400 Divisadero Site 2015

With a growing number of proposed developments along lower Divisadero in the works, including plans for a 152-unit building to rise across the Divisadero Car Wash site and a 60-unit building at Divisadero and Grove, a petition demanding that developers be required to nearly triple the minimum number of onsite affordable units for any residential development on or around the Divisadero Corridor has collected over 200 signatures and gained the support of the Alamo Square Neighborhood Association’s Board of Directors.

The petition’s demands and position:

  1. New residential development must not displace existing tenants, homeowners, or small businesses.
  2. New residential development must contribute to neighborhood character and diversity both in terms of affordability and architectural design.
  3. New residential development must include at least 33% onsite units affordable to low- and moderate-income residents. The community favors projects in which at least 50% of the units are affordable.
  4. The community will not support projects that do not meet the above criteria.

Residential projects along the corridor are currently required to either include a minimum of 12% onsite affordable units, build a higher percentage of affordable units nearby, or pay an in lieu of fee.

If the movement to increase affordability requirements for projects along the Divisadero corridor gains steam, the associated uncertainty could effectively cause a ‘mini-moratorium’ or pause for market-rate projects.  And if actual legislation is adopted, it would dramatically change the economics for developers.

42 thoughts on “NoPa Development Pushback”
  1. I’m surprised that they aren’t trying to get the developer to house all the car wash’s ‘migrant’ employees onsite and find them new jobs with six figure salaries… This moratorium nonsense is going too far. I hope the developer goes after a density bonus and builds a project that that parcel deserves. Also, 200 signatures is nothing.

    1. Ah, more inflated conjecture. Asking for more affordable units is very different than providing six-figure jobs for displaced workers. Where is the ethical compass on this blog? Seems more like a pendulum, full of whiny upper-middle-class individuals who have buffered themselves from empathizing with class difference.

      1. The project, as built, will result in more affordable units than presently exist. Hyperbole aside, this seems more an issue of math than empathy.

  2. Here we go again. Wish we would stop thinking about “my block” or “my 10 square block neighborhood” and just realize that San Francisco will a) never be a cheap city, b) more housing will always help, not hurt (and it doesn’t matter where…building on someone else’s block could help affordability on your block just like building on your block could help affordability on someone else’s), and c) the really really big problem is inadequate transportation. Having adequate transportation and a more favorable building climate means that affordable housing can be built anywhere that’s practical (practical being the key word) and yet people don’t have to suffer through horrendous commutes regardless of where it is.

    Wish there were more practicality, logic, altruism, and reason with the progressive population of San Francisco.

    I was just on Divis this morning. It has a cool, funky flavor. We can do our damndest to make sure that doesn’t go away all while adding more residents/more units.

    1. Amtrak from Sacramento to San Francisco that took 1- 1.5 hours to get to downtown SF and not 3 hours would be a huge benefit to SF workers looking for more affordable housing. You are right, transit is a joke.

      1. Except Amtrak doesn’t go to SF. It ends in either Jack London or Emeryville, neither of which is accessible to transit to the SF.

        As for adequate transit, we will never have that. The Central Subway is a joke. It doesn’t even replace the entire route of the original 15 bus. Van Ness BRT? Another joke. In 2012 it was supposed to open (with great fanfare, of course) in 2016. That ain’t happening. Caltrain extension to the TTC. Pushed back at least another decade. T-Third terminus at Bayshore…how long has the Schlage site been razed and we’re still waiting for that direct connection to Caltrain?

          1. Amtrak (the organization) does reach SF. You have to transfer to an Amtrak bus in the east bay though. The factors preventing Amtrak rail service to SF are the lack of either turnaround tracks or a tunnel to the east bay.

          2. The issue of suburb to CBD commuting and intercity rail are different issues. They may well both suck but we have BART stations next to malls and other dumb land use stuff much closer to SF than Sac

  3. Will the “Alamo Square Neighborhood Association Board of Directors” step up to the plate and dedicate 50% of their homes to lower income residents? Or contribute their cash to an affordable housing fund? Of course not! They want everyone else to pay for it.

    1. Exactly! wonder how many of these fine upstanding citizens are willing to give up their Prop 13 discount and pay taxes on the market value of their homes to support affordable housing? Not many, but they are more than happy to make developers pay MORE than they are already required to in order to achieve their policy goals. You want 50% affordable housing? Then work through the BoS to change it (which wouldn’t ever happen). This ad hoc policy response is ridiculous – either make it policy or shut up.

  4. 200 signatures? Seriously? Forget the affordable housing they should be begging the developers to just add more floors and more units and let the free market work. The city should force / push limits on building height within reason and have them add more units. And more underground parking.

    1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think developers can get an exemption to add height if they also include more than the 12% affordable units. That would seem to be win-win. Anyone have a link for this?

    2. I could get 200 signatures tonight for literally any proposal anyone has. Why does 200 signatures have any weight in a city of 850,000 people?

  5. They want the car wash to stay. In the market with the worst housing crisis in the country.

    These people should not be taken seriously. Oh wait I just remembered where I am…they will be.

    1. It’s not a “housing crisis” It’s a “too many people want to live here who can’t afford to” crisis.

      1. Wrong. It’s a “too many people want to live who either can or cannot afford to” crisis. Hence, housing crisis.

      2. Which makes it a “not enough housing units being built crisis”. San Francisco needs to double or triple its rate of housing production. SF residents have lived in a bubble for far too long and its time reality slapped them in the face – repeatedly. Other major U.S. cities around the country accommodate growth far more effectively – the levels of housing construction and development proposals currently underway in San Francisco that the locals treat as some kind of Armageddon is a NORMAL level of development activity in the rest of the country.

        Go visit Seattle sometime – the entire city skyline is made up of construction cranes right now – and the City leadership there acknowledges that even THAT level of development activity is insufficient.

        Grow the F up San Francisco.

        1. You’re confusing “build more” with “build affordable”. Those Seattle cranes are not building “affordable” housing. Same with our cranes.

          It’s a complex problem, I agree. But to tell SF to grow the F up is meaningless. And to make SF proper the ONLY place where construction takes place is wrong. The entire Bay Area including very wealthy Silicon Valley needs to step up to the plate and make contributions to housing.

          1. Seattle proper is outbuilding SF proper, per capita, in the market-rate space, by a very significant margin. (Seattle is producing more total new units per year over the last 5 years than SF has, in spite of Seattle having a much smaller population than SF.)

            So yes, indeed, SF needs to grow the F up. But I am quite aware of your NIMBYism that seeks every excuse in the book for why SF doesn’t need to build more.

          2. Well, you can name call all you want. Trump does the same thing. Still struggling with your logic of SF growing the F up and how that solves anything. Or are you just angry that you can’t afford SF?

            But building more market rate here or in Seattle or anywhere will not make SF “more affordable”. It will provide more quality housing for those who can afford to buy here and I’m fine with that.

          3. So the shorter translation for your position is: “I don’t understand economics.”

          4. @ Futurist.. give [me] a break. That is your argument – that everyone is just jealous of what you have? I doubt that if *you* were to try to move to SF and buy a home today, in these market conditions, that would not be happening, considering what you do. So now that you have yours, you could care less if the city is no longer affordable to people like you. Such hypocrisy. And believe me, nobody is jealous of what you have.

          5. But you see SF, actually I could. Take my word or not But that’s not what this is about. Here’s why.

            Houses in my hood, for example, in Noe are still selling rather well. They are being bought by those who CAN afford to buy them. Lots of those people around who WANT to live in SF and actually can. That’s real. The other group or groups of people who ALSO WANT to live here, but can’t afford it. That’s also real. They need to figure out how they can afford to live here. It’s not going to get cheaper

            And BTW, I’ve also been on record to give up Prop 13 if full rent control is also appealed

  6. This petition makes total sense! I can’t understand why people are being so negative. If you hit item #1… oh, wait, item #1 basically prevents any kind of development. Well, those people are idiots…

  7. This corridor got upzoned. It’s completely fair to expect developers to give more affordability in exchange for the free units they got from the new zoning.

    1. Building more units is not “free” nor is selling units at below market value just because someone told you to do so.

  8. “The community will not support projects that do not meet the above criteria.”

    Untrue. Build desperately needed market rate and rethink the acres of government housing in our neighborhood. We can triple the amount of housing for poor people by building denser, mixed income and killing the sea of surface parking lots.

    San Francisco doesn’t have the guts to make the needed changes.

  9. Can’t we create an anti petition? I am a homeowner on the corridor and I want this to go through!! It will make the area much more appealing. How can we organize to support this?

  10. This petition is not about affordable housing. This petition is about making the demands on the develop so egregious that nothing gets built – which is the actual goal of the NIMBYs pushing this petition. They really don’t care about affordable housing otherwise they’d have been demanding the city building more affordable housing for the last 10 year.

      1. I agree. and Goblue just doesn’t understand economics, except his 9th grade name calling version. I keep saying and saying and saying that San Francisco will NEVER get cheaper nor will it ever get “more affordable”. There is no developer or builder on the planet who will WILLINGLY decide to cut their hard earned profits just to lower the market cost of their project to those who desperately WANT to live in SF, but in reality do not have the income to support it.

        Not gonna happen.

        1. “There is no developer or builder on the planet who will WILLINGLY decide to cut their hard earned profits…”

          Of course, they wouldn’t do so WILLINGLY. Ha, but there’s the rub: increased supply forces developers to be more aggressive in pricing, whether they want to or not. Willingness is perhaps the least relevant parameter of all.

          Maybe you’re the one who doesn’t quite understand economics here…

        1. Fair enough but the same principles apply. NOPA was already gentrified when I moved in 3 years ago, but it’s significantly more gentrified now. It’s a sliding scale not a digital switch that gets flipped.

          1. One could make a reasonable argument that all of SF is gentrified except the southern most regions like bayview/HP

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