Friday, November 23, 2007

Servetnik to the Bay Guardian on UC's Land-grab

Privatization of UC Extension Campus

Editor:

Thank you for urging readers to speak out at the December 20th Planning Commission meeting against fast-tracking the proposed UC/AFEvans/openhouse 440-unit mainly market rate housing project on the UC Extension Campus at Laguna and Market.

Without public input, UC decided to cash out and privatize the 5.8 acre site which has been in public use for over 150 years. Should the proposed zoning application be approved, Waller Street between Buchanan and Laguna Streets---about 15% of this public land---would revert to City ownership.

On November 9th, the State Historical Resources Commission unanimously recommended the former SF State Teacher's College Campus for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. The SF Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board unanimously concurred. Yet, in a rush toapprove the proposed project, the Board of Supervisors landmarked only the three out of five buildings that the developer wants to retain.

This is not a fait accompli. Other parties have expressed an interest in reusing the campus under Public zoning, including New College of California. Their education and community services proposal, which would retain all of the historic buildings, was analyzed as an alternative in the EIR for the proposed project and found to be environmentally superior.

Our group is advocating for the preservation of the historic resources, which include a newly renovated gymnasium, a state-of-the-art computer-learning center, a tiered theater, basketball courts, open space and a variety of classroom facilities. We have collected over 800 signatures calling for a public process to decide the future use of the campus and we're urging Supervisor Mirkarimi to sponsor an ordinance ensuring any development of the campus that is not consistent with UC's direct mission be subject to the purview of the proposed Market and Octavia Area Plan CommunityAdvisory Committee.

Your readership is critical to our advocacy for an open community-driven planning process that ensures the campus is well integrated with the neighborhood and continues to benefit the public for generations to come.

Cynthia Servetnick, AICP, Co-Chair
Save the UCBE Laguna Street Campus, (415) 563-7336

Online discussion of UC's attempted land-grab:

Sign the online petition:

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