540 De Haro Rendering

Speaking of churches, condos and seeing the light, the proposed development to rise up to 40-feet in height at 540 De Haro Street, across the street from the Anchor Steam Brewery and adjacent to the Saint Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church, has been slightly redesigned and will try again to be approved next week.

Originally slated for approval earlier this year, San Francisco’s Planning Commission responded to concerns raised by the adjacent congregation with respect to a loss of direct light from the south which illuminates the church’s central rotunda and sent the project sponsors back to the drawing board.

In response, a 10-foot setback has been carved out of the project by Sternberg Benjamin Architects for the length of the property line adjacent to the church at its 4th and 5th floors:

540 De Haro Rendering Revised

But in order to accommodate the setback, the unit count has been reduced by one to 16 (all of which will be market rate).

And with respect to the Moto Shop/Guild which had occupied the 540-552 De Haro Street building to be razed on the site, they’ve moved to Treasure Island.

540 De Haro Site

Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Orland

    Good result which likely would not have happened in an “as of right” environment.

    • Posted by woolie

      You shouldn’t be able to freeze development of your neighbor’s property — forever — because you decide that you’re entitled to a view, from one place, from one angle, at one point in time.

      • Posted by Orland

        Who said anything about a “freeze?” Here, a minor accommodation from the permitted zoning achieved a good end because Planning would have the ultimate say on what was to be built which undoubtedly lead the developer to be more flexible. Likely would not have happened had they had the right to proceed without a final review and permission.

        • Posted by tm

          If you don’t want your light get block, you should have bought the building next door, or buy the air rights. Why is your right to “light” exceed your neighbor’s right to have a home?

          • Posted by Orland

            What a Neanderthal’s approach to urbanism. What right do you have to do what you will with “your” property in a city?

          • Posted by tm

            well, your approach certainly is a parasitic moocher approach. You are worse than those crazy christian family values that force their “way of life” and their values on others (gays, transgenders people), and don’t see you are encroaching on other people’s rights.

          • Posted by Orland

            It’s called community.

          • Posted by tm

            family values association call themselves community also. anyone who lives a different lifestyle can’t be accepted.

      • Posted by k1ate

        You should probably visit the (inside of the) church before writing any more of these comments…. you’ll feel a little silly after you do:).

        Also, the concept of air rights and architectural significance are nothing new.Is this reaction just because the moving party a church?

  2. Posted by Dave

    Are they actually going to do a strip with shrubs between the building and the sidewalk or is that just an embellishment of the rendering to help sell the project?

    • Posted by Notcom

      I think the bigger question is w/not the residents are really going to allow the street trees to grow up into view-obstructing 25′ height, or find a way to have them topped….accidentally, of course.

  3. Posted by keenplanner

    Really banal architecture on a great building site. The neo-arts-and-crafts style church is so well done, the new building would have been smart to take clues from it for sidewalk scale and massing. I’m not begging for fake-referential architecture, just a warmer way to meet the sidewalk.
    It looks so like the new building at Page and Franklin.

    • Posted by Dave

      Agree. The flat roofline – a bane of SF architecture IMO – should have been architecturally thought. It should have been broken up to complement the two bell towers and carry a more arts and crafts style into the new project.

  4. Posted by Futurist

    And yet the church contributed to “loss of light” with respect to buildings/homes to their north.

    • Posted by Sutro_Tower

      Funny — weren’t those things built to help one “find the light?”

    • Posted by Frank C.

      Nice, Futurist this is a rare appropriate and valuable contribution to the development dialogue. Good work.

      • Posted by Futurist

        Glad you’re coming around to reality Frank. The church is acting in classic NIMBY form, something I never support: since they have their building, they wish to deny others the same property rights.

        • Posted by Orland

          “Property rights” is an oxymoron. Property has no rights. People have interests in and certain rights to property. In fact, every person in Society has some interest and right to a piece of property you might purport to “own.”

          Your delimited rights are those recognised by Society by law or custom and no more.

          • Posted by Futurist

            Oh, ok.

          • Posted by Orland

            That’s right.

          • Posted by LJL

            If you follow this to it’s logical end, doesn’t Futurist have an equal say in your Society as you do?

          • Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

            Orland uses the word “community” to imply that he prefers a democratic approach, but in reality his brand of reactionary communism respects only the “correct” opinions, as defined by those faithful to his orthodoxy.

          • Posted by Government Shrinkage

            Same thing with free speech rights. In fact I have an interest in the speech you’re producing. Wait no, that didn’t come out right. People have rights, so it’s all human right! Wait no. When we say ‘X rights’ (Abortion rights, water rights, intellectual property rights, etc.) it means people have rights in a particular area of human endeavor. I hope that clears up your confusion.

          • Posted by Orland

            Confusion? Oh, your (I mean you’re) right (I mean correct). You own a piece of property and, therefore, have freedom to use it however you wish no matter how inimical to the interest and welfare of all others. What a system.

            Like it or not, my statement above is true for every society on Earth. How could it be otherwise?

          • Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

            Yes, because total anarchy is always the only alternative you can imagine. Any more hyperbolic nonsense you need to let out? I haven’t seen you mention Hitler in a while.

            When you own a property that’s subject to zoning and a myriad of other regulations, that ought to establish rights and privileges both ways. The way it works today in SF is that your property right are subject to a long list of written rules… AND by the way, it’s also subject to any and all arbitrary restrictions as defined by frivolous complaints from neighbors and/or pathetic NIMBY losers with too much time on their hands.

            “As of right” can’t come soon enough.

          • Posted by SocketSite

            Keep in mind that this project would not qualify for ‘as of right’ development, even under Governor Brown’s proposed legislation, as the development team is seeking a commonly requested rear yard variance in order to maximize the building’s footprint and square footage.

    • Posted by ph_goat

      You know there are no homes to the north, right? Oh, you meant the corner retail space across the street. Righto.

    • Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

      If this were about people’s homes losing an inordinate amount of daylight, the complaint would have some merit. But we’re talking about the rotunda of a church here. Absolutely pathetic that the developer has to worry about such BS.

  5. Posted by gentrified is a dirty word for clean

    Sort of ironic that an institution committed to bringing society back to the Dark Ages complains about loss of light.

    • Posted by Dave

      The Dark Ages were not as dark as the PC canard would have you believe.

      But anyway, space between the all-to-wall built out lots of SF is always welcome. This is a terrific accommodation despite the fact the design leaves much to be desired. Its not awful, there may be shrubs after all, but it could have been a lot better.

      • Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

        Right, because the scientific revolution and Age of Enlightenment are just a liberal PC invention. People were better off as illiterate peasants living under the constant threat of torture and death if they dared utter an unorthodox idea.

  6. Posted by johntrev

    The church address is 500 De Haro and includes the building at the southwest corner of De Haro and Mariposa, (the “building/home to their north”).

  7. Posted by phloop

    Awful. These developers are not to be trusted.

    • Posted by Dave

      Neither the developers nor the Planning Commission are to be trusted IMO.

      The mediocrity of virtually all the architecture of these new projects, large or small, is so blatantly obvious that one has to wonder. Whose skid is being greased? That is JMHO.

      SF is repeating the Sunset debacle. I can give a bit of slack to that, but this?! At a time when SF RE is booming you would think the Planning Commission, – someone, anyone – would demand more. But alas no.

      • Posted by Futurist

        No, you really don’t know how to define “mediocre” or “exceptional”. It’s just that you don’t LIKE this project.

        It’s far easier here for people to heap criticism on a project than offer support or serious commentary. It gives them a “superior” attitude or voice if they claim they want better. They think it means they care “more.

        Which they really don’t.

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