1050 Valencia Street Site

Frozen mid-construction by a Superior Court Judge who ruled that San Francisco’s Board of Appeals had abused its discretion and “failed to set forth the analytic route it traveled” when the Board reversed an earlier vote which would have limited the Mission District development at 1050 Valencia Street to four, rather than five, stories in height, last night the Board of Appeals adopted an amended set of Findings for the development and voted to reissue the project’s building permit which had been suspended. But the fight may not be over.

The Board’s revised findings address the aforementioned analytic route which the court found lacking, but the appellants who have been challenging the development, including the Marsh Theater next door, accuse the Board of new transgressions and abuse. From the appellants’ objection to the Board’s action last night:

The procedure for Consideration of Written Findings is not a “hearing” on the merits of a case. The procedure is “an opportunity to review and comment on the draft Findings,” and a limited opportunity to suggest revisions if the party does not believe that the proposed written Findings accurately reflect the deliberations and decision made by the Board at a hearing on the merits of a given case. The Court vacated the Board decision completely and ordered a further hearing, the Court did not order the Board to merely attempt to repair its Written Findings or to hold a limited hearing under its procedure for Consideration of Written Findings.

The proposal by the Board staff to simply “paper-over” the Court’s ruling that the Board committed a prejudicial abuse of discretion in violation of its rules is yet a new violation of the Board’s rules and a violation of the Court’s Order. The Board should provide Appellant with the opportunity to be heard and place this matter on the Board’s agenda at a subsequent date for further hearing as ordered by the Court.

With the Board’s adoption of their revised findings, the building permit for 1050 Valencia should soon be reinstated and construction should soon recommence. But the development could be derailed anew should the “Neighbors for Preservation and Progress” mount another challenge.

37 thoughts on “Frozen Valencia Street Development Cleared To Recommence, But…”
  1. Preservation AND Progress.

    The Society for Creative Contradiction?

    The Association for Progressive Regressive Policy?

  2. This is soooo sad and actually makes me feel sorry for the developer no matter how deep their pockets are. All this to fight for a 4 story building instead of a 5 story one. Really?

    1. Well, the developer could have chosen to work with the neighbors and come up with something that was acceptable (that might or might not have involved a change in height). But throughout the process, he has refused to do anything more than participate in the minimal required public meetings — which never resulted in any changes to address the neighbors concerns.

      And, of course, if you believe one story is so trivial, the developer could have just built the 4 story build by now — but he chose to drag out the process.

      Don’t feel sorry for the developer in this case, he is the type of person who gives developers a really bad name.

      1. Please tell me why the developer should have built to 4 stories when it was zoned for up to 5 by the Planning Department, approved by the Planning Commission and upheld by the Board of Appeals (twice)? Please elaborate on what those neighbors’ concerns actually were other than a loosely veiled attempt to lop off a story?

  3. I wonder if there is a connection to higher crime rates and self serving snobs tying up court resources with frivolous lawsuits?

  4. The developer should look through the permit histories of each of neighboring building owners making up the “Neighbors for Preservation & Progress”. There likely has been some amount of non-permitted work sufficient to file a complaint against the obstructionists. What’s good for the goose…

  5. The committee writes well, and it sounds like a good argument.

    I’d be surprised that they don’t succeed at court and embarrass Scott Weiner again.

  6. I know this: if this vilification mindset of so-called nimbyism (i.e. of people who are actually invested in their quality of life) were in charge back in the day, we would have a freeway running through Golden Gate Park. This city was the Paris/Florence/St. Petersburg of America and is now under assault. Period. Its horrible and everyone I know is pretty angry about it. Something to keep in mind.

    1. Good God, you have never been to Saint Pete have you?

      Could you please expound upon how this particular project would negatively impact SF?

    2. Again- we hear NOTHING from “so called defenders of quality of life” about the homeless urinating and defecating on the streets and the drug users dying on the sidewalks. But 5 stories instead of 4 stories is the new aplocolypse to them. This is why nobody takes them seriously.

      My guess is a 5 story building blocks the easterly view of a nearby [resident] more than a 4 story one, hence the lawsuit. And they got the plebes out on their side doing all the footwork for them as they sit at home and pop another $500 bottle of Chardonnay. Open Your Eyes.

      1. Yup.

        And frankly, a freeway *under* GG Park would be walloping good idea. Think how much better the park, and the City, would be in Park Presidio were underground all the way from the southern edge of the Presidio to the Sunset. But now, that would be a horrible accommodation of cars, we can’t have that!

        1. …promoting driving increases greenhouse gas pollution, so, no, a freeway under GG park is still a bad idea, In fact, almost all freeways are pretty bad ideas.

          1. Traffic congestion like we have now is worse for greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.

      2. Why in the world do you assume that because I support greater market influence in the housing market that I somehow don’t also support huge changes in street policies? Baffling.

    3. We also wouldn’t have a Golden Gate Bridge, which was bitterly contested in its time. Nimbyism goes both ways. But really, one building on one corner is neither a freeway nor a bridge. It doesn’t have that much impact.

    4. LOL @ Paris quality of life. More homeless than SF, throngs of thieving Roma kids, people peeing in the streets, apartments on average 1/2 the size of SF, 80% of all car traffic spouting lung-clogging diesel fumes due to idiotic policy. Every city has its problems and I can tell you Paris is not more livable than SF, au contraire. Hint: I have places in both cities and lived many years in both.

      1. Also, the average Parisian building is 7 floors. The [people] who want to freeze SF in amber mentioning Paris should just take a deep breath and think with their brains.

  7. Perfect example of the failure of progressive politics in SF.

    The only somewhat material issue of this development was whether it would impact the Marsh Theater next door (by creating new neighbors who would complain about the noise). They lost. But instead of moving on, they keep fighting the developer at every turn. Causing delays, trying to reduce the height from 5 to 4, etc. Like somehow 5 neighbors will complain that much more about the noise than 4 (even though the 5th floor wouldn’t share a wall with the Marsh — the 2nd and 3rd floors were the issue and on that they lost, lost, lost). The only thing they succeeded in doing is making this development that much more expensive, making other developers build in additional contingency funds to their developments to deal with delays like this.

    You know why we only have “luxury” development in this city? Because it is so difficult to build because of people like Neighbors for Preservation and Progress. YOU are the reason there is no middle class development in the city. SHAME.

    1. +1

      The irony is that the people who will complain more are the ones who should welcome having massive amounts of new housing far beyond the few projects we have here and here. The hordes of techies with their fat paychecks WILL move here, it’s not even questioned. The less options are offered to them, the more likely everything will be more expensive.

  8. Disappointed that the Marsh would be such staunch opponents of this project. Seems like it would be beneficial to their business. I hope it’s not the parking thing. Who drives to The Marsh, anyway?

    1. It’s not clear to what extent the Marsh is involved in this action. Besides, this may well represent merely a case of “the process playing itself out.” Why would you expect the appellants to simply pack up and go home? They won one battle and the Board’s response to the court order in their favor may also be legally questionable.

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