Democrats reject 8 Washington

Ummm, maybe not

The San Francisco Democratic Party has voted to oppose the 8 Washington project and to endorse the ballot measure that would halt it.

By a 15-4 margin, the Democratic County Central Commitee, which makes policy for the local party, endorsed a No vote on the fall referendum that would negate the height limit increase developer Simon Snellgrove says he needs to build the ultra-luxury condos. The units would be the most expensive in San Francisco history.

The supervisors approved the height limit last fall. The referendum puts the issue directly before the voters, and foes of the project need a "no" vote to reject it.

"This was a huge victory," Jon Golinger, who is running the campaign against the condos, told me. "The Democratic Party is a huge endorsement in San Francisco."

That's particularly true in a low-turnout election -- and since there aren't any high-profile races on this November's ballot, I would guess only the most serious voters will make it to the polls.

The Sierra Club -- another group that carries a lot of clout -- has already come out against the project.

Snellgrove's forces first tried to delay the vote until late summer, arguing that the committee needed more time to get all the facts. But Sup. David Chiu, a DCCC member, noted that this project has been discussed and analyzed and fought over for so long already that there's nothing new anyone could possibly learn by delaying.

The motion to delay failed. Only Bevan Dufty, Sup. Scott Wiener, Sup. Malia Cohen and Kat Anderson voted in favor of the project. Voting against were Bill Fazio, Trevor McNeil, Kelly Dwyer, Leah Pimentel, Hene Kelly, Alix Rosenthal, Carole Migden, Rafael Mandelman, Matt Dorsey, Petra DeJesus, Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, State Senator Leland Yee, Chiu, Sup. David Campos, and Sup. John Avalos.



Guest, where are you getting that I hate the successful? Or, are you using the word "you" to refer to people in general?

I don't hate the successful. I am fine with the project being built as currently proposed. I would rather see a somewhat taller building with more open space (as is proposed), than a squatter building that takes up more open space and has larger and even more expensive units.

I think the referendum is misguided. Zoning and land use decisions really are poorly suited for the ballot box. People should vote on general policies, not on specific projects. We have city planners, a Planning Commission and an elected Board of Supervisors and a Mayor. There are also the courts where those who think the proper process was not followed can seek redress. There are simply quite enough levels of review and opportunities for public input on issues of land use. We don't need to put everything up to a vote.

I am glad to see a parking lot and a fancy tennis court replaced with housing, and even happier to see $11 million get paid into the affordable housing fund and the one or two million a year in property taxes flowing into the city coffers to support city services. And, if as the SFBG insinuates the units are empty most of the year, ALL THE BETTER, as that means the city gets to have its cake and eat it, too, by getting more tax revenue from individuals who will create little to no burden on city services (since they won't be here to use them).

Posted by Chris on May. 24, 2013 @ 11:52 am

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