As we first reported earlier this month:

The former homes that stood on the underdeveloped Glen Park lot fronting Brompton Avenue and Kern Street were removed in the late 1960s, when the city widened Bosworth Street and reserved the now vacant 21 Brompton Avenue parcel for the potential development of a City-owned parking lot.

But when the City’s Parking Authority failed to demonstrate any interest in the aforementioned parking lot proposal, the parcel, which is zoned RH-2, which would allow for a two-family dwelling to be built, was sold to private party in the early 1970s.

And while technically not permitted for use as a parking lot, the vacant parcel has served as one ever since.

Around two years ago, plans to formally convert the parcel into a paid parking lot started to percolate. And last year, the owners of the property sought a letter of determination from San Francisco’s Zoning Administrator to establish the lot as a legal nonconforming use, a request which was denied as the parking lot was never permitted in the first place.

But three months ago, Supervisor Jeff Sheehy introduced legislation which would allow for the parcel to be turned into a legal, and potentially permanent, parking lot, the Planning Commission hearing for which is scheduled for next week.

San Francisco’s Planning Department, however, is recommending that the proposed legislation and legitimization of the parking lot use be denied, or at the very least that it’s written to restrict the number of years a legal parking lot operation would be allowed.

In addition, the Department is encouraging a rezoning of the site to allow for a dense multi-family development to eventually rise. We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

On June 7, San Francisco’s Planning Commission sided with the Planning Department and issued their formal disapproval for the proposed legislation along with a recommendation that San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors do the same.

And yesterday, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve the proposed legislation, allowing for a paid parking lot to be established on the site, but with an amendment limiting its operation to six years, a limit which could, of course, be extended in six years time.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Pero

    This must be a joke. There should be a common effort by all the neighborhoods to increase housing in SF. Glen Park has few parcels that lend itself for new construction such as this one. It’s close to BART, Muni, 280 etc. How is it not possible to create an underground public parking garage in addition to housing on top (such as the Whole Foods parking garage on Ocean Ave)?

    • Posted by Pioneer

      Underground parking might be a technical challenge. I think Islais Creek is now in a covered culvert that runs right through there. The old creek was navigable by barges all the way up into Glen Canyon before it was undergrounded.

    • Posted by Notcom

      It might be a financial challenge as well, given the small number of spaces that could be accommodated – read: non revenue space like ramps/aisles taking up a disproportionate amount of space – in what would be an already expensive idea.

  2. Posted by 101

    and this is why we have a housing crisis. Not a very progressive City.

  3. Posted by Tony

    Guys, read the whole thing and not just the headline. They’re rejecting encouraging development because at the moment the land would be zoned in such a way all it would do it create a few multi-million dollar single family homes. If they really didn’t want development here they’d just approve the parking lot permanently.

    For anything meaningful to be done with this land it will need to be zoned up, and any development on a larger scale would take years to design and organize. Yeah, this is all slower than any of us want, but it’s not a rejection of housing there. It’s just a rejection of the idea that adding a few single family homes to this lot would be useful for anyone.

    • Posted by Pero

      Yes, when you have a housing crisis, they way you show your willingness to upzone from SFH to something taller is to permit a parking lot for 6 years…

  4. Posted by bachman_erlich_overdrive

    Nobody loses here.

  5. Posted by Kraus

    This is ridiculous.

    I can’t believe that I donated to Jeff Sheehy’s lackluster “campaign” and now [he] does this on his way out the door.

    The City should purchase the parcel at its current RH-2 value, rezone it to NC (or an SUD for much needed teacher housing) and then issue an RFQ for its development as 100% affordable housing.

  6. Posted by Pablito

    Seems like this is a no brainer for housing. Entitle it – sell it to a developer – give the proceeds to the affordable housing fund.

  7. Posted by BuildHighAndDense

    Sheehy did one of his friends a favor on the way out.

    This will be a lucrative parking lot and a lot easier to tow away cars now that it is permitted. I know there is the BART lot just down the road that has various markets, but I could see this spot being used for similar things as the community comes to terms with how they are mis-using their space. It is a tragic use of urban land and a hard way for this district’s voters to learn how the old boy’s network is still strong in city hall.

    Housing is a problem because our board is a problem. I voted for Sheehy too, and I’m not happy to be a party to this.

  8. Posted by JWS

    If I’m reading this right though, the Board of Supervisors voted the way they did because if they built housing right now after the parking lot permit was denied, they could only build two homes and in the future presumably it could be significantly denser. And with a six-year term, theoretically couldn’t the owner decide to build housing before six years is up as soon as it is zoned for denser housing (which it 100% should be)?

    • Posted by GlenParker

      Sheehy promised to amend the legislation to upzone the lot in a way that would allow a full apartment building but then he didn’t go through with it and did this parking lot conditional use instead.

      Ultimately it is up to the owners of the lot what they do with it, but upzoning it now would certainly clear a major hurdle to someday getting more housing literally 50 yards from a BART station.

      I’m really disappointed the lot wasn’t upzoned. It could still have been used for parking short term with that change, but now we need to continue to lobby for the upzoning that everyone in planning recommended.

  9. Posted by cleverpunhere

    This is seriously the worst, most destructive use of this lot imaginable. It just blows my mind that the city closely regulates the cladding on new residential windows, but this kind of thing gets a rubber stamp.

  10. Posted by Miraloma Man

    Why in this city do we continue to bend over backwards to accommdate motorists and their planet-destroying lifestyle? Let the Audi people walk like the rest of us.

    • Posted by Notcom

      ‘cuz they vote? (hint: it’s not so much “they/their” as it’s “we/our”)

      But you’re welcome to advocate for banning cars w/i SF – least to the extent that the State of California would allow it: it would free up massive amounts of housing, since those who would move out are unlikely to be (completely) offset by those willing to move in.

      • Posted by Miraloma Man

        I lived in Glen Park from 1997 until 2008, and it used to be really mellow….now it’s an angry hornet’s nest full of raging motorists. I don’t know why…..maybe it’s Wayze, or whatever, but commuters cut through there, and they end up fighting with the buses and the silly people who insist on driving in to shop at Canyon Market. My point being, GP’s streets are too twisty and narrow for today’s traffic. Everything possible should be done to discourage motorists from driving in the village if they don’t have to.

        • Posted by pal

          The whole city has turned that way – I live the Richmond – same thing. Drivers have turned aggro.

    • Posted by EssEff

      Because some people actually have to drive to get to work, drive their kids to school and activities, help their elderly parents, etc. and not all of that can be done via walking and our pathetic public transit (unless you have all day to spend getting from points A to B to C).

      This lot would not solve the housing crisis and a city can support a mix of pedestrians, cars, bikes, and public transit. Just because our city can’t figure things out doesn’t mean all cars should be banned.

  11. Posted by Willow

    I live in GP. It’s a tiny little parking lot. Oh so dramatic.. Glad it’s going to stay!

    • Posted by cleverpunhere

      This parking lot is not going to do anything for the residents of Glen Park. It lets a few dozen more out-of-town commuters treat our neighborhood like a park and ride. That is a terrible result.

      • Posted by Willow

        Simply not true. I drive to the village all the time as do most of neighbors…

  12. Posted by pal

    No reason to disrupt mellow neighborhoods like GP to satisfy the obnoxious YIMBYs. There’s plenty of space to build replacing old warehouses in SoMa with high-rises, not to mention Vallejo, Fremont, Antioch Concord, etc etc – all the unsexy outliers.

    • Posted by cleverpunhere

      The obvious alternative to a paid parking lot is not a high-rise.

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