SF Mission district condo plan gains new enemy

A porn company has backed off its opposition to a condominium building the company’s owner said would cast a shadow on his property, but the neighborhood uproar over the project is far from over.

Representatives of Arriba Juntos, an organization that serves at-risk youth and minority families, said they will fight plans for an eight-unit condominium building at 49 Julian Ave. in the Mission district.

However, the project received a conditional-use authorization from the Planning Commission on Thursday, paving the way for developers to seek the necessary permits for the project.

Richard Devine, a member of the Arriba Juntos board of directors, said the group’s leaders fear its services, many of which are held in the parking lot between its facility and the proposed condo building, will be shut down if future condo tenants complain.

“Arriba Juntos serves 45,000 San Franciscans a year. Not one single person could ever remotely begin to contemplate living in one of these condominiums, yet the services this organization provides are threatened,” Devine said.

Peter Ackworth, who operates the pornography website Kink.com from the historic Armory building, which borders the proposed condo building, also has criticized the project. Ackworth has since stopped fighting the project, which he complained would cast a shadow on his facility.

Commissioners Hisashi Sugaya and Kathrin Moore sympathized with Arriba Juntos and voted against the project.

But Commissioner Michael Antonini disagreed, saying that asking the commission to reject the project because it is intended for a higher-income population would be a move toward exclusivity in an area intended to welcome a mix of development.

“We live in a city,” Antonini said. “We live close to each other. And we have to get along.”

Devine and Arriba Juntos Executive Director Dalila Ahumada said the organization would appeal the commission’s decision to the Board of Supervisors. All other action on the project would halt until the appeal is resolved.


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