Code war: Matt Smith's article "Axing Permission" (May 30) is a strange mélange of inaccuracies and his own strong passions surrounding a subject of much controversy in San Francisco.
I believe Smith's prodigious use of the term NIMBY is so vague as to be meaningless. It certainly does not apply to our neighborhood, as we have made countless attempts to work with a developer determined to maximize what Planning Director Gerald Green calls a unique interior block lot in the North Mission. The lot is surrounded on three sides by 25 apartment buildings where more than 200 San Franciscans live. The planning code gives [local residents] some say in determining the design of structures in their neighborhood. We would like compatible housing to be built at 3620 19th St., though the code and past Planning Commission precedent make it clear that building housing that is unmistakably detrimental to existing housing stock is not acceptable.
The [proposed building] would ruin or cause great deterioration to dozens of existing affordable apartments while supplying the city with only six new ones. The result would be a net loss of affordable units.
Mayberry mentality: So many people in San Francisco are afraid to say it, but screw those NIMBY people. You are absolutely right: Their attitude of "I've got mine, don't even think about trying to get yours" is bullshit. I understand that many people spend lots of money, sweat, and time staking a claim in San Francisco, and once they have it, they feel they have to defend it from encroaching projects. But do these people think San Francisco is Mayberry and not a major city? Populations get bigger, more jobs are available, and more people want to live here; therefore, more housing is needed.
I voted for Matt Gonzalez, and I was happy to see so many "little guys" get elected. But I did not vote for these people so that they could kowtow to every whiny NIMBY in town. Most people I know would be happy to live at 19th and Guerrero in a nice apartment, right near Dolores Park, even if there was a large apartment building next door. They are people who need housing, and they are the people I thought the "anti-Willie" supervisors were fighting for.
Thanks for writing articles that piss people off. I don't always agree, but I admire your boldness.
Never met him, but we don't like him: Thank you for another fine article. I've watched the rabid NIMBYs in my neighborhood challenge a two-unit home for over two years. The proposed duplex is five feet shorter than the NIMBY leader's, who lives two doors away. When the NIMBY leader speaks, you'll never hear him compare his home to the proposed project. You will also never hear him mention that as a long-term property owner he has more protection from development (Prop. M) than he had when he purchased his property. In other words, he already has a better deal than what he bargained for when he bought his home 25 years ago.
Wrong focus: Thank you for the great article on housing shortages. The cost to the environment, government, and the majority of people would be greatly reduced if we promoted high-density urban housing. Instead, too many people focus on affordable housing, which often limits other housing and does nothing to relieve the middle-class housing crunch. NIMBYs are a frighteningly undemocratic group with an elitist attitude. I am glad to see a progressive paper advocating a market-based solution when politicians pander to neighborhood groups and housing advocates.
Rick McCarthy Jr.
Actually, ass-kissing has gotten a bad rap: I just want to say this is no ass-kissing letter. SF Weekly, I think everyone knows, has the best music section of any of the local press. When I saw the issue with a feature on Fleshies ("I Wanna Be Sated," Music, May 16) I was even more impressed. But what shocked me was that Jennifer Maerz and SF Weekly were so ahead of the game and cool enough to run a feature about Oakland's rock 'n' roll (not for long) secret weapon the Pattern ("Life of the Party," Music, May 30).
The Pattern captures all the high energy, spontaneity, and passion that we music fans have not seen in way too many years. Maerz's feature was able to get across that they are a capable band, able to grab from tons of musical genres and still do something really new and inspiring.
So please keep up the good work, SF Weekly, and let the people know about the great bands we have here in the Bay Area, because it seems no one else will.
Last week's Reel World gave the wrong name for a Mission District performance art space. The correct name is Red Dora's Bearded Lady Cafe and Truck Stop.