SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to approve the development of a housing project at the Balboa Reservoir site next to San Francisco City College.
After five years of a community engagement process, Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee introduced legislation in April to initiate the first steps of the City’s review of the housing project.
A hundred years ago when the Balboa Reservoir was first built, it was designed to be filled with water at a depth of 25 feet. Despite those plans, not a single drop has ever been stored at the location.
But for the last 40 years, people have been pushing to develop the site for housing. At 17 acres, it is one of the largest undeveloped pieces of land in San Francisco that is not a park. It currently is used as an overflow parking lot for SF City College, but it doesn’t belong to the school.
The site belongs to the city and San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee wants more housing, not parking.
“I’ve been pushing this concept of family housing development for the last few years to help the planning commission to adopt some language about what that really means,” said Yee.
The project is an important part of Mayor London Breed’s efforts to create more housing in San Francisco. The proposed development would feature 1,100 new homes with 50 percent dedicated for affordable homes for families and essential workers. 150 affordable educator units will be prioritized for City College faculty and staff housing.
The site will also include four acres of public open space, a 100-seat childcare center with 50 percent of the seats reserved for children of low-income families, and a community meeting space.
“San Francisco is still in the midst of a housing shortage, and we need to continue to build more homes throughout the entire city,” Mayor Breed said in a press release. “The Balboa Reservoir housing project will create over a thousand new homes for families, for workers, and for teachers, while also providing much-needed open space and childcare facilities. This project is a victory for San Francisco and our residents, and will help make the City a more affordable place to live.”
The project was approved unanimously this spring by the Planning Commission, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board. Supervisor Yee established the Balboa Reservoir Community Advisory Committee in 2015, which included representatives for neighborhood associations, including Westwood Park, Sunnyside Neighborhood Association, and the Ocean Avenue Association.