The appeal to invalidate the Planning Commission’s exception to San Francisco’s Planning Code which was granted for the 420-unit development to rise at 150 Van Ness was technically a success.

But rather than overturning the project’s approval and requiring a major redesign, as the appellants had sought, San Francisco’s Board of Appeals conditioned the approval upon a reconfiguration of the project’s ground floor to be code compliant, which will simply require swapping the location of four apartments with the project’s three ‘hotel’ rooms but otherwise allow the development to proceed as designed.

Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by sassyboyfrisco

    Wow…common sense prevails…who knew?

    • Posted by SFRealist

      Seriously. I can’t recall ever hearing about a common sense solution to anything around here. Wonders never cease

      • Posted by sassyboyfrisco

        hahaha, perhaps $3500/month market rate rents (like MONACO,France) are awaking City leaders!

        • Posted by Brian M

          Monaco is not “France” but an independent principality whose rents and wealth can be partly attributable to it being a tax shelter for the 1%.

  2. Posted by Dave

    So exactly how does this open up more ground space in order to be code compliant?

  3. Posted by katdip

    It doesn’t – essentially, by making all the dwelling units face the street, the ground floor no longer has to meet the max 80% lot coverage restriction. The developer actually proposed this change in their appeal response, giving the appeals board an acceptable “out”. Here is the key language from the developer’s response to the appeal: “With this minor modification, all dwelling units on the ground floor will face a public right-of-way, and the 80% lot coverage maximum standard of Section 249.33 will not apply at the ground floor.”

    • Posted by Orland

      Sounds like the building as originally proposed and granted an exemption was a better building, a better piece of San Francisco better serving the occupants and the 3% or so of “excess” was meaningless compliance with the letter of the rule. The appeal of the reasonable accommodation should have been denied and the ruling sustained.

  4. Posted by GoBlueInSF

    Will no one think of the [rich white] children?

  5. Posted by Ohlala!!

    Dear Go_Blue, you must be thinking about New Orleans where children hang out with street people. In San Francisco, we welcome homeless people from all over the country. We send our children to the suburbs.

    • Posted by Iknowsnow

      You are so full of derp.

      The appeal was filed by the rich mostly white parents who send their [kids] to the pricey Montessori preschool next door.

    • Posted by cfb

      Wrong. Wealthy/upper middle class (mostly white) people send their kids to fancy private schools, and yes, that includes schools in the suburbs. But the majority of SF residents aren’t wealthy, and send their kids to public school in the city.

  6. Posted by voxsf

    Nice!

  7. Posted by Pablito

    Good job. But it is still crazy that our development rules are so complicated that the City staff can’t figure this stuff out reliably before project approvals. Having a system that no one fully understands does not benefit the public it is supposed to protect.

  8. Posted by Yee

    The school is a preschool for children 6 months to 6 years old (kindergarten). The majority of the enrolled students are under 4. Downtown SF doesn’t have any SFUSD preschools for children under 4. Some non-profits, like Glide, have spots for very low income children. There rest of the child care centers this one change market rates. The families attending this school are not rich white families. These are working family balancing mortgages/rent and childcare expenses. It is a diverse school with many minority families.

    Childcare costs are crazy in this city and quality programs like this one are in great demand. This school opened in January and has a long waiting list.

    • Posted by BTinSF

      The school has not been there a long time. Development on the block was foreseeable when they chose to move in there. They simply decided to grab their little piece of space and try to block anyone coming after. Didn’t work. Good.

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