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Redevelopment Planning Land Grab In Hunters Point, a Gentrification Plan
We need to moblize for the SFRA Commission meeting at City Hall on December 2nd @ 4pm.
Redevelopment Planning Land Grab In Hunters Point, a Gentrification Plan
We have just learned that Redevelopment is making a move to grab the whole neighborhood!!
We were tracking special interest efforts to ram through the DDA (Disposition and Development Agreement) for Lennar to develop the Ship Yard, when we also discovered Redevelopment’s plot to gentrify practically all of BVHP. It appears as an Amendment to the current Hunters Point Redevelopment Project, so they can avoid a public process that would reveal the full dimensions of this total land grab (putting it out in local newspapers for comment).
This takes away the whole Hill and other huge chunks of the neighborhood, and once they’re gone, you won’t have an opportunity to get them back.
You need to go down to the Redevelopment meeting on December 2nd because both of these issues affects your future very seriously. You can comment on both —the neighborhood takeover “Amendment” and the Lennar Development agreement for the Ship Yard (the “DDA” — Disposition and Development Agreement).
REDEVELOPMENT COMMISSION MEETING
4 PM, December 2, 2003
At City Hall Room 416
• Ask them to put in writing Guaranteed Housing for anyone evicted because of this Amended Project Area Plan, and a Guaranteed Right of Return (at the same prices) for everyone currently living in the Hunters Point Amended Redevelopment Project Area
• The Redevelopment Commission plans to vote on the Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) for Lennar’s plan at this meeting. Ask them to wait until the community is more familiar with what they’re voting on.
• CALL SAN FRANCISCO SUPERVISORS TODAY AND ASK THEM TO HOLD AN INFORMATIONAL HEARING BEFORE ANY VOTE BY THE REDEVELOPMENT COMMISSION!! Let’s have Redevelopment, the City Attorney, and Lennar come down and answer questions about the DDA and this “Amendment” to redevelop the whole neighborhood!
Two Redevelopment Plans — Neither Benefits BVHP Residents
The general outline of Redevelopment’s plan for the Ship Yard has been known for a while, but the devil is in the details. That’s why it is so important for the Supervisors to review the agreement with Lennar (the “DDA”) before Redevelopment votes to approve it. What BVHP residents want most — business development providing long term jobs for local residents — may be delayed for years, while upscale housing is the main focus.
Business is what generates jobs, not expensive homes which many people in the community can’t afford.
Now this new “Amendment” of the Hunters Point Redevelopment Project would clear away the low-income Black population from the area around the Ship Yard — and add to the future value of Lennar’s housing.
Neither of these two Redevelopment projects helps the people who live here. If so ask them to explain how?
Redevelopment’s “Amendment” to Gentrify BVHP
The proposed San Francisco Redevelopment Agency Plan Amendment dated November 4, 2003 adds 1600 acres to the current 137 acre Hunters Point Redevelopment Project area. It includes Public Housing bordering on the Ship Yard, and other sections of the neighborhood all the way to Bayshore (see map).
Notice the only areas of BVHP that are not included are labeled “Project areas to be amended” meaning they could be added later! Being “amended” means being declared “blighted,” then bulldozed and rebuilt by developers.
The Black population in SF has gone from over 14% to less than 6% in this City. If you look at Redevelopment’s brochure describing the Amended Project Area, all the people in the pictures look White.
Well we are not Western Addition, where Redevelopment wiped out the Black population! We need to make that clear to the powers that be we don’t want to be gentrified. We want and will maintain our multicultural diversity which includes Black people.
Let the Redevelopment Commission know on December 2nd that you want to be heard, and you don’t want any rush vote for acceptance of the Project Area Amendment or the DDA — you want time to review the recommendations, since it affects your future, and you want the Board of Supervisors involved.
Do you remember lately that many residents were concerned about eviction and the Hope Vl program, and after a hearing at a Board of Supervisors committee, it was found Tenants were not given enough notice to comment, which really terrorized them because they thought they were going to be evicted shortly?
Don’t be swayed by special interests because they have been bought and paid for many times over. Don’t get suckered into rushing or any form of pressure that would make us regret our decision.
Let them know that if you get rushed by the Redevelopment Commission you will get even at the ballot box in the Mayoral Election and other future elections.
Redevelopment Wants to Lock in Lennar
Redevelopment’s agreement with Lennar Corporation for the first phase of development of Hunters Point Ship Yard is called the Disposition Development Agreement, or “DDA.” It is not yet a done deal, but the lame duck administration is pressuring everyone to approve the DDA without seriously examining it.
Rather than rushing to approve the DDA, this is our only opportunity for negotiation, to get more benefit for the community. Once the commission votes it then becomes a legally binding document and it is almost impossible to be undone. The DDA locks Lennar into place.
The DDA is an enormously complicated document, over 1000 pages, but they wanted the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) to ok it in “30 days”. Some of us who are on the CAC said hey, there’s a lot of attachments that aren’t even here, and there’s other information promised and not delivered. The community should know what’s being signed, and it’s our responsibility as the CAC to find out.
Everything got divided into subcommittees to look at different pieces and we had more than 26 meetings in just the last month, because they’re in such a hurry! We’ve spent over 60 days reviewing it and making recommendations but we’re still just getting the recommended changes and additions to the DDA right.
The CAC worked really hard to get as much community comments as possible included. “Not enough community outreach for the workshops,” “not enough of the community was notified,” “being micro managed,” “rush to judgment,” “pressured to meet a deadline.” “Not getting answers from Redevelopment, written and oral.” “Not seeing a very important document from Redevelopment until 6pm 11/24/03 the time of our final meeting.”
This document is Redevelopment staff’s description of the CAC recommendations to the Commission. It breaks down the recommendations into three areas: (1) acceptable to Redevelopment, (2) acceptable to the developer and (3) other — not acceptable or requires further discussion — that area especially would have to be argued by the public at the next commission meeting.
This is unfair to the CAC members who should have gotten more time to review the changes, and be able to provide specific responses.
The DDA includes the basic obligations of the developer, the City and the Navy such as toxic cleanup and employment opportunities, and sets up the “horizontal” development (“horizontal” means the infrastructure like roads, water and sewers). This includes the important decisions on open space, community facilities and housing density.
The DDA is a legally binding document. The Board of Supervisors has no say, and the decision is left up to the Redevelopment Commission.
SF Redevelopment is a quasi State Agency — unlike most redevelopment agencies that are part of city governments, some time back this one was placed under State control, so it is much harder for local people to influence. This is why we need the San Francisco Supervisors to get involved.
What’s the Rush??
What’s the big hurry, really, it will be months before anybody can build anything. They’re acting like Lennar is doing us a big favor to come here and develop our Shipyard. The reality is that it is a valuable property and a number of developers that are capable with good reputations have expressed interest. Lennar has built on its own Toxic sites in Florida.
It is the DDA along with the ENA (The Exclusive Negotiating Agreement) that locks in Lennar as the Master Developer. The Exclusive Negotiating Agreement comes up for review by the Board of Supervisors in December. If we can head off Redevelopment approval of the DDA until then, we could examine the relationship with Lennar very closely. If we get a chance to “play the field” then other developers can come to the community with a better deal. Instead of taking us for granted, Lennar would have to do better, and others would not doubt offer the community much more than Lennar.
The Developer Must Wait for Clearance from the Navy and the Regulators
What mystifies us about this big rush is there are a lot of obstacles in the way of starting work on developing the Ship Yard. There can be no transfer of land to the City from the Navy because the following conditions have not been met: the Conveyance Agreement between the City of San Francisco, the Community and the Navy has not been signed, and the Regulators — EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), DTSC (Department of Toxic Substance Control), Water Resource Board, have not yet signed off on a FOST (Finding Of Suitability for Transfer) for Parcel A. In addition, the Record of Decision on Parcel B just recently went through its five year review where community comments were received, and there is still a lot of work to be done on Parcel B.
Some of the problems that are holding up the transfer are:
(1) There is a methane problem on Parcel E (where they had the fire). Parcel E is an “adjacent” parcel of land (in other words, “next to” the Redevelopment area) and it is covered in the plan through “adjacency” issues. It is also in the Conveyance agreement.
(2) The HRA (Historical Radiological Assessment) has not been released and may not be released until first quarter 2004 or later. (This document is also about the thickness of two phone books, more than 800 pages.)
It is better to take our time and make sure the community gets the very best deal. You know the more you study the details, the more you understand what’s being offered and what is not there, and then you can negotiate a better deal. Many of you have bought Cars, Homes — or Cellphone plans. Did you cave in to the high pressure sales person and regret it later?, Well this is about the future of Hunters Point, this is about the whole community where you live
We know this is right here in the midst of all the Holidays and everybody’s really busy but this is the time to take a stand. Give the Children something they can be proud of — a Community for all the people who live here, not a Gentrified Community for somebody else.
Please read Arrested Development by Lisa Davis in the SF Weekly. It provides a lot of background to what is going on. http://www.sfweekly.com/issues/2003-11-19/feature.html/1/index.html
You can look at the DDA online at http://www.hunterspointshipyard.com/dda.html