City of San Francisco Pier 70 Redevelopment Initiative, Proposition F (November 2014)

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A City of San Francisco Pier 70 Redevelopment Initiative, Proposition F, ballot question, known as the Union Iron Works Historic District Housing, Waterfront Parks, Jobs and Preservation Initiative, is on the November 4, 2014 election ballot for voters in the city of San Francisco, California.

If approved, Proposition F would authorize the $100 million redevelopment of Pier 70 in the neighborhood known as Dogpatch. The proposed plan - spearheaded by developer Forest City - would renovate and rehabilitate three historical buildings occupying 28 acres of pier space. The project, which includes nine story buildings and is part of a larger development project, would produce office space and buildings for retailers, artists and manufacturers. The specific projects proposed under this initiative include:[1][2]

  • close to an additional 2,000 housing units
  • 600 affordable housing units
  • 1.8 million square feet of commercial space
  • 400,000 square feet of retail, cultural and manufacturing space
  • nine acres of new parks

This project is part of a larger $242 million project[3][4]

Proposed Market Square of development

The Pier 70 portion of this development authorized by this initiative requires voter approval because it seeks to increase the height limits on Pier 70 from 40 feet to 90 feet, a process that requires citywide voter approval because of Proposition B, which was approved by voters on June 3, 2014.[1][3]

Background

See also: City of San Francisco Voter Approval of Waterfront Construction Exceeding Height Limits Initiative, Proposition B (June 2014)

On June 3, 2014, 58.8 percent of city voters approved an initiative that requires voter approval in a citywide election before any waterfront development project exceeding established height limit zoning can go forward. Forest City, which was planning this development project as Proposition B petitioners were collecting signatures for their new law, decided to prepare for Prop. B approval and began circulating the petition for this Pier 70 development initiative before Proposition B had even qualified for the June ballot.[3]

Slipways Promenade in the proposed Pier 70 development

Text of measure

Ballot title

The official title of the ballot initiative is:[5]

Pier 70 Development Site Height Limit Increase[6]

Ballot summary

The official summary for the ballot initiative is:[5]

Pier70 is a 66-acre waterfront property owned by the City, through its Port commission (Port), and located east of Dogpatch and south of Mission Bay. Historically, Pier 70 was an industrial site, used primarily as a shipyard. Currently Pier 70 includes historic buildings and the National Register of Historic Places lists Pier 70 as the Union Iron Works Historic District. Pier 70 does not now afford public access to the Bay.

The Port holds Pier 70 as a public trust asset for the benefit of all the State's people. Pier 70 includes a mix of trust and non-trust parcels. The public trust restricts the allowable uses of trust property and usually prohibits residential and general office uses.

After a three-year community planning process, the Port created a master plan to reuse Pier 70. The Port designated a 28-acre portion of Pier 70 at its southeastern edge, roughly bounded by 20th Street, Michigan Street, 22nd Street, and the Bay, as a development opportunity site. This development site does not include the ship repair area, the cove, or the area containing the historic buildings on 20th Street.

In 2011, following a competitive solicitation of development proposals the Port selected Forest City Development California to develop the 28-acre site as a mixed-use project with residential, office, retail, arts spaces and public open space and recreational areas. The project would require the trust exchange within Pier 70 under the state legislation.

The current height limit for buildings on the site is 40 feet.

The proposed measure would increase the height limit for buildings on the site to 90 feet.

The proposed measure provides that all aspects of development other than the height limit increase will continue to be subject to public approval processes, including environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The height limit increase would not become effective until the Port, after compliance with CEQA, approves the development plan as consistent with the public trust and the state trust exchange legislation.

The proposed measure would also make it City policy to encourage the following major features in developing the site:

  • nine acres of waterfront parks and recreation areas;
  • approximately 1,000 to 2,000 new residential units, with the majority available for rent and 30% affordable for middle- and low-income households;
  • restoration and re-use of historic structures;
  • space for arts and cultural activities, nonprofits, small-scale manufacturing, retail, and neighborhood services;
  • preservation of the artist community currently located on Pier 70;
  • between approximately 1-2 million square feet of new commercial and office space; and
  • parking and transportation infrastructure improvements.[6]

—San Francisco City Attorney[5]

Full text

The full text of the initiative ordinance that would be enacted by the approval of Proposition F is available here.

Support

Supporters

Forest City is the name of the developer behind the project.[3]

Arguments in favor

Alexa Arena, senior vice president of Forest City, said, “We are excited about how the project has evolved through the community process, and we are taking the next step to present a great project to San Francisco voters for possible placement on this November’s ballot."[3]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing local ballot measures in California

According to city election code, 9,702 signatures from registered San Francisco voters is required to qualify this initiative for the ballot. On July 7, 2014, petitioners working for the Forest City Development turned in 15,386 signatures. If the city elections office certifies that enough of the submitted signatures are valid, the project will go before voters on November 4, 2014.[1]

Reports and analyses

Ballot simplification

The Ballot Simplification Committee provided the following statement explaining Proposition E:[7]

The Way It Is Now:

The City, through its Port Commission (Port) owns a 28-acre area of land roughly bounded by 20th Street, Michigan Street, 22nd Street, and the Bay. This is part of a 69-acre waterfront property known as the Pier 70 area, bounded by Mariposa Street to the north, Illinois Street to the west, 22nd Street to the south, and the Bay.

Historically, the Pier 70 area was an industrial site, used primarily as a shipyard, and does not now allow public access to the Bay. Pier 70 includes historic buildings and the National Register of Historic Places lists Pier 70 as the Union Iron Works Historic District. After a three-year community planning process, the Port created a master plan to reuse Pier 70 and designated the 28-acre portion for development. The majority of this site is vacant and a portion is used for artists’ studios and storage.

In 2011, after a competitive solicitation, the Port selected a development partner for the site. The developer proposes a mixed-use project with residential, office, retail, arts spaces, and public open space and recreation areas.

The current building height limit on the site is 40 feet. The historic buildings on the site, however, are more than 40 feet tall and one is 90 feet tall.

The Proposal:

Proposition F is an ordinance that would increase the height limit for buildings on the 28-acre development site in the Pier 70 area from 40 feet to 90 feet.

Proposition F would provide that all aspects of development other than the height limit increase will continue to be subject to public approval processes, including environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The height limit increase would not become effective until the Port, after compliance with CEQA, approves the development plan. Proposition F would make it City policy to encourage the following major features in developing the site:

  • nine acres of waterfront parks and recreation areas that would provide public access to the Bay;
  • approximately 1,000 to 2,000 new residential units; most of these units would be rental units, and 30% would be below market rate and affordable for middle- and low-income households;
  • restoration and re-use of historic structures;
  • space for arts and cultural activities, nonprofits, small-scale manufacturing, retail, and neighborhood services;
  • preservation of the artist community currently located in the Pier 70 area;
  • between 1 million to 2 million square feet of new commercial and office space;
  • parking and transportation improvements; and
  • a significant number of permanent jobs and revenue to support public housing facilities.

A "YES" Vote Means: If you vote "yes," you want to:

  • increase the height limit for new buildings on the 28-acre development site in the Pier 70 area from 40 feet to 90 feet;
  • encourage the City to proceed with public approval processes, including environmental review, for this mixed-use project; and
  • make it City policy to encourage parks, housing, cultural space, and job creation for this site.

A "NO" Vote Means: If you vote “no,” you do not want to increase the height limit or adopt this City policy.[6]

—San Francisco Ballot Simplification Committee[7]

See also

External links

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References