SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — It looks like the City of San Francisco is big-footing a much smaller neighbor.

San Francisco is basically telling Brisbane: work with us on new housing development, or else.

People in Brisbane, the town nestled cozily in the San Bruno Mountains, say they may be small but they don’t want to be told what to do.

The crux of the issue: San Francisco is just too crowded so the city wants Brisbane to help with the housing.

But people in Brisbane simply say keep your big city problems out of my small town.

A few miles south of the hustle and bustle of San Francisco you’ll find a quiet respite in Brisbane.

Brisbane resident Sierra Houston says, “It’s kind of a little bit slower pace,” while Brisbane resident Anna Lynch describes it as, “just a really small town, everybody knows each other.”

The population hovers just above 4,000, and most residents are on a first name basis.

But if San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim gets her way, neighbors from the north will be moving in.

Kim said, “We all need to do our fair share.”

She wants Brisbane to help shoulder overcrowding that plagues the big city.

The Board of Supervisors is discussing the annexation of Brisbane, making it a part of San Francisco, if it refuses to cooperate.

Brisbane still hasn’t budged.

Third generation Brisbane resident Julie Banks said, “I don’t like it at all. It wouldn’t be Brisbane, it wouldn’t be a town. It wouldn’t be small and I don’t think our kids would be as safe.”

Lynch said, “I just don’t think San Francisco should take over Brisbane.”

But Kim says the situation is too dire, and that Brisbane has to step up.

Kim said, “We all need to build housing. This frankly, just isn’t a tenable situation. Otherwise we’re going to see people get evicted not just out of San Francisco, but Brisbane as well.”

Kim says she’s hopeful both cities can come to an amicable resolution.

Brisbane would have to sign off on any decision, but if they keep refusing to cooperate San Francisco can look to San Mateo County to strong arm the small town.

Kim says she expects to have an agreement in a few months.

Comments (7)
  1. whheydt says:

    From what I know of California law (IANAL), I don’t think SF can do it over the objections of Brisbane…and doubly so. Last I heard, city limits can’t cross county lines, so in order for SF to annex Brisbane, the county line would have to be re-drawn, and that, if I’m not mistaken, would take action by the state legislature.

  2. fiftyville says:

    Brisbane does NOT need to shoulder their share of San Francisco’s bad decisions and inability to handle their problems.

  3. Addison says:

    The framing of this by the news is ridiculous. The reason SF is proposing to annex Brisbane is because Brisbane wants massive job development and when asked where to house the employees, the mayor said that they could go live in SF. SF is not Brisbane’s bedroom community. Job growth without housing shoulders stress to San Francisco. Therefore, the BoS wants to annex it to force housing. Which is necessary.

  4. Julie H. says:

    Kick out the big tech companies. That’ll create a lot more room, and a lot fewer yuppies.

  5. T Hui says:

    I wish San Francisco can do what Toronto did in the 90s, which was make the 5 or 6 former cities to become one Toronto and make it into a even bigger city. I know that would never happen in California cause of the laws of not allowing you to annex cities across county lines.