Nearly 300 new homes are on the horizon for Potrero Hill.
A mixed-use development at 1601 Mariposa St. in the works for more than two years was approved unanimously by the Planning Commission on Thursday, after an initial effort to continue to project to January was rejected by commissioners.
After more than two hours of public comment, commissioners unanimously certified the final environmental impact report for the project that will contain 5,593 square feet of retail space and 299 residential units, of which 20 percent will be below-market-rate rentals, and approved the large project authorization needed for the project to move forward.
There are also 369 bicycle parking spaces and 243 parking spaces slated for the site, which currently contains an auto parts warehouse, a single-story office building and a two-story bus repair depot. The homes be split between two four-story, 40-foot-tall buildings.
Commissioner Dennis Richards proposed continuing the project to January, though developers noted that the timeline would not allow demolition of the existing buildings and construction could not commence over the summer if the project was continued. The project site is adjacent to Live Oak School, an independent K-8 day school located at 1555 Mariposa St.
Parents and staff members expressed concerns with the project at Thursday’s meeting, particularly around traffic impacts from the development.
Nathan Lundy, the school’s dean of student life, specifically asked developers to consider adding more below-market-rate housing, even though the 20 percent is above the 12 percent needed to meet The City’s inclusionary housing requirement for on-site projects.
“I’ve heard many statements about residents being happy with this development, and folks being concerned about the environment…but who’s going to be living there?” Lundy asked at the meeting.
Commissioners also discussed whether so much parking was needed; the current amount adds up to about one parking space for each two- or three-bedroom unit, and about three spaces for every four studios or one-bedrooms.
Commissioner Christine Johnson said not all of the parking spaces will likely be used, noting that half the parking spaces in Mission Bay buildings are left vacant, even though each home is filled.
“[But] empty parking is basically a financial burden … I’d rather find a reconsideration of that space if we can,” Commissioner Kathrin Moore countered.
Commissioner Michael Antonini said the type of residents the project is expected to attract in the larger units – families – will likely have a car and use their parking space.
“If you have a child, you’re going to have a car,” he said, adding that there are less public transit options in Potrero Hill than other parts of The City.
The project was ultimately approved with numerous amendments, including that developers provide construction updates to the nearby school and perform as much construction and remediation efforts during the summer and in off-school hours as possible.