Artists facing displacement from their homes, studios or apartments is a growing concern in San Francisco. The Redlick Building at 17th and Mission streets was one such place where artists faced displacement because of a development boom. (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner 2015 file photo)

Artists facing displacement from their homes, studios or apartments is a growing concern in San Francisco. The Redlick Building at 17th and Mission streets was one such place where artists faced displacement because of a development boom. (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner 2015 file photo)

Measure to protect SF artist, manufacturing space makes November ballot

In the last regularly scheduled meeting before summer recess, the Board of Supervisors voted to place on the November ballot a measure to protect space for manufacturing, artist and community uses amid the development boom.

Under the measure, developers in the South of Market and Mission neighborhoods would need to replace the so-called production, distribution, repair space they convert or demolish to make way for office or housing development. The amount they’d be required to replace depends on the location in those neighborhoods and would be 50 percent, 75 percent or 100 percent.

Such spaces are vital to artists and local manufacturing but are being demolished or converted to create lucrative housing or office space during the development boom.

The ballot measure was introduced by Supervisor Jane Kim and placed on the ballot in a 7-4 vote Tuesday.

Kim, along with supervisors Aaron Peskin, David Campos, Eric Mar, John Avalos, Norman Yee and London Breed supported it. Peskin and Campos were sponsors.

Supervisors Scott Wiener, Mark Farrell, Katy Tang and Malia Cohen opposed it.

Kim said there was an “alarming loss” of such spaces in San Francisco and the measure was an idea she developed with artists being impacted.

“Over a year and a half ago our office reached out to a number of different artists who were at risk of being evicted. It started with SOMA Studios, home to 40-plus artists who were evicted last October and CELLspace’s threatened eviction,” Kim said.

Mission-based artist Sharon Steuer told the board Tuesday that “this is our first way to try and change the tide of our massive cultural loss. It’s been devastating.” She added, “Let’s be the first city in the nation to figure out how we can invite the cultural resources that [left] back into The City. Why can’t we be The City that solves this problem?”

The PDR space in buildings is less valuable than other uses like housing or office space, which is why such space is under threat during the economic boom. A City Controller’s report estimates PDR space is selling for about $420 per square foot while new housing is selling at between $1,000 and $1,500 per square foot.

Wiener called the measure “extremely strict.” “I think it will have a lot of impacts [that] people aren’t necessarily anticipating. I don’t support this legislation in its current form.”

Park equity

Also during the board meeting, Supervisor John Avalos requested a September hearing on the Recreation and Park Department’s creation of an equity policy. That policy was required as part of the park funding setaside approved by voters in June. But Avalos said the department is failing to live up to expectations.

“I worked to get equity language in the measure,” Avalos said. “Now I am hearing that the Rec and Park Department is ramming through an equity metrics through the Rec and Park Commission on Aug. 18 without going through the community process, without really working with neighborhoods to measure what equity will be like for them,” Avalos said. He said that hearing would “put the brakes” on the policy creation.

Special meeting

While Tuesday’s board meeting was the last regularly scheduled meeting before summer recess, the board plans to hold a special meeting Monday to vote on several items including a resolution weighing in on Gov. Jerry Brown’s “by-right” affordable housing proposal being debated in Sacramento.

On Monday, the board will also vote on an agreement with regional transit agencies to increase The City’s funding of the electrification of CalTrain and high-speed rail projects, from $60 million to $80 million — The City has identified just $4 million of the total $20 million — after questions were raised Tuesday related to financial liability and oversight of the project, since those details have yet been hammered out under the agreement.

The board’s next regularly scheduled meeting following legislative recess is Sept. 6.

Aaron PeskinBoard of SupervisorsDavid CamposEric MarJane KimMark FarrellPoliticsSan Francisco

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Some people are concerned that University of California, San Francisco’s expansion at its Parnassus campus could cause an undesirable increase in the number of riders on Muni’s N-Judah line.<ins></ins>
Will UCSF’s $20 million pledge to SFMTA offset traffic woes?

An even more crowded N-Judah plus increased congestion ahead cause concern

A health care worker receives one of the first COVID-19 vaccine doses at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on Tuesday Dec. 15, 2020. (Courtesy SFgov)
SF to open three large sites for COVID-19 vaccinations

Breed: ‘We need more doses. We are asking for more doses’

San Jose Sharks (pictured Feb. 15, 2020 vs. Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center) open the season on Monday against the St. Louis Blues in St. Louis. (Tribune News Service archive)
This week in Bay Area sports

A look at the upcoming major Bay Area sports events (schedules subject… Continue reading

Tongo Eisen-Martin, a Bernal Heights resident, named San Francisco’s eighth poet laureate. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Tongo Eisen-Martin becomes San Francisco’s eighth poet laureate

Bernal Heights resident Tongo Eisen-Martin has become San Francisco’s eighth poet laureate.… Continue reading

Homeless people's tents can be seen on Golden Gate Avenue in the Tenderloin on Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 16, 2020. (Photo by Ekevara Kitpowsong/S.F. Examiner)
Statewide business tax could bring new funds to combat homelessness

San Francisco could get more than $100 million a year for housing, rental assistance, shelter beds

Most Read