Hunters Point plan given the go-ahead

An ambitious plan to redevelop Candlestick Point, the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, and build a new San Francisco 49ers football stadium was embraced Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors.

In a 9-2 vote, the Board of Supervisors approved a resolution allowing The City to proceed with planning for the major project and authorizing an environmental study of it.

The project includes 6,500 units of housing at Candlestick Point, 2,000 units of housing at the Hunters Point Shipyard site, retail and office space, parks and a new stadium for the San Francisco 49ers at the Hunters Point Shipyard site.

Tuesday’s board vote shows that Mayor Gavin Newsom and the Board of Supervisors are “very much on the same page,” said Michael Cohen, of the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, which is overseeing the project.

Cohen said development would move forward even if the 49ers decide to move to Santa Clara, but that the plan “happens to be our best chance to keep the 49ers in San Francisco.”

The City and lead project developer Lennar BVHP are eyeing summer 2009 for final plans since the project includes a new stadium for the 49ers, who have said they want a new stadium by 2012.

The 49ers are in talks with Santa Clara about building a stadium there, but continue to negotiate with San Francisco officials. The City abandoned an initial proposal to build the stadium at Candlestick Point, after the 49ers criticized that plan because of concerns of stadium parking and traffic.

Supervisors Chris Daly and Ed Jew voted against the resolution.

“This is the most enormous redevelopment project ever undertaken by The City,” Jew said. “Iam not convinced that diverting property tax from an area this large to the redevelopment agency makes sense.”

He also said The City should not “ignore” the 30,000 residents who signed a petition “to put this plan on the ballot.”

Daly said community involvement has been lacking, although he said it has improved lately.

Brian O’Flynn, who organized last year’s referendum campaign against the Bayview-Hunters Point Redevelopment plan, has argued that no project should proceed until voters weigh in on the overall redevelopment plan for that area.

The signed petition to put the redevelopment plan on the ballot was deemed invalid last year by the city attorney because the plan was not attached to the petition. Advocates of the referendum have filed a lawsuit against this decision.

jsabatini@examiner.com

Staff Writer Bonnie Eslinger contributed to this report.

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