Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Our "decision-makers" gentrify San Francisco

Noah Berger, The Chronicle

John King throws a bouquet to the horrific Salesforce tower in downtown San Francisco:

For anyone who wonders how an edifice of such height rose in a notoriously height-wary city, there’s a simple answer. Decision-makers got their wish. “We’re doing what every international city is doing,” Dean Macris, the city’s planning director from 2004 until 2007, said last month. “We’re rethinking density"...

“The uglification of San Francisco continues apace,” read one letter to The Chronicle after images of the three contenders were made public. Another complained: “The San Francisco skyline has already been ruined once by Manhattanization. Why do it again, only worse this time?”

John King, who writes about planning issues for the Chronicle, has long favored highrise development downtown, and he also inexplicably has been infatuated with Octavia Blvd., a planning/traffic fiasco created after the city voted to take down the Central Freeway overpass in the Hayes Valley neighborhood.

But, alas, King's highrise dreams are now coming true for San Francisco. I laughed out loud when he gave credit to Chris Daly, the boorish ultra-left former city supervisor:

But the mood among a younger generation was different. For them, the measurement of a tower is the advantages it might bring. There’s no better example than Chris Daly, a former tenant activist who represented South of Market on the Board of Supervisors from 2001 to 2011. He also served on the Transbay Joint Powers Authority when it voted to embark on the design-development competition.

“My views on height were a different take than the older progressive approach,” Daly, now a union organizer in Nevada, said this month. “For me, it was never about whether or not there was a tower — I’m not a planner. The question was, how do you make sure that when you increase density there are benefits for the community that I represent?”

Oh, yes, giants strode the streets of the city in days of yore! 

Daly---and his "progressive" comrades on the board of supervisors, including Aaron Peskin---paved the way for the present highrise boom in the city by endorsing the Rincon Hill project.

Still waiting to learn about the "benefits" those highrise condos for the rich provided to, say, people in the Tenderloin. 

And "I'm not a planner" is a weasel-worded cop-out, as if the decision to allow that project was a technical issue, not a political decision about what kind of city was being created. See Rincon Hill revisited.

See also Chris Daly and the progressive agenda and Chris Daly: A retrospective.

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