Pier 70 Building Heights Would Block Bay

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The City and County of San Francisco intends to grant Forest City Enterprises rights to build a wall of nine-story buildings along the Central Waterfront, from 20th to 22nd streets, which would completely obscure scenic Bay vistas for many, if not most, Potrero Hill eastern slope residents.  As one travels down 20th Street from Missouri Street to Third, beautiful Bay views would disappear.  Imagine that the American Industrial Center, the red building with white columns at the corner of 22nd and Third streets, was doubled in height.  The replacement of four- and six-story structures with nine-story edifices would dramatically Manhattanize this historical waterfront. 

City renderings have consistently shown six-story buildings, with no assessment of the impact of nine-story structures. The actual City plan is outlined in the Draft Environmental Impact Report, on Figure 2.5 and Table 2.2, issued in December (http://sfmea.sfplanning.org/Pier70DEIRFull.pdf).​ Hill residents can comment during a public hearing on the Report on February 9, or mail remarks to the San Francisco Planning Department by February 21.

San Franciscans may not realize that Proposition F, which focused on Pier 70 development and was passed by voters in 2014, employed pork barrel politics to authorize nine-story buildings across this entire stretch of waterfront by tying $100 million in redevelopment and affordable housing to removal of height restrictions. 

Additionally, California Senate Bill 743 eliminated scenic protections from transit infill projects, which the City quickly applied.  The November 26, 2013 Planning Department Summary, Attachment A, shows that the Planning Department has removed consideration of scenic vistas from most of San Francisco’s waterfront (http://sfmea.sfplanning.org/CEQA%20Update-SB%20743%20Summary.pdf).

Don Clark lives on Missouri Street. The perspectives expressed in editorials published by the View are not necessarily endorsed by the paper, and have not been extensively fact-checked.