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If you are a San Francisco resident, there are 2 ballot measures that have bearing on the issue of housing reform. Ballot Measures B and C concern a proposed development at Embarcadero and Washington:
Measure B proposes a 5-6 story residential building including 134 units. The rent in this building will, no doubt, be quite high. The measure includes paying 20% of rent (if I understand correctly) into the SF Affordable Housing fund. I am unfamiliar with how this fund works, but I imagine it's a bit like carbon offsets -- subsidizing housing for the underclass while raising the price of luxury units. There's clearly been a good bit of haggling over this development, as height and bulk restrictions as well as zoning regs have all been bent some to allow it. I suspect the promised parks and additional Affordable Housing pay-ins were needed to get cross-org buy-in. (The development would also include an underground parking garage, but it is unclear to me if that would be open to the public, and at what cost.)
Measure C is specific to height and bulk restrictions, while Measure B mostly deals with the specifics of the development. It's pretty interesting to me that C would be split off like this -- measure B is pointless unless measure C passes. I wonder if C was split because it is required by logistics, or because doing so makes B less likely to succeed. The proposed change is to raise the height restriction from 84 feet up to 136 feet. (They try to soften the request by mentioning that the proposed building may only be 92 feet tall at points).
As for me, I fully support C (I'm generally in favor of relaxing height restrictions), and somewhat skeptical on measure B. I'd gladly give up additional waterfront parks in favor of more units. I'll vote yes to C, and probably decide how to vote on B later today.
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Housing density is a critical issue as more people move here than leave, and those moving here earn more than median incomes of the displaced. Informed policy on reform is vital for shaping the future of the city.
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