Foes try to kill Bayview plan

A major redevelopment plan for the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood has hit a roadblock after opponents say they have gathered enough signatures to force a vote on the project.

A campaign to block the formation of a redevelopment plan for the nearly 1,400-acre area began soon after the Board of Supervisors approved it in May.

Opponents say the plan would result in seizures of property, the forcing out of longtime residents and a significant alteration of the neighborhood’s character.

Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, whose district includes the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood, said opponents are using fear tactics. The plan would only revitalize the area and protect existing residents, she said.

The 30-year redevelopment plan would collect $188 million in local property taxes to create about 3,700 units of market-rate and affordable housing, inspire economic development and improve the quality of life by adding parks and health centers, according to the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, the entity in charge of the plan.

Brian Murphy O’Flynn, who does not live in the neighborhood, spearheaded the campaign to obtain the needed 21,000 signatures to put the plan before The City’s voters.

O’Flynn said redevelopment plans are “driven by bureaucrats” and destroy neighborhoods by creating “development on steroids” and catering to “mega-developers.” O’Flynn points to the redevelopment plan implemented about 30 years ago in the Fillmore district, which is criticized for tearing apart the once largely African-American community. O’Flynn also opposes eminent domain, something he recently experienced when his piece of property in North Beach was taken by The City to connect thesite with the nearby North Beach Playground.

“There are no plans by the agency to acquire vast swaths of land and to transform the character of the neighborhood,” said Marcia Rosen, executive director of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency.

She said what happened in the Fillmore happened 30 years ago and is no longer the agency’s practice.

O’Flynn has until 5 p.m. today to hand in the signatures. If they prove valid, residents are expected to vote on the redevelopment plan in November 2007, O’Flynn said.

jsabatini@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsGovernment & PoliticsLocalPolitics

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