San Francisco Approves Prop B Height Restrictions

The eventuality predicted since San Francisco's Prop. B qualified for the ballot has come to pass, with more than 59 percent of San Francisco voters approving the ordinance that will require votes on developments exceeding existing height limits.

"Residents overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure Tuesday to give voters a say in development along a 7 1/2-mile stretch of San Francisco's waterfront," according to a report by John Wildermuth and John Coté.

"The measure will require voter approval for any new building on Port of San Francisco property to exceed existing height limits, which typically range from 40 to 80 feet but can be as low as zero and as high as 105 feet."

In the article, Wildermuth and Coté quote a "disappointed" Gabriel Metcalf, executive director of the urban think tank SPUR: "Today, San Francisco took another step toward becoming the most expensive city in the country. ... We fell for a simplistic slogan and effectively shut off thousands of future housing units."

Matthew Yglesias agrees with Metcalf in a post for Vox, citing a tweet by Mother Jones Editor Clara Jeffrey as the voice of "discerning Bay Area progressives." Writes Yglesias: "But in San Francisco there is a basic underlying reality. The city's physical dimensions are constrained, and a lot of people would like to live and work there. Thanks to the miraculous technology of the elevator, it is perfectly possible for lots of people to live and work in a small geographical area via the mechanism of tall buildings." 

Full Story: S.F. voters OK Prop. B on waterfront development

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