Ronen Signals Opposition to Cole Hardware Rebuilding Plan

Last week, Bernal Heights neighbors rejoiced at the news that plans were in the works to build eight new apartments atop a revived Cole Hardware store on the now-vacant lot at 3310-3312 Mission Street where a devastating fire destroyed the original Cole Hardware one year ago, on June 18, 2016.

Today, however, the fate of the project has been thrown into doubt, as the proposal is likely to become mired in the planning and permitting morass that has done much to perpetuate San Francisco’s ongoing housing shortage and affordability crisis.

Under the original proposal reported by SocketSite last week, plans have been submitted to create eight market-rate homes in a new five-story building at 3310-3312 Mission Street. The ground floor of the building would include 6000 square-feet of commercial space. Reporting by Bernalwood revealed that Cole Hardware owner Rick Karp is collaborating with the owner of the property, with an eye toward re-opening the much-loved, much-lamented Cole Hardware store in the new building.

Yesterday, however, D9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen signaled that she is likely to oppose the current proposal for 3310-3312 Mission.  San Francisco Examiner reporter Michael Barba writes:

Architect Earle Weiss has filed plans with The City to build eight condos over two stories of commercial space. Before the fire, there were seven residential units above Cole Hardware.

“We are in conversation with the property owner,” Karp said. “The retail space we’re designing with him with the intent of Cole Hardware opening.”

Ronen said she would like for Cole Hardware to reopen, but also hoped the site would be used for 100 percent affordable housing.

“It’s a sensitive site for that part of Bernal Heights,” Ronen said. “Given that rent control, low-income tenants were displaced, my hope for that entire block is that we create affordable housing to replace the affordable housing that was lost and that we create space to bring the businesses back.”

With just eight units planned for 3310-3312 Mission, the building is not large enough to trigger inclusionary affordable housing requirements under San Francisco’s current planning rules. Likewise, there is no requirement to use the building for 100% subsidized-affordable housing.

Regardless, Supervisor Ronen’s comments suggest that the approval and permitting process for the building is likely to be long and acrimonious if Ronen and her allies oppose the otherwise code-compliant project at each of the many steps along the way.

Cole Hardware wants to come back to Mission Street, but at the moment there’s no reason to believe that is going to happen anytime soon.

PHOTO: The burned out lot at 3310-3312 Mission, where Cole Hardware once stood. Photo via SocketSite.

76 thoughts on “Ronen Signals Opposition to Cole Hardware Rebuilding Plan

  1. I agree with Ronen, all the housing should be below market…I remember the fire when all the tenants were gathered in Safeway’s parking lot and trying to figure out where to go…so sad. We need housing that will allow them to return!

    • Yes, who pays for this? And why should politicians micro-manage small properties in this way? Seems very unfair to the owner and will definitely delay the return of the hardware store.

      • The owner bought this with his or her eyes open, or should have. There has been vigorous discussion and debate, especially in this part of town about the dearth of affordable housing. S/he can’t be deaf to that. If so, then S/he is not very good in business. When we say that the owner can’t make a profit, we are relying on his or her own representation of what a “profit” is. What other industry is it the government’s responsibility to guarantee a private entity a profit? If it is the policy of San Francisco to create more affordable housing, then that should have factored into the decision of whether or not to buy this property.

      • They have no guaranteed right to a profit, but our goal shouldn’t be to prevent it at any cost, either; the goal should be to get housing to people who need it.

        The developer doesn’t just have the options of building what they want and making a big profit, or building what you might want and taking a big loss. They could leave the eyesore in place and wait for a more favorable time to build. Who wins then?

        Negotiating is fine, but holding the developer hostage for 100% affordable housing just isn’t going to lead to the outcome you (or I) want.

      • Shap – the owner did go into it with his eyes open, and nowhere in the planning requirements does it say the new units have to be affordable. Either the rules are an affordability requirement or not. If there’s no requirement then what’s. the point of having the rules in the first place if the city or the obstructionist representatives on the board of supervisors aren’t going to adhere to the rules.

  2. Wherever we can and however we can we need to look for affordable housing. It must be built and Cole Hardware going in on the ground floor can happen no matter if the housing above is 100% affordable or less. Is SF going to be the interesting diverse city we know and love? Only if we fight for affordability!!
    Please Hillary look out for us!!

  3. COLE HARDWARE is an exemplary example of a socially conscious, essential local business and Rick has stayed true to Dave’s vision. I think I speak for many who are 100% in favor of their return to the neighborhood. However I do have some sympathy for Hillary’s reservations. We don’t need more ‘market rate’ housing. I hope an accommodation can be reached. House the people not the philistines. The City could kick in and make this possible. Just my 2c.
    Patrick Monk.RN. “NEO” Valley.

  4. This city, with its proud labor history, has become a place working people commute to, like Apartheid South Africa with its townships. Bernal has always been a diverse community, which is what makes it so attractive. Prosperity means there is wealth available for the public good. If you like gated communities, with no economic diversity, move to Palo Alto.

    • Oh, knock it off. *

      San Francisco is NOT like South Africa under apartheid. Nope. What we call “suffering” around here doesn’t compare. Not even a little bit.

      * Said with neighborly respect, since I think you probably meant well.

      • This kind of hyperbole is standard fare for anti-housing fauxgressives. I’ve been called a “colonizer” because I live in a neighborhood, pay rent and shop at local businesses. Apparently that’s the same as murdering and enslaving people. Every negative outcome is equated with physical violence, every disagreement is the epic struggle of justice vs. oppression, every opponent is a fascist.

  5. Fortunately we have a Supervisor to act as a buffer between the “Build any housing anywhere” folks and those of us who have a modicum of empathy for those San Franciscans who cannot pay market rate rents set by developers who only have their own well-being in mind. I dearly miss Cole Hardware. I want it to open tomorrow. But my life will be fine, if a little less convenient, if it takes a longer conversation to prevent maximum profit for developers and slight life improvement for me and my neighbors to be the only variables considered for the space, then good for our elected Supervisor. I will survive, even flourish in this beautiful city and neighborhood without Cole Hardware for a while longer. I doubt the same is so for those who were displaced or others in a similar economic position.

    • That’s ridiculous. Many of the “build anything everywhere” people support the 25%+ affordable housing ratio that is essentially required of new projects. That is more than a modicum of empathy. The fight is about whether we should block everything that’s less than 100% subsidized housing, which is honestly a rather extreme position.

  6. I would encourage folks who support positive progress of thr neighborhood to support this. These small scale developments don’t make a significant difference in the affordability of housing. We should be pushing Ron enough for larger scale. But in thr mean time, Cole hardware can come back, a hole in the ground will be remedied and 8 more units of New housing will EASE pressure off of older rent controlled units

    • BULL. More ticky-tacky market rate boxes of housing is not positive progress, it just continues the homogenization and loss of character and diversity in our beautiful city by the bay.

      • I think I agree with you, although the direct cause of “ticky-tacky” is the obscene degree to which every person with an opinion gets to have a crushing influence over any planning issue in this City. Call it fair or progressive if you wish. But it is a fact that things designed by committees are rarely anything but beige, bland, and timid.

        Hence, the grinding mediocrity of San Francisco architecture…

        (Insert brief “notable exception” list here)

  7. This is nuts. I don’t see how they can interfere with a project that meets the zoning regulations and building codes as-of-right. I am a strong proponent of affordable housing, but the way to do it is with clear, progressive zoning policy that requires a certain percentage of affordable housing in new projects or that provides incentives for affordable projects. The law has to be written for everyone to follow, not subject to the whims of any one Supervisor because of how they feel about a particular site.

  8. Folks, you may think you are being “progressive” by insisting on 100% affordable housing, but the result of your preferred policies is the housing disaster we now face; extremely limited supply driving housing prices into the stratosphere and lower-income folk out of the city. You want to know what makes housing more affordable? building more of it. It’s not complicated.

    You are hurting the people you say you want to help. You know who you are helping? People who already own homes.

    You know what has slightly lowered prices recently? A small increase in supply–despite the insane bureaucratic and political obstacles faced. (http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/news/2017/01/26/housing-projects-real-estate-bay-area-construction.html).

  9. Affordable housing, which is already sorely lacking, was lost on this site. It is only right to replace the affordable housing that was lost — which doesn’t even begin to address how much more we need. The implication that somehow Hillary’s intentions here are obstructionist is just not right. And, BTW, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see Cole Hardware back in the neighborhood. It is sorely needed, too.

  10. The Supervisor said she fully supports Coles Hardware re-opening. As a result of the fire, there were many displaced residents – your neighbors. actually. Their units were protected under rent control. They deserve to move back in paying the same rent. That’s seems very just.

    • What about a tax on current vernal residents to subsidize the cost to build new units that can still be rented out and 1980 rents – that’s the way to truly support all your “neighbors” that all the progressives here say they want to support, but only if it’s with other people’s money. If you really want to step up, put your money where your mouth is and start a go-fund-me campaign to raise the several million dollars to rebuild.

      Let’s say these are modest 1000 square foot units – building cost in SF (what with all the obstructionist hoops, etc) is $1,000 per sq ft.
      ( https://www.google.com/amp/s/sf.curbed.com/platform/amp/2014/1/14/10155050/new-construction-costs-over-1000-per-square-foot-in-s-f ) —

      There are 28,000 residents in vernal – that’s only $285 per person subsidy! Ok let’s say only 1/2 are progressive. Then maybe 5% of those progressives are willing to put their money where their mouths are — that comes to about $11,500 subsidy each for the 700 progressives willing to actually support their neighbors!

  11. All the buildings that were destroyed by the fire need to be rebuilt. Right now it is a blighted mess. A development like the mixed use/condos at 3294 Mission St at 29th St is a good fit; blending well into the neighborhood and improving the area. Plus having Cole Hardware [and possibly Plaza Azul] back in business is an asset. Hopefully, logic prevails, and the mayor and the planning commission push the project ahead without interference.

  12. Looks like we’ll be seeing a hole in the ground for a long time, and will probably never see Cole Hardware come back.

    If the zoning rules are going to be changed to require 100% affordable housing on this site, this project is probably dead.

    It does give Ronen leverage to either get another payout for her allies, or even wrest the site from its current owners completely to go one of the non-profits that support her.

      • Judge and BP you nailed it – Hillary is posturing to get another big payoff $$$ for her cronies!
        This is wrong on every level.

  13. The SRO above the 3300 Club should be rebuilt as affordable housing. Cole Hardware should be rebuilt in whatever way best brings back Cole Hardware. Cole Hardware has been a center of our NW Bernal/ La Lengua community, and should be prioritized for the key role it has played in the neighborhood and in its stretch of Mission St. A burnt out block harms the whole neighborhood shopping district.
    Our supervisor is new to our neighborhood and could learn a little more about it.
    (I am a different Dan than the one who posted above, but have posted as Dan since the start of this blog.)

  14. Was there rent controlled housing above the old Cole Hardware? Or is Ronen referring to the housing lost next door?

  15. I am for rebuilding the whole block (including Safeway, Walgreens and Pizza Hut). This would allow us to finally build the 30th Street BART Station/Transit Center (as promised by Josh Arce in the past election). Street level would get updated retail and restaurants (Cole Hardware, 3300 Club and El Taco Loco as the anchor tenants). On top of that, put a couple 20-30 story towers of market rate/affordable housing to pay for the project. This is the scale needed to put a small dent in our housing shortage. If you don’t like this plan, support building the 8 Units of Luxury and they will forever stand directly in the way of developing a block that has incredible potential.

    • yes! Finally, a sane suggestion – Hillary Ronen and most posters are barking up the wrong tree. Don’t build a 3-story building and argue whether its 8 units are market-rate or affordable. That’s insignificant and a waste of time.
      Build a 10+ story building. Have your 10 units of affordable housing; and the rest is market-rate and have it pay for the building; and let developers make a profit.
      SF certainly has a housing problem that’s not going to be solved 8 units at a time. All of you bemoaning the Manhattenization of SF – grow up, we are in 21st century, times change. We need a taller city.

      • Yes. if Ronen were a more creative or courageous pol, she would have proposed this.

        Under the new HomeSF legislation **which she voted for just a few weeks ago** the developer can add additional height to the building by adding some affordable units in addition to the 8 market rate apartments already proposed. So we’d get more housing, and more affordable housing, and a new hardware store, more quickly. Win win win

        The real question is: Does Ronen have the guts to take advantage of HomeSF? Would she stand up to the NIMBYs who would complain that a taller building will block their views? I have my doubts.

    • This is a good example of thinking through the larger problem and creating a dynamic way forward that address a significant gain in affordable housing, adds transportation improvement that benefits the larger community, and a larger stable population will increase the business that get an upgrade also. This is how Jane Jacobs might assess the challenge. With this approach, the mixed housing, the revitalization of street retail, are the keys to vibrant urban life.

  16. Interesting mess of yesterday today and tomorrow. Sounds like SF. And I miss Cole Hardware and the rent-controlled pricing too.

    • Ad hominem attacks won’t advance the discussion.

      I haven’t seen anyone here that doesn’t want more affordable housing, or even more affordable housing at that site. If you want to propose paying higher taxes in order for the city to buy the site and build affordable housing there, I’ll vote for that.

      What I don’t want is for the city to put requirements on the builder/owner that will cause development to be unprofitable, and so there’s no new housing at all. Market rate housing (and Cole’s!) is strictly better than that.

      • As a 50+ year resident I’m extremely distressed at what I see happening here, especially over the last 10 years. I don’t consider it an attack, more like a reflection and a comment.

      • Agreed. How about all the folks commenting that the site owner should be forced to supply city housing to people who can’t afford it do the same with their living space? Ronen should as well since she’s demanding it of someone else. Problem solved!

    • They (people of means) are already here. Finding healthy solutions to create affordable housing too is the only answer. Let’s move passed the “them” & “us” attitude that gets America in shameful spots. San Francisco has the potential to attract all walks of life, let’s make it possible for all. The immediate problem is a hole in the ground that many long to see restored to a thriving business. Those 8 units are not going to solve the housing crisis, just get Cole’s rebuilt.

    • I do think you’ve got that wrong Patrick. It’s the old-school progressives who still fear the Robert Moses’s and the Justin Hermans. The political reaction to those (legitimate) concerns has been to make new development of any kind virtually impossible in the city, and has led to the very problems we’re talking about (absurdly expensive housing and the homogenization of the city),

      The younger crew–the arrivistas as you call them–are way more YIMBY than previous generations.

      Aren’t you the one being a NIMBY by opposing this (fully legal) project?

      By the way, the reason the architecture is conservative is exactly because of discussions like this. Everyone gets to have a say, so you get design by committee. Developers know this, and pick middle of the road architecture to avoid yet another obstacle in the process.

  17. I agree that Supervisor Ronen should use the leverage of her office to push for affordable housing on the site. That’s consistent with what we elected her to do!

  18. The Supervisor was elected by a substantial majority on the platform of taking stands like this one. Good job representing the District, Supervisor. Thanks.

  19. Is total renovation of 3300 mission economically viable with the current return rights? Right now the site is a blight and there seems to be no path to getting it rebuilt.

    It’s just a hole and a burned shell of a building. What a shame. Advocate for whatever housing you want but the current solution is not helping anyone.

  20. Cole’s positive community friendly business is an asset to public life. If it takes market rate units to re-establish a economically viable building project, that may be the reality. Thank you for pointing out that the regulatory approval process is as much a factor driving sluggish development as other market demand. The housing needs are real and I support enormous public and private expansion of that effort. There are plenty of neglected spots all over the city that could address housing for all income levels, including the tragic homeless crisis. HOWEVER not every project fixes every problem. If the city wants to help subsidize some of the units to accessible houses, that might be a compromise to make the project feasible. COLE is worthy of strong support, in a speedy, non divisive manner. Please share the widely held community respect for this business, exceptional for wonderful, actually knowledgeable staff and functional utilitarian part of the neighborhood serving all walks of life, should be treated like other legacy business. In this case to help rebuild.

  21. Ronen should not be in the business of spot zoning to obstruct an 8-unit building. The city did not buy this lot. Private citizens did, and there are existing codes in place.

  22. I support affordable housing however the city needs to find ways to meet affordable housing needs without hamstringing a small development. Either allow the building height to be increased thereby triggering inclusionary affordable housing requirements, or let the project move forward as is. 100% affordable for a small development is not an appropriate requirement, although normally I support Ronen’s agenda, in this case, I don’t.

    • As you can see from the comments below, Bernalwood distorted Supervisor Ronen’s position – she publicly stated that she won’t oppose the market rate development. That said, neighbors get to have
      input into development plans and maybe we can reach some compromise with the developer to improve the project rather than just “let the project move forward as is”.

      • Yes. The LAST thing we should do is let a code-compliant project proceed without interfering at every opportunity.

        Let’s do that!

  23. I found that Bernalwood was initially a pleasant addition to the Bernal landscape – when it began. Now it deserves to be called Nimbywood. The constant smearing and distortion of the actions of our district supervisors, David Campos before and now Hillary Ronen is a true disservice to our community and serves to fracture us in very non-useful ways. In relation to your non-factual account of Hillary Ronen’s position – I share the following from Supervisor Ronen related to her enthusiasm for the return of Cole Hardware and her goals. “I was trying to get a 100% affordable housing project there but the owner sold the land to a market rate developer. The good news is twofold. One, the developer is planning to build family housing (which we desperately need) and to bring back Cole Hardware with a long term lease. Two, I am working with MEDA to keep the Greywood hotel as affordable SRO housing and retaining 3300 Club on the ground floor. I am not opposing the market rate project, especially since it is bringing back Cole Hardware and am actively supporting the work at the Greywood”. Why not interview and accurately report on the positions of our leaders and community projects rather than stir the anger pot with local fake news? You have a platform which needn’t be so predictably slanted against your least favorite politicians.
    I’m a 32 year Bernal resident missing the historic inclusiveness, empathy, creativity and generosity extended to all members of the community and beyond. Hoping for more of that.

      • The other thing that Ronen said in the Examiner piece, not quoted by Todd, is “The good news is that the anchor legacy businesses on the block want to come back… I’m certainly going to do everything in my power to get them back.”
        I totally disagree with Todd that she “signaled that she is likely to oppose the current proposal for 3310-3312 Mission.” She signaled that she would do everything in her power to get the legacy businesses back, and then she “signaled” that “my hope for that entire block is that we create affordable housing to replace the affordable housing that was lost and that we create space to bring the businesses back.”
        That is completely consistent with Amy’s information above.

    • Right on, Amy! Fake news indeed. Todd’s take on Ronen’s position – based solely on one quote in the Examiner article – is laughably biased and ill-informed. Unfortunately the pilings-on from the hysterical YIMBY crowd is all too predictable, but your commentary on the tone and toxic nature of this “discussion” is spot-on. I am pleasantly surprised by the amount of pro-affordable housing sentiment here, though – that seems like an improvement over years past.
      To repeat: Ronen does not oppose the market-rate project above a new Cole Hardware. What say you now, market-rate housing advocates? Is Ronen still the devil incarnate?

    • Thanks for sharing this, Amy

      As the Supervisor’s remarks to you suggest, “not opposing” the current proposal is not the same as supporting it, so I’ve reached out to her via email to request clarification. I look forward to sharing her response.

      Again, thanks for adding to the story.

  24. HOLE IN THE GROUND.
    I would hazard a guess, though I may be wrong – again, that most of those opining here are unaware of, or in denial about, San Francisco’s long sordid history of racial discrimination and racist housing policies. In the ’60’s under the guise of Urban Renewal, in reality the speculators profit driven motives, our ‘civic leaders’ rubber stamped the razing and destruction of the heart of the vibrant, primarily ‘black’ community of the Fillmore. Those blocks remained a wasteland behind steel barriers for over a decade. Many of the displaced residents relocated to BVHP. Over the ensuing decades they were marginalized and deliberately denied access to basic human/social services. At one time BVHP had one of the highest rates of home ownership in the city. Over the last 10 years the ‘black’ population of our town has declined dramatically. The same whitewashing has been happening to our ‘latino’ brothers and sisters in the Misson. The white male patriarchy has triumphed – again. They have reoccupied the priceless waterfront property in BVHP. and achieved their prime objective. If you think that just because you can currently ‘afford’ $2,000 for a studio, or $5,000+ for a 2 bedroom, you are safe from their predations, dream on, YOU are a big part of the problem. Someone much wiser than me once said “You’ll never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people”, or something like that. True that it didn’t work out to good for Maddoff and hopefully all the STRUMPETS will get their just reward, don’t be one of them.

    • “though I may be wrong”

      You are, yes.

      Some of us are tired of seeing the specter of Justin Herman and urban renewal raised by too many nominally liberal urban CA homeowners as they turn city blocks into their little fiefdoms. “No more luxury units! We only need affordable housing!” they will shout, while remaining conspicuously silent when it comes to how they or anyone else will actually pay for this hypothetical subsidized housing. That’s not an accident. Because the status quo, where housing at all income levels is in short supply and rents everywhere just keep creeping higher, turns out to be OK for them.

    • Yeah, plenty of people are aware of what happened to the Fillmore. Can’t say I follow the line you try to draw though.

      • I’m very much aware of what happened in the Fillmore District. It was definitely an injustice and a dark part of our city’s history, shared with many other cities in this country. But… razing entire neighborhoods is a very different thing from building a few units on an empty lot. When people equate the two, they are trivializing past injustice in order to support an agenda that is ultimately hurting the city.

        The complaint about the “white male patriarchy” is a giveaway. If you can point to specific illegal or racist actions on the part of these developers, I’d like to hear about those, for real. The mere presence of white people in your neighborhood is not a racist aggression; that is tortured, ironic logic at best. btw, while it’s politically safe among “progressives” to trash white people, a lot of the hated “techies” are actually immigrants from Asia, so how does that fit into the NIMBY-as-social-justice narrative? And I’m not sure where “patriarchy” fits in, either.

        Ethnicity-based exclusion is illegal and not good zoning policy, no matter what your theory says about who has more privilege than whom. It’s a disgrace that groups like Calle 24 get fat bribes to push exactly this agenda. If you care about injustice, focus on wealth and economics. That leads to the uncomfortable fact that most of the techie newcomers are far less wealthy than the long-time property owners who benefit from NIMBYism and low taxes.

      • I don’t intend to get into a long discussion about this, I’ll just make a few points and suggestions and move on. Two sources folks who have any doubts about “white male patriarchy” and “racist agenda” might want to consider are “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander, and The History Channel’s new series “America’s War On Drugs”.
        Following their eviction from the Fillmore by the speculators and developers under the guise of Urban Renewal in the ’60’s, many displaced residents relocated to the ‘vacant’ land of BVHP and established a community and neighborhoods that at one time had among the highest rate of home ownership in the city. The “Downtown Crowd” soon realized that they had ceded control of prime waterfront real estate and their long term plan to reclaim it was facilitated by decades of designed neglect and restriction of essential basic social services. The once thriving community came under increasing pressure to survive.
        Long time neighborhood activists, many of whom are no longer with us, struggled to maintain the integrity of their ‘new homeland’. A few examples from the more recent history coincides with the arrival on the scene of Lennar Inc. They represented the culmination of Downtown’s Dream of reoccupying and gentrifying the SE sector. Of course the current inconvenient inhabitants would need to be relocated. Back in 2006 a small group of activists – DefendBayviewHuntersPoint – gathered 33,000 signatures city wide requesting a referendum on Lennar’s plan so that further public discussion and input could be considered. These signatures were deemed to be valid and far exceeded the numbers required to place the referendum on the ballot. Invoking an obscure, seldom, if ever, used provision, City Attorney Dennis Herrera immediately invalidated the signatures. The people’s concerns and voices were silenced.
        A subsequent contest between Props F and G resulted in another victory for Downtown due to their deceptive campaign heavily financed by Lennar.
        Immediately following the BOS rubber stamping of this new Urban Renewal/Gentrification scheme, Lennar reneged on the first of their many violations of the ‘agreement’, this one being a commitment to provide a certain number of low income housing affordable to current residents. These violations continue unabated with little or no action or repercussions from our ‘civic leaders’. One of the many issues and concerns we raised was the effect of sea level rise on the development. To date I’m not aware of any viable proposals to deal with this inevitability that don’t involve significant potential ecological and environmental damage to the bay and contiguous land.
        This is just scratching the surface. Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
        It is an inconvenient truth but true nevertheless. You won’t find much of it in the reports from the MSM or official pronouncements. However if you are truly interested, one excellent resource is one of the oldest black owned newspapers in the country, SFBayview. . The SFBay Guardian and FogCityJournal also provided some excellent coverage back in the day. Let your fingers do the walking.
        Just my 2c.
        Patrick Monk.RN. Noe Valley.

      • We all agree that urban renewal was a terrible idea. Let’s look at a more relevant comparison: Why don’t you tell us about how a group of white, middle class hippies downzoned The Haight-Ashbury?

        Tell us about the thriving black community that was there before the hippies arrived, and how leftist “activists” like Calvin Welsh changed the zoning code to reduce density and make new housing harder to build. Then tell us about how over the course of the next 30 years, African-Americans were priced out of their own neighborhood, so that there are very few black residents in the Haight today, while Calvin Welsh still lives comfortably in his multi-million dollar home.

        You can tell the same story about the Mission, where three decades of anti-housing activism by misguided “liberals” has had the predictable effect of accelerating gentrification and increasing Latino displacement. Why is it that so-called progressives never talk about their own culpability in reducing ethnic diversity in San Francisco’s neighborhoods? Wake up

  25. I would support turning this into a slightly larger building with more units, so that some of those units are affordable. This is a busy, transit-rich corridor that can support denser infill housing. How about make this a 12-14 unit building with 2 affordable units, and a mix of larger and smaller units? Or what about thinking creatively to come up with something more unusual, affordable and combined with the neighboring lot, like the Paris in SF plan described here:
    http://dom-i-city.org/index.php/introduction/solution/
    I know, I know – the lots are separately owned and intended for different things, but maybe there is an opening to get owners to work together to do something bigger and better for everyone – Cole Hardware, family housing and affordable housing, along a transit corrider?

  26. I fully support 100% MARKET rate housing. Anything lower than 100% MARKET rate housing results in less housing and higher prices.

  27. I agree that our housing history has been abysmal. All factions are culpable. I would comment however that many of us 40-50 years ago, black and white, were trying to save and preserve what we considered precious and unique. Unfortunately to many fell by the wayside and warriors became wannabes. Hindsight is a bitch. However nothing compares to the last 10 years. I would just add that I’ve been deeply involved in the particular BVHP versus Lennar struggle for a couple of decades.

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