By RJ Bardsley
San Francisco is not a city of people who like to be told what to do. When a major developer, Simon Snellgrove of Pacific Waterfront Partners, moved in and maneuvered to get zoning laws changed in order to put a 180ft luxury condominium development on a plot of open space at 8 Washington Street, residents responded. The residents of the waterfront and china town districts are very much opposed to this development and they’ve worked tirelessly with the city’s board of supervisors to prevent it. But their voices went unheard and the board voted 8-3 to allow the development. Mayor Ed Lee also signed the board’s approval into law – despite the almost unanimous protests of people living in the adjoining neighborhoods. Thanks Lee – I’ll remember that at the next election.
But residents didn’t give up. Instead they took to the street in an effort to get enough signatures to put the measure on a ballot. We’ll know later today how many signatures the group got – 19,405 were required. Their work is to be commended, as are the efforts of Board of Supervisors President David Chiu and former Board President Aaron Peskin, who stood up for residents and worked to defeat the measure at the board level.
In a San Francisco Examiner article from today (link below), Chiu said that he “was profoundly disappointed” that Mayor Ed Lee signed into law the board’s approval of legislation allowing for the height increase… This is about making sure that neighborhoods can have a say against developers. This about making sure that we stay San Francisco and don’t become Manhattan.”
Fingers crossed that we can keep big developers from steam rolling over our neighborhoods and open spaces.
Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2012/07/8-washington-foes-trying-take-fight-ballot-box#ixzz215q4h5dv