Thursday, February 01, 2007

Bevan Dufty sells out Hayes Valley to UC

Okay, I get it now: The gay community---led by Supervisor Dufty---is already on board for the massive housing development on the old UC Extension property on lower Haight St. Why? Because the fix is in for a chunk of the housing to go to senior members of the LGBT community. UC/Evans is playing the gay PC card. This from the website of Openhouse, which is "a nonprofit organization...committed to creating LGBT-affirming housing and aging-support services for people of all income levels."

Openhouse’s first site is in pre-development of an 80-unit facility of combination market rate/affordable rental units with housing developer A.F. Evans on Laguna Hill in Hayes Valley. The site is ideally located just one block from the LGBT Community Center and Market Street. There will be independent living with comprehensive social and health services that include: meals, transportation, housekeeping, care management, and social activities. The communal space will include a dining room, kitchen, activity rooms, wellness support, and offices. Its public space will include a park, retail shops, wellness center, and a multi-purpose room. The site will be Openhouse’s flagship location offering outreach, aging-support services, and social activities to thousands of other LGBT older adults who wish to age in their homes.

Never mind that this project will take a valuable space that's always been zoned for Public Use and turn it into a 450-unit housing development to fatten UC's bottom line. Never mind that those housing units will generate large amounts of traffic in an area that is already near gridlock because of the new, unimproved Octavia Blvd. expressway. Never mind that UC is trying to cash in on property it has had tax-free from the city since 1958, because its "mission" was presumably public education. UC now wants the city to change the zoning, so that it can change its mission to housing developer for that Public Use property.

It's shameful that Supervisor Dufty is selling out the well-being of that part of the city in exchange for 80 units of housing for gay seniors. In spite of the fact that the property is in his district, we now at least know why he's been strangely silent on UC's proposal for the last two years. He's evidently been meeting with UC/Evans and Openhouse to make sure the project happens, despite overwhelming opposition by the membership of the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association over the past two years.

Some background on UC's land-grab is here and here.

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