March 20, 2013
CEQA In Action, Or Inaction, On Potrero Avenue
Speaking of CEQA and the appeals process in action, the Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration which would have allowed the development of 480 Potrero Avenue to move forward was appealed late last year by the San Francisco Verdi Club, MUNA neighborhood association, and Potrero Hill neighbors.
The objections of the appellants include concerns that the project will "have an adverse effect on a scenic vista," will "substantially degrade the existing visual character or quality of the site and its surroundings," and will "induce substantial population growth…and be out of character with the neighborhood."
While the Planning Department recommends that the Planning Commission uphold the Negative Declaration and allow the six-story development with 84 condos and 38 parking spaces to move forward, a Commission vote has been continued until at least the middle of May which will be over seven months since the Declaration was issued.
The four-story live/work building that once stood on the northwest corner of Potrero and Mariposa was demolished in 2005 and the lot at 480 Potrero has sat undeveloped since.
∙ Supervisor Showdown: Wiener Versus Kim, CEQA, And The NIMBYs [SocketSite]
∙ Designs For 84 Condos At The Corner Of Potrero And Mariposa [SocketSite]
∙ 480 Potrero Avenue: Designs for 84 Condos, But No Commercial Space [SocketSite]
First Published: March 20, 2013 8:45 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
"induce substantial population growth..."
Isn't that the point of adding housing? It sounds like someone is experiencing a cognitive dissonance.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at March 20, 2013 8:54 AM
What does any of their complaining have to do with environmental issues? Will a blocked view force sea levels to rise? Will changing the neighborhood character from dump to higher quality dump kill baby dolphins?
Posted by: sf at March 20, 2013 9:06 AM
Well, this is precisely why CEQA needs to be reformed at the state level, as Brown has proposed. The original intent of CEQA has been subverted and perverted to allow these kind of appeals. Even when they are groundless and eventually thrown out, they slow projects down and add time (and money) to a project. The appellants should be ashamed of themselves.
Posted by: curmudgeon at March 20, 2013 9:17 AM
"substantially degrade the existing visual character or quality of the site and its surroundings,"
Yeah, we wouldn't want to lose the visual character of a vacant lot...
Posted by: Rillion at March 20, 2013 9:30 AM
based on that photo, this colorful modern building will block our views of blighted beige buildings marked up with graffiti
I can totally see what the neighbors are complaining about
Posted by: guest at March 20, 2013 9:36 AM
This is how the game is played. Just about everyone around that block really wants to see this built but, but, but, there are a few things here and there, nothing major that neighbors don't agree with the developer. So residents pretend to sabotage project hoping to bring developer to the negotiation table, it often does.
Developer knew there will be resistance, so they basically asked for the moon in the initial process and gradually come down and "conceit" to the neighbors.
In the end, some changes to the building will be made. The neighbors will be satisfied, the developer will be happy, and this thing will be built.
Posted by: Mas at March 20, 2013 9:53 AM
The whole sense that this is how things are done in SF is provincial and short sighted.
The whole point is to reduce the months and months of useless churn that accompanies even the smallest of changes.
These things absolutely need to change
Posted by: Joe at March 20, 2013 10:31 AM
Another 30+ cars looking for street parking. Yippee!
Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at March 20, 2013 10:35 AM
Or 30 bikes on the Potrero Ave. bike path!
Posted by: Dan at March 20, 2013 10:38 AM
Dream on. Even people who ride a bike once in a while own cars. And people buying $800K condos certainly do.
Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at March 20, 2013 10:40 AM
How much will this add to the cost of these units and to the overall cost of housing in SF? These "progressives" really dig themselves deep don't they- problems can not be solved with whine.
Posted by: sf at March 20, 2013 10:58 AM
"substantially degrade the existing visual character or quality of the site and its surroundings," - Say Whaaaat?? How does a modern family/loft building will degrade the existing visual character or quality of the site and its surroundings??? When compared to a filthy dirty empty lot???
"induce substantial population growth…and be out of character with the neighborhood." - Or in other words "Our party people on Saturday and Sunday nights won't have a place to park, more people means more complains about our crappy security and horrible sound-proof establishment"...
Posted by: neighbor_for_progress at March 20, 2013 11:16 AM
Joe, you're missing the point. The point is that this is all just a show. Anyone who reads those complaints and think the complainers are being serious is not savy to the their motives. Most of the time, the intend is not to block development, it's go solicit some kind of compromise.
That's not to say the process doesn't need to changed, but that's a different subject entirely.
Posted by: Mas at March 20, 2013 11:18 AM
Seriously... I hate seeing the gap between units and parking stalls. Especially in this part of the Inner Mission area where they're considering revamping the parking disaster to make it a parking apocalypse. Tons of people living in RVs and idling trucks beneath bedroom windows, and now they want to take away more parking spaces and install meters on the rest. I'm more and more convinced everyday: San Francisco is a giant self-inflicted wound.
Posted by: Sidney W. at March 20, 2013 11:22 AM
Have you not noticed that the people living in their cars/RV's around this area have diminished considerably? The city is moving them out.
Posted by: FolsomaGary at March 20, 2013 11:49 AM
Yes, the RVs and overnight campers are gone from the area. Why? New street signs put up few wks ago on Florida St at 16th/17th for example.
"NO PARKING EVERY DAY 12 midnight - 5am"
Posted by: ForeHand at March 20, 2013 11:56 AM
FolsomaGary and ForeHand: Yep. This was as intended.
The Board of Supervisors agreed on Sep 25th of last year (scroll down to item 120142, pg. 08 of the acrobat file) to ban campers, buses, RVs, etc. from nighttime parking on a number of city streets:
Ordinance amending the San Francisco Transportation Code…to prohibit the on-street parking of any vehicle over 22 feet in length or 7 feet in height, camp trailers, fifth-wheel travel trailers, house cars, trailer coaches, mobile homes, recreational vehicles, or semi-trailers, as defined by the California Vehicle Code and Health and Safety Code, between the hours of 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. when Municipal Transportation Agency signs are posted giving notice; and making environmental findings.
…in order to crack down on the so-called "vehicular homeless" population.
The board voted down an effort by Supervisor Olague to delay the ordinance pending the completion of a study on any effects the ban might have on the city’s homeless. Who says the Board of Supervisors coddles the homeless in this city?
Earlier in the same meeting, they started the process to approve Supervisor Wiener's change to the building code in order to facilitate so-called "micro apartments" being constructed that a lot of the gung ho pro development types on this site think is the best thing to happen since sliced bread.
See, The city makes it harder to be part of the vehicular homeless and at the same time starts approving reduced quality of housing, in order to stimulate demand for that new, lower standard housing once it's built by the people formerly living in their vehicles and who are now forced into apartments. Developers make $$$.
Who says the Board of Supervisors isn't free-market oriented? It's all good.
Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at March 20, 2013 2:02 PM
So Brahma, your view is the 'vehicular homeless' are gonna move in to the brand new micro-apartments?
Ha ha. Good one.
Posted by: R at March 20, 2013 3:07 PM
Yes, that was sarcastic.
Markets definitely work by coercion, but there are limits to its action and who it can act upon.
Posted by: Brahma (incensed renter) at March 20, 2013 3:23 PM
they should complain that the building is not tall enough and there are not enough parking spaces in the building. without the spaces, road congestion will increase in the area.
Posted by: spencer at March 20, 2013 5:20 PM
I wonder how well a market/grocery store would benefit this neighborhood/area/section..?
Potrero Ave could do with something like that right about there.
Posted by: Rob at March 20, 2013 5:25 PM
theres a safeway a block away?
Posted by: R at March 20, 2013 5:49 PM
The units on the NW top floor corner: $1000 a square with a parking space. The units on the bottom floor SE corner? BMR with no parking. The marketplace collective always always always finds its way to the light. Flora crack sidewalks, Aaron.
Posted by: no_dogs_allowed at March 20, 2013 7:57 PM
@Rob: There's a Safeway one block away, Whole Foods two or three, and Trader Joes, Costco and Rainbow are within a 10-minute walk. I'd say the area is fairly well served as grocery stores are concerned (also: an abundance of RVs!).
Posted by: Brad at March 20, 2013 8:02 PM
More housing, less parking. Double plus good. Too bad the NIMBYs have slowed the whole thing down, but I guess that is democracy in action.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at March 21, 2013 12:48 AM
I'd like the point out that the signs do not say "No Parking 12am to 5am". They actually say "No Stopping 12am to 5am". What does that mean?!?!?!
Posted by: RegenMan at March 21, 2013 10:45 AM
Let's have those signs put up on 7th St between 16th and King as well as all the side streets, please! It's like frickin' Burning Man for vagrants down there every night.
Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at March 21, 2013 1:00 PM