Feb 29, 2016 0 Comments in Affordable Housing, Board of Supervisors, Event Recap, Inclusionary Housing, Land Use, Planning Commission by

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Last Thursday, the Planning Commission voted 5-1 to support increasing the height limit at 160 Folsom from 300 feet to allow a 400 foot tower with 40 percent on-site affordable housing. Commissioner Moore voted against and Commissioner Johnson is still on maternity leave. SFHAC was there to support the benefits gained from the added height, which include 73 more homes, 44 of which would be permanently affordable for middle-class earners. Other supporters included the American Institute of Architects SF, the Transbay Citizens Advisory Committee, trade unions and other San Franciscans who want more housing choices in their city.

We’ve covered the project’s most important details in an earlier blog. There seems to be broad agreement that there should be a tower at this location. The current debate is whether it should be 300 feet, as currently zoned, or the proposed 400 feet that includes higher affordability.

While most of the Commissioners said the extra height is worth the added affordability, Commissioner Moore expressed concerns about this building setting a precedent to exceed height limits at other planned sites in the Transbay Area Plan. Those who opposed the project, a few of whom live in the upper floors of the adjacent 400-foot Infinity Tower, called the project “spot zoning” and fear it would cause too much shadowing on Rincon Park. Fortunately, the voices of support strongly outweighed these concerns.

On Tuesday, March 1st, the Board of Supervisors will decide whether to send the project to their Land Use Committee or bring it for a vote in April. Because this project is inside a former Redevelopment Area, the approval process doesn’t take the traditional - Planning Commission - Land Use - Board of Supervisors - track. The SFHAC will continue to monitor this development and keep you informed as it moves forward.

If you support the 400-foot plan, send an email to the Board of Supervisors through our email petition below. We’ve provided a sample message, but encourage you to edit it to your liking.

Support More Height and Affordable Housing at 160 Folsom


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Rob Poole

Rob is the former Development and Communications Manager at SFHAC.

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