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San Francisco Rejects Environmental Review for Lack of Gentrification Analysis

In what could be a first, but potential not a last, the power of the California Environmental Quality Act was invoked in San Francisco with regard to concerns about gentrification.
December 7, 2016, 10am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Brooke Anderson

"In a move that shocked city officials and housing advocates, the Board of Supervisors [in November] rejected a 157-unit Mission District development, claiming that city planners failed to take into account the impact the complex would have on displacement and gentrification in a district that has been the heart of the city’s working-class Latino community," reports J.K. Dineen.

The environmental review for the development at 1515 S. Van Ness Ave. will now go back to planners, but the implications of the decision were felt throughout planning and development communities in the city. According to Dineen, however, "uncertain whether the move signaled that future development proposals would be scrutinized for their impacts on gentrification and the displacement of residents and businesses from a neighborhood." San Francisco Planning Director John Rahaim is quoted in the article deferring to the city attorney about whether the decision is precedent setting.

The article includes other political leaders, community activists, and experts discussing the shocking, and rare, decision by the Board of Supervisors to uphold the project's environmental review. The decision was made all the more shocking because the developer voluntarily agreed to include 25 percent affordable housing in the development.

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, November 17, 2016 in San Francisco Chronicle
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