City of San Francisco Pier 70 Redevelopment Initiative, Proposition F (November 2014)
|Voting on Property|
|Not on ballot|
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:
- 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
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.
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.
Text of measure
The official title of the ballot initiative is:
Pier 70 Development Site Height Limit Increase
The official summary for the ballot initiative is:
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:
—San Francisco City Attorney
The full text of the initiative ordinance that would be enacted by the approval of Proposition F is available here.
Forest City is the name of the developer behind the project.
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."
Path to the ballot
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.
Reports and analyses
The Ballot Simplification Committee provided the following statement explaining Proposition E:
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.
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:
A "YES" Vote Means: If you vote "yes," you want to:
A "NO" Vote Means: If you vote “no,” you do not want to increase the height limit or adopt this City policy.
—San Francisco Ballot Simplification Committee
- Local zoning, land use and development on the ballot
- San Francisco City and County, California ballot measures
- November 4, 2014 ballot measures in California
- San Francisco Chronicle online, "Signatures filed for 3 S.F, ballot measures," July 7, 2014
- Ballotpedia staff writer Josh Altic, "Email correspondence with a member of the Pier 70 measure campaign," July 17, 2014
- San Francisco Business Times, "Prop B. Breakthrough: Forest City proposes height limit increase for S.F.’s Pier 70 project," May 15, 2014
- San Francisco Chronicle online, "Pier 70 project set for presentation," April 29, 2014
- San Francisco Elections Office website, "Official title and summary for Proposition F," archived September 10, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- San Francisco Elections Office website, "Proposition F Simplification Digest," archived September 10, 2014