PRO & CONS – Prop O – November 8, 2016

PROPOSITION O – HUNTERS POINT SHIPYARD/CANDLESTICK POINT JOBS STIMULUS PROPOSITION

Ordinance

Placed on the ballot by initiative petition

Requires a simple majority for passage

THE QUESTION:

Through Proposition M (1986), the City can approve up to 950,000 square-foot of office developments annually. No office development may be approved beyond such limit. Shall the City amend the Planning Code to exempt new office space in the Candlestick Point and Hunters Point project area from the City’s annual 950,000 square-foot limit? And shall the City also amend the Planning Code to permanently exempt any new office space in the project area from counting toward the annual limit?

BACKGROUND:

In 1986, San Francisco voters approved Proposition M that amended the City’s Planning Code to establish annual limits of 950,000 square feet on new office space construction in the City. The goal at the time was to prevent rapid development in downtown San Francisco.

In 2008, San Francisco voters approved Proposition G, the Bayview Jobs, Park and Housing Initiative, to encourage development of a mixed-use project area on Candlestick Point and most of the former Navy Shipyard at Hunters Point. The City approved redevelopment plans for this project area, including:

  • Approximately 330 acres of public parks and open space,
  • Up to 10,500 homes,
  • Up to 885,000 square feet of retail and entertainment uses, and
  • Up to 5.15 million square feet of office space.

The redevelopment plans of Proposition G require the City to place a higher priority on office space to be built in the project area over most other areas of the City. However, the new office space in the project is still subject to Proposition M.

Passage of this proposition would permanently exempt the project area from Proposition M and the City’s Planning Code. The passage of this proposition “would also establish a policy that development applications shall be processed and decided quickly, and development expedited.”

There would be no Planning Dept oversight with respect to getting Project Authorization from the Planning Commission. The measure would allow any Development on the Subject Property (Hunters Point Shipyard and Candlestick Point) to be treated as if they have been granted Project Authorization. Project Authorization is required by the Department of Building Inspection to get a building permit.

THE PROPOSAL:

This measure would amend the Planning Code to exempt new office space in the Candlestick Point and Hunters Point project area from the City’s annual 950,000-square-foot limit. This measure would also amend the Planning Code to permanently exempt any new office space in the project area from counting toward the annual limit.

Passage of this proposition would permanently exempt the project area from Proposition M and the City’s Planning Code. The passage of this proposition “would also establish a policy that development applications shall be processed and decided quickly, and development expedited.”

A “YES” Vote Means: If you vote “yes,” you want to permanently exempt new office space on Candlestick Point and most of the former Navy shipyard at Hunters Point from the City’s annual 950,000-square-foot limit.

A “NO” Vote Means: If you vote “no,” you do not want to make these changes. And new office space on Candlestick Point and most of the former Navy shipyard at Hunters Point will remain subject to the City’s annual 950,000-square-foot limit.

ARGUMENTS IN FAVOR OF PROP O:

  • Proposition O would provide speedy approval of office space construction, which would bring jobs, economic opportunities for residents, and guaranteed affordable housing along with new parks and open space.
  • Proposition O would provide help in relieving downtown congestion and prevent companies from relocating to Oakland, the East Bay, and the Peninsula.

ARGUMENTS AGAINST PROP O:

  • Proposition O would encourage developers throughout the City to seek their own exemptions to Proposition M. This measure would cause all office space in the project area to be exempted from the Planning Code so there will be no Planning Commission hearings on the new office buildings or any mitigation of their housing and transit impacts on the City’s General Fund.
  • Proposition O would add new workers without additional commitments to housing or transporting them adding to increased evictions in nearby neighborhoods and further displacement of San Francisco’s remaining working class communities of color.

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