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Pay-to-play comment costs supervisor vote on Potrero Hill development

July 30, 2016

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

Supervisor Malia Cohen learned the hard way Tuesday night that referring to bribes and a recently convicted criminal just isn’t funny, even if meant in jest.

Cohen’s comments were made during the Board of Supervisors hearing on an environmental appeal for a large Potrero Hill development in the district she represents, and left at least one supervisor feeling “remarkably uncomfortable.”

During the meeting, Cohen asked the developer Potrero Partners, LLC, and Walden Development to contribute more to Jackson Playground Park, a public park in the Potrero Hill neighborhood.

The developer then offered $800,000.

Cohen went on to facetiously ask for a Mercedes, as well as “a little” something for Keith Jackson, an apparent reference to the former school board member who in February was sentenced to nine years on charges related to bribes and money laundering as part of an FBI probe that brought down former state Sen. Leland Yee… (more)

Nothing about “deal making” either before or behind the scenes is amusing to the displaced residents and merchants and homeless people who are kicked out out of town or to the streets. Is there a state law that forbids City Hall from using the developer money to take care of the people they evict instead of pouring more concrete into our overly pricey, over developed open  spaces called parks?
How many existing affordable housing units could be save with that million dollars or that 1.8 million dollars that this single developer to offering? People are pitching the tents on the sidewalks because that is where the money is going.


Slip of the tongue: The art of squeezing developers for community benefits is nothing new in politics, especially when today’s hot real estate market gives elected officials leverage to extract cash for everything from affordable housing to parks…

395 housing units, one of biggest projects in Potrero Hill, wins final approval A 395-unit housing project, one of the biggest ever proposed in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood, won final approval at the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday in a contentious three-hour hearing. Opposition to the project underscored continued backlash against development in the area, which has seen a building boom with over 3,000 units approved or in the pipeline following the 2009 Eastern Neighborhoods Plan
Heath noted that as of February, 3,315 units have been approved or in the pipeline in the Potrero Hill and Showplace Square areas, which is more than the 2009 Eastern Neighborhoods Plan anticipated. But city planners have previously said that the level of growth matches what the city expected. She called for the city to reconsider the plan and provide more resources for infrastructure, particularly transit expansion. Other nearby projects include Related California’s 299-unit 1601 Mariposa St., which is approved, and Equity Residential (NYSE: EQR)’s 1010 16th St., which is completed, as well as Equity’s One Henry Adams and 801 Brannan in the neighboring Design District…


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