This week the San Francisco Board of Supervisors gave the final approval for the Balboa Reservoir Project, the housing development planned for the Upper Balboa Reservoir located south of Sunnyside next to City College. The project will have 1100 units of housing, including 550 units of affordable housing, about 100 market-rate houses, 150 units for educators, a central two-acre park, childcare facilities, a community room for public use, and other features. View slides from the Design Standard and Guidelines (PDF) at the end of this post.
The approval marks the end of a five-year-long process that encompassed regular community engagement. SNA and Sunnyside residents regularly participated in meetings of the Balboa Reservoir Community Advisory Committee. The committee was initiated in 2015 by President Norman Yee, supervisor for District 7 where the site is located.
Read an archive of posts about the Balboa Reservoir Project on this website here. Links to news articles found below.
Members of Sunnyside Neighborhood Association’s own Balboa Reservoir Committee (BRC) have been consistently active in the community advisory process over the five years of meetings. They have worked to draw attention to several issues, including the effects the project will have on traffic and parking on adjacent streets and the environmental impacts of construction on our neighborhoods. Sunnysiders strongly and repeatedly advocated for transit and pedestrian-safety improvements that will be even more needed when there are more neighbors; the new project is billed as “transit-oriented” and expects a large number of residents to use non-car modes of transport.
The BRC has had a positive impact on the finalized Development Agreement that the City now holds with the developer team AvalonBay/BRIDGE. BRC members pressed for language in the agreement that would firmly secure the affordable portion of the housing into the distant future, so that these units cannot not pass into the market-rate sector. The committee raised objections to the seven-story height planned for the northeast corner of the project adjacent to two-story Riordan High School, and this corner was altered by a one-story reduction that will not impact the total number of units or the amenities. Several meetings that have included representatives from the SFMTA have left them with a vivid sense of the vocal support by residents in Sunnyside for vital public transit and street improvements commensurate to the scale of the new development. A big thank-you to the team of diligent BRC volunteers.
The community engagement process will continue until July 2021 as the BR Community Advisory Committee, and then beyond that date in a forum to be determined.
Meetings are open to the public and always give time for public comment. More information here.
In the news:
- SF Examiner: “Balboa Reservoir project wins approval from Board of Supervisors” by Ida Mojadad
- SF Chronicle: “Developers tried for decades to build housing at SF’s Balboa Reservoir — 1,100 homes are on the cusp of approval” by JK Dineen
- SF Chronicle: “After decades of trying, SF supervisors finally approve 1,100 homes at Balboa Reservoir” by Trisha Thadani
- SF Mayor’s Office Press Release: “Board of Supervisors Approves Balboa Reservoir Housing Project”
- CBS San Francisco: San Francisco Supervisors Approve Housing Development At Balboa Reservoir Site
- The SF News: “Board Of Supervisors Approves 1100 Homes At Balboa Reservoir”
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