State of California: So. San Fran Must DESTROY Community and Allow 800 High Density Housing Units be Built

Based on the State blackmailing the City council and people of South San Fran, that City no longer has a city council—or needs one.  Newsom and the Democrats in Sacramento have told the City to build what will harm the community—like it or not.  Newsom and his family will continue to live in a mansion, while the people of south San Fran will be living in government mandated crime ridden, traffic gridlock, slum conditions.  That is how the elitist Democrats rule.

“Faced with potential fines and lawsuits, the City Council on Wednesday night voted 4-1 to approve an 800-unit housing project that will include a child care center and affordable housing near the South San Francisco BART Station.

New state laws passed in 2017 — to ensure that local governments build more housing when proposed developments comply with existing city plans — basically forced the council’s decision.

“When it comes to housing, we are no longer in control of our own destiny,” said South San Francisco City Councilman Mark Addiego.

The next time you vote for a city council candidate, kn ow they will not have a say in zoning or permitting in your city.  At best, they will be allowed to cut the ribbon to open up the next Sacramento mandated slum.  No reason to vote for city council—between the CalPERS disaster and mandated zoning/permitting, councilmembers can just grin and bear it.

South San Francisco Begrudgingly Approves 800-Unit Housing Project

Erika Aguilar, KQED,  11/14/19 

South San Francisco will grow by 800 homes — but not by choice.

Faced with potential fines and lawsuits, the City Council on Wednesday night voted 4-1 to approve an 800-unit housing project that will include a child care center and affordable housing near the South San Francisco BART Station.

New state laws passed in 2017 — to ensure that local governments build more housing when proposed developments comply with existing city plans — basically forced the council’s decision.

“When it comes to housing, we are no longer in control of our own destiny,” said South San Francisco City Councilman Mark Addiego.

The main developer, L37 Partners, along with two development partners, will construct three buildings on 5.9 acres of city-owned land at 1051 Mission Road, which runs parallel to El Camino Real. The project also includes a food hall, a public park and connections to a nearby trail.

The developer has promised 20% of the project, or 158 units, will be set aside at affordable housing rates for at least 55 years. Those units will serve people making 25% to 80% of the area median income.

“I would like to see no less than that number be approved,” said Veronica Espinoza, who was one of the first people to speak Wednesday night in support of the project. “But of course, more, more, more.”

The project was difficult for the council to reject because it met the city’s zoning standards and was aligned with its 1999 general plan, which called for high-density residential development in that part of town.

“Regionally, there are very few parcels this large and located so close to transit,” said a city staff report. The South San Francisco BART Station is about a half-mile from the project site.

Because of that, South San Francisco was bound by the state’s Housing Accountability Act, strengthened in 2017, which obliges cities and counties to adhere to their land use ordinances and growth plans. Assistant City Attorney Steve Mattas warned the City Council that if they killed the project, it could face up to $8 million in fines. Another state law could open the city to a lawsuit by the developer and put it on the hook for attorney fees if it lost in court.

The project calls for three buildings up to eight stories tall. The area allows for buildings as tall as 160 feet, or about 14 stories. Mattas cautioned that under two other state laws, the Surplus Land Act and Senate Bill 35, the developer could come back to the council with new plans to build to the maximum height with little discretion and an expedited track, if the council voted down the current proposal.

“The Legislature and their actions have really stacked the deck against cities,” City Councilman Rich Garbarino said. “We don’t have a choice in a lot of this. It’s not right.”

There was a noticeable generational divide between those who spoke in favor and those against the housing project. Many millennials talked about being squeezed out of South San Francisco because of high rents and long waitlists for early childhood education programs.

Aaron Adriano, an El Camino High School student and member of the city’s Youth Advisory Council, said he was concerned that he wouldn’t be able to return to South San Francisco after he left for college.

“It’s kind of like, what’s the point when the city would be keeping out generations of people who grew up here,” Adriano said.

Others took turns reading hundreds of names of residents who signed a petition against the development. Opponents of the plan said traffic would get worse and new residents would clog neighborhood streets by parking vehicles along the side of the road. They sneered at the developer’s estimate that 35% of the new community would bike, walk or take public transit.

“I understand we all need housing, but this project is just way too big,” said Katie Stokes of Sunshine Gardens, an adjacent neighborhood.

After nearly six hours of testimony and deliberation, Councilman Mark Nagales said killing or stalling the project would put the city at financial risk. He added that South San Francisco’s jobs-to-housing ratio was 15-to-1, not including plans that the tech payment services company Stripe has for moving 1,000 jobs there.

Nagales and others on the council also pointed to neighboring San Bruno, given the legal pressure it faces for rejecting a housing project during the summer — and possibly even more proposed housing projects.

“I consider my family blessed, as we do not have to grapple with affordable housing and child care at this time,” said City Councilwoman member Buenaflor Nicolas. “I don’t think I can turn my back on this one.”

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.