January 3, 2013

The Plan For The Parcel At The Corner Of Market And Sanchez

2198%20Market%20Street%20Site.jpg

The Site: 2198 Market Street, the triangular shaped lot at the corner of Market and Sanchez Streets which was once a Shell gas station, was rezoned as part of the Market and Octavia Area Plan, and most recently served as a Delaney Street Christmas tree lot.

The Plan: As proposed, a mixed-use building with a height of 65 feet along Market Street and a town house-style structure with a height of 45 feet along Sanchez will rise on the site with a private courtyard at the center of the lot. The project would contain 85 dwelling units, 36 below grade off-street parking spaces, 87 bicycle spaces and 4,745 gross square-feet of ground floor retail space along the Market Street frontage.

Planning’s preliminary response to a proposed 22 foot wide garage door on Sanchez Street: "Please reduce the width of the garage door to no more than 12 feet." Planning also recommends a reduction in the parking footprint by employing stackers.

If approved, the development would also yield 11 new street trees along Sanchez Street.

Market-Octavia Plan And Requisite Rezoning Approved By The Board [SocketSite]

First Published: January 3, 2013 9:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Looks like a good fit for this parcel. I guess planning requested a reduction in the curb cut width to preserve parking along Sanchez. Also nice to see more retail along Market.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at January 3, 2013 10:18 AM

Excellent project and great location for housing and retail. Let's get it built quickly.

Nimby's back off!

Posted by: futurist at January 3, 2013 10:45 AM

Nice project. For once, a height that actually makes sense.

Posted by: anon at January 3, 2013 10:56 AM

I haven't seen it, but I already hate it. It doesn't look like what I would have done and I'm not going to provide any help in making it better. I hate change and have memories of buying gas and christmas trees here and my memories don't cast shadows. Please, save the vacant wasted spaces of SF... think of our children.

Posted by: nimby at January 3, 2013 11:22 AM

any renderings of the design?

Posted by: Steve at January 3, 2013 12:20 PM

Just wait for the outcries to start. I'm sure they're coming. You know, the people whining about Starbucks coming in the opposite corner, they'll try to stop this too.

Posted by: Dustin at January 3, 2013 12:40 PM

Hopefully they propose to lease the retail space to Trader Joes so that the nimby whinning can reach a fevered pitch.

Posted by: Rillion at January 3, 2013 1:07 PM

The best part of having most of your amenities in the neighborhood is having less reliance on a car. I'm all for having Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, et al. move in...and I live way out in the Sunset where I have to drive for everything.

Posted by: Mark at January 3, 2013 1:12 PM

The retail space is too small for a TJs. Too bad!

Posted by: Dan at January 3, 2013 1:22 PM

Yea, I too am waiting for the whining and complaining and meddling to begin. Any minute now.

This is a good project in a great location, and let's get it built asap.

BTY: I am also in support (not joking) IF Starbucks chooses to move into that crazy little corner across the street. Let the free market system work openly.

Starbucks provides a lot of people with part time employment, if they choose, and gives them full health care.

Posted by: futurist at January 3, 2013 1:54 PM

I hate stackers, but better than no parking at all.

Posted by: wtf at January 3, 2013 2:38 PM

There has been relatively little fuss about the development of all the other street corners along upper market (I do say RELATIVELY), so I do not expect a lot of fuss here. Something will be built.

Posted by: curmudgeon at January 3, 2013 2:57 PM

I wish the paint store-turned-Chase building across the street had been replaced with something more urban and less suburban in design and purpose. A wasted opportunity (like the Whole Foods on 24th and on Haight with suburban-style parking welcoming shoppers).

Just saying, that's all.

Posted by: Mark at January 3, 2013 3:01 PM

Amen, Mark. Unfortunately that one was indirectly because of nimbys. An earlier attempt to put a TJ's there (with parking on the roof!) was shot down, and the path of least resistance was to "renovate" the Dulux rather than build something more appropriately urban with a bigger footprint. I don't think anyone is truly happy with the result. (BTW...can I park there after hours without getting towed? It's very tempting... lol)

Posted by: curmudgeon at January 3, 2013 5:08 PM

Yes, something about TJ's and parking issues in this town, like the one on Masonic. Once again, the building is set back with limited parking (so limited that an attendant has to control cars that snake all the way to Bush blocking thru-traffic on Masonic). It seems to me that SF misses the mark for creating density when opportunities present themselves. It seems like we are locked on having either extremely low density development or massive condo towers.

Posted by: Mark at January 3, 2013 7:51 PM

not enough parking to support this development

Posted by: spencer at January 4, 2013 11:14 AM

mark, i agree with the issue about parking problems in TJs on Masonic. I dont understand why they haven't invested in a double decker garage there.

Posted by: spencer at January 4, 2013 11:15 AM

The way I look at it, if SF is hellbent on pushing transit-oriented development, then most of the new construction on Market, and within a certain walking distance from MUNI and BART stations, should have little to no parking. It's not like the units won't be sold.

Posted by: Mark at January 4, 2013 1:59 PM

Needs for parking. Should be more like 1:1 or 1:1.4

Posted by: futurist at January 4, 2013 3:21 PM

^^^ Doubling or tripling parking as you suggest would eliminate most or all of the ground floor retail along Market.

A lively contiguous retail district serves the neighborhood a lot better than car storage.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at January 4, 2013 3:30 PM

Doesn't "need" parking. There is no magic formula. As has been previously pointed out, if there is limited parking, people without cars will be more likely to live there. If it is our public policy objective to decrease car usage transit oriented areas like Upper Market, then it is completely reasonable to limit parking. Also decreases development costs, and therefore the break-even point of the developer. Also decreases per-unit rental or sales potential. Ultimately the market (and the financing) determines whether a development "needs" parking, but recent evidence seems to indicate there is functioning market.

Posted by: curmudgeon at January 4, 2013 3:34 PM

MOD, are you really serious? If parking were increased by a certain ratio, obviously they would do DOWN one more level or so. Pretty basic architectural design: ramps.

It would NOT affect any retail frontage along Market St. nor should it.

Posted by: futurist at January 4, 2013 4:09 PM

Futurist...you well know that subterranean parking is MUCH more expensive than above ground. Particularly on small sites where the parking efficiencies are much lower because of required circulation ramps. A project of this type is not going down any further than it needs.

Name me a modest sized residential development that goes down more than one level.

Posted by: curmudgeon at January 4, 2013 4:34 PM

Wait! you're twisting the story around. I was addressing ONLY the specific comment made by MOD that any additional parking "would" as he said, eliminate retail frontage on Market.

No one mentioned cost and I was NOT referring to cost.

So MOD's comment is patently false.

Posted by: futurist at January 4, 2013 4:42 PM

If you can't go down, for economic reasons, it means you're going to use more of the ground level. Thus leaving less for retail. It's not rocket science.

Posted by: curmudgeon at January 4, 2013 4:49 PM

Really? I had no idea.

Posted by: futurist at January 4, 2013 5:10 PM

Well if cost isn't a factor then instead of excavating a three or more level pointy triangular pit for a 120 spot parking garage, just hire a staff of valets to hike the cars to some wasteland out at Pier 96. Viola: infinite parking !

Of course cost is a factor. The client here is a developer, not a naive homeowner who needs help "finding sources of funds that they didn't know they had access to". No developer in their right mind is going to fund expensive parking if the project will be successful without it.

This is all moot anyways, no way the city would allow so much parking at this parcel.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at January 4, 2013 5:23 PM

futurist, I think what Milkshake might have been trying to get at was the path of least resistance for developers, generally speaking, is to place parking at grade, because it's cheaper. That's why there are still so shockingly many surface level parking lots in The City.

I agree parking garages below grade are a better solution, but they are also more expensive to build, so it's not obvious new lots would be built "down one level" unless some regulation mandates that developers do so. Luckily, the Market and Octavia Area Plan's policies do this.

Anyway, the area plan calls for eliminating minimum off-street parking requirements and establishes caps for residential and commercial parking.

The introduction to the section on parking in the Market and Octavia Area plan is so lucid on this point I'll just quote from it; pg. 70 (pg. 63 of the acrobat file) and onwards:

San Francisco’s Downtown Area Plan successfully implemented parking management strategies that discouraged auto dependence by limiting parking development, enabling the development of 14 million square feet of commercial space to be built and thrive on public transit and very little parking. Market and Octavia parking management strategies allow some neighborhood residents to choose a “car-free” or “car-reduced” lifestyle. In a center-city neighborhood such lifestyles reduce expensive transportation costs and encourage healthy modes of transportation such as walking and bicycling. Because the Market and Octavia neighborhood is one of the city’s best transit-served areas, it naturally supports transit-oriented living.

Emphasis mine: not only is it possible, it's been done, here, before.

Later on the document identifies as a policy goal "residential parking ratios averag[ing] 0.5 spaces per unit across projects to roughly mirror the existing neighborhood character".

Granted, what we're talking about here is a mixed use project, so they'll probably get more parking.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at January 4, 2013 6:23 PM

I should have hit 'refresh' before composing, I didn't see Milkshake's last comment before doing so.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at January 4, 2013 6:29 PM

I have a hard time taking some of MOD's comments seriously. When he says that valet parking out at Pier 96 would solve the problem, then I know he is joking and the conversations loses credibility.

Sorry, but I was being serious with my original comment.

Of course cost is a factor. Here's the real issue with the parking:

I support more parking at these new developments. MOD supports less. Each a point of view. Valid.

Less parking, I believe will result in a portion of owners (in this new project) without a parking space, circling blocks for any available space after work, further causing tighter parking for those in that neighborhood. No one wins.

And furthermore, I believe most owners of a condo here will be relatively well off and will ALSO own a car. They may ride a bike occasionally, but they will use their car, as a matter of choice quite often.

Posted by: futurist at January 4, 2013 7:11 PM

^I'm generally a bigger fan of using data to figure out what owners will do, rather than just guessing. We only have to look at other neighborhoods in the city with less parking to see that over time people self-select and those who want/value parking move to places with parking available, and those who don't want/value parking move to places without parking available.

People aren't as stupid/stubborn as you make them seem, futurist.

Posted by: anon at January 4, 2013 7:51 PM

Thanks for the ill stated comment, anon, but nobody, including me made anybody "seem" stupid or stubborn.

And I have no idea what "self-selecting" really means. Where did you dig up that term?

Parking is a hot button in this city, but we are not Amsterdam, and never will be.

Posted by: futurist at January 4, 2013 8:27 PM

Here you go: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O999-selfselect.html

Self-selection is a common term in my line of work (economist), apologies for introducing a big word.

Posted by: anon at January 4, 2013 10:13 PM

anyone with a car who buys a place with no parking is a moron.

Posted by: anun at January 5, 2013 10:36 AM

^Then SF has a large moron population. I've known plenty of people who don't have a parking spot but do have an amazing knowledge of which streets are swept on which days. It requires extra effort and vigilance though it is quite easy to own a car in parking permit neighborhoods without paying for a garage. And at $100/year that permit is one of the biggest bargains in the city.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at January 5, 2013 10:42 AM

what is the percentage of homeowners in SF with no car?

My guess is <5%. i agree that when parking is not built, people don't get rid of their cars. they look for street parking.

The goal to become more transit oriented is fine, but I personally know very few people in SF without cars. A lot of people like SF because it is relatively car friendly. (although becoming less so)

Posted by: spencer at January 5, 2013 12:15 PM

I also know very few people who do NOT own a car. Very few.

Some of my friends who do not own a car, own a bike, but talk about the danger of riding in The City, the hassles in the rain and cold and the hills to deal with. All of them talk about when they become more financially settled are looking to buy a car.

Biking will remain for a small percentage of residents in this city, largely young, fit, healthy males. (not all, so everybody relax).

Posted by: futurist at January 5, 2013 12:31 PM

Again, self-selection, folks.

Let's say that 90% of people looking to buy have a car and will continue to have a car after buying. That still leaves 10% that do NOT have a car. You guys are assuming that 90% of the people who buy at this particular location will have cars, but that makes absolutely no sense. A location that has no parking available will naturally see a disproportionate number of buyers without cars, since that is not something that those buyers are looking to pay for and/or want.

So, as I said before, an area with parking for only 50% of buyers will naturally see a lower auto-ownership rate than other areas. Not because people are being forced to give up their cars or because people are moving there and then selling their cars, but because those folks who do not have a car and/or do not value or want to have a car will self-select into areas without much parking and/or better walkability/transit.

Posted by: anon at January 5, 2013 1:29 PM

Weak argument anon: Here's my take.

You are assuming that because this project will have a smaller amount of off street parking spaces that the BUYERS will also not have a car. Not true. They may CHOOSE to live here because the love the neighborhood, weather, location, friends, etc.

AND..they may also own a car. Which means those without a parking space will have to circle the blocks at night scrambling to secure the finite amount of street parking that exists, frustrating existing neighbors who RELY on the street parking completely.

1:1 parking on this site would mean that ALL new owners with a car would get an off-street space. Unused spaces would be available for rent/lease to the outside neighbors who may be willing to pay for having a parking space available to them every single night.

1:1 parking can solve this problem. I would pretty much guarantee the parking garage would be completely full each nite.

Posted by: futurist at January 5, 2013 2:49 PM

Ignoring externalities doesn't make them go away. Street congestion is an enormous problem in SF already, and getting worse by the day.

And please, we KNOW that offering fewer parking spots in a building results in buyers/renters having fewer cars, because the data is out there for hundreds of cities around the globe and even for dozens of neighborhoods within SF.

Long story short, if you have 1:1 parking in the building, you make it an obvious choice for anyone with one car, but ALSO make it a tempting choice for households with two cars, making your "circling the block" situation come back into play.

Posted by: anon at January 5, 2013 4:02 PM

I love how futurist and spencer make that all too common mistake of assuming that the people THEY know represent all people. Better to look at facts than simply extend your own anecdotes. About 30% of hh's in San Francisco have no vehicle (this is published information...you can look it up). I would love to know how many of those are renters and how many are owners. It is certainly likely that a much higher percentage of owners have cars, particularly because ownership skews to SFR's which often have parking and are less centrally located than multi-family dwellings. But the fact remains that many owners do not have cars either.

PLUS, why are we assuming that this proposal is for ownership housing? The article discusses units, but I don't see where it says anything about the form of tenure. Most of the multifamily housing currently being constructed in SF is rental housing, although that may change as financing loosens up.

Posted by: curmudgeon at January 5, 2013 5:37 PM

Whoever said that the people I know represent ALL people? Hmmm...pretty broad assumption on your part.

But what I said are, in fact, FACTS to me. My friends are not anecdotes, but real people. What a surprise! And wow! they do actually own cars. What a concept. And they are an equal mix of renters and owners. Some good friends live in the heart of The Castro, they rent, AND they own a car. Because transit sucks to them..and they love having the freedom and choice (thankfully) to pull out of their garage and go where they choose to go.

It's a basic American freedom, and I certainly expect it to continue.

Say, you live in Upper Noe and want to meet friends for dinner on Upper Fillmore St. tonite? Ok then you go hop on the 24 in the rain and cold tonite and ride that crappy, jerky bus full of obnoxious brats and maybe you'll get to your dinner in about an hour.

Or, you can just pull out of your garage and drive over to meet them in about 20 minutes.

Your choice.

Posted by: futurist at January 5, 2013 6:44 PM

I think what we are seeing here is not rational argument based on facts at all, but highly emotional reactions to one's choices in life.

What I see here is that as more and more complexes, both rental and condos for sale, are being built with no or decreased parking, some folks see that fact as some sort of threat to their own car-dependent lifestyle choices. And the comments you read here are emotional reactions to that.

That's why you're reading all these a apoplectic attacks on planning decisions to allow and even prefer projects that separate the purchase of parking from the purchase of a home for humans to live in. The attackers, and the commenters that weigh in with the single line "needs more parking" posts, are usually either:

1. incumbent residents of the neighborhood where the project is being built and fear increased competition for on-street parking

2. fearful that if it becomes widespread practice to separate the purchase of parking from the purchase of a home for humans to live in, that somehow the marketplace will move in some way and living the attackers preferred car-dependent lifestyle will become harder as it becomes rarer.

I'm not saying these are the only two possibilities, just the most probable ones.

This is why you see emotional appeals being posted, such as the practice of driving most places in a private automobile being described as "a basic American freedom." See, anon, you didn't know it, but there's a little-known 28th amendment to the United States Constitution that establishes the right to drive one's private car everywhere and park it for no extra charge.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at January 5, 2013 10:54 PM

spencer wrote:

what is the percentage of homeowners in SF with no car? My guess is < 5%. i agree that when parking is not built, people don't get rid of their cars. they look for street parking.
The goal to become more transit oriented is fine, but I personally know very few people in SF without cars.

The more relevant question, giving in to your framing, would be the percentage of homeowners in S.F. who live in buildings with decreased or no parking with no car, right?

But for this project, it seems to me that the relevant question is even more specific: what percentage of people in the subject neighborhood live with no car?

Luckily, someone did a survey on this before the area plan was finished and here's what it found (same link as above, pg. 64; pg. 71 of the acrobat file):

More than 40 percent of the households in the Market & Octavia neighborhood live without a car. The area’s access to transit, to local shopping, and to the downtown make it an ideal place to live with less dependency on the private automobile. In addition to retiring the minimum parking requirement, every effort should be made to support this possibility by ensuring that housing without parking is available in the neighborhood…

Emphasis mine to answer the relevant question.

The people with the highly emotional fear of their car-dependent lifestyle choices being implicitly challenged by projects like this one should really take a xanax or something. People that want to live a car-dependent lifestyle still have places to live in The City and have lots of choices about where to rent or buy if they want to.

Hell, they might even choose to buy in the neighborhood futurist or spencer live in, thereby bidding up the cost of real estate in those neighborhoods and contributing to futurist or spencer's increased net wealth as incumbent homeowners.

But there's no rational reason to force people to pay for car parking in a neighborhood like this one when they just want to acquire a home to live in.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at January 5, 2013 11:20 PM

You make me chuckle, Brahma.

Not sure where you see all the "highly emotional fear" in the comments? I can't seem to find them. I don't think Spencer and I are promoting any fear at all. We're expressing opinions.

And actually, SF, as Spencer said is relatively car friendly. I often have to cross town from Noe over to Fort Mason a few times a week. Easy as pie. Driving there takes me only about 20 minutes door to door. Traffic is normal. Not a big deal.
If I hopped on Muni to get there would probably take an hour at least, involving a transfer or two. Not gonna happen.

And sometimes I'll have to head over to Market St. via Dolores. Where's the traffic?

And, as I have mentioned here many times, I do use Muni when it's convenient. I can hop on the J to be downtown relatively easy. (unless there's a delay in the tunnel, which happens a lot.)

Also, not sure the relevancy of your dig regarding buying real estate in my 'hood. What's your point.

BTW: if you care to share: do you own a car and do you own a house?

Posted by: futurist at January 6, 2013 12:16 PM

Thanks; I try to amuse at least a little bit in most comments.

Yes, you're expressing an opinion, which is what a comment thread is for and that's great.

But all I can surmise is that the opinions you're expressing about developments with less parking are based on fear, because in this and other threads you and others expressing similar opinions are so quick to condemn projects that don't have what you refer to above as "1:1 parking".

And in my opinion, you're doing this because of some irrational, yet deep-seated fear that someone, somewhere in San Francisco is going to get away with not having to pay for off-street parking for a private car if projects like this one become more and more common. Even people who don't own cars!

Lots of folks who will live in this development aren't going to have cars, futurist. Lot of the people who do have cars will purchase off street from a third party.

That means, by definition, new residents aren't going to be "circl[ing] the blocks at night scrambling to secure the finite amount of street parking that exists, frustrating existing neighbors who RELY on the street parking completely."

Also, privileging the preferences of incumbent homeowners who have the selfish desire to minimize competition for available on-street parking spots is not good public policy. You seem to understand this intellectually, because you condemn incumbent homeowners who have the selfish desire to protect their views when it comes to a conflict with someone who wants to improve a neighboring building. But that's a side argument.

Bringing up real estate in your neighborhood was a way to say that you should be APPLAUDING projects like this one, because they are in your economic self-interest.

That's because, all other things being equal, more people who have adopted car-dependent lifestyles will shun developments like this one and gravitate toward neighborhoods like the one you live in, thus increasing the demand for housing in your neighborhood, bidding up prices there, and thus making your existing home more valuable.

This, of course, assumes that your home features off-street parking and/or that most homes in your neighborhood do.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at January 6, 2013 11:08 PM

So:

You didn't care to share whether you owned a car or residence. Ok.

Your paragraph 7: I have absolutely no idea WTF you are saying.

I applaud new housing projects all over The City.

Your paragraph 9: huh?

Your paragraph 10: yes.

Posted by: futurist at January 7, 2013 9:58 AM

Brahma is spot on and doing with flair. Kudos.

I live in the Castro, have a car, and don't have a garage. I applaud increased density without increased parking. Humans are incredibly adaptable, and this project couldn't be more transit-oriented if it were in an actual Muni station. I will adapt to more people looking for street parking, or I will move. I expect no protection of my incumbent rights, and Brahma is right to point out that that is what is really at issue here. The fact that futurist seems to not understand it says all I need to know about his/her perspective.

There are plenty of places in SF to live if you want a more suburban, car-oriented lifestyle. This ain't one of them.

Posted by: rabbits at January 7, 2013 10:26 AM

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that "Brahma (incensed renter)" is a renter and not a home owner. I know I don't have the reading comprehension of ReadingforRealtors but I think I am correct about this one.

Posted by: sparky*b at January 7, 2013 10:46 AM

here are what my comments are based on..

Traffic is very very light in San Francisco. There is barely traffic. DO i like that? yes. love it. I have a parking garage and am a homeowner. I can get anywhere in the city in my car in less than 20 minutes. Transit in SF sucks. Does it suck because there is too much car traffic? NO. It sucks because of poor planning and investment, and I don't see it changing for at least 10 yrs.

Yet, while traffic is light, parking is very bad. When I want to travel to visit a local business, I always drive because transit is terrible. Can i park? mostly, but it takes a long time. I ahve however, turned around and gone home on occassion. Who loses out? Local business. Why only local business? Because huge chains like safeway and costco and whole foods offer parking. local stores are subject to parking availability.

I am in favor of parking meters and market based pricing so I can actually park.

In summary, it looks like transit will suck for at least a decade, there is little traffic and congestion in SF (except during critical mass), yet parking is very scarce.

If congestion were an issue, I would be all for severely limiting parking. But since there is little congestion and using a car take 1/3 of the time as transit, people continue to use cars. And I would guess (realizing i don't have the stats) that the vast majority of homeowners are going to have a car whether or not they own a parking spot.

I would still like to see the metric on number of homeowners without a car.

By the way, i get the point on developers not wanting to add parking if they don't have to. Of course it makes economic sense for them. But i think the city should mandate more parking in new condos due to the above issues

Posted by: spencer at January 7, 2013 10:59 AM

spencer, you contend that traffic is light in SF. But from your perspective Muni sucks. Apparently b/c of this bias it has never occurred to you then that traffic is light because of Muni. This project, and all others on Market and in the Mission, is literally on top of a subway. If any area in SF can be Manhattanized without ruining the SF you know and love to drive around it is this one.

Posted by: rabbits at January 7, 2013 11:13 AM

Spencer - I'd hardly call SF traffic "very very light". Maybe in certain neighborhoods it is but overall SF traffic is moderate to heavy, especially around freeways and major arterials like 19th Ave.

As for why Muni sucks, certainly much of the problem has to do with mismanagement and burdensome bureaucracy. But any transit line that has to traverse Market, Mission, or other congested streets will suffer from delays even with the best operators and equipment. And those delays are then relayed across the entire transit network. A T-Third that is delayed passing through 3rd and King could delay a N-Judah behind it in the tunnel which in turn leaves people waiting longer than needed way out in the Sunset.

When considering the interaction between parking and congestion you should look beyond the conditions of the street where you park. It all works as a network. Someone parked in a quiet dead-end on Russian Hill will eventually become part of downtown and SOMA congestion when they head for the freeway.

I agree that SF is a long way from providing first world levels of transit. But adding more parking now will only delay that accomplishment even further. Building good transit takes a long time. London started their tube network a century and a half ago and is still expanding. When did SF start? 1960?

(By the way I see you're no longer renting and have bought. Congratulations ! Must have been a really good deal to get you out of that nice RC apartment!)

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at January 7, 2013 11:24 AM

And Spencer and I continue to say almost the same thing. Read my comments on Jan 6 @ 12:16 pm. Same thing. Traffic is not a big deal for me, even when I cross town.

Where is the traffic? Downtown yes, but even then I often drive down, like a LOT of other folks and get a parking speak easily in the 5th/Mission garage. From there I can pretty much walk anywhere downtown.

And I really don't get the "protection of my incumbent rights" bs. What does that mean?

Posted by: futurist at January 7, 2013 11:30 AM

It means things you consider your 'right' because that's the way it was when you moved into your neighborhood, irrespective of the fact that they are not 'rights'. Free, abundant parking is one such thing and happens to be the subject of this thread. It is clear that you believe that you have a right to drive around town unimpeded by heavy traffic and not have to look long for parking and/or pay a small fee for it. Thank god not everyone thinks that way, as SF would be unlivable.

Posted by: rabbits at January 7, 2013 11:41 AM

Hmmm. @ rabbits: I went back over MY comments and cannot find anywhere that I used the word "right" with regard to parking.

If you read carefully, I used the word "freedom" to move about the city driving, if I choose. And I used the word "choice". Please read more carefully.

Since I did not use the word "right" as you and others so imply, your last comment is pretty much incorrect.

And I can't help it if I don't encounter "heavy traffic" 'cause I just don't. And what's the problem with finding a parking space and paying for it, whether metered or in a garage?

I think some of the comments here, including yours would love to create the illusion of "heavy traffic" and chaos on the streets just to push myth that we are gridlocked and that the only way out of it (by your definition) is few parking spaces in new housing and, I guess, everyone ride a damn bike.

I keep going back to the words choice and freedom. Are you listening?

Posted by: futurist at January 7, 2013 12:25 PM

futurist wrote:

Your paragraph 7: I have absolutely no idea WTF you are saying.
Sigh. I'll try once more and then let it go.

futurist wrote this on the 5th at 4:02 PM:

1:1 parking on this site would mean that ALL new owners with a car would get an off-street space. Unused spaces would be available for rent/lease to the outside neighbors who may be willing to pay for having a parking space available to them every single night.

…and then he followed it up with this, at 4:02 PM:

Less parking, I believe will result in a portion of owners (in this new project) without a parking space, circling blocks for any available space after work, further causing tighter parking for those in that neighborhood. No one wins.

Now, it seems completely obvious to me, unless you're arguing from unstated fears, that there ARE winners in a less parking scenario, and that is…wait for it…people who don't own cars and didn't have to pay for parking that they don't need. And especially, but not limited to, those who wouldn't have been able to afford housing in their desired neighborhood had the price included mandatory parking for a car they don't own. But that's an aside, really.

I was responding to the above two quotes from futurists's comments when I wrote:

privileging the preferences of incumbent homeowners who have the selfish desire to minimize competition for available on-street parking spots is not good public policy. You seem to understand this intellectually, because you condemn incumbent homeowners who have the selfish desire to protect their views when it comes to a conflict with someone who wants to improve a neighboring building.
and futurist said he couldn't understand what I was getting at.

Saying that buyers of new housing should be forced to pay for parking so as to minimize the competition for on-street parking is an example of "privileging the preferences of incumbent homeowners".

This concept comes up all the time at planning commission meetings. Advocates of this position, whether they know it or not, implicitly claim that homeowners who are parking on the street now, before the proposed development is built and populated, have some higher priority claim on street parking than those who will live in the area after the development is completed, and therefore should be allowed to dictate the features of the new development so as to limit the competition for on street parking.

The people who do this, btw, are usually NIMBYS in other ways, so it's kind interesting that futurist, who usually like to knock NIMBYs (and did so earlier in this very thread) is taking the NIMBY position.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at January 7, 2013 12:45 PM

Excuse me for conflating your freedoms with your rights. Remind me not to get into any gun control or free speech debates with you.

And to the contrary regarding traffic chaos... Brahma and I are promoting traffic chaos by suggesting restricting parking, which would eventually lead to changed behavior. Others here are being much more hyperbolic:

"Which means those without a parking space will have to circle the blocks at night scrambling to secure the finite amount of street parking that exists, frustrating existing neighbors who RELY on the street parking completely."

-futurist at 2:49

Far be it from me to suggest that those existing neighbors have their right, er, freedom to have an open street parking spot infringed upon.

Posted by: rabbits at January 7, 2013 12:48 PM

milkshake of despair. good comments.

i agree with most of what you said. However, 19th avenue is an exception. traffic is bad there, but i don't think its bad on 9th or 10th getting on and off freeway. i do it everyday. also the cross city traffic, which is probably more relevant to this conversation is really light, IMHO.


and i agree with rabbit that this part of SF could support manhattanization, if thats what people want. i personally think the QOL in manhattan is much worse than SF, so don't want that. But it is a democracy.

For rabbit, i do not think traffic is light because the muni is good. probably has more to do with the expense of a car and the cost of downtown parking. And i am OK with very expensive garages and meters. I think that helps decrease traffic .

MOD. (By the way I see you're no longer renting and have bought. Congratulations ! Must have been a really good deal to get you out of that nice RC apartment!)

I think i got a good deal, yes. Ultimately I wanted more space. I doubled my space without doubling the cost of my rent. Mortgage turned out to only be 1.5x my previous good rent controlled rent. no longer in primo pac hts but not far

Posted by: spencer at January 7, 2013 12:49 PM

sparky*b wrote:

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that "Brahma (incensed renter)" is a renter and not a home owner.
Thanks, sparky, I thought it was obvious.

Actually, I didn't respond to that deliberately because futurist was obviously setting up a Tu quoque argument.

That said, I do own a car, but I commute multiple times per week by bike. Sometimes I walk and sometimes I take public transit. When and if I buy a condo in the area covered by the Market and Octavia Area plan, however, I can guarantee that I'd sell my car without hesitation shortly after moving in.

Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at January 7, 2013 1:10 PM

Nope you still don't listen MOD;

I didn't say anything, once again about "mandatory parking". You did. New housing may,in fact, COME with parking. Often it is an option to buy a space. If it comes with your unit and you don't have a need for the space, you will be happy to rent it out and make some money to cover the mortage.

Secondly, your "views" comment, which has absolutely nothing to do with parking. but ok.

No, how can I condemn homeowners who want their view protected when the Planning Code states that views are NOT protected. I am merely supporting the Planning Code. If the owner feels they are being condemned it's the code to blame.

You do sure like to "expand" other opinions.

Ok?

Posted by: futurist at January 7, 2013 1:14 PM

No, how can I condemn homeowners who want their view protected when the Planning Code states that views are NOT protected. I am merely supporting the Planning Code. If the owner feels they are being condemned it's the code to blame.

How is this different from you NOT supporting the planning code for the Market/Octavia plan area, which explicitly outlaws 1:1 parking?

Posted by: anon at January 7, 2013 1:42 PM

Ah...........gee....maybe because I am allowed to pick and choose which parts of the Planning Code:

I agree and disagree with.

Maybe, just maybe?

I support 1:1 parking. Obviously, I'm not the king of planning so I can't just wave a magic wand and make it happen. But that's my personal support, that's all.

Posted by: futurist at January 7, 2013 2:49 PM

You've harassed others many times for calling out problems in the planning code (like ridiculously low 40' heights in many areas), so I'm just making sure that you understand that you do the same thing.

I have no problem with disagreeing with the planning code where I feel it has problems (I disagree with you in this case, but whatever, to each his own). You've seen fit to chastise others for disagreeing though, which is why it seemed odd in this circumstance.

Posted by: anon at January 7, 2013 3:49 PM

Harassed? Oh, ok.

Chastise? Oh, ok.

Again, to be clear; YOU are calling out such examples as a 40' height in the Planning Code as a PROBLEM. It's not a problem, it's a written fact.

If they think it's a problem, then they (you) should petition the Planning Commission and the BOS to change it.

It's honestly hard to follow your logic.

Posted by: futurist at January 7, 2013 4:40 PM

for what it's worth, I live within a block of this development, am a homeowner, and am very happy to not own a car. Contrary to the anecdotes of some on this site, published census data indicates 50% of households in the area don't have cars. This was the actual basis of the parking ratios in the Market Octavia Plan.

Posted by: Otto Park at January 7, 2013 4:45 PM

futurist - how in the world is me calling out a 40' height limit as a problem different from you calling out less than 1:1 parking as a problem? We're both disagreeing with the stance that planning has taken on a specific issue.

Posted by: anon at January 7, 2013 4:48 PM

Check out the excellent comments here re: the proposed Mission Theater complex.

Especially the parking/driving/transit issues.

For what it's worth. Prob not much to some, but here goes.

I've lived here in The City now for 35 years, from Pacific Heights, to Upper Market, to Castro, to Noe; have always owned and used my car. I can honestly say I see NO difference in the level of traffic density in that entire 35 years. None. Driving around is the same as it was when I moved here.

Posted by: futurist at January 7, 2013 5:01 PM

Driving around is indeed generally not much of a problem in San Francisco. It is because we have a grid of streets, so unlike the suburbs where all local streets tend to dump into a few arterials, a city resident has many choices of movement. Most of us learn, over time, the best ways to get around choke points. The places that do jam up tend to be access to freeways and bridges (particularly around commute time). Also, a very substantial portion of us use other modes (transit, biking, and walking) to get around for many of our trips, freeing up roadspace for everyone else. For these reasons, traffic congestion in SF is BETTER than it is in many suburban locations, but the streets are definitely quite busy.

Personally, I'm not anti-car, and I do own one myself. I recognize that every time I use it is has what economists call a negative externality (pollution and use of resources), so I try to limit my use to when I "need" it. But I certainly recognize that to cross town in the evenings it is far easier to use a car, and I will go for ease almost every time.

However, I also recognize that in locations like the one we are talking about, which is right on top of our major transit trunk line, and which is walkable to all the goods and services you need, many people will not want or "need" to have a car. Further, from an urban design standpoint it's best to keep as much of the ground floor available for retail as possible. So I'm fully supportive of the parking maximum's in the Market/Octavia plan.

Personally, I'm not so committed to a specific parking ratio as I am in ensuring urban design that works best for the City. If a developer could pledge to put all parking underground and minimize curb cuts and interference with transit routes (and detatching the parking price from the unit price), then I wouldn't generally care how much parking were built. But I don't see that happening.

Posted by: curmudgeon at January 7, 2013 5:51 PM

We've already discussed the issue of more parking vs. cutting off retail at the ground floor: AGAIN: they are not related. Ground floor retail is very important and should remain. If more parking is desired by the developer they WILL go multi-level below grade. A no brainer. The cost will be passed on to the buyers. Big deal. And I'm fine with making parking be an additional cost to buy, if one chooses. The other spaces, as I have said, can be sold/rented to those who need a dedicated space.

A substantial portion use modes other than cars to get around? Ah..about 10% used bikes. When it's not raining, when it's not cold, when they don't have hills and when they are older/male/female. Among other reasons.

Ever ride the K,L, or M downtown in the mornings? and how often it breaks down, is slow? A lot.

OH, one more thing: I am not anti-bike. Let's just get them to obey ALL traffic rules, ride courteously, and require them with a fee to be licensed, just like car owners.

Posted by: futurist at January 7, 2013 6:21 PM

Futurist, a huge percentage of trips in San Francisco are by transit (particularly commute trips to downtown), and a huge percentage of trips are by foot...particularly neighborhood based shopping trips. Bike trips are the smallest segment of all, but you seem very focused on them.

Specifically, within SF about 35% of work trips are by transit, 35% drive alone, 13% by foot, 3% by bike. The remainder are carpool/vanpool/taxi or other shared ride. Of ALL trips, predictably less is transit (22%), but a whopping 33% are walk, and still only a third are drive alone. (This data is all from MTC).

Bike trips are the smallest segment, but they are growing the most rapidly, thanks in part to all the bike infrastructure that has been developed. But an underlooked aspect of all the development that's been happening in South Beach and Mission Bay is that even more people can walk to work these days.

This may not skew with your idea that everyone drives...but the reality is that only about a third of all trips within San Francisco are by drivers.

Just as a contrast, the figures for Contra Costa are 64% single occupant vehicles, 1% transit, 1% bike, 8% walk. So you can see just how different it is in the City.

Posted by: curmudgeon at January 7, 2013 9:44 PM

I get the resistance expressed by futurist. The truth of the matter is: people are ok with the idea of living car free, but very rarely act on it. There's always a reason to own a car, even without private garage space. And people WILL own a car, because no one can stop them. The end result is more pressure on residential parking, more car trips, more congestion.

Aside from that: This area is a perfect candidate for a less-car lifestyle. I should know: I live a few blocks away.

Cycling works out for me for commuting to the FiDi. I know of at least 3 neighbors on my block who commute by bike. When it rains, the K/L/M is a perfect 10 minutes to my station (Montgomery) and it is reliable. I maybe do it 15 times a year. I might be an exception, but at least I have the choice.

I have been experimenting living without a car for a few weeks. Wish me luck...

Posted by: lol at January 7, 2013 10:36 PM

@lol, you say:

The truth of the matter is: people are ok with the idea of living car free, but very rarely act on it.

Are you disputing the FACT that a third of SF households do in fact live without a car? I can't see how 1/3 is "very rarely".

Posted by: Boris at January 8, 2013 9:21 AM

I switched from car to bike commuting, within the City, 2 years ago, and haven't looked back. Except to occupy a traffic lane before turning left. Bike commuting within SF is usually faster than driving and parking. And there are more and more bike lanes on mostly flat routes, even in this hilly city. I tend to drive my car when I go out at night though, and to go to Trader Joe's. Mostly, though, my car stays in my garage.

Posted by: Dan at January 8, 2013 9:39 AM

Boris,

I am talking of people who come from a car-based lifestyle. The 1/3 who live without a car didn't pop up overnight. I am sure more people are opting to ditch their cars, but this is a slow process, not an instant thing.

Posted by: lol at January 8, 2013 9:52 AM

I guess I assumed that we're not building these only for folks who come from a car-based lifestyle, but rather for anyone who wants to buy them.

Some potential buyers will be coming from a car-based lifestyle, but I think it's odd to assume that most will. Most folks wanting a car will look at places that have parking available.

Posted by: Boris at January 8, 2013 10:09 AM

85 homes, 36 parking spaces = 50 or so cars looking for street parking. Good God! The quaint Castro falling victim to Manhattanization. So sad. Nothing but steel condos sticking up everywhere.

Posted by: DOACastro at January 11, 2013 11:38 AM

The Castro is already a parking nightmare. People who are familiar with the neighborhood will expect that. For others, well there will be a steep learning curve...

Posted by: lol at January 11, 2013 12:23 PM

boris said "Are you disputing the FACT that a third of SF households do in fact live without a car? I can't see how 1/3 is "very rarely"."

But how many are homeowners? It is expensive to own, but most of those who can own also can own a car easily and like the convenience. My guess is 95% of the 1/3 who do not own cars are renters.

Posted by: spencer at January 11, 2013 2:35 PM

^And? Is this proposal necessarily for homeowners? Doesn't look that way to me.

Are you saying that you'd support the current low parking mix if these were rentals, but not if they were for sale? That doesn't make a whole lot of sense, considering how fungible units are these days (it's plenty easy for developers to build and then decide whether they want to rent or sell). Are you proposing a new layer of regulation to separate rental from for-sale units? Bizarre.

Posted by: anon at January 11, 2013 2:47 PM

no. i am proposing more parking period. my only point about renters vs. homeonwers is that people keep quoting 30% or 50% of residents of that area not owning a car. I contend that that number is 95% renters. the vast majority of homeowners (people who buy condos) will ahv a car, and it is ridiculous to increase congestion by not offering the possibility of paying more for a car store spot in the building. My guess that 90% of homeowners would be willing to pay at least $50K more for a spot

Posted by: spencer at January 11, 2013 4:54 PM

But what does it matter whether homeowners have lower or higher auto ownership rates if we don't know whether these will be owner or renter-occupied?

Posted by: anon at January 11, 2013 6:38 PM

Has anyone thought what is underneath that site right now that would make it impossible to "dig down deeper for more parking"?
The MUNI tunnel to church street station.
Now can we end that debate.
If you look at the supervisors land use committee website there are artist rendering of the proposed project. They do a great job of keep life at the street level with set back little patios with units front doors and then they lower the back side to make it conform with Sanchez.
I say build it and hurry up!

Posted by: curt at January 13, 2013 12:25 AM

curt...the Muni Tunnel is under Market Street. Not under this property.

Posted by: curmudgeon at January 14, 2013 10:24 AM

Posted by: SocketSite at April 18, 2014 3:25 PM

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