856 Capp Street Site

Two years ago, a fire damaged the home which shares the lot with the former Iglesia del Pacto Evangelico church at 856 Capp Street, between 23rd and 24th in the Mission. And in a move which could spark a few new flames, a proposal to convert the church into a nine-unit, market-rate building has been submitted to San Francisco’s Planning Department for review.

As proposed, the fire-damaged home on the parcel would be razed while the church building would be expanded up to 40-feet in height and out to roughly 12,000-square-feet in size. The earthquake shack which also sits on the site would remain in place.

And as the proposal is for fewer than ten units, the development would not be required to include, nor fund, the development of any below market rate (BMR) units.

24 thoughts on “Church Conversion Could Spark A Few New Flames”
  1. For 854 Capp (house on North side of church) there are applications for demo of the house and 6 new condos.
    I would attach pdf’s if I could figure out how.

  2. Do it. I hate how SF houses are just facades. Look at it! Front is nice, but it’s just a square in the back that is completely awful. I have no idea why they built SF like this! Almost all of SF is like this – FACADES. In more than one way.

    1. Well, the reason is obvious. They’re intended to stand adjacent to another house– you’re not supposed to see those walls.

      1. I understand that part @Alai, I mean the good stuff on top of the roof is just in the front. In Europe, the good roofs go all the way back to the end. It’s like SF just put a pretty front on things like a film set.

  3. We need BMR rules at the level of three units = so 1/3 or 33% affordable housing. That is still less than the voter mandated minimum. Otherwise the current trend to build few, luxurious units is going to stay below 10 units and voila … Monaco.

    1. Should we also ensure that every restaurant in town has a 1/3rd of the entrees listed on their menu priced at less than $8?

      Maybe we could ensure that 1/3rd of new cars sold in San Francisco cost less than $10,000.

      Let’s also ensure that 1/3rd of airplane tickets sold in San Francisco cost less than $100.

      Where are our supervisors on these issues that impact every one of us?

      1. people don’t have to eat in restaurants, own cars, or fly on airplanes. They do need shelter. Whether the BMR program is a good policy or not or could be made better, how does trying to trivialize it and the need it is supposed to address, as you often do with these spurious comparisons, help?

          1. No, it doesn’t have to be in SF, but that isn’t an issue. You don’t have to live in SF. I don’t have to live in SF. The huge houses of billionaires row don’t have to be in SF occupying land that could easily house 10 times the number of people and return 5 to 20 times the property taxes. There’s a very long list of things that are in SF, but don’t have to be. So you can just forget about making that an issue.

            Turns out that we have a mix of many kinds of shelter and many with special tax breaks and subsidies. The most expensive by far being the mortgage interest deduction. How many SF homeowners couldn’t have afforded to buy in SF without that deduction? Do all of them “have to be in SF?”

            In SF our mix includes BMR, rent control, and billionaires in mansions paying negligible property taxes. Will of the people as expressed by the laws they have chosen directly at the ballot and indirectly through their representative. Ain’t democratic republics a hoot.

          2. “Will of the people as expressed by the laws they have chosen directly at the ballot and indirectly through their representative”

            – How did you feel when the state passed Prop 8?

          3. I felt angry, disappointed, and resolved to see it overturned. I also wasn’t surprised, CA has passed other targeted nasty props like 187. Reminded me of what someone famously said about the Texas House of Representatives, “If you think these guys are bad, you should see their constituents.”

            Of course it was overturned, and in the trial in Federal court here in SF the proponents arguments could be seen for what they were, nothing more than vaguery covering over traditions of bigotry and worse. That transcript and Judge Walker’s ruling were the death knell for the anti-marriage side.
            Even the chief witness for Prop 8 at the trial, who had spent two decades arguing against same-sex marriage, recanted a couple years later when he discovered “to my deep regret, much of the opposition to gay marriage seems to stem, at least in part, from an underlying anti-gay animus. To me, a Southerner by birth whose formative moral experience was the civil rights movement, this fact is profoundly disturbing.” — David Blankenhorn, oped, New York Times, July 2012.

            Arc of the moral universe is a rainbow bending toward justice…

          4. @PITA – yes democracy is great, so is capitalism. You said that x & y don’t have to live in SF, but here’s the difference, they can AFFORD to. If Z can’t afford to live in SF, Z needs to get out of town to where Z can afford. Simple. Enough of the BMR stuff. Truly, enough. I hear NY state is going to get rid of it, can’t wait.

          5. When you say that someone lives where they can afford, well what they can afford is often determined by government programs, such as BMR, rent control, and the mortgage interest deduction. If Z can afford a BMR unit in SF, qualifies, and is selected, then they can AFFORD to live in SF. The mayor and supervisors are fighting over how much to increase the affordable housing programs and bond measures, not whether to reduce or eliminate them.

            Our capitalism is a construction of our politics and is whatever we define it to be politically. It does not exist outside of our more perfect union and the agreements that union has made with other countries. It ain’t some law of the cosmos, just something we the people have created to serve us and continue to evolve.

          6. “Our capitalism is a construction of our politics and is whatever we define it to be politically”

            It is critical to those who direct the political economy for their and their associates’ benefit that the economy looks natural and inevitable, beyond the control of human hand. Otherwise, productive workers (the actual creators of wealth as opposed to the FIRE industry extractors of wealth) might realize they are being hosed intentionally, with malice aforethought, and start gathering pitchforks as a practical means of remediation.

      2. @ PitaLOL
        Should we ensure that every grocer in town offers 1/3 of its groceries for cheap? (and hope the needy get there first)

        Maybe we could ensure that 1/3 of all jeans in town are sold for $10/pr?

        Lets ensure that carpenters, roofers, and plumbers make 1/3rd of their contracts at Minimum Wage pricing (any protesters can be consoled by the fact they can charge thru the ‘roof’ for the other 2/3rds of contracts.

        But if we just forbade the building of any new housing, then we wouldn’t have to argue about BMR at all.

        You know, the Golden Gate Bridge is in SF. But it doesn’t have to be!

        1. if you think those are good ideas, you could try to get legislation passed to make them happen. We argue about BMR because many people support these program and many oppose them. If you oppose them you would do better to make relevant points instead of silly strawmen that make you look non serious.

          FWIW, we do have massive government subsidies as well as price and supply controls on many common foods. How many of us added a little sugar or milk to our coffee this AM?

          Meanwhile, if there was only some way to ensure that at least 1/3 of posts on SS weren’t below mental retreads – the bmr plague that has tragically infected so many.

      3. @Pityguy

        The worker who is trying to keep two jobs to make ends meet and take care of her kids will frequently lack the time to make a nice home cooked meal 3, 2, or 1 time per day. Fast service restaurants (like the oft-maligned McDonalds) provide an easy way to feet a family quickly easily and inexpensively. For someone working long long hours, a restaurant is by no means a luxury.

        Show me a gardener who runs his own business cleaning lawns and yards, and I will show you a person who REQUIRES a vehicle. It needn’t be a new vehicle, but the post (and BMR legislation) pertains to new construction, for which the market pays a premium over existing housing stock. So the comparison to a new car is apt, and one that might or might not be easier for the BOS to regulate than the used car market.

        Show me a laborer who earns $15/hr under the table schlepping sand out from under a house as a foundation subcontractor, who learns that his mother is on her deathbed in Veracruz, and I will show you a low income person for whom a plane ticket is not a luxury.

        I have by no means trivialized the challenge of finding housing my comparisons are apt and fair. Everyone in the city faces economic challenges. The BMR system creates (at best) a random selection of winners, as if X amount of people in San Francisco received a check for $10,000, funded by a private investor. Why don’t our supervisors require a gate fee at SFO to fund a relief account for travelers who live in SF and have a financial need? Why don’t we require every auto dealer in town to reserve a portion of their sales for people with special income needs? Why don’t restaurants have to offer a menu of financially accessible meals? All of this type of regulation is within their grasp.

        Why don’t we treat these other industries equally?

        1. For the overworked/underpaid the government already provides massive subsidies and investments that help keep down the costs of food at fastfood restaurants and for basic food staples at grocery stores like safeway. There are subsidies at every level of food production. The federal SNAP program spent $74 billion in fiscal 2014 in direct subsidies to 46 million Americans. And that is only the largest direct payment program, there are many others. Increasing minimum wages and otherwise elevating the welfare of the overworked and underpaid might be a better way, but the government is already heavily involved in the pricing and availability of food. Another misleading comparison by you.

          The gardener’s business needs the truck, not the gardener personally. You are comparing a commercial need with a personal one. There are tax benefits for company owned trucks that are not available for personal vehicles. Another false comparison by you.

          I have a friend that owns a bmr unit in the bay area. When he went through the bmr process, it certainly wasn’t a purely random selection. He had to qualify to be eligible. There is nothing morally wrong with random selection from an otherwise equally qualified pool. That’s the basis of most insurance rates. Would you like the BMR program better if it used another selection method, perhaps first-come-first-served like the US Visa program?

          About a month ago my friend with the bmr unit needed to fly to see his father who was dying in a hospital far away, but my friend couldn’t afford it. Friends kicked in money so he could go. Airlines have offered special terms and discounts for bereavement, though I think most have cut back on them and they never were very generous. Perhaps you would like to propose a government fund for this. Or are you just overreaching again to try to make a minor point.

          All you have done is trivialize with false comparisons meant to divert attention from whatever are the actual good and not good of the BMR program to your malformed analogies.

          We do treat all industries equally in that they can all lobby for laws. The food and transportation industries have many laws crafted for them and by them which involve far more money than the BMR program. Good luck finding a pristine industry or market free of government handouts/taxbreaks/etc. Not many virgins in Sacramento or DC.

  4. Nine-unit buildings should be automatically denied entitlements. It can just as easily be a ten-unit building that makes a contribution to affordable housing.

    1. The rule is >/=10; so why deny 9-units? I don’t get it? In that case make the rule >/=9 units; but then I suppose you’d be objecting to 8-units. So what you are suggesting is one can build 8-units or 10+ units but outlaw 9-units. Surely we are better off with as many units as possible and if a developer want to do 9, we should be happy more units are being added to the stock.

      The whole idea of developers contributing to a BMR fund is ridiculous. If we as a city want to provide BMR units, then all of us in the city should pay for it.

      How come the tech billionaires and their companies don’t have to contribute to a BMR fund when it is generally agreed that it is their employees who have come to the city and caused the huge increases in rent?

  5. You can argue endlessly for BMR units, but the fact is, it has accelerated the cost of housing in SF. If the goal is to help reduce cost, BMR should be subsidize by general taxes or tax credits.

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