Supervisor Dufty Argues 299 Valencia Vote Sets No Precedent

Bevan_Dufty_photo.jpgSupervisor Bevan Dufty

The San Francisco Bay Guardian has suggested that Supervisor Bevan Dufty swung to the right with his votes not to override the Mayor’s veto on legislation that would have required conditional use (CU) permits and hearings when housing units are being eliminated and his refusal to support an appeal of the 299 Valencia Street CU.  In the halls after the vote several people who spoke in favor of the 299 Valencia appeal speculated Dufty was angling for higher office and couldn’t appear anti-developer.

One of the primary considerations in the decision seems to be the developer’s claim that without the seven additional parking spaces the project could not move forward, though no one has produced documentation to prove that.

Supervisor Dufty called Streetsblog San Francisco to elaborate on his rationale for the 299 Valencia vote. 

Let us know what you think:

I respected the position of the opponents of the CU.  I think that if I thought I was voting for something that was going to set a precedent that every project coming in could automatically go to .75, I think it would’ve been a problem.

I looked at this [Planning Code151.(f)] criteria and said, ok, this has been what was established.  By that criteria, it had met its obligation: not to be disruptive.  Then [Supervisor] Chris [Daly] made the point: let’s look at the totality of the project.  

So if you look at what that corner represents right now, and the fact that they’re going to activate the project with over 4,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial, and without those seven spots, I questioned whether they were going to put the parking underground.  And instead you’re going to have limited commercial on the ground-floor level, which will probably not succeed in activating it and will not be the best type of building you can have.

Over the course of looking at it, seven parking spots was not compelling to me.  I do think that we should have TOD and I plan to sit down with them to better understand it.  I’m in a situation where I’m active in Upper Market development and I know it’s very difficult to attract funding right now.

I called one of the most progressive planning commissioners and said I’m surprised that this is such a big deal, and the commissioner said to me that we’re already putting parking on a diet, but it doesn’t need to be a crash diet.

I know a lot of activists who worked on this project saw it as their beachhead, but I didn’t think it would set that precedent.


Mayor Newsom Unveils SF’s First Pavement to Parks Plaza

Supervisor Dufty and Mayor Newsom at the 17th St. plaza dedication cerimony, via Jamison on Flickr Standing before a crowd of more than 100 people, many of them city staff who had worked to realize the transformation of an underutilized street into a "Pavement to Parks" pedestrian refuge, Mayor Gavin Newsom dedicated the first of […]

Proposed Developments Illustrate San Francisco’s Parking Dilemma

A simulation of the proposed discount mall on Market Street, City Place. Image: Urban Realty. At another marathon Planning Commission meeting last week, parking was all the rage. Two projects in particular had community members and housing and transit advocates fired up because of the parking that developers proposed to build, or in one case, […]

Board of Supervisors Delays Vote on Garage Legislation

Supervisor Bevan Dufty. The Board of Supervisors has delayed a vote on legislation that would limit new garages in Chinatown, North Beach and Telegraph Hill for two weeks. After approving the legislation on first reading by a 7-2 vote on February 9, the supervisors voted today to continue the measure until March 9, a move […]

Streetscast: An Interview with New TA Chair Bevan Dufty

Supervisor Bevan Dufty aboard a streetcar recently named in honor of gay civil rights legend Harvey Milk. District 8 Supervisor Bevan Dufty was elected the chairman of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (TA) this week, rounding up the necessary six votes to beat District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly. It’s a position Dufty says he’s […]