OP-ED The Eastern Neighborhoods Plan has Failed Us
My question for the state senate candidates:
“Given the push-back against displacement and forced lifestyle changes brought on by the Eastern Neighborhood Plan, and the opposition in other parts of the city to dense housing, loss of back yards, traffic and parking issues, if the voters show clear opposition to the Governor’s plan, what will you do if elected to the state Senate? Will you support the will of the people of San Francisco or will you support the Governor?”
In the late-1990s, before the dot-com bubble burst, San Francisco’s eastern neighborhoods faced many of the same issues as today: rapid gentrification and displacement. In Potrero Hill and Dogpatch real estate investors gobbled up industrial sites made valuable by 1988 Live-Work legislation that was supposed to help artists, instead displacing them, along with small businesses and manufacturers. Developers skirted zoning controls, bought cheap industrial land and converted it quickly to more profitable housing, receiving tax benefits and exemptions from residential code requirements.
In an attempt to resolve land use conflicts, an eastern neighborhoods planning process began in 2001. The goal was to build complete communities, with a balance of land uses, as well as affordable housing, transportation, and new and improved open space to serve a growing population.
As the planning process dragged on, development in the eastern neighborhoods continued mostly unabated until…
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