HVNA Wins for Sustainable and Livable Communities
In recent months two new developments in Hayes Valley have been approved by the planning commission and these represent significant victories for our planning efforts. In April the planning commission approved 1 Franklin Street (corner of Page, Franklin and Market). Approved with little fanfare, 1 Franklin will include 35 housing units (15% of them affordable) and a small corner commercial space on the ground floor. The proposed project met all of the criteria of the Market and Octavia plan and we’d like to again thank the developer for following the plan, which we worked on getting implemented for 8 years. No construction date has been set.
Photo: William Ulrich
A substantial victory was also achieved in May at 555 Fulton Street (aka Christopher Dairy). A good summary is here.
The planning commission approved a redevelopment of the site with 136 residential units (32 studio, 48 one-bedroom, 56 two bedroom) and a large ground floor retail space targeted for a grocery store. Unfortunately the developer asked for more parking than is allowed in the Market and Octavia Plan. HVNA stood by the progressive parking policies of the Market and Octavia Plan and worked with the planning department and planning commission to ensure the project met the plan’s goals of a truly walkable urban infill project.
We won. The planning commission voted unanimously to approve the project but to also deny the request for excess parking. This was one of the most important litmus tests of the plan, and members should be proud of this victory. We also want to thank all of the members of the planning commission for supporting sustainable transportation, particularly commissioner Gwyneth Borden who had some eloquent words in defense of the spirit of the Market and Octavia Plan. Special thanks also goes to the planning department staff who dug in and supported the plan’s parking policies, and to the director of the planning department, John Rahaim. Director Rahaim was especially helpful in pointing out that in dense, walkable urban environments, not everyone has to drive to grocery stores. It was a refreshing day for Hayes Valley. There was also a lively debate about the design of the project. In voting to approve the project, the planning commission endorsed the original 2005 iteration of the design.
The victories on sustainable transportation for 1 Franklin and 555 Fulton set a good precedent for future developments in Hayes Valley and Market and Octavia Plan area. It shows that we can move beyond just discussion and actually implement empirically sound and thoughtful policies on the ground. We will continue to fight for the Market and Octavia Plan and to move away from growth that centers on automobiles and traffic. We continue to follow the proposal for a Whole Foods on the old S & C Ford site on Market Street and Dolores Streets. This development will have a lasting impact on the entire Market and Octavia plan area and we are hopeful that planning commissioners and planning staff will continue to work with us to promote lessauto- centric development on Market Street.
We strongly encourage you to contact us if you would like to get more involved – contact Jason Henderson at firstname.lastname@example.org