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Support the Alternative Proposal for Mission's Redlick building, San Francisco Case # 2014.0567 B & C

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Dear Mayor Lee, Zoning Administrator, Planning Commissioners, Supervisors and Arts Commission,

I write you today to oppose the proposed Conditional Use Authorization (CUA) at 2101 Mission and support the proposed alternative below. The current proposed CUA [Case Number: 2014.0567C] converts NC-3 Tradeshop zoning to Administrative Services (SECT 890.106) as well as the proposed conversion from NC-3 to Office Allocation (SECT 890.108) [Case Number: 2014.0567 B]. Because of the long standing violations at the building, and because the subsequent zoning change would disrupt the cultural fabric of our community, both cases as stated are unacceptable for the following reasons:

  •     > The building owner has been violating the zoning code for years, renting space to tech office Crowdflower. Earlier this year another tech office - PlanGrid - was added, and now has a pending lease to take over the entire 4th floor as soon as legally allowed to do so via zoning amendments. These spaces are designated for PDR uses under NC-3 zoning. Only Office Allocation zoning permits tech offices. Artists were displaced to bring in PlanGrid.

  •      > The building owner's proposed solution of relocating Artists Spaces (PDR) to the 2nd floor is illegal. With ceilings at 94 inches high (7.83 ft) the space is legally unsuitable for any human activity and should be utilized for storage, as it had been much of the building's history. No studios nor offices should be considered viable on the 2nd floor.

  •      > The building owner’s proposed PDR space increase from 10,000 sq. feet to 25,000 sq. feet inaccurately reflects the situation, because the 2nd floor is substandard and unusable. Additionally, the first floor was previously rejected by Planning, making the current proposal for PDR use there hypothetical.

  •      > PDR loss in the Mission is already at 12.3% (10% higher than citywide PDR loss at 2%). Approving this CUA would further exacerbate the Mission's loss of PDR due to the reduction of 20,000 square feet at 2101 Mission.

Proposed Alternative:

This alternative proposal is a good compromise amongst the competing interests. Here are the elements:

  •     > The 4th floor will be used as desired by the building owner. Allowing the legal conversion of NC-3 to Office Allocation ensures the owner approximately 26,000 sq. ft of market rate lease space for offices.

  •      > The 3rd floor will be leased to displaced artists and subsidized at below market rates. This preserves most of the original PDR square footage by updating the code and secures the 3rd floor for displaced artists at subsidized rates.

  •      > The 2nd floor can only be legally rented as storage space.

  •      > First floor recommendations remain the same, with long term leases for existing businesses, and some added art gallery space, in what was previously a dollar store.

  •      > The leases to displaced artists will include the following criteria:

            * Long term, 10 year+ leases @ $2/sf with 3% yearly increase allowances
             * Preferential leasing to displaced artists from this building

             * Studio sizes will be negotiated with the artistic community to provide reasonable working environments

In summary, the first floor is retail, and the second is not even 8 feet in height. It is clear that the only spaces viable for PDR/Creative Space uses in the Redlick building are on the 3rd and 4th floors. This proposed alternative yields the 4th floor -- the best space for artists -- to the building owner's desire to have it as market rate Office Allocation. This is a logical compromise with the 3rd floor set aside for only PDR /Creative Space Uses. With the small portion of the 1st floor reserved for gallery space, and approximately 30,000 square feet of PDR maintained onsite (only losing 4,000 square feet), accepting this alternative fulfills the community need, the need of tenants, and proves the owner's stated commitment to supporting the arts.


Below are relevant contraventions as relate to the Mission Area Plan, the Eastern Neighborhoods EIR, and General Plan Arts Element:

1. Mission Area Plan contraventions:

A. Land Use

  •      > Policy 1.1.8 : While continuing to protect traditional PDR functions that need large, inexpensive spaces to operate, also recognize that the nature of PDR is evolving gradually so that their production and distribution activities are becoming more integrated physically with their research, design and administrative functions

  •      > Policy 1.1.10 : While continuing to protect traditional PDR functions that need large, inexpensive spaces to operate, also recognize that the nature of PDR businesses is evolving gradually so that their production and distribution activities are becoming more integrated physically with their research, design and administrative functions

  •     > Objective 1.7 : Retain the Mission’s Role As An Important Location for Production, Distribution and Repair (PDR) Activities

B. Economic Development

  •     > Objective 6.1 : Support the Economic Wellbeing of a variety of Businesses in the Eastern Neighborhoods

  •      > Policy 6.1.1. : Provide business assistance for new and existing PDR businesses in the Eastern Neighborhoods

C. Community Facilities

  •      > Objective 7.1 : Provide essential community services and facilities

  •      > Policy 7.1.2. : Recognize the value of existing facilities, including recreational and cultural facilities, and support their expansion and continued use.

  •      > Objective 7.2. : Ensure continued support for Human Service Providers throughout the Eastern Neighborhoods

2. Eastern Neighborhoods EIR contraventions:

A. Improvement Measure D-1 Support for Local, Neighborhood Serving Businesses

To help meet the housing needs of businesses in the Eastern Neighborhoods due to changing economic conditions brought about as a result of the proposed project and to offset changes in neighborhood character that contribute to gentrification and resultant displacement of existing residents, the City could develop programs to support locally owned or operated businesses, businesses that contribute to the cultural character of the area, and organizations and businesses that serve the needs of lower-income households may be required as part of a complementary plan—outside of land use regulations—to manage neighborhood economic development without a loss in valued neighborhood character in the Eastern Neighborhoods.

B. Improvement Measure D-2 Affordable Housing Production and Retention

To help offset the potential displacement of Eastern Neighborhoods residents who could sustain loss of employment as PDR businesses are displaced as an indirect effect of the proposed project, the City could undertake measures that require public investment to prioritize the City’s response to affordable housing needs: identifying sites for permanently affordable housing and providing financial resources to acquire and develop that housing; increasing financial resources for subsidizing low and very low income housing in San Francisco.

C. Improvement Measure D-5 Support for PDR Workers

To reduce the effects of job loss on PDR employees displaced as a result of the project indirectly causing displacement of PDR businesses, the City could undertake efforts under the coordination of the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, working with appropriate state agencies and local community-based service providers.

D. Improvement Measure H-2 Support for New Open Space

To avoid the effects of overcrowding, overuse, and conflicts in recreational uses to existing park and recreation facilities in Eastern Neighborhoods, the City should set concrete goals for the purchase of sufficient land for public open space use in Eastern Neighborhoods. The City should set a goal of purchasing one neighborhood park in each Eastern Neighborhood.

3. SF General Plan Arts Element contraventions:

  •      > Policy II-2.1 Identify and address the needs of arts programs and facilities for all segments of San Francisco

  •      > Policy II-2.3 Continue to increase City support for organizations and developing institutions which reflect the diverse cultural traditions of the San Francisco population

  •      > Goal VI. Enhance, Develop, and Protect the Physical Environment of the Arts in San Francisco

  •      > Objective VI-1. Support the continued development and preservation of artists’ and arts organizations’ spaces

  •      > Policy VI-1.1. Review, revise and coordinate city permit policies and codes to better meet the needs of the arts.

  •      > Policy VI-1.2. Support and expand programs directed at enabling arts organizations and artists to comply with City building and safety codes to rehabilitate art spaces

  •      > Policy VI-1.3 Increase the use of City owned neighborhood facilities for the arts

  •     > Policy VI-1.4 Preserve existing performing spaces in San Francisco

  •      > Policy VI-1.9. Create opportunities for private developers to include arts spaces in private developments city-wide

Thank you for your time, and please consider my opinion when determining your vote.


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