Is Sunset Boulevard Median Vanishing?
••••••• October 4, 2023 •••••••
Note: This article was updated Oct. 6
Recently, the Chronicle published an article about tents emerging along Sunset Boulevard. This article misses the elephant in the room — the actual “brick and mortar” houses that some developer is building at 201 Gellert Drive beside Sunset Blvd. This project may result from the recent passage of Senate Bill 9. That bill passed at the beginning of the year allows homeowners to split their land and legalizes duplexes on both sides of the property. While the project purports to be a plan for only two units, plans of the site show that the developer’s plan a total of five buildings planned for constructed going north.
The false justification — that San Francisco needs more housing — continues despite the fact downtown is 31% vacant and Parkmerced has a 25% vacancy rate.”
Insufficient Public Notification of Construction
The residents living at the addresses of 220 & 260 Gellert Drive both claimed they were not notified by letter but found out about the construction from a statement posted on a pole for 30 days.
Another resident at 270 Gellert Drive claims they were sent a letter notifying them of construction, however, they decided not to protest construction.
A resident familiar with the project, claimed construction will only occur in the four places adjacent to the development pictured above. Fortunately, the rest of the Sunset Boulevard Greenbelt is protected from development because it is City property for now.
Joy Turned to Sorrow
The Chronicle's YIMBY article discusses extending the Gellert project further down Lake Merced Boulevard. However, that information conflicts with the architect’s plans which appear to design buildings extend down Sunset Boulevard. The project's contractor, a part owner, said, "I'm thrilled to be building on land in San Francisco that is not on a slope or tainted with toxins." Call me NIMBY, but the contractor's joy becomes my sorrow as I see a lovely part of the Greenbelt disappearing along Sunset Boulevard.
The false justification — that San Francisco needs more housing — continues despite the fact downtown is 31% vacant and Parkmerced has a 25% vacancy rate. It is a mistake for the State to mandate that San Francisco build 82,00 homes in 8 years. Housing activists in San Francisco have challenged this legislation.
The problem with San Francisco is that it is the “birthplace” of the remote worker, capable of working and living anywhere. Therefore, San Francisco has been hit especially hard by an exodus of workers and homeowners/renters. Unfortunately, unlike many cities in California, the State-mandated legislation is especially onerous to San Francisco. Sadly, many politicians whose political success depends on contributions from developers are oblivious to the vacancy reality. Supervisor Joel Engardio, along with Mayor Breed and Supervisor Dorsey support the demolition of “rent-controlled” housing.
When Local Law supersedes State Law
Housing activists have provided new legislation to counter the blind request of the State to build more housing in San Francisco. San Franciscans should support this new legislation.
Glenn Rogers, RLA
Landscape Architect / License 3223
October 4, 2023