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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Supe Jane Kim Throws Giants Development a Curveball

Posted By on Tue, Jun 2, 2015 at 12:30 PM

  • Eric Broder Van Dyke /

Supervisor Jane Kim plans to introduce a ballot measure to increase the amount of affordable housing and lower the height limits at the San Francisco Giants' proposed Mission Rock development, the San Francisco Business Times reports.

The Giants have been working with the Port for years on a proposal to develop Seawall Lot 337 — a vacant lot currently used by the team as Parking Lot A for AT&T Park. In 2013, the Port and Board of Supervisors approved an outline of the project that would include 11 new high-rises (up to 320 feet) with the statutory minimum of 15% affordable housing for households earning 55% of Area Medium Income (AMI).

After the passage last fall of Proposition B, which requires a popular vote to increase height limits on the waterfront, the Giants revised their plan and introduced a ballot initiative (PDF) for this November. The new plan lowers the maximum height limit to 240 feet, and promises that 33% of rental housing would be affordable to households earning from 55% to 140% of AMI.

Under the original term sheet, the affordable housing requirements were to be paid for by the private developers. But the text of the Giants' ballot initiative suggests that with the higher commitment, the public would be asked to pick up that tab. Here's Section 6(e) of the ballot initiative:

click to enlarge mission_rock.jpg

According to the Business Times, Kim's proposal would force the Giants to include more affordable housing and lower the height limits to 120 feet:
Thirty-three percent of the housing units should be locked in as affordable to people up to 120 percent of the city’s median income, not 140 percent, she said. Another 17 percent should be affordable to people making 150 percent of the city’s median income – standards consistent with her Prop. K affordable housing measures that voters backed last year.

“This is taxpayer-owned land that should be built by and for the community — not a playground for the rich,” Kim said. She will need three supervisors to join her to get the proposal on the ballot, which she will introduce Tuesday.
Kim says that the lower height limits are important because the buildings will cast shadows on the proposed park — one of the key community benefits in the plan. 

Staci Slaughter, the Giants' spokesperson, told the San Francisco Chronicle that Kim's ballot initiative would "significantly put the project in jeopardy." 

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About The Author

Julia Carrie Wong

Julia Carrie Wong's work has appeared in numerous local and national titles including 48hills, Salon, In These Times, The Nation, and The New Yorker.

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