Sunday, January 01, 2012

The anti-development myth in SF

Apparently Matt Smith brought to Bay Citizen from SF Weekly the unsupported notion that development in San Francisco has long been hindered by an anti-development movement. In today's Bay Citizen/NY Times: "After more than a decade in which San Francisco politics was partly defined by antidevelopment and historic preservation forces, a backlash has begun." 

Like the lie that the Fell/Masonic intersection is dangerous, the claim about the existence of a significant anti-development movement in San Francisco is apparently now firmly established in local journalism. The opposite is the case, as progressives and the Planning Dept. subscribe to the "smart" growth, dense development doctrine that holds that we can build as much housing as we want along major city traffic corridors

C.W. Nevius insists on the mythical existence of an anti-development movement in SF, as does Matt Smith, who, with John King, SPUR's Gabriel Metcalf, and the SF Planning Dept., also wants to build a lot of residential highrises in San Francisco. Smith thinks lining Golden Gate Park on Lincoln Avenue and Fulton Street with residential highrises is a great idea.

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At 10:43 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

The only thing that's delayed City Hall's push for highrise development in SF is the Great Recession, which has made it hard for developers to get loans for big projects, as in this "luxury" Rincon Hill highrise---in a city desperate for affordable housing---that of course got a green light from Planning but couldn't get the construction money.

At 11:08 PM, Blogger Alai said...

My neighborhood has some four- to six-unit buildings from the early 1900s. No garages, of course. If you built on the same lots today, however, you'd be limited to two units, and you'd be required to provide parking.

Guess which units are more affordable?

At 10:23 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

And your point is? The one-parking-space for every new housing unit is being systematically undermined by City Hall as part of the anti-car approach to housing and traffic, even as it underfunds Muni and implements the Bicycle Plan.

The Market/Octavia Plan and the UC development on lower Haight Street are not about affordable housing.

SF not only doesn't have a significant anti-development movement, the opposite is the reality, as this building height map of the Market and Van Ness intersection shows.

At 10:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Point is that $40k (at least) is added to every housing unit built with parking. Also add in the fact the the garage takes away a unit or two, shirking supply and raising price.

Parking = bad housing policy.

At 10:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, take that back. make it upwards of $140k per space.

At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SF not only doesn't have a significant anti-development movement, the opposite is the reality,


At 12:19 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"Parking = bad housing policy."

No parking = bad traffic policy.

At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Parking induces traffic.

Hence no parking = good traffic policy.

At 2:21 PM, Blogger alai said...

My point is that units with parking cost significantly more, to construct, to rent or to buy, than units without parking.

I mean, you don't seriously believe that the answer to the problem of a lack of affordable housing is to allow fewer units, but with more amenities?

At 2:58 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Parking is a necessity, not an amenity.

At 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Parking is a necessity, not an amenity."

40% of San Franciscans would disagree.

At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"These rules about minimum parking spaces have driven up the costs of apartments for developers and residents, damaged the environment, diverted money that could have gone to mass transit and created a government-mandated cityscape that’s largely unused."


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