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.