Erik Honda, DTNA Secretary
At our February General Meeting your neighborhood organization announced the results of our Board election, and welcomed new Secretary David Troup, new editor Erik Honda, as well as new Board Members Dennis Richards and Corbin Muraro. We also got out in front of other neighborhoods in the city by being the first neighborhood association to have the Planning Department present on the just-approved Housing Element, which is San Francisco’s road map for how to guide and invest in housing, which this cycle includes a plan to add 85,000 new housing units to the city by 2030.
A thoughtful and energetic group of neighbors, along with Super- visor Mandelman, gathered at Harvey Milk Rec Center to hear Planning’s Joshua Switsky lay out the plan. He noted that San Fran- cisco was one of the few cities to have its plan approved by the state, and also that the penalty for not approving the plan this time were strong – the plan had to be approved to get state afford- able housing and transportation
funds, and there were non-financial penalties like losing control of zoning and planning if was not approved. He also noted that it was the first Housing Element to really focus on racial and social equity – as seen in the accompanying illustration, the legacy of racist redlining in the 1940s and 1950s is still with us in terms of the economic and racial segregation of our neighborhoods, and in the recent steep decline in the Black and Native American populations in many parts of the city, including our own.
Switsky showed statistics reveal- ing that almost all (95%) the affordable housing that has been built over the last ten years has been in on the on east side of the city, so this plan focuses on the west side – upzoning building heights along Geary Boulevard in the Richmond district for ex- ample. More germane to Duboce Triangle, the plan also focuses affordable housing in highly re- sourced neighborhoods close to transit, which certainly includes ours. He showed three possible maps the city is considering, and all involve increased building heights along Market Street, but less so in what he called the “interstitial” blocks, which is the rest of the Triangle. He congratulated
us on being the first neighbor- hood association to engage in the process, and encouraged folks to sign up to engage more – you can get on the email list to give input by going to www.sfhousingelement.org. He explained that the input process will continue for the rest of this year, with the final plan fleshed out by late 2023.
Switsky and Supervisor Mandelman then took a number of thoughtful questions from the audience, including questions about the design standards for the new buildings, city subsidies to get stalled developments to start construction, repurposing office buildings into housing, housing as racial reparations, our terrible city process for permitting new construction, vacant units in Triangle affordable housing, streetscape redesign, and green space (which is part of the plan). One neighbor asked how they can support more building in general. The answer to that, as Joshua and a DTNA Board member told him, is to stay involved and have your voice heard at DTNA Land Use and General Meetings, and at the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. So... see you all at those meetings! Our next General Meeting is April 11 – see you there.