March 23, 2012

Planning Approves 8 Washington Street Development As Proposed

San Francisco’s Planning commission has approved the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed 8 Washington development and voted in favor of increasing spot height limits, from 84 feet up to 136 feet, and permitting the subsequent shadows that would be cast over Sue Bierman Park in order for the project to be constructed as proposed.

8 Washinton Proposed Height

Next up for the four to twelve story development that would yield 145 dwelling units, 20,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, 400 off-street parking spaces, and a new health club: San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors and the Port Commission.

8 Washinton Revised Rendering: North

And then, of course, will come the lawsuits and appeals.

8 Washington: Special Meeting And Votes To Approve This Week [SocketSite]
Tennis Anyone? No Longer At 8 Washington As Now Proposed... [SocketSite]
8 Washington: A Chance To Hear And Be Heard This Afternoon [SocketSite]
SWL 351 And The Proposed 8 Washington Street Project: Port Hearing [SocketSite]

First Published: March 23, 2012 9:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Does anyone know why this project wasn't foreclosed by the city's "ban" on structures more than 40 feet in height that would cast a shadow on a public park?

Posted by: observantneighbor at March 23, 2012 10:14 AM

Because nothing is absolute:

"Planning Code Section 295 mandates that new structures above 40 feet in height that would cast additional shadows on properties under the jurisdiction of, or designated to be acquired by the Recreation and Parks Department can only be approved by the Planning Commission if the shadow is determined to be insignificant or not adverse to the use of the park."

In this case, common sense prevailed.

Posted by: mike at March 23, 2012 10:34 AM

Relax. Shadows always keep moving.

Posted by: futurist at March 23, 2012 10:57 AM

As discussed ad infinitum in the EIR and at the hearing, the shadow on the park is a tiny fraction of 1% between 6:45 am and 7 am and between 6:15 pm and 6:30 pm, a few days a year, clearly de minimus. The building is, after all, on the north side of the park. It does point out how poorly the shadow ordinance is conceived. While protecting sunlight on public places is a fine objective, this measure was written by an attorney with no understanding of geometry, architecture or light physics. It causes an inordinate amount of expensive technical studies and uncertainty created by public hand-wringing, in cases like this when there are no impacts. It needs to be rewritten.

Posted by: Jim at March 23, 2012 12:10 PM

Jim,
You are underestimating the attorney's capabilities! (smile)

I believe the shadow ordinance was expressly written to cause inordinate amount of expensive technical studies, hand-wringing, and to block future growth.

Glad to see the 8 Washington Street project moving forward.

Posted by: Jackson at March 23, 2012 12:55 PM

Because Sue Bierman Park didn't exist in its current state when Prop K was passed, it wasn't listed as a park with shadow limits. As the EIR said, usually at least half of the park is shaded anyway.
The same logic will apply to the soon to be built park atop the transbay terminal.

Posted by: Jeremy at March 23, 2012 2:38 PM

Please sign this petition.

This club is what gives the few thousand residents of the Financial District and the Barbary Coast their only place to undress in public...

http://www.change.org/petitions/supervisor-and-board-president-stop-the-8-washington-street-condominium-project

Posted by: Theo at May 1, 2012 8:43 PM

^Holy hell, some entitled wackos at that link. No way in hell am I signing something to preserve a parking lot on prime waterfront land. No. way. in. hell.

Posted by: anon at May 1, 2012 11:23 PM

One less parking lot.

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at May 1, 2012 11:44 PM

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