Planning commissioners delay decision on UC Extension development proposal

Developers and city officials will have another month to negotiate the number of affordable homes that will be included in a proposed market-rate development in Hayes Valley, after planning commissioners voted Thursday to defer a decision on whether the land — formerly used as a UC Extension campus — should be rezoned from public use to private use.

The University of California owns the 6-acre site between Hermann and Haight streets and Laguna and Buchanan streets. The developers for the project have included 68 units for low-income earners among 450 apartments planned at the site, which meets The City’s “inclusionary” requirement that 15 percent of on-site units in new buildings be affordable.

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, whose district includes part of the proposed project, described the number of low-income units planned as “woefully inadequate.” He said he supported the commissioners’ unanimous choice to defer a decision on zoning changes until Jan. 17.

“We can utilize that time period to address these unresolved issues,” Mirkarimi said.

“This involves state-owned property that’s being leased back to The City over 75 years, where The City’s being asked to consent to the rezoning from public to private … If we’re going to make that sacrifice, then at least the benefit should go to all, and not just those who can afford to live there at a market rate.”

Developers for the university have also proposed adding 5,000 square feet of shops to the project — which will include three rehabilitated buildings and seven new buildings — and increasing car parking, documents show.

Six of the new buildings would be four-stories tall. A new eight-story building would include 85 units specifically targeted at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors.

The City and University of California had initially set a deadline of Oct. 15 for approval of the proposed project, according to developer Ruthy Bennett, a vice president at AF Evans Development.

“The City asked the university for an extension to work on the affordability levels,” Bennett said. “We’re fine with the extension — we’re interested in working with The City on how we can create more affordability.”

Bennett said the plans have already been “four years in the making.”

The project would also include a 25,000-square-foot public park, according to Bennett.

A two-story UC San Francisco dental school will continue to operate at the redeveloped site, plans show.

jupton@examiner.com  

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