The Board of Supervisors voted 6-5 yesterday to deny the Mission Anti-Displacement Coalition (MAC)'s appeal
, and uphold the Planning Department’s approval of the Seven Hills Properties plan at 3400 Cesar Chavez Street. Supervisor Jake McGoldrick proved to be the deciding vote.
Affordable housing advocates had been specifically targeting McGoldrick with a mass e-mail and phone call campaign, knowing the result of the vote may come down to his decision. “When we met with him he just wasn’t making sense to us,” said Nick Pagoulatos of MAC. “We are deeply disappointed with McGoldrick considering he has been such a progressive supervisor. We know the supervisors understand these issues, but when power and money get involved we seem to lose.”
McGoldrick, who has sat on the Board’s Land Use Committee since his election in 2000, has generally been pro-tenant and pro-housing. In 2001 he authored legislation which restricted tenancy-in-common agreements to curb Ellis Act evictions. “It is astonishing that the self-proclaimed ‘hero’ of affordable housing would vote against this appeal,” said Randy Shaw, Executive Director of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic and Editor of BeyondChron. “He has taken hypocrisy to a whole new level.”
In a February 2006 column
in the Richmond Review
, McGoldrick wrote that “protecting tenant's rights, creating home-ownership opportunities for low- to middle-income families, and creating supportive housing for vulnerable populations like the homeless and mentally ill are critical to San Francisco's socioeconomic fabric. Luxury condominiums are not solutions since most are unattainable for working class families. The only solution is to create new affordable housing.”
Pagoulatos thinks that a recent recall effort against McGoldrick may have affected his decision on 3400 Cesar Chavez. Three weeks ago, Tom Rocca and Luis Belamonte of Seven Hills Properties donated $1,000 and $500 respectively to “Citizens Against Recall Abuse,” a pro-McGoldrick campaign committee. Seven Hills’ attorney Steve Vettel likewise donated $500.
“We didn’t want to bring that up,” said Pagoulatos, “out of respect for him being a strong ally of ours in the past. This is a lost battle, not a lost war.” Pagoulatos says his organization is working on legislative fixes to address the issues at stake in the appeal such as socio-economic impacts under CEQA.
Paul Maltzer of the Planning Department told the Board that satisfying housing needs according to General Plan means to produce housing of all types as long as they add to the housing supply. “The board landed on an inclusionary housing ordinance which became our code,” he said. “And this project exceeded its requirement for that ordinance and therefore passed the test.”
“There is more to the Housing Element than inclusionary zoning,” said MAC’s attorney, Sue Hestor, outside the Board chambers. “And the Mission is in desperate need of affordable housing right now.”
The 5 Supervisors who voted to support MAC's appeal were Tom Ammiano, Chris Daly, Ross Mirkarimi, Sophie Maxwell and Aaron Peskin. The 6 Supervisors who upheld the Planning Department's decision were Sean Elsbernd, Ed Jew, Michela Alioto-Pier, Bevan Dufty, Gerardo Sandoval and Jake McGodlrick.
The Seven Hills Properties plan that will go forward includes 61 condominiums, nine of which are affordable to families making 100 percent of San Francisco’s median income, or $54,700 for a family of four. MAC had been pushing to get an alternative project
on the site that would be more affordable.
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