While the Barbary Coast Neighborhood Association (BCNA) characterized the passing of Senate Bill 815 (sponsored by Senator Carol Migden) as a “Grand Day in Sacramento” and a “great victory,” not everyone shares the same sentiments.
For two years the port has been hammering out legislation that would give the cash-strapped agency development control over nine so-called seawall lots, port-owned parcels along the Embarcadero.
But earlier this month, under increasing pressure from neighborhood groups, Migden altered the bill to prohibit building anything higher than 40 feet on four of the more valuable parcels near the foot of Telegraph Hill. The altered bill, passed July 2 by the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, drew the wrath of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and Port Director Monique Moyer, who suggested that Migden had caved in to property owners looking to “maintain waterfront views.”
Migden said the resolution, Senate Bill 815, provides ample opportunities for the port to generate cash and doesn’t impose height restrictions on the largest of the seawall lots, the 600,000-square-foot lot 337, next to AT&T Park. She said the bill “strikes a balance between the port’s need to bring in revenue and the concerns of neighbors who will live next door to these developments.”
And while the amended resolution doesn’t impose height restrictions on the lots adjacent to Watermark either (across from Piers 30-32), it does remove lot 351 (adjacent to the Golden Gateway Swim and Tennis Club) from the realm of developable parcels as well.
We can’t help but wonder if the Port is seconding guessing the Public Forum they co-sponsored with the BCNA this past May. A forum which Frederick Allardyce (President of the BCNA) described as an opportunity to learn about “how the public can impact the future of San Francisco.” Ah, the foreshadowing (if not irony).
UPDATE: Some great history and additional background from Frederick (including reaction to, and the impact of, the construction of the Fontana towers).
∙ Height limit could sink port’s plan [Business Times]
∙ Out With The Old: 45 Lansing And The Lot Around Watermark [SocketSite]
∙ San Francisco Seawall Lot Rezoning Public Forum (5/14/07) [SocketSite]
∙ The Port, The Piers, The Parking And The Terminal [SocketSite]