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Sandoval signs on to support affordable housing legacy

Announces legislation to ensure citywide development

Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval.
Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

By Luke Thomas

December 7, 2007, 9:00 a.m.

District 11 Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval agreed yesterday to support Supervisor Chris Daly's affordable housing charter amendment ballot initiative.

The ballot initiative, if passed by voters in November, would set in stone over the next fifteen years a fixed annual set aside for the development of affordable housing to help stem the tide of gentrification.

"I have decided to support Supervisor Daly's housing measure," Sandoval told Fog City Thursday. "I would be the fifth supporter for the measure, so that leaves him (Daly) one vote short."

Supervisors Tom Ammiano, Ross Mirkarimi and Aaron Peskin have all indicated their support for the charter amendment.

"My reservations in supporting the measure, up and until now, was that I didn't think it addressed a lot of the gentrification issues that I see happening in my neighborhood, or in the outer Mission," Sandoval said.

Sandoval's support comes on the heels of policy discussions between Daly and Sandoval, which resulted in an agreement to support separate legislation to remove a current restriction requiring a developer to build offsite inclusionary housing within one mile of a developer's proposed development site.

Developers get around the current requirement of building offsite inclusionary housing within the one-mile restriction by writing a check to the city. If passed, Sandoval's legislation would ensure the unrestricted development of affordable housing citywide.

"I have Supervisor Daly's support to introduce legislation that would change the one-mile restriction so that 25 percent of the housing could be built citywide. My goal is to get beyond the one-mile restriction," Sandoval said.

"What happens is, you have a developer who has a site South of Market, where most of the development activity is taking place, and they don't want to do the affordable housing onsite. So, now they start looking for a site in the South of Market that's within one mile of their development and, guess what, South of Market's really expensive, so they can't and they just write the city a check," Sandoval explained.

Sandoval said there are two city-owned sites in his district - Phelan Loop by City College, and Balboa Park BART station - that are ideal locations for the development of affordable housing.

"I have two sites in my district that I'm particularly interested in. Phelan loop, which is next to City College... the city owns that land so we don't even have to buy it to make it affordable," Sandoval said. "At Balboa Park BART station, you have eighteen MUNI bus lines or light rail. You have three different light rail lines that come in and out of there, all designed to feed the BART station. The idea is to build a transit village that would include, potentially, a movie theatre, a supermarket and ground-floor amenities."

Sandoval points to a city-owned site adjacent to Balboa Park BART station that he says will be an ideal location to develop a transit village which could include the development
of as many as 1000 units of affordable housing.

"My goal is to build affordable housing next to transportation," Sandoval said.

Reached for comment, Supervisor Chris Daly told Fog City: "We have common ground on wanting to see some good housing for working class people get built citywide, specifically Phelan Loop by City College and Balboa Park BART station.

Now that Daly has five of the six votes needed to place the affordable housing charter amendment on the ballot, all eyes are now focused on Supervisor Jake McGoldrick who has so far expressed concerns about set asides.

"He has expressed concerns about set asides," said McGoldrick's legislative aide Stephanie Tucker, "but he has yet to make a final decision on whether he will support the affordable housing charter amendment."

McGoldrick, who is in England to study London's congestion management system, will return to San Francisco on Monday. On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors will vote to place the affordable housing charter amendment on the ballot.





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