SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The San Francisco Board of Supervisors green-lighted the new 200 bed navigation center on the Embarcadero on Tuesday evening.
The board voted 9-0 to reject an appeal from a group of neighbors who claim the San Francisco Port Commission did not adequately gather public input of perform a thorough environmental review when they approved the site, which will begin construction at Seawall Lot 330.
The Port Commission approved the project on April 23.
The lawyer for the group said the neighbors will now take the issue before a judge.
“I expect that we will file a lawsuit,” said Peter Prows, the attorney who filed the appeal immediately following the vote. He said he represents neighbors of the proposed site along the Embarcadero pier.
“The courts get the last word on this,” said Prows. “I think the law is pretty clear cut here, I expect us to win in court. The board has now stuck its neck out for this and they’ll be accountable.”
“Our city is in the midst of a homelessness crisis, and we can’t keep delaying projects like this one that will help fix the problem,” said Mayor London Breed in a statement. “When we have people suffering on our streets, we need to be able to provide them with the care and services they need. This SAFE Navigation Center will help us do that and I am committed to making this site work for the people who need help and the surrounding neighborhood.”
Department of Homelessness director Jeff Kositsky told KPIX 5 he expects the navigation center to be built by the end of the year unless a judge decides to put the project on hold.
“I get that they oppose this project, but it’s going to move forward,” said Supervisor Matt Haney. “I don’t think any of us are served by these constant delays and lawsuits. Let’s actually come together and build something that works both for the people that are served and for the neighborhood.”
The vote followed an hours-long hearing that included animated complaints from dozens of future neighbors of the homeless center and also people who came to city hall to voice their support for the project.
The city will issue quarterly reports on the unsheltered homeless count in the outreach zone, cleaning operations, crime statistics and program utilization and outcomes, according to Mayor Breed’s office.