Building For Former Foster Youth In San Francisco Causes Controversy

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) —- A proposal to build affordable housing in San Francisco’s Presidio Heights for youth who are transitioning out of foster care is under review by the Board of Supervisors. Generally, there is wide spread support for the project, but neighborhood residents have also raised some concerns as well.

The Booker T. Washington Community Service Center has run a recreation center at Sutter and Presidio for years, and now wants to add 50 affordable housing units. Neighbors say they don’t have a problem with former foster kids living there – it’s the proposed 55-foot-high building, which exceeds the current 40-foot height limit.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

Some neighbors want the supervisors to scale back the building to 41 apartments and 45 feet, but supporters say the needs of former foster children come first.

“When we talk about feet and units, we’re really talking about lives,” said one man at the meeting Lives of transitional age youth who by no fault of their own have ended up in a hard place.

Supporters note there is a MUNI bus yard across the street but the critics say the project is way out of scale with other residential buildings.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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  • LoLo

    This project will be a blight on the neighborhood if the height limits are ignored. There is no reason whatsoever why it can’t be scaled back to fit into the neighborhood, rather than overshadowing it. Must every single livable neighborhood in San Francisco be ruined by ignoring height restrictions on new buildings? I do not understand the continued disintegration of our neighborhoods for no discernible reason. As a native San Franciscan, I find these needless intrusions into our beautiful infrastructure incredibly depressing. Enough is enough–stay within the zoning/height limits or build it where it doesn’t ruin the surrounding neighborhood. Simple.

  • Kathy

    The Neighbors Never Said No..These are the neighbors (mostly a multi cultural family neighborhood of artists and working people) that said yes to the project . So..The developers switched the in code- 40 fit project first submitted– to a 70 ft big box structure that dwarfs the mostly historic victorian 1 and 2 story home community surrounding it.-BTW needed a special spot zoning in order to make the 500% density building expansion legal -passed quick.. so this is why the neighbors are attacked in the press. BTW never sat down with the neighbors to include them in any of the new community centers building plans unlike other well managed Westside Court in Western Addition affordable housing project in the same neighborhood … BTW was funded by the City for the project even before a make shift Environmental Impact Report was ever done with just wrong misinformation about the residential home buildings surrounding it. The 5th story reduction in question is not slated for foster youth transitioning.. They are market apartment units owned by the developer and could be reduced and not effect the youth apartments or finances says the MOH. There is no parking planned for the units and the whole building is out of code for the height and density. It is illegal according to current building code laws and density for the neighborhood. It takes a 3-4 city blocks of light away from neighbors with a giant 65-70 fit huge walls buttress to many 1 and 2 story homes so that light will not fall on houses or backyards. Officials stood by while Drew School or Treasure Island new buildings plans opted out on affordable housing.. so now the neighbors that said yes are just not that important. The 1 billion dollar investment push on public housing will loose money if they care about SF neighborhoods,too.

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