What’s in it for me if it’s in my backyard?

SFGate reports a plan for a 38 floor condo tower to be constructed just one block away.  In the morning I will walk that stretch of Washington Street, to identify the specific location.  The history of my knowledge of the building began at 8:55 p.m. tonight, when I went trolling for blog content on SFGate.com. 

The Board of Supervisors was still taking input about the developer’s environmental report.  Those opposed to the building wanted the report to be rejected, thus stalling the project.  Perceived issues with the building include shade on existing parks, potential detriment to the Transamerica redwoods, and the fact that the building’s scale is well out of proportion to the neighborhood.  Not to mention more noise and dust and grime. 

On the bright side, maybe we would have gotten a decent grocery store.  Somewhere to buy personal staples other than the Walgreens.  A lovely place for breakfast.  Honestly, the neighborhood really doesn’t have a bar for adults. 

While doing the personal cost/benefit analysis, I was reminded of a recent conversation with one of the most outward-looking people I know.  This person is a good-government proponent who is committed to decisioning that benefits the greater good.  Our conversation was about the June San Francisco ballot measure that, if passed, will change the film permit process in the City.  There are pros and cons to the measure but for this person – this person who is so adept at strategic thinking – the  key question was whether she would still get free parking elsewhere when films are shot in her trendy neighborhood. 

Maybe the question for all of us, acknowledged or not, is what’s in it for me if it’s in my backyard. 

The history of my knowledge of the building ended at 10:00 p.m. tonight, when SFGate reported the Supervisors rejected the environmental report.  This gives the developer pause, and me, too.  Is my claim to be concerned for the citizenry superficial?  How about yours?  LLII.

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