First St. John's United Methodist Church at Larkin and Clay (Image Source:

In a special closed door session this week, San Francisco’s Planning Commission will conference with legal counsel “to discuss pending litigation and consideration of settlement proposals” in Pacific Polk Properties, LLC v. City and County of San Francisco and California-Nevada Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church v. City and County of San Francisco.

The two lawsuits challenge the Planning Commission’s June 24, 2010 failure to certify a final environmental impact report and denial of a conditional use authorization for the proposed project at 1601 Larkin Street to rise in place of the rundown church.

1601 Larkin Rendering as Proposed

While the Commission will likely assert attorney-client privilege with respect to the matters discussed in this special session, as always, we’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

Planning Commission Special Meeting: January 19, 2012 []
Development Of 1601 Larkin Disapproved By Planning Commission [SocketSite]
1601 Larkin: Comments, Responses And Latest Renderings [SocketSite]
1601 Larkin Reignites An Architects Versus Planning Design Debate [SocketSite]
Planning Disapproves Of Proposed Height For 1601 Larkin Project [SocketSite]

11 thoughts on “Behind Closed Doors: 1601 Larkin Settlement Discussions This Week”
  1. Every day that I walk by this heap of shi* I wish it would go away.
    Nothing has been there of use for the past 8 years or so other then homeless who use it as a toilet/drug abuse station.
    Its the perfect SF story, if it isnt historic as a church, maybe its historic as a monument to our ability to do absolutely nothing.

  2. It is truly ridiculous this project was turned down. Now a law suit to defend ($$$) and probably an additional settlement ($$$) to add to The City’s cost. In the meantime, lost property tax revenue, additional policing and emergency response costs, neighborhood blight- all on SF’s dime.
    Approve it! Construction jobs, increased property taxes, transfer taxes. What’s the question?

  3. Joe – could the owners and developers be intentionally allowing this site to become a nuisance to steer public opinion towards their agenda? It seems like they could do some basic things like lease the space out for example which would deter the offending behavior.

  4. Milkshake – I guess they could but who would want to rent and maintain a ramshackle old church? No matter how you slice it will only get worse.
    Our fair City needs to wake up and get the economy going again. This is not a far fetched, beyond the pale, outrageous expectation. It fits the Commission’s parameters- they should get on with it and worry more about the large projects that could adversely affect the quality of life. Those actually need oversight, modifications, and careful planning. This just needs approval….

  5. I dont know if they could lease it out, but I’m sure there are issues with habitability with the existing building. Dont know if the lease numbers would pan out and doubt that developing or selling a building parcel with existing tenants would be easier than an empty building.
    Bottom line is that the diocese doesnt wish to be a landlord. Why should SF force them to be?

  6. Leasing the space is just one idea. And an idea that is vulnerable to the ever malleable question of whether the numbers pan out.
    But the point I was trying to make is that the owner and developer have no incentive to take any course of action to deter the blight. Because blight works in their favor.

  7. Why shouldnt they be allowed to do what they want with their property within boundaries of the planning code? Why does the planning commission reject a building based on how it looks rather than how it applies to the local code?
    And the third rendering is the most godawful thing I have ever seen. Only in SF would someone come up with such a frankenstein proposal.

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