Friday, September 24, 2010

On Chris Daly's resume: Front man for developers

Chris Daly talks to the NY Times about his chances of getting a job:

"There really is no job for me," he said. "What do you do when you are the most controversial figure in the city? I looked on Craigslist for jobs during Board of Supervisor meetings," he said. "There was nothing---absolutely nothing. Nowhere that would hire me." Daly's tenure on the board has been marked by his pursuit of various controversial initiatives. His robust support of tenant-friendly housing policies and his opposition to the sit/lie law, for example, have generally vexed the city's bourgeois and business classes.

But five years ago Daly helped developers push the luxury highrise condos on Rincon Hill through the process in a city that has a chronic shortage of affordable housing. The 40-story highrises the city is encouraging at Market and Van Ness might need a front man to smooth the way through the process, though so far the Planning Department is doing a pretty good job of that with the Market/Octavia Plan, a developer-friendly project full of incentives that are going to turn the middle of the city into a free-fire zone for developers.

Daly and other city progressives have been silent on this destructive plan, which leaves him an opening. He could use the formula he used with the Rincon Hill highrises: charge the developers higher fees, make a lot of windy statements about affordable housing and community benefits [Later: the Rincon Hill owners actually have paid for some of the promised beneifts, though it's not clear if any affordable housing was actually created], trot out the bogus "transit corridors" theory the Planning Dept. likes so much, and city progs will roll over again.

After all, uber-prog Supervisor Mirkarimi has been the point man for the pro-development Market/Octavia Plan, which already gives it a green patina Daly will find useful.

Aaron Peskin
will lend a hand, since his support was crucial to the Rincon Hill development.

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At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good points all. The mission octavia plan also proposes 400 foot towers within 40 feet of 25 foot residential enclave in the SOMA west area. When the plan went through the Planning Commission and then approved at the Board of Supervisors the progressives said zero about impacts of that development to the over 500 people living in such close proximity to those huge buildings. They will live in a windy cave ...add to that the building have zero parking and we know that people will still own cars that buy those units so there will be endless circling in the residential areas looking for parking. Incredible the silence from the progressives, wonder why?

At 1:09 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

It's due to a massive intellectual failure by city progressives. While our political community is aggressive in pushing its agenda, it's agenda is composed of a lot of poorly-thought-through issues. The highrise/dense development issue is typical: it's made up of a jumble of half-baked ideas about urbanism, transit corridors, and anti-carism, and it all presumably has something to do with Jane Jacobs and "liveability." The Planning Dept. actually thinks it's creating an exciting new urban landscape with the M/O Plan, though when you look at their documentation it's obvious that they don't know what they're talking about. Instead, the city is in danger of being damaged for generations if this project is allowed to go forward. The only thing that's saved us so far is the recession; a lot of developers can't get financing for their projects.

Click on "Highrise" and "Market and Octavia" at the bottom of the post for more on these subjects.


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