September 13, 2011
Appealing The "Unappealing" Neighbors To Be At Scott And Lombard
Special Use District or not, the conversion of the Edward II Inn at 3151-3155 Scott Street from tourist hotel to group housing for transitional 18 to 24 year olds requires Conditional Use Authorization.
While the Authorization for the aforementioned conversion was approved by the Planning Commission in July, this afternoon San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors will hear an appeal filed by the Cow Hollow Association and joined by the Marina Community Association, Marina Merchants Association, Marina Cow Hollow Neighbors and Merchants and Union Street Merchants Association seeking to overturn the approval.
The basis of the appeal ranges from a perceived failure "to consider correspondence and public comment from neighborhood residents and community organizations in opposition," to a lack of sufficient kitchen facilities for its proposed use, to a failure to protect the building’s "historic façade."
∙ Conditional Use Appeal: 3151-3155 Scott Street [sfbos.org]
∙ The Cow Hollow Association Might Say Both Are For The Birds... [SocketSite]
∙ Support For Supportive Housing...Just Not Here [SocketSite]
First Published: September 13, 2011 1:00 PM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
Translation: Bigoted yuppies in the Marina don't want "those" people moving into the neighborhood. Here's hoping the haters lose at every step of the way.
Posted by: GoBlueInSF at September 13, 2011 1:36 PM
I don't care what neighborhood you're in, $1100/sqft for "affordable" housing is stupid. That's a higher cost than market-rate housing even for relatively prime housing. Why is that?
We really need to ask ourselves why we are wasting this kind of money on some of the most expensive real estate on this side of the country when more people could be helped for less money.
Posted by: sfrenegade at September 13, 2011 3:23 PM
what is a "transitional" youth? Is 24 still a "youth"? Why not 25? Is the transition complete by 25?
And where do they transition to at that point? The shelter down the street?
I think I saw a couple of those at the BART "protest" - they looked like they were grazing 50.
Posted by: wrath at September 13, 2011 3:30 PM
I hope it not only gets approved but sets a precedent for every street corner in the Marina and Cow Hollow to become halfway housing! bwahahah
Posted by: sf at September 13, 2011 3:31 PM
sf: why do you hope that?
do you, like Yasser Arafat, never sleep in the same bed?
Posted by: wrath at September 13, 2011 3:41 PM
Settle down, wrath. Transition in eduspeak means the period between high school and 22 years old, when children without parents or families are no longer the state's responsibility. The transition is from having parents or social workers looking after them by providing cash & housing to being on their own.
Posted by: steve at September 13, 2011 3:49 PM
Why should the taxpayers have to foot this outrageous bill when there are so many other better ways to spend this money? We have hardworking middle class families who CONTRIBUTE to the city fleeing because there's not enough teachers in the public schools, but we're spending over $1,000 psf so adults who used to be in foster care can live in the Marina? Makes no sense at all, especially when all we hear is how "broke" the city is.
Whether or not you personally want to live in the Marina or Cow Hollow, they're nice neighborhoods. I wouldn't want to see this project built in South Beach or Noe Valley or similar neighborhoods either. At least not as the project stands now. Currently, all it's going to do is devalue property in the area and be a safety concern to the residents who live there or go out in that neighborhood.
We're not talking about 10 year old kids. Many of these foster ADULTS have already been in trouble with the law and have a history of drug abuse and/or other criminal activities. The way this project is currently structured does not account for any supervision or oversight and is basically a disaster waiting to happen.
I have a hard time believing that all of the people who cry "NIMBY" wouldn't be doing the same if this project moved next door to their house!
Posted by: Gigi at September 13, 2011 4:11 PM
Well put, Gigi
Posted by: gh at September 13, 2011 4:23 PM
I have lived in the Marina for the last 4-years and love that it is clean, safe and close to the water. Why would any nice neighborhood want a "transition" center? For any non-Marina resident would you like to have this next door? As it is, Lombard St is already a blight between Cow Hollow and Marina.
Posted by: SF at September 13, 2011 4:29 PM
I agree that the price for this is too high. But where do you put these folks? Even crummy neighborhoods don't want them. Is it better to put them in gang-infested areas rife with drugs? Better for whom? Better for you maybe. Just because the neighborhood is wealthy doesn't mean it can (or should) be insulated from the rest of the world. If you really want a gated community, there are plenty around. Move there.
Posted by: steve at September 13, 2011 4:38 PM
The best thing is to not build specific housing for this. Publicly built housing has a horrible track record of exorbitant costs and low quality of life for the residents.
For example, when section 8 tenants live in the same building as non-section 8 (meaning a privately owned property) things tend to work out much better than when the building is all section 8, or even worse, government owned & operated.
The idea of putting a bunch of people who are already marginalized into a specific property all together is foolish. It's like putting a bulls eye on property and people stating that they are different. It's far better for them and society that they be integrated with the general population than all shoved together into one space, similar to how section 8 works where they receive subsidized housing costs.
I don't live anywhere near there, and happen to live around the corner from a similar place, which doesn't seem to be a problem for my neighborhood, so I think some of the concerns are a bit overblown. I do think the cost is outrageous, there's just no way it should be more expensive than high end luxury housing.
Posted by: lyqwyd at September 13, 2011 5:21 PM
I love reading all this ignorant opinions about affordable housing being spouted off as facts, in the vein of "everybody knows these kids are just DRUG DEALING CRIMINALS!" I'm surprised no one complained about the "illegals" yet.
One can also see where the rubber meets the road when it comes to privileged Marina residents OUTRAGE over the idea that orphans (that's what these kids are - ORPHANS) who have spent a life in bouncing around our disfunctional foster care system should be provided a modest helping hand into adulthood. I'd like to see how well these yuppies kids would do when no spoiled rotten with private schoos, fancy cars, credit cards, allowances and the like.
As for those who ask "would YOU be willing to live next to this kind of housing?" Sure would - I personally have lived in two different affluent nabes with this kind of affordable housing next door. Never had a single problem.
Posted by: GoBlueInSF at September 13, 2011 6:13 PM
excellent - concentrating them in one place is likely to improve President Perry's success rate in "Operation Clean Up America" - let's hope they are moved in before 2012.
Posted by: wrath at September 13, 2011 6:33 PM
Jeez, this thread has some disgusting comments. Is this Moraga?
Posted by: EH at September 13, 2011 7:27 PM
I live right around the corner from this building and I personally don't have a problem with this project or it's residents. Social programs such as these should be the responsibility of ALL San francisco residents, regardless of ones neighborhood affluence.
With that, I think there is some merit to the argument that questions the logic of spending nearly $1100 PSF on this project. At that price point, isn't there a more constructive way to spend that money? Seems like an awful lot to me.
Posted by: Fishchum at September 13, 2011 8:01 PM
Why would any nice neighborhood want a "transition" center?
So the failed, drug-addicted children of upper middle-class families from the 'burbs can have neighbors much like their parents...
Posted by: BobN at September 13, 2011 9:57 PM
Why not take this "transitional" housing and place it in a district full of their own kind (30-something adolescents/hipster/trustfundees)? You know, like "Hayes Valley"? No wait, it's easier to bash the Marina instead. Never mind.
Posted by: khaaaaaan at September 14, 2011 1:03 AM
Well well well. So all of us who live in Cow Hollow and the Marina are spoiled wealthy yuppies. Not I, nor most of my neighbors and friends. Many of us have been hear many years--some were born here--so quit with the characterization of the neighborhood. Am I thrilled at this use of property for transitional use? No. No more than I was thrilled at using motels on Lombard for people on parole. I am less thrilled at the idiotic comments on this thread. So now back to my coffee and the crossword.
Posted by: Oceangoer at September 14, 2011 8:56 AM
EH: according to Forbes' latest survey, Moragaand Manhattan Beach have the best public schools in California. Now, that's some "disgusting" you could have used in your own education, e.g., it would have helped you understand what "disgusting" really means.
Posted by: wrath at September 14, 2011 9:05 AM
You guys worried about property values are a hoot. The Marina got hit by the bubble collapse-in-progress like everywhere else. Everywhere but the Mission, where they have real gang members shooting each other on the streets in front of the police station, and alcoholics on every corner.
These gang members- and alcoholics-to-be are going to save your property values. Honestly. If the city doesn't approve this, you neighbors should bus them in. Property values will skyrocket.
Posted by: tipster at September 14, 2011 9:20 AM
wrath: so you agree that the residents of this building should go somewhere else with "their own kind?"
Posted by: EH at September 14, 2011 9:40 AM
At the risk of repeating much of what's been said, the Marina-bashing is kind of a yawn. Especially when one takes into account that this part of the Marina/Cow Hollow is not really that nice. The Lombard Street motels have already brought in a heavy collection of sketchballs and creepers.
I really feel like a good number of people on here claiming the Marina is some gated, untouched world of wealthy white folk really haven't actually been to the Marina in years.
Back to the primary question - is this the best use of funds to help transitional use? The dollar figures suggest it's not.
Posted by: Longtime Lurker at September 14, 2011 9:42 AM
EH: no, as I said above - they should just stay put where they are..... and when, one night, President Perry's clean up crews come, they should just perk up and follow instructions. Leave some cash on the dresser for clean up costs too
Posted by: wrath at September 14, 2011 9:57 AM
Hey guess what? 20 Somethings, in generally, like to socialize and drink and paaaarty wether they are 'transistional' or not. One needs only attend Bay to Breakers to see it in all it's glory.
That being said I agree that 1100psf seems very steep. Additionally, I would also say that good access to public transit should also be a priority for any transitional housing (although I relealize the city only has some many options when it comes to purchasing potential sites). The residents are unlikely to have access to a car so public transit access for the residents is going to be critical for their potential employment.
How well connected to Muni and BART is this location?
Posted by: badlydrawnbear at September 14, 2011 10:26 AM
While it's fun to point out that people who don't have "transitional" housing should go live in Moraga (typical provincial SF attitude), can we actually discuss the real issue -- that this project is ridiculously stupid at this price point?
I realize that there's a contingent of SFers who feel incredibly strongly that low income housing should be a part of San Francisco, but I still question quite strongly the lack of wisdom in placing economically unfeasible low income housing in such an expensive city. Do we really need more special interests and entitlements when we can't get everything in order as is?
Posted by: sfrenegade at September 14, 2011 12:08 PM
GoBlueinSF - I think that YOU are the one who is ignorant about the project.
According to what has been laid out in the project "at-risk young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 who are transitioning out of foster care, alcohol/drug abuse, juvenile delinquency, neglect and homelessness" will be housed there.
Furthermore, "the Loan Agreement specifically identifies this TAY Sub-population as "Mixed", which does NOT limit the residents to "Former Foster Youth", they are in fact ANY 18-24 year old young adult who is considered to be at-risk."
As I said above, these are not kids, they are adult - some of them not even former foster kids, and many of them have criminal/drug abuse histories.
Posted by: Gigi at September 14, 2011 12:12 PM
For all you professing "oh, I support this kind of housing - my objection is just that this project is too expensive" - we are NOT that stupid. The rest of us don't buy your arguments for a second - you aren't convincing anyone that the motivation for your opposition is its costs, rather than your true motivation - that you are NIMBYs and don't do your fair share in society - you want to stick someone else with it, preferably far away, in some other city, like Fresno, so you don't have to live next to "those" people.
To borrow from a commenter on an earlier article on this project: "Your arguments are pathetic and make you look insensitive, morally corrupt and manipulative. We're really not as stupid as you think we are."
Posted by: GoBlueInSF at September 14, 2011 2:18 PM
@ GoBlue -
I don't live in the area, don't ever really go out to the Marina, and have issues in my own neighborhood to worry about.
I just don't see the logic behind a $1100 psf project.. that's like Millennium Tower Grand Residence prices. Not sure how that makes me "morally corrupt and manipulative", lol. I just want some clear answer.
Posted by: Longtime Lurker at September 14, 2011 3:03 PM
Get the government involved and projects like this end up costing $1,100/sf. What a joke. Larger SROs can be bought and refurbished (by private investors usually) and master-leased to the City at about 30% of this figure. And we wonder why America is broke.
Oh and everyone in the Marina are crazy neo-nimby, paranoid, white, bigoted, amoral extremists whose spoiled children ruff up homeless people using their Mercedes SUVs.
Ahh, just had to get that in.
Posted by: gh at September 14, 2011 3:56 PM
Government involvement does make costs go up, but mostly because they tend to have far stricter requirements beyond code. I have friends in the non-profit affordable housing world and they need to meet dozens of mandates for handicapped accessibility, environmental performance, local and union hire that yout average for-profit developer does not have to deal with. All of these things are good, and I'm OK with using our money to lead the market, rather take the low cost (and often low quality) bids. Assuming building costs are the same regardless of where it is built in the city, the only variable cost of building this in the Marina is for the land. Not sure whether how much that factors into the total cost. And the City is putting "those people" in "other" parts of the City - see the link for as for putting these in "other" parts of the City - the Planning Commission approve a similar building right near City College - http://www.socketsite.com/archives/2010/08/unsupportive_of_proposed_supportive_housings_parking_pl.html
Posted by: katdip at September 14, 2011 5:07 PM
"you aren't convincing anyone that the motivation for your opposition is its costs, rather than your true motivation - that you are NIMBYs"
what are you talking about?
I think we're pretty upfront - but in case you are confused - we don't want those "people" living in that area - now or ever (and by ever I mean, not in this or any other universe, ever, at all, anywhere)
Also I think you should have to live in the Marina/Cow Hollow to get in - or have a pass - like for staff/firemen or guests (but not guests of staff/firemen);
Posted by: wrath at September 14, 2011 5:09 PM
"I have friends in the non-profit affordable housing world"
disgusting, I stopped reading right after that sentence;
Posted by: wrath at September 14, 2011 5:11 PM
seriously though folks - "those" people sound pretty bad - just judging by the palpable tension on the board here.
everyone stay safe tonight - lock up - hope to see you tomorrow
Posted by: wrath at September 14, 2011 5:26 PM
Reminds me of when everyone in Pacific Heights and the Marina was "sure" that the Presidio would be covered with affordable housing and the problem of homeless encampments would explode once the Army left. Same kind of tone unfortunately...
Posted by: 94123 Native at September 14, 2011 6:19 PM
> Government involvement does make costs go up,
> but mostly because they tend to have far
> stricter requirements beyond code. I have
> friends in the non-profit affordable housing
> world and they need to meet dozens of mandates
> for handicapped accessibility, environmental
> performance, local and union hire that your
> average for-profit developer does not have
> to deal with.
I also have friends that work in the "non-profit housing world" and the main reason that cost are higher is that everyone that gets in on the deal gets to charge a lot of money, but has to kick back even more money to the politicians than the "for-profit" developers (who still pay a ton of money to politicians)...
Posted by: FormerAptBroker at September 14, 2011 9:16 PM
One thing that makes the cost of development go up is endless appeals by neighbors and project opponents.
Posted by: ilivehere at September 15, 2011 8:42 AM
@FormerAptBroker - That's a complete fabrication and borderline libel. I've worked in the City's nonprofit affordable housing sector and there are no kickback schemes you are alleging as commonplace. If you've got evidence to the contrary - show it. Otherwise, you are just lying.
As noted above, public funds for affordable housing are considered public works dollars. And that means paying prevailing wage. That means having to meet local & low income resident hire requirements (which translates into having to hire low skilled, less efficient labor). That means meeting green building/environmental sustainability requirements in excess of code. That means increased disabled accessibility requirements. And it means having to include all sorts of social goal bells & whistles to just get through the approval process - not counting endless NIMBY delays.
Posted by: ChinaNob at September 15, 2011 9:55 AM
I'm not sure you can libel the government. In any event, you can't libel someone whose reputation is already so sullied.
on the other hand, saying that someone - this particular individual - has "fabricated" something(implying some level of malicious scheming intent) and libeled (also implying some level of intent) something is libel (not borderline) - for all you know FormerAptBroker just randomly says stupid things.
Posted by: wrath at September 15, 2011 11:13 AM
How do you "libel" an anonymous poster?
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at September 15, 2011 10:11 PM
Wow, wrath and FormerApt - what's up with the hate? It's "disgusting" that I have friends that seek to improve conditions for poor people rather than lining their own pockets? Believe me, none of them are getting rich by going through the miles of red tape and public processes for getting affordable housing built. Same can't be said for the for-profit industry - realtors, developers, "expediters", financiers, etc. Is that really what you think of all non-profit types (saps and fools?) or just those involved in affordable housing? Either way, you clearly don't know anything about those kinds of people and the work they do, or you wouldn't be so blithe about smearing them.
Back to the thread - can anyone speak to the land costs for this project vs. doing it elsewhere? I honestly don't think this is a great location because it's not really near anything like jobs or schools, except for low-level service jobs on Union St or Lombard Streets. How is the transit connection to downtown?
Posted by: katdip at September 16, 2011 10:29 AM
Chestnut has the 30x to downtown - 20 min door to door. Lombard has the 28, 43, 76, 91. None of it is speedy to get anywhere else. There's jobs located in the Presidio, but they are all skilled white collar jobs requiring a college degree (LucasArts, etc). As for schools, Marina Middle is 6 minutes by bus but the nearest high school is a 30 minute commute. No colleges nearby like SF State or City College (both 30 min away). The Marina Safeway is nearby and Lombard has a few affordable restaurants left (Homeplate used to make amazing biscuits).
Whether transitional youth will feel comfortable in a neighborhood comprised of mostly bars and restaurants catering to people who make 200k plus a year is another story - I would imagine it would be pretty alienating.
Posted by: 94123 Native at September 16, 2011 12:22 PM
"It's "disgusting" that I have friends that seek to improve conditions for poor people rather than lining their own pockets?"
yes, I have to wash myself everytime I see something like this
Posted by: wrath at September 16, 2011 4:49 PM
"for all you know FormerAptBroker just randomly says stupid things"
salt grain --- > take
Posted by: [anon.ed] at September 17, 2011 7:03 AM
Actually, as an employer, they will have a VERY EASY time finding jobs from that location. The bars, restaurants, motels and retail that are all over that area likely use bartenders, clerks and the like from far away. The fact that they live right there makes them more dependable and more desirable than just about anyone else.
Yes, if they aren't out of high school or want to go straight to college, they won't locate here. But if they want to go into the working world, which of course, many people do, there will be plenty of options for them right there (Lucas needs technicians, assistants, secretaries, an the like) and they will be seen as more desirable because they live in the area. That would be a big plus for me, speaking as an employer.
There will be such a big demand for them, I doubt they'll have TIME to get into much trouble, though some of them clearly will.
Posted by: tipster at September 17, 2011 8:58 AM