tv [untitled] December 19, 2011 1:31pm-2:01pm PST
hearing on this project. supervisor mar: they also mentioned the president that this would set on waterfront areas, with the development, increasing the hide well above the 84 foot height, and i am wondering if you would just respond to the critique of the project. >> apparently, some people have decided that the way to attack this product is on some social basis. as someone who has studied housing supply and demand in detail for many years, it is my position and the position of spur that every housing unit is a good housing unit, because someone is moving up and down the ladder every time. when someone buys a $2 million condominium, they moved out of a $1 million condo, and someone moves into that that was in a
$750,000 house, and it gets down to some of you is renting is then able to buy a house. it is supply and demand, very simple. as for your other question, you know, when i was fighting the vietnam war, i did not believe in the domino theory, and it is just as much nonsense as when we're talking about development. the project needs to stand on itself. president chiu: i am sorry. you are saying you did not supported in vietnam, but you are supporting it now? -- you did not support it in vietnam? >> if you change the planning designation for one building, will everyone else want the same thing? you know that does not happen in the city. every project is very hard fought. president chiu: just to go back
to supervisor mar's question, these are expensive. do you not think that would be a superior way to think about this if we could do that? >> the devil is in the details. where is the if, when you look at the affordable housing set aside, which spur helped write and which it supports. this is one of the most value pieces of land on the west coast. if that answers your question. president chiu: let me ask you a different question. spur has supported other projects. this has a 400-car garage, which i think will bring a lot more congestion in a part of town that is already congested. how did spur reconcile that
piece of the project? >> there are two pieces to the parking. one is the one unit per space, which is pretty standard in the city. the other is simply replacing parking for the ferry building that is being lost due to the condition of those peers and to the desire to get a parking off of the peers and off of the waterfront. >> -- president chiu: so you are ok with 400-car parking? >> yes. president chiu: ok. >> my notes. good afternoon. my name is -- i have lived in san francisco for 32 years. i am here to oppose eight washington. the project looks at seeking luxury condominiums that we have
already talked about. , only people who make over $1 million per year can afford it. this is not the kind of housing that san franciscans need or want, especially in this part of town. san francisco is a vibrant city because the activities are easily accessible to everyone. we understand the a desire to build more housing, and it will destroy the view of san francisco if we are not careful. developers come into town and only care about short-term projects. they rely on greed to secure their projects. people stop looking into the hearts of the proposals, blinded by a big dollar signs. historically, most of their promises do not come true, but by that time, the community is left with a mess, and they have moved on.
if we reduce this to this, we would these responsible for the inevitable decline -- we would be responsible. more facilities for our residents, not less. they may be better served if there are a unique opportunities. this cuts down the number of tennis courts from 9 to 6, and now they seek to eliminate the tennis courts altogether. this shows a lack of respect for the community.
he does not know how many studios or 1 bedrooms he will have. the america's cup. for two or three years, we will have no facilities during demolition and construction. finally, we would like to suggest that this be changed to have character. the current design is boring and ugly. there is now wow factor. other things have been addressed by other people, so i will skip that.
>> i live at 440 davis, which is right next to it. the idea of an 84-foot height was not relevant after the freeway came down, and now you want to increase the height even further. this violates the land use, connecting the land to the bay, and there is no set back. it also violates the view of the historic ferry building. it will cut off the sunshine for most of the building on the south side of 440 davis where i live. it will shadow ferry parker, which i created, which is plenty of open space -- it will shadow ferry park. there is no need for condos. there is a need for emergency response people to live in the city, which we do not have.
this is more important than an expensive condo that caters just to the wealthy people in this city. it is an architectural disaster. there is no set back. it goes right up to the sidewalk. talk about supply and demand, there is an oversupply of condominiums on the waterfront. the demand is for affordable housing. come on, people. this is unnecessary. you have ferry park right there. you have the club. now, they are going to wreck the club and take away what we desperately need? that is what we need. district 3 does not have enough recreation. we are the worst in the city as far as this is concerned. discouraging cars in major cities, this is what we should be doing. golden gate center, where i live, has empty cars spaces,
which they are offering to the ferry market, so there is no complaint about that. there is no merit to this proposal. this is a crazy intersections with traffic. incidentally, spur wanted to put a 600-car garage and there years ago. he does not have a clue, and i defeated that garage, and the same circumstance is taking place right now. it would cause gridlock to the bay, which we already have, and it would go all of the way down to south of market and the embarcadero. we do not need that. what about an earthquake? it is too close to 440 davis. it would absolutely fall down on my building is an earthquake happens, and the whole thing is just outrageous to increase the height. -- it would fall down on my
building is an earthquake happened -- if an earthquake happened. everybody disagreed with the plan. 99% to not want it. president chiu: thank you for your comments. next speaker. >> good afternoon, supervisors, president chiu. i am with a group. we have our name taken in vain a few times today. you have heard a great deal about the report, and i have here for your benefit, as soon as i get it straightened out, copies for the members of this committee. i would urge you to study it and read it.
the reason this came about was because of the planning department's so-called sessions, most of its spoonfed, done behind closed doors. we are certainly concerned by president chiu. the golden gate way tenants association and others, a good number of people from all over the neighboring area, and i might add, the members of frog are not just from the golden gate way. we had a number of chinatown citizens to join in on this. in fact, we even had a workshop for them in mandarin so that they would get their input as to what we were planning.
this is a small piece of property. it is for the whole northeast neighborhood, and it provides exactly what the report and the planning department and the neighborhood really want. it came through through a number of very good service and workshops. in addition, i would say, there was a recent article that john king wrote in "the chronicle," and he seemed to take some exception to the height, but he said that the high sections of this great washington development were on the ground level. i think as you go through this booklet, this plan, you will see that we agree with that. we are in total agreement with them, and it would provide the
substance and the and come and a variety of income throughout the northeast corridor. raising heights on the waterfront, i do not care what anybody says, there is not a developer, him or her in this town, who would not wait for a 146-foot variance and wonder when they will get their foot into developing properties along the northeast corridor. thank you very much. supervisor mar: president chiu, i dissent to mention that some were referred to negatively, and some helped to produce this community vision with quite a bit of time, but you mentioned to the chinatown focus group, and i am wondering if you could talk a little bit about how this helped to inform the plan, as well. >> opening up the neighborhood to the waterfront, and this plan
does develop that, and we felt we needed as much information and input from our neighboring greece. i might also add that my group has sponsored a scholarship program for the low-income housing so that they could come to the club and be a part of the kids camp, which is the only kind of club in the city. every year. 700 kids belong to that and come to that club. president chiu: part of supervisor mar's question, how many kids? >> over 2800. they come from all over, from oakland, marin county, from the southern peninsula, and, of course, in the city. the majority of our members are not residents of the golden gate
way. supervisor mar: i think i mentioned to you before that my daughter learn to swim at the golden gate way. there are families i know that our swimming there. i know in the report, there are references to some other seawall lots, and one of the four principles, one, planning with people and neighborhoods, two, an ethnically diverse waterfront, 3, enhance and preserve the community's recreation opportunities, which i think is extremely important, and the fourth point is planning for the waterfront as a whole, so can i just ask you what the vision was for the other seawall lots that were identified, not just this one? >> i have to be honest with you, i am not the expert on that other than having worked with them.
there are plans and suggestions for retail, for housing, four other open space areas in a general way. that is probably the best i can do there. there are others that i am sure can give you more specific information, but it is a total plan. thank you very much for your time. president chiu: i know that supervisor mar contacted several. i have some cards. [reading names]
>> my name is mr. glass go. -- glasco. i live very close. i thank you for the opportunity to comment on the 8 washington project. this is calling for two special steps. one, raising the height limit, and two, removing the seawall from the public trust. extraordinary steps such as these should only be considered if they benefit the community at large. i do not believe that luxury condominiums qualified in this respect. the 8 washington project represents spot development. land facing the waterfront. almost three years ago, president chiu called for a
broader approach in this area. this deals with all of the seawall lots, and this has been discussed several times this afternoon. i believe that this is the right direction for development for san francisco, rather than the spot development of the port commission. with its 140 luxury condominiums, 400 parking spaces, and high rise buildings, the 8 washington project is exactly what san francisco does not need, effectively destroying the unique golden gate swim club with its extensive open space and recreation facilities used by residents from all over the city. this project will exacerbate traffic and pollution in and around an already congested intersection.
the proposed narrowing of washington street will further magnified congestion. the specific sources of congestion are the parking entrance on washington, the proposed parking entrance on washington, and the two driveways and loading dock along the corner on drum street. it already has many things. plus, the last part would be an ugly alley, a poor way to connect the city with the waterfront. in conclusion, the 8 washington project would destroy a unique recreational facility and it generates and needed congestion and pollution, only to serve those few who can afford the most expensive housing in san francisco. thank you for your attention.
>> good afternoon, supervisors. i am bill. i have lived at the gateway for 22 years. i am president of the golden gate way tenants association, and i am here to spoke in opposition -- to speak in opposition of the eight washington project. we live in a densely populated area. the proposed project is directly across the street from one of the high rise gateway buildings that s 440 residential units, and anyone who has ever lived or worked near a construction site can tell you about the effects of pile drivers. the tremendous noise generated by pile drivers, the excavation
portion of it is estimated to last six months. it will put a real serious hardship on residents in the building as well as other nearby buildings. in addition to that technical difficulty, there are downsides to the project. the first is to raise the plan for the taller of the two proposed residential structures. that is an increase of 60%, a very significant increase. if this increase in height is approved, others will follow. not all domino theories are incorrect. i seem to recall that the domino theory was proven partly correct when laos and cambodia
fell, but i do not want to press that too far. another downside is a 400 space underground parking garage that will increase existing traffic congestion at the intersection of washington and the embarcadero. finally, there is the adverse impact on community recreational facilities. the plan, as it currently exists, white out all nine existing tennis courts, leaving no tennis courts at this location. we endorse this study prepared by the asian neighborhood design group. thank you. >> good afternoon, members of the board. mary murphy, counsel to one of the project sponsors to this project. as you have heard, the port is one of the sponsors, and this is a public-private partnership,
and i represent the other side of it. there is also the developer of piers 1 and 5, which many people like. i very rarely have to come to say who the project sponsor is, but based on the testimony today, i need to clarify this for you. you have heard a lot about the current owners. the project sponsor does not own the golden gateway center or currently owned the club. they have an option to purchase the club from the current owner, so the protestations you heard today from mr. paul and even from our esteemed former city attorney about the condition of the club or things going on in the golden gateway center with respect to the dwelling units there, they have nothing to do with the project sponsor of this project, and i think it is important that we make that known. i want to thank the board for having this --
president chiu: i am sorry. i need to understand this. there will be a profit, and one is responsible to the green fencing, and in addition to what the opposition is trying to support. >> there is an option to purchase the property, so in any situation like that, a purchase and sell agreement, the current owner would be paid to sell their property, so that is certainly a benefit to them. in addition, they will get back at the end of the day a condominium interest and a fitness club. if this gets approved in the wisdom of this board and others, there will be a condominium created as part of the purchase price, so there is actual cash that gets paid. there is cash that gets paid to the board, to the current owner of the club, and then they will
receive an edition in kind payment with a fitness club being given back to them, but i think it is important to make that clear. the golden gate apartments have nothing to do with this project sponsor, or anything going on at the club, and i do want to be clear. i appreciate you having the hearing today, but it is important for the board to keep an open mind. there were so many things that were said that are not factually accurate that it is not possible for me in the time allotted me to address them. i wanted to start with the project sponsor, because i thought that was so important to make that clear, but i want to urge the board to keep this clear. this is an opportunity to be before the board and the planning commission. i think we will have a chance to actually explain it in full. you have written pieces the history of the site and the planning of the site from both sides, but it has been in bits and pieces. i would urge the board to wait until this is properly before
you said there can be a full accounting. the benefits and costs. there were a lot of things raised today about why the price structure is like this and what sort of benefits are afforded. i welcome the opportunity to have the proper forum to explain the full array of public benefits of the project and the actual costs that are associated with pain for those benefits, like taking a surface parking lot and taking those spaces which are very important for the uses, beloved destinations in the city, authentic, indigenous, retail, small businesses of the city that need parking, it takes a lot of parking to take those ugly, unsightly, above grade service bases and put them below the gray. that is just an example that the full project has to as a whole work for. i do want to just be clear that there have been a lot of things
that on the record today that are simply not possible to really explain or address, and respectfully, i have to say there have been factual misrepresentations today, and i do not like having to say something like that, but i do think it is important for that be known, but i do not want you to leave today with a misrepresentation. this is a fine project, and i think we will have the opportunity to prove the case to you on the right day when this is before the board, so i thank you for your time today, and i think you in advance for keeping an open mind about the project. president chiu: before the next speaker, i want to see if there is any more public comment. if you could line up on that side. next speaker. >> good afternoon, supervisors. my name is paul. i have lived and run businesses in the 8 centenary of for years.
i have come to make two points that i do not think have been made adequately today. one is what i consider to be a hundred pound gorilla in all of this a bird in hand. the only place people at cash to do something with the parking lots that had on the embarcadero. the america's cup has changed everything. the port will be running over with money. they can no longer cry that they are poor. the other point i want to make has to do with parking. i run two businesses, over the past 20 years, in the embarcadero area. there is plenty of parking under the embarcadero center. there is a big parking garage under the maritime center. i believe that the owners of
those parking areas will tell you that because of the lack of adequate cities signage, those garages are on those lots, so the argument that we need more parking space i believe is a spurious one. thank you. >> members of the committee, my name is charles. i am only here to say one thing. this is not a private club. i read in the newspaper about a private club being on that side. i have heard it here. members of the private club, they sit on the board of directors, and they occupy officers positions in the organization. this is a business. this is not a private club. if i had a business, if it had the word club