"How does it feel to have been right about 55 Laguna?"
How does it feel to have been right about 55 Laguna?
My fellow gays are up in arms about this SHOCKING NEWS. We've been had, in the same way that the elderly Chinese who get bused in to public hearings to rubber-stamp someone's project have been had.
Like everyone I like to be right, but it doesn't make me "feel" good on this issue. I wish I had been wrong about this project, which has been nothing but a disheartening, slow-motion fiasco for the city and everyone involved.
Yes, the gay community has "been had" if it thought that the promise of 80-100 housing units for gay seniors was an enforceable commitment as part of this project.
Surely those who plotted with UC to put this PC fig leaf on UC's land grab---Tom Ammiano, Mark Leno, Bevan Dufty---understood that fair housing laws prohibited that kind discrimination in housing.
But don't despair, Michael; those administering this project will probably figure out a way to circumvent the law to discriminate against heteros in favor of your "fellow gays."
A lot of contemptible behavior led to this project by our elected representatives and an indifferent, ill-informed media, including the city's two "alternative" weeklies, the Bay Guardian and the SF Weekly.
Yes, UC had that property tax-free from the city because of its public education "mission," but for 50 years, not 200 years. UC's land-grab wouldn't have been possible if City Hall and "progressives" had refused to give it a zoning change, since the property had been zoned for "public use" for 150 years. Instead, City Hall validated UC's lie about why it stopped providing university courses for working people
But allowing UC to hijack the property for a housing development was also an opportunity to validate the Planning Department's half-baked "transit corridors" development theory---that the city can allow an almost unlimited amount of housing near any major Muni line. The UC plan to shoehorn 450 housing units on 5.8 acres fit the ideological bill, along with the Market/Octavia Plan that surrounds the UC project, which allows---nay, encourages---30-40-story residential highrises in the Market and Van Ness area. Not surprisingly, developers like this theory a lot.
And of course parking for all those new housing units is deliberately limited, because those new residents will supposedly ride an already crowded Muni, or, even less plausibly, bikes.
City Hall likes the "transit-oriented development" theory, since it's a good deal for them. Development means more "revenue" to feed a growing city bureaucracy, including the MTA bureaucracy, which Modern Luxury/San Francisco Magazine explained to us the other day is just the way the world and the city has to work.
One of the originators of the theory was so alarmed about how City Hall was applying it to city neighborhoods he wrote an op-ed in the Chronicle in opposition.
And "traffic impacts"? Of course 1,000 new residents in that part of town will have an impact on traffic, since the project is one block off the chronically gridlocked Octavia Boulevard, which every day carries more than 60,000 cars and trucks through the middle of the Hayes Valley neigborhood.
For some background on the UC issue, see a 2005 interview with Eliza Hemenway.
Labels: Bevan Dufty, City Government, Mark Leno, Market/Octavia, Neighborhoods, Octavia Blvd., Planning Dept., Ross Mirkarimi, SF Weekly, Smart Growth, The SF Bay Guardian, Traffic in SF, UC Extension