SF Democratic Party opposes developers’ 8 Washington initiative

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Bienvenidos a Miami.

On Wed/14, members of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee voted 14-6 to oppose Proposition B, a San Francisco ballot measure backed by the developers of a luxury waterfront development project, 8 Washington. Ten DCCC members abstained, while two voted “no endorsement.” Prop. B seeks voter approval for the waterfront development, which has become a flashpoint in San Francisco politics.

The 134-unit condominium complex, which will offer units in the $5 million range, already won approval from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors last June. But 8 Washington developers launched the Prop. B initiative in response to Prop. C, a referendum backed by oppositional campaign “No Wall on the Waterfront.” In May, the DCCC made an early endorsement against Prop. C, essentially siding with project opponents in declaring opposition to 8 Washington.

It’s easy to get Props. B and C confused. The campaign against 8 Washington is called “No Wall on the Waterfront,” while the developer-backed campaign favoring construction has been dubbed “Open up the Waterfront.” From opponents’ perspective, it almost doesn’t matter if voters bother to sort out which is which. Now with the support of the DCCC, they are urging a “no” vote on each.

Last week we told you about a campaign video produced by 8 Washington developers that had attracted some controversy. Here’s a campaign video produced by 8 Washington opponents, featuring former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos. The pitch makes sound like the San Francisco waterfront will morph into Miami Beach if 8 Washington moves forward. You have to admit it’s a stretch.

Comments

to illustrate this project - ridiculous and hyperbolic.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Aug. 15, 2013 @ 1:24 pm

why was my reply removed?

Posted by CitiReport on Aug. 15, 2013 @ 4:30 pm

With regard to Mr. Kelly's remarks, the developer could actually build a code-compliant 84-foot high box over the entire site. The rules allow it. Since all agree that would not be terribly attractive, it was modified. It's 136-feet high only on a small part of the site at the rear along Drumm Street. It tapers down to 65-ft along the Embarcadero and to a ground level park at the north. The idea that the whole project is 136 feet tall is a silly fabrication. Simply looking at the drawings would confirm this. These heights apply to this site and nowhere else.

The sensible changes to the design to make it fit gracefully on the waterfront were the product of numerous public community meetings and workshops. It has been approved by EVERY public decision-making body it appeared before. Alas, some folks didn't like the outcome of SF's sclerotic "democratic process" and have found a new avenue to appeal. Their reasons for opposing it are political, however.

It really has a LOT to do with a VERY wealthy couple who live 50 yds from the site, whose views would be impacted and who have the spare cash to fund a campaign to kill the project. This somehow has cleverly morphed into a narrative about sticking it to the "1 percent."

Posted by Guest on Aug. 15, 2013 @ 6:36 pm

There are a number of senior citizens and groups of 2 to 3 students to an apartment that live at The Gateway. It is a rent controlled building. I know a senior citizen that has lived there for many, many years and only pay $720/month. So The Gateway offers a variety of prices for different financial needs. The new 8 Washington Project won't do that.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 7:55 pm

economic classes. And 8-Wash will generate 11 million for BMR untis anyway, which will be lost if it doesn't go ahead.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 03, 2013 @ 6:38 am

But hey:
Is it somehow impossible to build an attractive code-compliant and profitable 84-foot high building? Are these developers and architects that incompetent?

Of course not.
They thought they could get away with building higher and making more money.
And they might be very wrong about that.

Posted by Tony Kelly on Aug. 15, 2013 @ 6:47 pm

You mean to tell me that if someone was to place a big tower in your backyard or front-yard you would not do whatever is deemed needed to oppose it?

It seems the planning department is too far down the road with SPUR and Private Developer interests to be able to differentiate a good base concept with a bad one.

Sadly we have lots of "stool-pidgeons" on the panels and boards that approve rubber stamp style these types of projects. Treasure Island, BVHP, Parkmerced, 8 Washington, and many transit, and major projects without thinking of the publics best interests.

We see the dollars being suggested as "affordable" housing but if you build 7000+ market rate units, and only 100 regular or bmr, or rental or affordable units per the current ratios, you are kidding yourself if you state that this makes a big benefit in anyones pockets besides the developer and real estate interests.

Posted by goodmaab50 on Aug. 15, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

Building high-end units reduces prices for low-end units.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 19, 2013 @ 11:42 am

of homes at all level. Otherwise those same buyers would be pushing up the prices of existing housing stock.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 19, 2013 @ 2:10 pm

That's true about supply and pricing.

The SFBG fairy tale is that wealthy people are going to move here only because of 8 Washington, In other words, there are Russian billionaires wanting to buy a place in San Francisco but are totally uninterested in the Millennium Tower or Nob Hill penthouses or any other high end option.

No 8 Washington? Then nyet to San Francisco.

I know...makes no sense...but you don't come here to read stuff that makes sense. At least your shouldn't anyway.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 19, 2013 @ 2:38 pm

It's also that we create lots of wealthy people here, and it makes sense to provide a housing migration path for them as they become more successful - that way they leave their more modest homes, which then become available to mid-earners.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 19, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

So, Mr. Kelly, you're saying you'd support a project that had an 84-ft height along its frontage on the Embarcadero?? That's a generous concession, but wouldn't that be the wall you claim to oppose? The proposed heights taper from 65 feet to a ground level park. You'd prefer the 84 feet?? Sorry, but I'm confused!!

Posted by Guest on Aug. 15, 2013 @ 10:02 pm
Posted by Tony Kelly on Aug. 15, 2013 @ 10:41 pm

In the video Agnos brings up affordable housing and he says 'Wrong! They are building $5 million condos'.

Um, Art, what about the $11 million dollars?

He knows very well that there is an $11 million in lieu fee for affordable housing and that it could be multiplied through matching funds. Don't bring up affordable housing if you don't want to mention the benefit that this project would bring.

Art Agnos is an honest man? Wrong!

Posted by Troll on Aug. 15, 2013 @ 11:32 pm

The only thing which sucks more than Art Agnos as Mayor is Art Agnos as busybody rent a activist. Go away!

Posted by Greg on Aug. 16, 2013 @ 7:27 am

The personal attacks on this thread continue to make participation here an exercise in futility.

Posted by CitiReport on Aug. 16, 2013 @ 7:46 am

Give it up, imps and trolls. When even Mary Jung's conserva-Dem DCCC can't muster up the votes to support this monstrosity, you know it's finished. I think the Chamber has seen the writing on the (proverbial) wall.

Posted by Greg on Aug. 16, 2013 @ 7:59 am

But yes, if you want less funds for affordable housing and more wealthy people displacing poorer people in SOMA and the Mission, then vote against this out of some misguided sense of envy and class warfare.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 16, 2013 @ 9:01 am

why do we have to admit what is countercurrent common sense? Of course the WALL metaphor is instructive.

But to a quiescent philistine such as yourself it's so easy to grossly oversimplify, or grossly understate a situation that you can almost be forgiven.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 17, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

have you been drinking out of the same bottle as matlock?

hmmm....

i take that back

matlock makes more sense

and that's hard to do....

Posted by racer x on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 9:31 pm

that's hard to do for matlock.... ;)

Posted by racer x on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 9:58 pm

I started out ambivalent regarding B & C that will be on this November's San Francisco ballot. However, after watching the video that the 8 Washington Project produced and the robocall I received inviting me to join a conference call about Ordinance B and adding more parks to SF, I've changed my mind. Their lies have made me care.

The 8 Washington Project (aka Ordinance B) goes under the guise of "Open up the waterfront." However, the only public space will be the northern-most corner of the property. That space will house a cafe and a few other retail stores. There won't be much space left for a public park. One of their renderings shows a lot of green space in the center of the property. That will actually be a swim and fitness club with no grassy area.

The project's proponents don't point out all of the open public space that already exists. There are three green park spaces that surround the property; the large park just off of Justin Herman Plaza (that includes a new children's park) and two parks just one block west of the property. Plus, there is the large public walkway on the east side of the Embarcadero with no stop lights or cross walks. In addition, there is the lovely waterfront promenade that was created when the piers were renovated. There are park benches and hanging potted plants along this promenade.

Their video also states that it will add "needed" restaurants. I guess they don't consider La Mar, Coquette, Plant, The Waterfront, Slanted Door, One Market, Boulevard, the Americano and all of the other restaurants and bars in the Ferry Building and that surround the Embarcadero 4 area enough restaurants for people to choose from.

Certainly a parking lot can be an eye sore. But it a necessity in this part of the city. Street parking is limited to an hour and you have to move your car to a new area once the hour is up or get a large sum on a parking ticket. Why not focus on getting the owners of the lot and the tennis and swim club to add a great deal of greenery/trees/shrubs around the land they occupy? This seems like a better option to me. Instead they are going to build two large and tall (they will higher than the freeway that ran above the same area) condominium buildings to "beautify" the area.

If the proponents of Ordinance B did not take the sneaky, lie-filled approach to getting public approval for the fairly large height limit increase they received from SF Planning, then I may not have noticed. But I noticed.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 8:01 pm

I started out ambivalent regarding B & C that will be on this November's San Francisco ballot. However, after watching the video that the 8 Washington Project produced and the robocall I received inviting me to join a conference call about Ordinance B and adding more parks to SF, I've changed my mind. Their lies have made me care.

The 8 Washington Project (aka Ordinance B) goes under the guise of "Open up the waterfront." However, the only public space will be the northern-most corner of the property. That space will house a cafe and a few other retail stores. There won't be much space left for a public park. One of their renderings shows a lot of green space in the center of the property. That will actually be a swim and fitness club with no grassy area.

The project's proponents don't point out all of the open public space that already exists. There are three green park spaces that surround the property; the large park just off of Justin Herman Plaza (that includes a new children's park) and two parks just one block west of the property. Plus, there is the large public walkway on the east side of the Embarcadero with no stop lights or cross walks. In addition, there is the lovely waterfront promenade that was created when the piers were renovated. There are park benches and hanging potted plants along this promenade.

Their video also states that it will add "needed" restaurants. I guess they don't consider La Mar, Coquette, Plant, The Waterfront, Slanted Door, One Market, Boulevard, the Americano and all of the other restaurants and bars in the Ferry Building and that surround the Embarcadero 4 area enough restaurants for people to choose from.

Certainly a parking lot can be an eye sore. But it a necessity in this part of the city. Street parking is limited to an hour and you have to move your car to a new area once the hour is up or get a large sum on a parking ticket. Why not focus on getting the owners of the lot and the tennis and swim club to add a great deal of greenery/trees/shrubs around the land they occupy? This seems like a better option to me. Instead they are going to build two large and tall (they will higher than the freeway that ran above the same area) condominium buildings to "beautify" the area.

If the proponents of Ordinance B did not take the sneaky, lie-filled approach to getting public approval for the fairly large height limit increase they received from SF Planning, then I may not have noticed. But I noticed.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

Unless the law was changed when I wasn't paying attention, matching funds for low income housing can be applied anywhere they're needed (not necessarily the neavaux riche waterfront). Another question these "DINO" (Democrats in Name Only) pols might ask is "What do you get when you build housing for Republicans?" And wouldn't that be a wonderful thing for all our citizens to enjoy?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 08, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

okay guys, so why is it important not to have 8 washington breaks down to this:

1. Its not miami, its San Francisco! Don't try to make San Francisco "MIAMI" theres a reason why its called San Francisco
2. the people who builds the giant buildings dont give a fuck about people, scenery, and affordable housing! They want to exploit your money and land! they want to make sure when the earthquake hits that those people who lives in the tall buildings all freaking get barried inside like the 911's! they DONT CARE about YOU or your SAFETY what so ever!

I'm not californian, I don't even live in downtown! But I support on NO to 8 Washington because I care! I care the development about San Francisco and I want to see people bringing back the marshland was here originally instead of building more shit on it!

Please, for those of you who do not support this, you better off move to miami!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 23, 2013 @ 8:43 pm

okay guys, so why is it important not to have 8 washington breaks down to this:

1. Its not miami, its San Francisco! Don't try to make San Francisco "MIAMI" theres a reason why its called San Francisco

2. the people who builds the giant buildings dont give a fuck about people, scenery, and affordable housing! They want to exploit your money and land! they want to make sure when the earthquake hits that those people who lives in the tall buildings all freaking get barried inside like the 911's! they DONT CARE about YOU or your SAFETY what so ever!

I'm not californian, I don't even live in downtown! But I support on NO to 8 Washington because I care! I care the development about San Francisco and I want to see people bringing back the marshland was here originally instead of building more shit on it!

Please, for those of you who do not support this, you better off move to miami!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 23, 2013 @ 8:45 pm

The way it's being shilled by Mayors Newsom and Lee: a public park is being built which coincidentally contains housing. And Newsom and Lee want the public to beleive that somehow this is also affordable housing for the middle class.

What it is: a ritzy development--at $5 milion dollars sales prize per unit-- with minimal park space and no guarantee that the park space is going to be open to the public.

That plus the increased height suggests this is another special interest looking to con the public.

Posted by StevenTorrey on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

Under your idea, there will be none.

Posted by racer x on Oct. 24, 2013 @ 1:24 pm

in a very large bucket of need

and in any case is *required* by development law in san francisco - any such development would have to provide that level of affordable housing

so the question is only, is it a good idea to build this stupid wall on the waterfront in the first place, or should we build a better project somewhere else that is also required by law to provide that level of affordable housing?

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