Backlash to San Francisco Development Spotlights City’s Conflicting Priorities

Residents of the Bayview neighborhood say they support new housing, but object to a proposed building that would replace one of the area’s only green spaces.

1 minute read

March 15, 2023, 12:00 PM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

San Francisco, California

DTM Media / Shutterstock

Tensions over a proposed housing development in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco highlights the Bay Area’s conflicting housing and conservation priorities, writes Jessica Wolfrom in the San Francisco Examiner.

With an outsized homeless crisis and dire housing shortage, The City must rapidly increase its affordable housing stock. But as a place that prides itself on its green values and ambitious climate goals, protecting and enhancing the last remaining open spaces is critical for storing carbon, fostering biodiversity and improving the health outcomes of its residents.

An application for a five-story residential building on a now-vacant hillside, which will likely be approved through the state’s SB9 bill, is meeting with resistance from local residents, who say the project would destroy local green space and contribute no affordable housing. Losing one of the only green spaces within miles could contribute to pollution and worsened public health in a neighborhood already plagued by higher air pollution rates than other parts of the city. “Because of its industrial setting, Bayview’s residents can, on average, expect to live 14 years less than their counterparts in Russian Hill, according to The City’s health department, and residents suffer from chronic diseases, including diabetes, asthma and heart failure, at much higher rates than the rest of San Francisco.”

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