While plans for a nine-story building with 127 units of affordable housing to rise on the northern half of the parking lot parcel at the corner of Folsom and 17th Street, adjacent to the future Folsom and 17th Street park on the southern half of the lot, have been drawn and the development rights have been awarded to the Chinatown Community Development Center and Mission Economic Development Agency, the proposed plans – which don’t include a garage – have been formally challenged.

From the requested Discretionary Review (DR) filed by a neighbor and formally accepted by the City yesterday:

“Building should provide off-street parking for residents to make up for the loss of the existing parking lot [which will exhaust street parking and create a horrible parking situation for existing residents]. A taller building would be acceptable if it provided off street parking for all residents. [And buildings of this height] should require pilings down to bedrock to prevent settling and eventual abandonment of the building.”

In addition:

“Projects of this size should be postponed…until the City renovates [the] existing 100-year-old combined storm-sewage sever system to eliminate [the persistent flooding at this site], otherwise increased concrete surface area of tall building[s] will worsen flooding and damage to street level businesses / residences.”

While the project will still need Planning’s approval to proceed, the 2060/2070 Folsom Street site was recently rezoned to allow for the development as proposed and building permits have been requested.

28 thoughts on “Affordable Development Challenged”
      1. Sabbie – not everyone has the type of job or profession where owning a car is optional. My SO leaves for various sites around the Bay Area in the middle of the night to do broadcast work. He can’t “uber to work” or take an f-ing bus. So take your head out of whatever utopian bubble it’s currently shoved into and meet the people who need cars for work halfway, but like – yes, including a parking garage in large development. Jesus! You anti-car people drive me COMPLETELY NUTS!

      2. yes, most people own cars in SF and half of households own 2 cars. Without providing a storage for the cars, there is constant circling for street traffic, double parking, commercial areas become a congestion nightmare. Most people who own cars use them less when they have storage than when they have to streetpark

        1. Double parking should be dealt with by having adequate loading and short-term zones. Once you have those, you can enforce parking rules, which is impossible now because no one has a choice when they’re making a delivery.

          Circling happens because street parking is severely underpriced and overused. Price it appropriately, and people won’t leave their cars for ages and ages, so there will be available spaces, so there will be no reason to circle.

  1. The flooding complaint smells like B.S. to me—a hardtop asphalt parking surface is just as bad as a rooftop for runoff.

    The 17th and Folsom site looks like it’s zoned “urban mixed use” under the Eastern Neighborhood plan, which has no off-street parking requirement. It seems like the neighbor’s requested accommodation would not be in line with the zoning for the area.

    Remind me why San Francisco entertains these bad-faith requests?

    1. Not true that new building is just as bad as parking lot for runoff, it’ll be better. There’s a requirement from SFPUC that stormwater be managed. Most common solutions are flow-through planter boxes that retain the rainwater and gradually release it.

    2. The sewage pipes are screwed up in this part of town. It regularly stinks of poop whenever there is a heavy rain. The City really should fix the pipes first.

  2. Build it we need more affordable housing! Stop with the DR process…if the building follows code there should be NO DR allowed!

  3. I live nearby and actually agree with the parking and flooding issues raised. However, I still want this affordable housing to be built in order to ease the housing shortage in our neighborhood. And yes, I’m a building owner and not a renter. I know this is not in my financial interest, but some things are more important than inflated housing prices.

    1. While no parking is ambitious, I would say that number of spaces should be a lower percentage of total units than a say a South Beach condo tower. It does cost money to own a car, and it costs money to dig deeper underground parking garage. Since these are affordable, we shouldn’t be burdening additional parking costs either on the residents or the city providing the funding.

      This area is close to 16th St BART making for a more affordable transportation option than a car.

  4. Flooding is a constant problem there and it’s the reason why Saison moved to their current Townsend location. This is a low lying area that follows an old creek, so sewer lines there actually collect water from greater area than elsewhere.

    1. And yet the cars (around it) seem to cast shadows about as deep as the cars are tall – suggesting the sun is @~45 degree angle…I’m wondering if it’s really the top of something out of the picture to the left.

  5. Annoying but not a big deal as long as they don’t appeal to the Supes and/or sue. The Planning Commission will dispatch this bad-faith DR quickly given the community support. We would need state-level reform to stop the de rigueur filing of DRs on everything. This project and the park look great, by the way!

  6. This project is not good for the Mission besides the flooding issue, which is a huge problem itself.

    The Mission needs mixed housing, not 100% affordable. Mixed housing creates more opportunities and a safer, more vibrant neighborhood for all.

    The neighborhood does not want this. The rich executives at Meda should build it in their own neighborhoods, not ours.

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