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Redevelopment plan for Bayview-Hunters Point approved

Executive Director of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, Marcia Rosen,
calls the redevelopment plan of Bayview Hunter's Point "modest" over concerns from
residents and Supervisors that gentrification may befall the district.
Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

By Angela Hokanson, Bay City News Service

May 24, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - The San Francisco Board of Supervisors yesterday adopted with a 7-4 vote the redevelopment plan for the Bayview-Hunters Point Redevelopment Project, concluding a process that began more than ten years ago and caused controversy until the last moment.

The redevelopment plan adopted yesterday amends the Hunters Point Redevelopment Plan, which was passed in 1969, and is based on a preliminary plan created by the San Francisco Planning Commission in 1996.

The purpose of the plan is to eliminate blight, create affordable housing, and spur economic development in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood, according to the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency.

The redevelopment program seeks to create housing for low and moderate-income residents of the neighborhood, enhance economic opportunities for job-seekers and small businesses, improve public transportation and revitalize public spaces, according to Marcia Rosen, executive director of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency.

"It's a modest plan in that it proposes to use incremental infill development to build on the assets of the neighborhood," Rosen said.

The plan amendment adds 1,361 acres to the project area originally delineated in the 1969 redevelopment plan. The additional land includes residential, commercial, industrial and public areas in the Bayview-Hunters Point area, as well as in the South Basin, Bret Harte/Double Rock and Town Center areas.

The plan was created by the Redevelopment Agency in conjunction with the Redevelopment Project Area Committee (PAC), a community group comprised mostly of Bayview residents, and other city departments.

The PAC approved a draft of the plan more than two years ago, Rosen said, but the plan had to undergo significant environmental review.

"The plan did not just come out of thin air. It came out of many, many years and is based on many other plans," said Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, who sponsored the legislation to adopt the redevelopment plan and whose supervisorial district includes the Bayview-Hunters Point area.

Rosen described the plan's creation as a "slow, deliberative, bottom-up process.''

Supervisors Tom Ammiano, Chris Daly, Ross Mirkarimi, and Gerardo Sandoval voted against the ordinance that approved and adopted the redevelopment plan. Daly said that the plan fell short in terms of the provision of affordable housing in the neighborhood, and that the plan would cause the gentrification of the Bayview-Hunters Point area rather than providing needed services to existing residents.

During public comment at last week's board of supervisors meeting, Bayview residents expressed concern over the competency and the motivations of the Redevelopment Agency, referencing the urban renewal policies that displaced residents of the Western Addition in the 1960s.

That comparison is not really fair, Rosen said, since the Redevelopment Agency was following what were then federal and city urban renewal policies, and the agency hasn't used those kinds of policies since then.

Of the Bayview residents who expressed concerns about the redevelopment plan, Maxwell said, "I think those concerns are extremely important. I think you need good healthy opposition.''

The plan will be in effect for 30 years and will be financed primarily through tax increment revenues from increases in the neighborhood's tax base.

Copyright © 2006 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.




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