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Maxwell decries Bayview Redevelopment Plan opponents as untruthful and unfair

District 10 Supervisor Sophie Maxwell
Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

By Pat Murphy

August 14, 2006

A November ballot measure opposing the Bayview Redevelopment Plan is based on outdated fear and unfairness to the City's southeast neighborhood, Supervisor Sophie Maxwell asserted last week.

Maxwell represents the Bayview neighborhood of District 10 and is an architect of the $58 million plan.

Opponents "aren't telling the whole truth," Maxwell contended in an interview with the Sentinel.

The ballot measure unfairly plays on the fear of displacement which changed the face of the Western Addition in the 1960s, alleged Maxwell.

"This is not the Redevelopment Agency of 30 years ago. What is? Cars aren't the same as 30 years ago.

"We've had people who are looking at this and are saying 'this is not going to happen - we're going to use this for the good of the people.'"

She insisted displacement cannot occur because a provision of the signed plan locks out Redevelopment Agency power of eminent domain.

"There is no eminent domain of any residential homes," Maxwell asserted.

"I don't care where they're located.

"If anybody's living in it, if it's located in the middle of an industrial district, there would be no eminent domain.

"We've written it into the agreement we've passed.

"We were very, very sensitive to that... and I made sure it was clear that there would be no eminent domain of any residences, of any big swatches of land that could be torn up and turned over into something else."

Opponents did not contact Maxwell to discuss their concern before launching the ballot measure campaign, she added.

"I think it's quite unfortunate for someone to spend money for such a negative campaign, to tell people not the whole truth," Maxwell continued.

San Francisco builder Brian O'Flynn donated $1,000 to the ballot measure campaign and advanced campaign costs as a loan, O'Flynn told the Sentinel.

O'Flynn contends targeting tax revenue solely to the Bayview through the plan is unfair to the rest of the City, which Maxwell scored as an affront to the Bayview residents who crafted the plan.

"I also think that to take it out of the hands of the people who live in this neighborhood who have shown over and over again that they want this, to say 'nope, what you've decided isn't good, we want the whole City to decide' - when has the whole City ever decided anything positive for this community and this neighborhood?

"It just hasn't happened."

The Bayview deserves the tax supported plan due to historic City neglect of that neighborhood, she continued

"I think the City owes it to itself to make every single part of our City the best it can be.

"We have less green space than any other district, we have less trees than any other district, we have more sickness and poverty than any other district, we have more poverty than any other district.

"I think it stands to reason that the City needs to put this kind of effort toward it.

"With that tax increment we've got over $58 million that would come to the Bayview... you don't get that kind of money unless you have something like this.

"My feeling is that if Forrest City (developers) can use it to redo the Emporium site, if the state can use it, then why in the world can't we use it?

"Why can't use this mechanism to get this kind of money that would pour into a district like Bayview?"

Maxwell detailed the process of finalizing the plan.

"It's come from many other plans throughout a very long period, I would over 20 to 30 years.

"What they did is... culminated it all into this one redevelopment plan.

"Normally before the Redevelopment (Agency) comes in people have to say 'yes, we want it come in here.'

"They also have to have a committee and that committee has to consist of people in the community, in the neighborhood, and they have to be voted in by their peers.

"That means that if you are a homeowner you have to get so many homeowners to vote for you.

"So the whole process I think in that way was very open and was very public, and all of these ideas and all the plans from all the years back came into this one document.

"In this document it says that we want - we want our town center to be here, we want industry to be here, we want this kind of industry, we want to be able to revitalize so we want a program that deals with homeowners like the model block program - we have a lot of older and senior homeowners, we want them to be able to get their homes revitalized and made convenient for them as they age. We also want a health camp at the senior campus.

"It really laid out the plan for this community and this district.

"It had children, it had families, it had older people, revitalizing the community. That's why I think it is so important.

"It also had something about businesses and planning and entrepreneurs.

"Our produce market on Jerrold - it says this is what this is, it cannot be anything else, it cannot go to housing. So it is maintaining and trying to capture those blue collar jobs and make them stay there. The produce market hires over 500 people. San Francisco needs to have a produce market.

"They've had countless number of community meetings so that people would know what it was. They even hired people to go door-to-door to discuss it and invite people to meet."

She foresaw final result.

"When this goes into effect people are going to see more affordable housing, they're going to see trees, they're going to see playgrounds, they're going to see people's homes being revitalized, they're going to see money going in for entrepreneurs.

"They're going to see job training for people - that's what they will see.

"I think people should be proud of the people in this community and this neighborhood who have worked on this for so long, put so many hours and so much time and decided this is what they want."




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