Wednesday News Roundup
HUNDREDS OF SAN FRANCISCANS VOICE OPINIONS AT CITY HALL
Hundreds of San Franciscans descended on City Hall Tuesday to voice their opinions prior to a vote by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on whether a 45-day moratorium on market-rate housing development in the city’s Mission District could help or hinder the creation of affordable housing.
San Francisco Supervisor David Campos, who represents the Mission District, proposed the moratorium in order to halt residential development in his district while the community comes up with a plan to buy and develop the remaining 13 parcels of land that have been identified by the Board of Supervisors’ Budget and Legislative Analyst as feasible locations for affordable housing.
A large crowd of moratorium supporters, many of whom are artists and Hispanic residents for which the Mission neighborhood is known, rallied and chanted inside and outside City Hall throughout the day.
A group of opponents to the moratorium who also chanted and rallied ahead of the board’s expected vote gathered to express their disagreement with the plan.
Supervisor Mark Farrell, who represents the Marina District, said he opposed the moratorium, calling it the “wrong approach” and arguing that it would “only cause housing prices to rise.”
Farrell called the moratorium “short-sighted” and said that the city is in the midst of a housing crisis and needs to produce more housing at all income levels, not less.
Farrell said that there is no guarantee that the 13 properties proposed for affordable housing will be sold to the city at a reasonable price and said that there is no clear funding source for those developments.
Individuals who gathered to protest the moratorium said that legislation would halt all housing creation, further exacerbate the lack of housing and maybe even drive up rent in the Mission.
According to Sonja Trauss, the founder of San Francisco Bay Area Renters’ Federation, the only solution to the housing crisis in the city is an increase in market-rate housing.
Trauss said she believes that increasing housing capacity will protect residents from facing evictions.
Others who spoke out against the moratorium advocated for an increase in height limits to 16 stories in the Mission District, arguing that if people want to stay in the Mission District, the neighborhood needs to accommodate its increasing population.
Rafael Picazo, 50, who was born and raised in San Francisco, said he had to move out of the city because he couldn’t afford it any more.
Picazo couldn’t stand to listen to anti-moratorium supporters as they made speeches on the steps of City Hall and interrupted the speakers.
“We’re the ones getting kicked out,” Picazo interrupted, explaining that he is a city worker, not a tech employee, which means he can’t afford to live in the city.
“I have to make over $100,000 to live in the city,” Picazo said.
Picazo believes that if a moratorium were to be enacted in the Mission District, the community would come together to find the funds to purchase the land and develop affordable housing.
“We’re all being evicted and it’s not right,” Picazo said.
Andy Blue, an activist with the Plaza 16 Coalition, said that there are available funds from developers who decided not to build below market rate units in new buildings. He said that the remaining 13 available parcels need to be bought for affordable development, even if they aren’t developed right away.
San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener, who represents the Castro District, said he agrees that the city has not done enough to build affordable housing, but like Farrell, he doesn’t think a temporary halt on market-rate development will have the intended outcome.
Wiener said the proposed moratorium won’t stop a single eviction.
“It’s only going to undermine our efforts,” Wiener said.
Supervisor Jane Kim, who represents the Tenderloin and South of Market neighborhoods, said Tuesday’s hearing was not so much about the proposed moratorium, but about crafting a plan where San Franciscans can afford to live in the city.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS FULLBACK BRUCE MILLER PLEADS NO CONTEST
San Francisco 49ers fullback Bruce Miller pleaded no contest Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace involving his ex-fiancee in Santa Clara earlier this year, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
Miller, 27, entered the plea to in Santa Clara County Superior Court.
On March 5, Miller was in an argument with his former fiancée at the Hyatt House Santa Clara at 3915 Rivermark Plaza, prosecutors said.
The ex-fiancée had no injuries and refused to receive medical attention, according to prosecutors.
She at first told police that Miller pushed her out of a car, took her cellphone and smashed it, but later said that there was no contact between her and Miller, prosecutors said.
A witness sitting in a nearby bagel shop told police she saw Miller and the ex-fiancée argue while walking out of a parking garage and saw Miller throw the phone against an exterior wall, prosecutors said.
The witness allowed the victim to use her phone to call police, according to prosecutors.
Miller will be sentenced in about six months and will have to attend a domestic violence counseling course for 16 weeks, according to prosecutors.
A no-contact protective order remains in place between Miller and the victim, prosecutors said.
“We are satisfied that Mr. Miller is taking steps to address his underlying anger issues,” Deputy District Attorney Tyrone Wilson said in a statement.
“He will hear in his mandated class that domestic violence is unacceptable no matter what the degree of circumstance,” Wilson said.
Miller was drafted by the 49ers in 2011 from the University of Central Florida. Last season, he caught 18 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns and gained nine yards rushing on six carries.
BART SERVICE TO BE SUSPENDED BETWEEN FRUITVALE AND COLISEUM STATIONS THIS WEEKEND AND NEXT FOR TRACK WORK
BART service will be suspended between the Fruitvale and Coliseum stations in Oakland again for parts of this weekend and next to allow for ongoing track repair work.
The closures, scheduled to run until noon on Saturday June 6 and Sunday June 7 and on Saturday June 13 and Sunday June 14, will allow BART work crews to replace a switch in the area that is in poor condition, forcing trains to reduce speed in the area.
In addition, workers will replace a section of track with worn-out wooden ties.
On Saturday June 6, there will also be no service between Fremont and Daly City, which means that passengers traveling north from Fremont will need to use a Richmond train and then transfer to reach their destination.
Overall frequency and capacity will also be reduced during the closures, trains will not follow published schedules or timed transfer and digital signs might give incorrect information.
BART and AC Transit will provide a free bus between the two stations, but travelers should expect delays of up to 30 to 60 minutes. Passengers are advised to avoid traveling between the two stations wherever possible.
Service between the Coliseum station and Oakland International Airport will be operating normally.
BART plans to provide normal service during Sunday’s Golden State Warriors playoff game at Oracle Arena, spokesman Taylor Huckaby said today.