Opposition to the proposed twisty tower to rise up to 400-feet at the corner of Folsom and Spear, and the proposed 220-foot tower to rise at 75 Howard, is organizing. And next week, former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos is slated to rally residents and neighbors of the Infinity to join the cause against another “wall on the waterfront.”
From an email to ‘Save Rincon Park’ which is quietly making the rounds:
“Like the 8 Washington waterfront high-rise that San Francisco voters overwhelmingly rejected, the proposed 400 foot luxury condo towers at 160 Folsom Street and the proposed 240 foot luxury condo towers at 75 Howard Street on the Embarcadero would create the overwhelming effect of a wall on the waterfront. If approved, these two projects would overwhelm the waterfront and diminish the pedestrian experience, just as the old double-decker Embarcadero Freeway previously did for decades until it was finally removed.
The San Francisco Planning Department’s draft environmental review of 75 Howard found that it would have a significant detrimental impact on users of Rincon Park on the waterfront by increasing the shadows cast on Rincon Park and significantly eliminating sunlight on Rincon Park on most days throughout the year. The proposed 100 foot height limit increase to build a 400 foot luxury condo tower at 160 Folsom would also cast significant new shadows on Rincon Park on the waterfront.
San Francisco’s Sunlight Ordinance – Prop. K – was approved by voters in 1984 to protect city parks from falling into darkness from excessive shadowing by new high-rise developments. However, a loophole in the law exempts from protection waterfront parks under the jurisdiction of the Port – such as Rincon Park and the Embarcadero Promenade.
Since the proposed 160 Folsom project would be built primarily on public land dedicated for redevelopment it is required to have 35% of the units designated as affordable – whether it is built within the existing height limit or at the higher 400 foot height to allow for more luxury penthouses. The proposed 75 Howard project would have no on-site affordable housing.
The proposed developers of both 160 Folsom and 75 Howard have announced their intention to seek approval of their height limit increases and project proposals from the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors this summer. They have already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on powerful lobbying firms to grease the wheels for their proposals to slide through City Hall. It will not be easy to defeat them – now is the time to stand up.”
The Infinity, at which next week’s meeting will be held, includes two ‘waterfront’ towers which rise up to 400-feet, across the street from the proposed tower at 100/160 Folsom.