8 Washington Street-Referendum, Proposition C (November 2013)
Proposition B and Proposition C
|Voting on Property|
|Not on ballot|
Proposition C was put on the ballot as a way to shut down the development plan for the 8 Washington Street waterfront area if Proposition B were approved. Signatures for the referendum were collected by opponents to Proposition B. The defeat of proposition C revoked the building height limit increase from 84 feet to 136 feet for the area in question, which was approved by the board of supervisors. This would have shut down the Proposition B development, if Prop B had been approved. In summary, opponents to the 8 Washington Street development plan were seeking a "no" vote on both Proposition B, initiated by development proponents, and Proposition C, initiated by critics of the plan. Both measures were defeated.
A Yes vote would have re-approved the city council ordinance raising the building height limits in the relevant waterfront area, allowing for the development in Proposition B.
A No vote rejected the city council ordinance raising the building height limits in the relevant waterfront area. This kept the planned development found in Proposition B from going forward. Those who collected signatures for Proposition C and turned in petitions to get it onto the ballot wanted a "No" vote.
|San Francisco Prop C|
- These final, certified results are from the San Francisco elections office.
Text of measure
The question on the ballot:
| Proposition C:
Shall the City ordinance increasing legal building height limits on an approximately half-acre portion of the 8 Washington Street Site along Drumm Street take effect?
- See also: Ballotpedia's article on Proposition B
Supporters for Proposition B and C, as well as their arguments, were the same.
Proponents hoped for a yes vote on Proposition C, which would have reaffirmed the city ordinance raising the height limit for buildings along the waterfront. They also hope for a "yes" vote on Proposition B, which would have approved the plan to redevelop the waterfront area.
- Yes on B
- San Francisco Housing Action Coalition
- San Francisco Firefighters
- San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
- San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council
- Alliance for Jobs and Sustainable Growth
- Waterfront for All
- Bay Cities Metal Trades Council
- A New San Francisco Majority
- Laborers International Union 261
- Mayor Ed Lee
- Former Mayor Gavin Newsom
- Supervisor Mark Farrell
- Supervisor Scott Wiener
- Supervisor Katy Tang
- Will Travis, former Executive Director of the Bay
- Mark Buell, Parks Commission President
- Rodney Fong, Planning Commission President
- Isabel Wade, founder of Neighborhood Parks Council
- Alec Bash, Retired City Planner and Grassroots Activist
- Tim Colen, Housing Advocate and Executive Director of the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition
- Michael Theriault, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the San Francisco Building & Construction Trades Council
- Mark Buell, San Francisco Recreation and Parks Commission President
- Allan Low, Recreation and Parks Commission Vice President
- Thomas P. Harrison, Recreation and Parks Commissioner
- Jim Lazarus, Former Recreation and Parks Commissioner
- Mike Sullivan, Former Recreation and Parks Commissioner
- Ellen Joslin Johnck, Former Executive Director of Bay Planning Coalition and SF Historic Preservation Commissioner
- Will Travis, SF Bay Conservation and Development Commission, Director
Arguments in favor
Proponents of Propositions B and C argued that the development plan authorized by the proposals:
- included improvement of the property in question with added accessibility, parks, playgrounds, widened sidewalks, open views, affordable housing, and up to 250 temporary new jobs and 140 permanent new jobs, with $100 million injected into San Francisco's economy.
- was part of a larger plan for the revitalization of the waterfront, produced over seven years by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the San Francisco Planning Commission, the Port Commission and the State Lands Commission through planning and over a hundred meetings.
- would have removed the current eyesore of asphalt parking lots and massive chain link fences.
- See also: Ballotpedia's article on Proposition B
Opponents of Proposition B and C, as well as their arguments, were the same.
Those who disapproved of Proposition B initiated the referendum, Proposition C, calling into question the building height increasing ordinance. They hoped that if Proposition B were approved, voters would reject Proposition C, essentially shutting down the project anyway. Both measures were defeated.
- State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano
- Board of Supervisors President David Chiu
- Supervisor John Avalos
- Supervisor David Campos
- Former Mayor Art Agnos
- Former City Attorney Louise Renne
- Former Board of Supervisors President Harry Britt
- Former Board of Supervisors President Matt Gonzalez
- Former Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin
- Former Board of Supervisors President Quentin L. Kopp
- Former Supervisor Sophie Maxwell
- Former Supervisor Jake McGoldrick
- Former San Francisco Planning Department Director Allan Jacobs
- Former San Francisco Board of Appeals Chair Kendall Goh
- Matt Haney, Member, San Francisco Board of Education
- Kim-Shree Maufus, Member, San Francisco Board of Education
- John Rizzo, President, San Francisco Community College Board of Trustees
- Steve Ngo, Member, San Francisco Community College Board of Trustees
- Chris Jackson, Member, San Francisco Community College Board of Trustees
- Rafael Mandelman, Member, San Francisco Community College Board of Trustees
- Angela Chan, San Francisco Police Commissioner*
- Petra DeJesus, San Francisco Police Commissioner*
- Warren Mar, Vice-President, San Francisco Building Inspection Commission
- Debra Walker, Member, San Francisco Building Inspection Commission
- Eileen Hansen, Former Member, San Francisco Ethics Commission
- Matt Dorsey, Member, San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee
- Kelly Dwyer, Member, San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee
- Hene Kelly, Member, San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee
- Trevor McNeil, Member, San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee
- Carole Migden, Member, San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee
- Leah Pimentel, Member, San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee
- Alix Rosenthal, Member, San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee
- Christopher L. Bowman, Member, San Francisco Republican County Central Committee
- Stephanie Jeong, Member, San Francisco Republican County Central Committee
- Joan Leone, Member, San Francisco Republican County Central Committee
- Dana Walsh, Member, San Francisco Republican County Central Committee
- Mike DeNunzio, Former Member, San Francisco Republican County Central Committee
- Harold M. Hoogasian, Former Member, San Francisco Republican County Central Committee
- Affordable Housing Alliance
- AIDS Housing Alliance SF
- Aquatic Park Neighbors
- Barbary Coast Neighborhood Association
- Bernal Heights Democratic Club
- Castro/Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association
- Central City Democrats
- Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods
- District 3 Democratic Club
- District 8 Democratic Club
- District 11 Democratic Club
- Eastern Neighborhoods United Front
- FDR Democratic Club
- Friends of Golden Gateway
- Golden Gateway Commons Homeowners Association
- Golden Gateway Tenants Association
- Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club
- Housing Rights Committee
- India Basin Neighborhood Association
- League of Women Voters of San Francisco
- Middle Polk Neighborhood Association
- Midtown Terrace Homeowners Association
- North Mission Neighbors
- Pacific Heights Residents Association
- Potrero Boosters Neighborhood Association
- Potrero Hill Democratic Club
- Richmond Community Association
- Richmond District Democratic Club
- Rincon Center Tenants Association
- Rincon Point Neighbors Association
- Russian Hill Improvement Association
- San Franciscans for Reasonable Growth
- San Francisco Bay Guardian
- San Francisco Beautiful
- San Francisco Democratic Party
- San Francisco Examiner
- San Francisco Gray Panthers
- San Francisco Green Party
- San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters
- San Francisco Tenants Union
- San Francisco Tomorrow
- Senior & Disability Action
- Sierra Club
- South Beach Democratic Club
- Sunset-Parkside Education Action Committee
- Telegraph Hill Dwellers
- Tenants Together
- Twin Peaks Council
- Twin Peaks Open Space Conservancy
- Wendy Aragon, Vice President, Richmond District Democratic Club
- Tommi Avicolli Mecca, Affordable Housing Advocate
- Brian Basinger, AIDS Housing Alliance SF
- Alan Beach-Nelson, President, Castro/Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association
- The Right Reverend Otis Charles
- Joni Eisen, President, Potrero Hill Democratic Club
- Mari Eliza, Eastern Neighborhoods United Front (ENUF)
- Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Co-Founder, City Lights Booksellers & Publishers
- Milo Hanke, Past President, San Francisco Beautiful
- Judith Hoyem, Planning Chair, Castro/Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association
- Jack Jensen, President, Chronicle Books
- Bruce Keene, President, Russian Hill Improvement Association
- Tony Kelly, President, Potrero Boosters Neighborhood Association
- Phyllis Lyon, LGBT Civil Rights Pioneer
- Brian McWilliams, Former SF Port Commissioner & President of the International Workers Longshoremen's Union (ILWU)
- Jane Morrison, Former Women's Chair, California Democratic Party*
- Amy Meyer, Founder, People for a Golden Gate National Recreation Area
- Dave Osgood, President, Rincon Center Tenants Association
- Dean Preston, Executive Director, Tenants Together
- Thea Selby, President, Lower Haight Merchant + Neighbor Association
- Gary Weiss, President, Corbett Heights Neighbors
- Calvin Welch, Director, San Francisco Information Clearinghouse
- Howard Wong, Former Board Member, San Francisco Planning & Urban Research (SPUR)
- It provided opportunities, through raising the waterfront height limits, for big businesses to build massive buildings blocking off the waterfront instead of revitalizing it.
- Its campaign was deceptive because it did not even mention the raising of these height limits but focused instead on a park and increased jobs.
- It proposed a play ground that was only a campaign trick as it was, in fact, smaller than a tennis court.
- It touted "affordable housing" but intended to build condos costing an average of $5 million each, with no actual affordable housing in the plans.
- It would have included a lot of private space with gated and "member only" areas and not the public recreation promised by the Yes on B campaign.
- It could have caused huge sewage spills from broken sewage lines.
- By introducing very expensive condos, it would have increased housing costs for the entire area
- Two thirds of the "park areas" created by the development would have been private, not public.
- The high density residential area it proposed would have been out of place and scale with the neighborhoods of San Francisco.
- The proposal would have undone the work done to remove the Embarcadero Freeway, which was accomplished to increase open space. The proposed building height increase would have allowed buildings that would be twice the height of the old Embarcadero Freeway.
The San Francisco Examiner editorial board argued for a "no" vote on Props. B and C, saying that even if the specific development proposed was a good one, the provisions within the propositions could allow for and create a precedent for an alternative planning process, potentially giving developers a chance to bypass the public discussion that is important for preserving and protecting San Francisco. The editorial board urged voters to reject the "ballot-box planning" found in Propositions B and C.
- The San Francisco Chronicle editorial board wrote: "A vote for Props. B and C would be an affirmation of a rigorous, inclusive, exhaustive planning process. Vote yes on B and C."
- The San Francisco Examiner: The Examiner released an editorial urging voters to reject Proposition B and Proposition C. The editorial board wrote:
- "Prop. B especially goes too far in setting the stage for an alternative planning process that could be used by future projects to bypass too much of the discussion in which the public can take part.
- Props. B and C could approve a housing project that The San Francisco Examiner has supported. But the long-range damage done by the measures’ ballot-box planning is too great of a risk for this city in the long run, wiping out the benefits of this one project.
- We urge a no vote on Propositions B and C."
Proposition B would have created a special use district known as the 8 Washington Parks, Public Access and Housing District. The district would have required the 8 Washington Street Site project to include:
A “YES” Vote Means: If you vote “yes,” you want to approve the 8 Washington Street Site development project, which includes new housing, retail and recreational facilities and open space. It would also increase the building height limits on a portion of the Site.
A “NO” Vote Means: If you vote “no,” you do not want to approve the 8 Washington Street Site development project.
Path to the ballot
Opponents to the development project collected signatures to qualify the referendum question for the ballot. 19,405 signatures, a number equal to 10% of the total number of people who voted for Mayor in 2011, were required to qualify the referendum for the ballot. It was confirmed by the Department of Elections through a random sampling that the petition submitted by development plan critics, including Wild Equity, had more than the required threshold.
- San Francisco Voter's Guide for November 5, 2013 election
- Sierra Club website
- Proponent group, Waterfront for All, website
- Waterfront for All facebook page
- San Francisco County department of elections website
- The full text of the ordinance is available in the Voter's Guide pages 109-127
- The SFGate, "Bay-front condo high-rise in S.F. ballot showdown," October 17, 2013
- The SFGate, "Vote yes on S.F. Props. B and C," October 11, 2013
- The San Francisco Bay Guardian, "SF Democratic Party opposes developers’ 8 Washington initiative," August 15, 2013
- The San Francisco Examiner, "San Francisco Democratic Party encourages 'no' votes on 8 Washington propositions," August 16, 2013
- The San Francisco Bay Area, "Proposition B article"
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 San Francisco Voter Pamphlet and Sample Ballot for November 5, 2013 election, accessed October 15, 2013
- ↑ Yes on B campaign website, accessed October 15, 2013
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 No Wall On The Waterfront, no on Props B and C campaign website, accessed October 15, 2013
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Wild Equity, No on B campaign website, accessed October 15, 2013
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 The San Francisco Examiner, "Ballot-box planning is bad for S.F.; vote ‘no’ on Props. B and C," October 17, 2013
- ↑ San Francisco Gate, Vote yes on S.F. Props. B and C, accessed October 15, 2013
- ↑ Open Up the Waterfront campaign website, accessed October 15, 2013