Art Agnos, San Francisco’s 39th Mayor, and Tim Redmond, former editor of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, came to HANC’s October general meeting to explain why they oppose Propositions B and C.
Proposition B would create a special use district comprised of solely the proposed 8 Washington project, based on the developer’s plans for the project. Proposition C is a referendum, asking the voters whether they approve an ordinance passed by the Board of Supervisors which raised the height limits in the project area from 84 feet to 92 feet for part of the project, and to 136 feet for another part of the project.
Former Mayor Agnos was a proponent of demolishing the 50-foot Embarcadero Freeway, to open up the Waterfront to public access and views. He believes that he lost his re-election bid because the freeway was torn down with his advocacy while he was Mayor. The 8 Washington project would add more than 50 feet (the height of the Embarcadero Freeway) to the current height limit, and would be just the first step in building a “Wall on the Waterfront.” If Proposition B or C passes, it would be a signal to our developer-friendly Planning Commission that it is acceptable to grant exemptions to voter-approved height limits for more projects along the Embarcadero and elsewhere in the City. There are additional reasons for opposing the project. Two-thirds of the open space promised by the developers would be private and not open to the general public. The promised payment to the affordable housing fund (paid after the units are sold) is a pittance compared to the more than half a billion dollars in revenue the project will generate. Former Mayor Agnos invited the audience discuss the proposed Warriors development with him after the election.