2021 was, as we all know, an unconventional year. The Land Use committee continues to adapt to these unique times - hosting monthly committee meetings, reviewing developments that impact the Triangle, and empowering neighbors to advocate for the positive changes they would like to see.
It has been a slow year for new construction and housing development in the neighborhood. We are still in the midst of a housing affordability crisis, but it has become even harder to build. COVID-19 has slowed things down, there are labor shortages, market volatility, and increased construction costs. Several multi-family housing projects in Duboce Triangle have had little to no progress over the past year. Proposed projects such as 2135 & 2140 Market Street have not been submitted for Entitlements because developers struggle to make them financially feasible. Previously Entitled projects, such as 1965 Market, sit dormant - supposedly awaiting additional funding or a new developer. Housing slated to start construction, such as 55 Belcher St, remains unbuilt. It is sad to see such stagnation in a neighborhood like Duboce Triangle that is within walking/transit distance to so many jobs and businesses.
There is some hope that 2022 will be a more active year for new housing. Increased Federal and State funding for affordable housing makes it a little easier for non-profit developers to pencil-out projects. New State laws, SB09 and SB10, will make it easier to add units to properties with only one unit and build small-scale apartment buildings. The Planning Department is currently reviewing both these provisions to determine precisely how they will impact San Francisco. The Land Use committee hopes these new laws and additional funding will result in more affordable homes in Duboce Triangle.
While building development has been slow, the Land Use Committee has focused on public space and transportation. There has been discussion about how our streets are used and the balance between pedestrian and vehicular priorities. DTNA has issued letters of support for the Noe Slow Street and 14th Street Traffic Calming - both will strengthen pedestrian safety in our neighborhood.
The Land Use Committee has also issued letters of support for two murals - one at MaiTri (facing Duboce Ave) and the other at Flore Store (facing the Noe-Beaver Mini Park). Both will bring color to our streets, making a walk through our neighborhood even more enjoyable.
Following DTNA’s efforts to improve our built environment, advocate for investment in public transportation, and increase accessibility, the Board issued a letter of support for the new and improved Harvey Milk Plaza at Castro MUNI station. We will continue to work with the Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza as their design is finalized to ensure the new Plaza will be an accessible and enjoyable space for our community.
Overall, 2021 has been filled with great discussion, debate, and action for the Land Use Committee. We have learned a lot and have tried to make our neighborhood a more enjoyable, accessible, and sustainable place to live and work. To do this, the committee needs neighbors to participate and share their opinion! If you would like to attend a meeting or share your thoughts on land use & transportation, please email email@example.com