D6 sky high.

Whatever developers want, developers get.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Mar. 31, 2011 @ 6:33 am

If Marc had his way, he'd hang a sign on the way into san francisco proclaiming that we are full

Posted by Guest on Mar. 31, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

Marc- I agree with your comments. I have lived on T.I. since 1999. Chris Daly earned my vote because he rode the bus out to T.I. to ask for my vote, and once elected, he fought for the disenfranchised residents of D6 (until he was termed out). The developers and corporate media hated him for it. He was usually right on substance, although his abrasive, passionate style made him an easy target.

Critics have pointed out that the $6B project planned for T.I./ Y.B.I is unwise, but the fix is in. Just like the Ellison/Americas Cup sweetheart deal.

I grew up in New York, which gave us Tammany Hall, but the corruption of SF would make Boss Tweed blush.

I would like to pick your brain sometime for ideas on how to stop that steamroller!

Jeff

Posted by Guest on Mar. 31, 2011 @ 10:25 pm

The Treasure Island debacle now stoppable because of the threats to Redevelopment financing.

If you want to get involved, leave me a message on my FaceBook page at http://www.facebook.com/Brookse32 - leave your email and I'll get you connected.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Mar. 31, 2011 @ 11:25 pm

Jeff, short of an effective tsunami or earthquake dance, the bonds of corruption are so strong at City Hall that it will be difficult to stop TI from moving forward.

I can't imagine that any insurance company would take on such catastrophe exposure, so my belief is that the developers are cooking up entitlements that they'll turn around and sell to the next sucker.

At the BofS Japan fundraiser, I met one of the lead developers for TI, and did my best Hervé Villechaize imitation, "The Plane, The Plane!" He was unable to hide in his facial reaction his subtle acknowledgment of the scam involved.

Maybe if you all got a thousand or so TI residents to march back to SF on the Bay Bridge to a sit in at Jane Kim's office opposing Fantasy Island, you might get some consideration, but that's not anywhere near a slam dunk.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Apr. 01, 2011 @ 6:30 am

The dynamics have changed bigtime on this one.

City staff said at the last hearing that they now need to change the financing structure of TI, such that revenues will be much lower and community benefits might be cut.

The Northbeach neighborhood is already against this, and if financing forces the developers to plan higher towers, Northbeach will likely go ballistic.

And the obvious example of Japan helps greatly as well. After a 9.0 earthquake in Alaska, TI could suffer a ten foot high Tsunami. The developers can't possibly have an evacuation plan that would work in time. Thousands would be in extreme danger.

AND the project EIR actually suggests that they would evacuate people on -ferries- during a tsunami!

These guys are skating on -very- thin ice, and if we push, we can topple over the whole thing.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Apr. 01, 2011 @ 10:03 am

I suppose its a testament to San Francisco that we can support two megalomaniacs like you and Marc. If your writing styles weren't so different, I would swear you were the same person. You're both homeowners who want to reduce housing supply. You both write using "we" as if you represent some big organization of people. You both clearly love the sound of your own voice.

Posted by Joe on Apr. 01, 2011 @ 11:58 am

Joe, do you actually read blogs before you troll on them?

As I stated in a previous post, I'm a renter, and live in a rent controlled apartment.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Apr. 01, 2011 @ 2:11 pm

the outcome of any battle over rent control.

Which dismisses the objectivity of your view as much as it does with Marcos and his condo, which no doubt was at one time a rent-controlled unit.

Posted by TheDoc on Apr. 01, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

What does an objective view have to do with this? I am a local grassroots organizer sticking up for myself and tens of thousands of other people who don't want projects like Parkmerced to go forward because they indeed threaten rent control and housing affordability (and therefore our personal interest), but also because they would demolish and Fillmore-ize beautiful sections of San Francisco. Most importantly, such projects perpetuate the disastrous neo-liberal paradigm of interminably demolishing and rebuilding cities for no other reason but to pump new and massive interest based debt into limply re-inflating a perpetually expiring and ultimately suicidal global capitalist bubble; all in a process that is literally eating the planet and human civilization alive.

I'm an activist, not a New York Times reporter. Objectivity is not, and should not, be my objective.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Apr. 01, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

you speak for more than a few people.

I would really like to know the process there.

I'm always interested in the Pat Robertson/Jerry Fallwell syndrome.

Posted by matlock on Apr. 01, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

Because I coordinate a grassroots organization which has over 4,000 supporters who are regularly updated on the campaigns we initiate, thousands of whom I have spoken to personally about those campaigns; specifically including recent campaigns waged against developers like Lennar and Fortress.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Apr. 01, 2011 @ 4:44 pm

0.05 of one percent of the population of the City?

Which I am sure is probably the 4,000 most left-wing people in the City?

You're right - that's not objective. Nor representative. Nor credible.

Posted by TheDoc on Apr. 01, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

Nyaa.. What's up Doc?

Nice -attempt- at backpedaling, but blatantly feeble...

Posted by Eric Brooks on Apr. 01, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

A legend in his own mind. The kingmaker in his own fantasies.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Apr. 01, 2011 @ 8:55 pm

Honestly, whoever you are. Why would you want to spend your life and energy pointlessly spewing ugly attacks at other people on blogs? It is disgusting.

And it is truly baffling. It really makes the world a considerably less pleasant place to live in. (And that's saying a lot because the world is pretty unpleasant these days already.)

What a profoundly useless waste of human life you are.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Apr. 01, 2011 @ 9:48 pm

They attack us cuz they are scared of us because we are naming their bullshit for what it is.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Apr. 02, 2011 @ 8:00 am

I wonder Eric, if you are supportive of Marc being a homeowner. You have mentioned previously that more homeowners in SF would increase gentrification and perhaps turn the tide of politics in the wrong direction.
Since Marc is a white homeowner in a predominantly renter occupied latino neighborhood, do you consider this more of what you are opposed to?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 02, 2011 @ 8:26 am

Just when did I say that I was opposed to home ownership you cretinous simpleton?

Please search the entire internet. You will find that I have never in my life said such a thing.

What I'm opposed to is demotion of existing homes (whether owned -or- rented) for corporate profit.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Apr. 02, 2011 @ 10:47 am

how do you reconcile the statement "everyone should own a home" with the following:

"Not just by protecting rent control by preventing demolitions, but also by preventing overwhelming the City with too many market rate homes; which thereby disenfranchises the votes and political power of the perpetually diminishing number of residents with lower incomes."

Posted by Guest on Apr. 02, 2011 @ 11:22 am

Note The Words 'Market Rate' In My Comment Idiot

Posted by Eric Brooks on Apr. 02, 2011 @ 11:43 am

and so at this point, not even a slim haiku, is easily read ...

Posted by Eric Brooks on Apr. 02, 2011 @ 11:58 am

"I make -very- little money by choice, and yet can still afford to live in San Francisco.

This is because past leaders wisely realized that it is both wrong (and as Marc points out even economically foolish) to allow the rich to drive people with low incomes out of the City; and so, because of rent control, I get by just fine.

We need to apply that same standard to Parkmerced.

Not just by protecting rent control by preventing demolitions, but also by preventing overwhelming the City with too many market rate homes; which thereby disenfranchises the votes and political power of the perpetually diminishing number of residents with lower incomes.

A result which is very bad for democracy."

Silly me. I took the sentence "by preventing overwhelming the city with too many market rate homes to mean you were opposed to market rate home ownership.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 02, 2011 @ 1:56 pm

We bought a home that had been owner occupied since it was built in 1908, and in the case of our home, it was last occupied by a white woman in her late 80s who sold off to move to an assisted living facility in SoCal where she died a few years ago. Our home ownership did not gentrify, we were evicted as tenants by the City and given tax free cash from the taxpayers to relocate, it was a wash.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Apr. 02, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

@ Guest - 'Market Rate' refers to the -price- of the home, not the ownership itself genius. And the only reason we have to deal with market rate prices to begin with, is that we currently outrageously allow corporations to legally behave like persons, and to own property, making individual people pay to live on it.

Corporations shouldn't be allowed to own property at all. If we were to abolish such corporate ownership, home prices would likely plummet and almost everyone would therefore be able to afford to buy a personal home.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Apr. 02, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

That is some mighty fine kool aid you are drinking there. If corporations didnt own homes, almost everyone would be able to afford to buy a home.

This is possibly the stupidest thing I have ever read on this site.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 02, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

Instead of just calling it stupid, why don't you try to explain to us why it isn't workable. But of course you won't be able to, because you don't know what you are talking about.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Apr. 02, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

You say that if the practice of corporations owning real estate were to stop then everyone would be able to own a home.
Speaking specifically about san francisco - how would this work.
So corporations stop being able to own - and what magically happens that makes everyone able to own?
Suddenly there is endless supply of cheap housing for everyone in sf?
doesn't make sense at all.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 03, 2011 @ 6:22 am

Very simple. After corporate ownership is abolished, all housing property is transferred to the people living in the individual units and the empty units are transferred to the City which holds them in trust until new owners move in.

Sufficient taxes are placed on the personal ownership, so that housing can be kept repaired, new housing can be built, and people who cannot make an independent living can be housed as well.

Since no profit is involved, the cost of all this would be lower to individual homeowners than paying current bloated market rate prices and rents.

This stuff is not rocket science, it has just been brainwashed out of our heads by capitalists who want to perpetuate their outrageous scam of owning land and making the rest of us pay them to use it and live on it, while they do -nothing-.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Apr. 03, 2011 @ 10:29 am

So your definition of corporate ownership is anyone who is currently a landlord.
Who would manage the entire properties? Who would build new units? What you are basically advocating is to turn every housing unit into a tic. Though even those are managed. At any rate, what you describe is beyond fantasy, even within the most leftist anti corporate bubble in the us.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 03, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

Libertarian capitalism is beyond fantasy, as is the notion that libertarian capitalists will promote "limited government." Defending property rights is a full time job and those without property must be taxed so that the property of those who have can be protected.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Apr. 03, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

What does an objective view have to do with this? I am a local grassroots organizer sticking up for myself and tens of thousands of other people who don't want projects like Parkmerced to go forward because they indeed threaten rent control and housing affordability (and therefore our personal interest), but also because they would demolish and Fillmore-ize beautiful sections of San Francisco. Most importantly, such projects perpetuate the disastrous neo-liberal paradigm of interminably demolishing and rebuilding cities for no other reason but to pump new and massive interest based debt into limply re-inflating a perpetually expiring and ultimately suicidal global capitalist bubble; all in a process that is literally eating the planet and human civilization alive.

I'm an activist, not a New York Times reporter. Objectivity is not, and should not, be my objective.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Apr. 01, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

So we should stop building then? Fundamentally you feel like San Francisco should be a static city.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 01, 2011 @ 4:22 pm

So the measure of the dynamism of a city is the amount of new construction it entitles? I'd hate to hear your definition of 'vibrant.'

-marc

Posted by marcos on Apr. 01, 2011 @ 4:32 pm

Definitely.

It is imperative that the world's cities switch to sustainable permaculture, and end demolition/reconstruction toward unsustainable exponential growth.

The latter is destroying us, and the planetary biosphere.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Apr. 01, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

hold your horses there joe: I understand why you would want to compare marcs and eric brooks, but there are huge differences.

For example, from my SFBG posting research, Marcs view on development stems from the problem the city just rolls over for developers and developments that are approved have every little, if any, contribution to the city in terms of economic development beyond construction jobs. He also seem to believe that non-profits exist to pacify the public and are, in a whole, unnecessary as they also insert themselves into city politics in order to be relevant and continue to build the non-profit industry.

Eric Brooks, on the other hand, aside from being an idiot with a mullet, "works" for a non-profit (with the 4,000 "members" that I've never seen at meeting, protests...just Erick Brooks) and constantly insists, through SFBG postings and his attendance at campaigns meetings, on his relevance. He is all out anti-developer.

Also, I think Marcs post stuff to get a rise out of people and Eric Brooks post stuff, well, because we are his captive audience and who else is going to listen to him? The 4,000 "members" that he "represents"?

Posted by Eric Brooks is an Idiot on Jun. 09, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

Troll Alert! 'there is definitely a difference' is empty attack.

Posted by vigilante on Jun. 09, 2011 @ 8:46 pm

so do what I as a progressive say.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 31, 2011 @ 9:20 am

There is no loss of rent controlled housing - despite the bleatings of the NIMBY sheep in this town. I find it fantastically absurd that a group San Francisco tomorrow opposes the rebuilding of park merced - a design straight out of the 40's.

Who cares about green, or ADA or more efficient use of space - we dont want no stinking change in san francisco. EVER!

Posted by Bob on Mar. 30, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

Actually, every expert that has been asked about this project, including those who support it, has said that rent control for those units cannot be legally guaranteed. Period.

And the project is in fact -less- green than the existing neighborhood because:

1) It would wastefully demolish and rebuild, instead of deploying vastly more environmentally beneficial and carbon reducing retrofitting.

2) It would result in a third less open space per person than the current neighborhood.

3) Since it would demolish and rebuild so much housing, and the entire landscape itself, the project would result in a massive unnecessary initial release of greenhouse gas emissions, making greenhouse gasses -higher- for the entire life of the project; with a potential lowering of net emissions from the landscape and units themselves only after 30 years, at best.

4) However, because the project would employ ridiculously archaic one-space-per-unit parking instead of being highly transit oriented, its net greenhouse gas emissions would actually -never- be lower in real life and instead would permanently increase. This could be avoided by building a different project much closer to a -real- transit hub, with little or no added parking, on space that is empty of an existing neighborhood.

And extensive retrofitting and carbon sequestering permaculture food gardening at Parkmerced itself could be employed to -truly- reduce the City's carbon footprint.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Mar. 30, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

The same thing was said about Trinity plaza - how about asking all those relocated people how they like their high rise views on rent stabilized prices?

1)The less green because it demolishes existing units is a much overused straw man. By that same logic, any green building undertaken in SF is less green than what existed before it on the same site. The fact that this planned development increases the density of units makes it green enough to offshoot the destruction of existing units.
2)It is official planning commission policy that people should not have an expectation of open space staying as is in perpetuity in an intensely urban environment.
3)this doesnt even make sense.... The greenhouse gases that are released in the demolition will make the greenhouse gases higher for the life of the project? For the next 65 years ? Um, thats some messy math...
4)where the hell does this mythical closer to a real transit hub space that is empty land exist? It doesnt. Another straw man

People here are so violently opposed to change. It is amazing.

Posted by GT on Mar. 30, 2011 @ 1:41 pm

"The fact that this planned development increases the density of units makes it green enough to offshoot the destruction of existing units."

This smells like you pulled it out of your ass. Do you have any evidence supporting this claim or are we to give away entitlements only to find out down the road that this is not the case?

"The greenhouse gases that are released in the demolition will make the greenhouse gases higher for the life of the project? For the next 65 years ? Um, thats some messy math..."

More out of ass stank. You want be to buy this debacle. Show me the numbers of a full lifecycle carbon analysis that comes up net negative. Otherwise, you're talking out your ass.

"where the hell does this mythical closer to a real transit hub space that is empty land exist? It doesnt. Another straw man"

From SFSU, the time to Civic Center plaza via the M Oceanview is 30 min + 4 from Civic Center to Montgomery = 34min. To Balboa Park Station, 20 min via the M Oceanview + 12 = 32 min. Now that you've gotten yourself to downtown San Francisco, perhaps you're the fraction that works within walking distance to the Market Street stations. Lucky you. If you work in SOMA, you'll add another transfer and 15 min each way. If you work along the BART line east or south, you've got another 30 min of travel. If you work where the jobs are, in the far south bay and east bay inner ring suburbs, then you're looking at more than 2hr each way.

Yes, Parkmerced is near transit, but is is very far timewise from work most sites and very close to a freeway.

-marc

Posted by marcos on Mar. 30, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

Say we have an existing 50 acre parcel which has a density of 10 people per acre.
Say we rework the parcel to add more housing, increasing the density to 50 people per acre.
Can you explain to me how from a green perspective of making adequate use of existing land - how in terms of green land use - the existing project can be considered greener?

At any rate, you dont have numbers either so we are both "stank"

Posted by Joe on Mar. 30, 2011 @ 2:41 pm

We are not saying that density shouldn't be increased. We are saying it should be less intense and should not employ greenhouse gas spiking demolition and reconstruction.

And the numbers we are talking about, are in the Planning Department reports themselves, which show increased greenhouse gasses in at least the first 24 years of the project.

See

http://www.sf-planning.org/ftp/files/publications_reports/parkmerced/PM_...

page 32.

Though the dates are not included on that graph, the greenhouse gas profile does not improve for new buildings compared to old until 2036.

But more importantly, this analysis does not even -include- landscape emissions and massive increased parking triggered emissions, which Planning staff purposely left out because they knew that it would make the graph look even worse; and show perpetual -increases- in emissions.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Mar. 30, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

the issue is infill vs. demolition....

if you take out the parking structures, build townhomes, 2-3 stories there.

redo/replace the existing towers +10 stories

densify on the sold-off blocks, but keep some for open-space for the increased density.

develop at stonestown and along existing lines, through transferring development rights to other parcels adjacent but in the district (immenent domain of some single story buildings on major blvds. like taraval, west portal, ocean ave. etc..)

and you can build above grade-seperated transit...

that means a BIG BIG BIG Poject, on less demo'd landscape and open-space...
you protect the land by thinking both within and outside of the box...

you utilize concepts and create solutions...
you do not give up on how to build a better stacking system....

joe, you need to go learn about conceptual design in architecture....

Posted by goodmaab50 on Mar. 30, 2011 @ 11:04 pm