San Francisco's city attorney has invalidated a referendum signed by more than 33,000 residents opposed to a redevelopment plan they fear would drastically rearrange their neighborhood and its character.
"The plan would put about 1,500 acres in Bayviewâ€"Hunters Point under San Francisco Redevelopment Agency control, set new development standards, and collect all property tax increases into a fund that would go toward projects in the community. Opponents fear the plan would displace current residents and gentrify the area."
The city attorney ruled that those collecting signatures did not provide voters with enough information about the proposed redevelopment plan to allow them to make an informed decision. The plan's main opponents and organizers of the referendum effort claim their method had been approved by city officials and attorneys before collecting signatures. In response, they plan to challenge the ruling.
" 'We expected the city would try to look for a way out, and of course weâ€™re going to fight them in court,' said Willie Ratcliff, the Bayview newspaper publisher who helped fund and coordinate the referendum drive."