Problems for Another Supersized Development as ProposedJanuary 22, 2020
As we first reported back in 2018:
Plans to raze the one-and-a-half-story building at 3565 Geary Boulevard, which is currently home to Grand Hot Pot Lounge, are in the works. And as envisioned, a seven-story building will rise up to 65 feet in height upon the Lone Mountain site which is actually zoned for development up to 80 feet.
And while the site is only zoned for the development of around 20 residential units, in terms of density, the project team is planning to leverage California’s Density Bonus program to build up to 54 units of “student housing,” with a mix of 48 one-bedrooms and 6 twos, over 3,100 square feet of new ground floor retail space and a 26 car garage.
As we added last year:
A new set of plans has since been drafted for the site. And in addition to leveraging California’s Density Bonus law to build more units on the parcel, Shatara Architecure now envisions leveraging San Francisco’s Home SF program to build higher as well, with plans for a 9-story building rising up to 89 feet in height, with a mix of 42 two-bedrooms units, 4 four-bedrooms and 27 five-bedroom, two-bath units, over a 1,024 square foot commercial space and a garage for 15 cars.
And while the project would still be considered to be “group housing,” the new plans don’t necessarily envision the development to be used by students.
But as with the plans for the supersized infill development to rise on Post Street, there’s a fundamental problem with the Geary Street project as proposed. Namely, San Francisco’s HOME-SF program explicitly prohibits projects with any “Group Housing” units from qualifying for any bonuses.
And without a density bonus, a maximum of 19 units could be built on the site, versus the 73 as proposed, and any development of the site would require a Conditional Use Authorization to be approved by the City as well. We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.
Comments from Plugged-In Readers
Where’s the subway plans for Geary? May be soon too late without delays if we keep building and forget the buses are at crush capacity?
It’s beyond the point of no return. Even if a subway were built it would be decades before a train was running under Geary. It’s sad that transit is worse now than when streetcars run along Geary 60 years ago.
Then prospects for all the increased housing along this Boulevard need to be put on a hiatus until the necessary tunnels are completed. If the housing gets created in the absence of sensible, rail-based mass transit, even more people from elsewhere with SUV-based lifestyles will arrive here and traffic will get worse than it already is, and Geary will start looking like the the 405 Northbound in S. California at 5 p.m even more than it already does.
Exempt the Geary Subway (and all subways) from CEQA review and hire China to build it. Then it won’t take 115 years and cost 17.5 billion dollars.
Doesnt the state density bonus take precedence anyway? I thought SF couldnt pass anything more restrictive than the states density bonus program.
If one looks at the plans, this project consists entirely of dwelling units (not “group housing”).
Just because a number of the dwelling units have 5 bedrooms, doesn’t mean that they are “group housing”.
Per the Planning Dept’s definition of a “family” (if the individual are “unrelated” then a “family” consists of up to 5 persons; as determined by the CA Supreme Court) these are “dwelling units”.
Accordingly, this project complies with the Home SF criteria.
Move it forward.
Yep. I grew up in a family of five kids. We only had one the one bedroom for all the kids, but if the parents had had more money a five or six bedroom house would’ve been entirely reasonable.
Reminds me of the live/work scam, where zero artists moved in. Word to the wise: if you don’t want to really piss of planning & co and get your keister handed to you, don’t think you’re being clever and come up with a blatantly deceitful work around of code.
Another day, another ridiculous excuse from planning to say no to housing. We often blame the politicians for interfering with the Planning Department but it’s clear that the planners are a problem as well. This is a ridiculous interpretation of code, just like that Central SoMa density bonus project where a planner tried to reinterpret the state density bonus, contravening state law, to cut off a bunch of floors.
We need a new planning director who will purge the department of these people who join to be little tyrants and say no, instead of planning to advance the city’s interest.
UPDATE: Re-Revised Plans for Building Up on Geary Closer to Reality
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