Month: September 2014

490 South Van Ness Update :: Final(?) Hearing on Thur. 10/2

490 south van ness

The proposed building of market-rate condos for 490 South Van Ness. The Plaza 16 Coalition opposes more market rate development, such as  this one,  in the Mission until the City of San Francisco meets the need for truly affordable housing.

Planning Commission Meeting
Thursday, October 2, 2:00 PM
City Hall, Room 400
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
The 490 South Van Ness agenda item should be heard at around  2:00 or  2:30pm, but the schedule can change unexpectedly.

The Planning Commission will consider approving the 490 S. Van Ness development at its weekly meeting this Thursday, October 2.  Almost all the Planning Commissioners spoke favorably about the 7 story condominium development when they delayed their decision at their September 4th hearing. Here is the agenda for Thursday’s meeting. 490 South Van Ness is expected to come up at about 2:00 or 2:30pm.


The proposed 72 unit project, which would be located two blocks from the 16th/Mission Plaza, consists of 60 market rate condominiums and the minimum legal requirement of 12 below-market-rate condominiums, priced for people making 90% of the area median income:
$61,150 (1 person), $69,950 (2 people), $78,650 (3 people), $87,400 (4 people), $94,350 (5 people) etc.
and will require additional homeowner association fees.


All indication is that the Commission will vote to approve this project despite continued concerns about its lack of affordability for poor and working class people, its potentially dangerous underground parking garage access onto narrow, one-way Adair Street, its blockage of sunlight for the adjoining historic Redstone Building and other design issues.


The Plaza 16 Coalition has publicly opposed the project at previous hearings. Read more about the project and our reasons for opposing it in this previous post.


This may be the final vote on the project and the last opportunity for the public to express their opposition. Let us know at if you plan to attend the hearing and speak at public comment.

No Monster in the Mission :: ¡Basta Ya! March for Affordable Housing and Festival :: October 4

OurMissionNoEvictionMarch2013 Loco Bloco at the first Our Mission No Eviction March: October 12, 2013. Loco Bloco returns for the anniversary march on October 4! Photo by Shane Menez.

March and Festival for Affordable Housing

2pm March Begins at 24th and York St.
3pm Rally/Festival at 16th/Mission

:: March :: Rally :: Food :: Music :: Art :: Community ::

MUSIC by Bayonics, Loco Bloco, Susana y su Orquesta Adelante, and a special Mission Latin All-Star Band!

ART by Encantada Gallery, Michael Rios, Precita Eyes,, and more!  Public engagement project by senseofplace LAB.

The Plaza 16 Coalition is teaming up with Our Mission No Eviction on the first anniversary of their momentous march down 24th Street, to carry the loud-and-clear message of “affordable housing, not displacement” across the neighborhood. The march will finish at 16th and Mission Plaza where we’ll have a rally against “The Monster in the Mission” and celebrate our community and people power with live music, art, and food.

The Plaza 16 Coalition is a rapidly growing coalition of neighbors, and some 60 small businesses and community organizations opposing Maximus Real Estate Partners’ 10-story, 351-unit monster of luxury apartments proposed for 16th and Mission Streets. This development will greatly accelerate gentrification in the neighborhood and have a devastating impact of displacement of communities of color, low income and working class residents, and mom and pop businesses. The Mission District is our home and we will not tolerate the loss of more our community and culture. No Monster (towers of luxury housing) in the Mission!


:: Download flyers for the October 4 Event ::

 8.5 X 11 Flyer pdf (English and Spanish).

:: Help make the Oct. 4 event a huge success! ::

Sign and Banner Making Party – Part I
Wednesday, October 1st at 7PM
Brava Theater commercial space
2781 24th Street (between York and Hampshire Streets)
Security/Safety Team Training
Thursday, October 2nd at 6:30 PM
Brava Theater commercial space
2781 24th Street (between York and Hampshire Streets)
Sign and Banner Making Party – Part II
Friday, October 3rd at 7PM
PODER community space
474 Valencia St. #125 (near 16th)

10452991_636234519801635_1151335846899135965_o Susana y su Orquesta Adelante at the first Plaza 16 Festival in June 2014. Orquesta Adelante returns to perform on Oct. 4!

OurMissionNoEviction2013-2 Photo by Shane Menez.


Plaza 16 opposes market-rate condos on South Van Ness at 16th

490 south van ness

This terribly deceptive image used by the building’s developers, on their website and in public presentations, shows the proposed building’s height would be approximately the same as the neighboring Redstone Building (on the left). In reality, the 68 foot, 7-story building would tower over the 50 foot redstone building.

The Plaza 16 Coalition formed late last year to oppose Maximus Real Estate Partners’ monster development proposal for the 16th/Mission BART Plaza — but also to advocate in general for deeply affordable housing in the Mission and to oppose any further market rate development until affordable needs are met.

In this effort we are asking the Planning Commission to reject a 72-unit market-rate condo development proposed for 490 South Van Ness at 16th Street, just two blocks from the BART Plaza.  (Here are the documents submitted to the Planning Commission for the proposal). This week the Coalition sent a letter to the planning commissioners asking them to reject the project.

Here is our argument, stated in  the letter, for why the Planning Commission should reject the current proposal.

First, the Mission District is still a predominately working class neighborhood, one of whose greatest needs is housing that is affordable to current residents, including those people without any homes. The development of large market rate luxury projects like 490 South Van Ness leads to increased residential and commercial rents, evictions, and the displacement of current residents and the businesses that serve us.

Within the last year or so, two large luxury housing developments have opened in the immediate area—VARA at 15th Street and Mission and 1515 South Van Ness at the corner of 15th and South Van Ness. Accordingly, eviction rates and economic dislocation are intensifying in this part of the neighborhood. The approval and construction of another large luxury development at 490 South Van Ness will exacerbate these negative forces.

To amplify, the Plaza 16 Coalition includes many of the same organizations that brought out the community for the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan. While the 490 South Van Ness development may largely meet the parameters of the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan, we are seeing a huge imbalance between what was projected in the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan for market rate housing versus affordable housing in our neighborhood. We urge the Planning Commission to review the affordability and the community impact of the proposed building against the unanticipated imbalance of market rate housing to affordable housing. Therefore, the Plaza 16 Coalition calls for the rejection of all market rate development until the city meets the housing needs of its poor and working class residents.

Second, you must reject the Large Project Authorization because the developer and the Planning Department failed to adequately notify community members or to consider our needs and desires. The only community meeting indicated in the supporting information for this case occurred on April 23, 2014 attended by a mere 20 people, many of whom have business relationships with the developer (page 80 of 215; Exhibit B of Project Sponsor’s Submittal).

In contrast, the Plaza 16 Coalition has undertaken a broad-based, grassroots oriented community process to address development and other issues in our neighborhood. We hosted a February community rally and June festival at the 16th Street BART Plaza each attended by hundreds of our neighbors. Similarly, we held a community forum at the standing room only, approximately 300 person capacity, Victoria Theatre in May and community meetings in July and August at the St. John’s Church, again attended by hundreds of people. This inclusionary approach is the best way to address the economic development and housing needs in our neighborhood and should be the model to fix a broken city planning process going forward. Open, democratic processes, not unpublicized, perfunctory
developer sponsored meetings with handpicked attendees.

Third, you must reject the 490 South Van Ness project because the developer failed to honor the commitment he made at the August 14th Planning Commission hearing to meet with the Marshall School PTA. Parents who are members of the Plaza 16 Coalition report that such a meeting with the full PTA has not occurred. At best, the developer reached out to the Marshall Parent community through the “Wednesday Folders” given to students to share with their parents, a process fraught with obvious logistical deficiencies. In other words, not good enough.

Finally, you must reject this Large Project Authorization because of specific design issues, especially the insistence on underground parking access from narrow, one way Adair Street, which will endanger the pedestrian safety of both residents and schoolchildren. Also, the 68 foot height of the proposed development is out of scale and character to the Mission District. Deceptively, the developer’s rendition of the proposed development shows it at the almost exact height of the adjacent 45 foot Redstone Building, whose eastward looking windows the condominium tower will block. How can a 23 foot taller building appear to almost the same height as an existing building in an accurate depiction?