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tv   [untitled]    June 1, 2011 1:30am-2:00am PDT

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through questionable costs, which the residents had to fight, often successfully. they have, meanwhile, reduced services to the residents. stellar management, on the other hand, has shown itself to be a reliable and sensitive landlord. very expensive improvements have been made with no effort to charge the cost to the tenants. promises have been kept. in my opinion, there has been an amazing effort to communicate every important move to us through communications and community meetings. no previous owner has come close to stellar and plans to seek our opinions. it took me a while, but over time, i've come to trust stellar
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management as a company that can be relied on to tell the truth and keep its promises. supervisor mar: thank you very much, mr. kennedy. >> personally, i find this a very exciting proposal. supervisor mar: thank you very much. >> thank you. supervisor mar: next speaker. >> i've lived at parkmerced in district 7 for 14 years. i see this proposal as a very positive revision. provides solid, new family- oriented housing, a neighborhood where you can do many more things in a neighborhood without driving out of the neighborhood to other parts of the city or to other towns. it being propose at a time when many reports say san francisco
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will see a great amount of growth over the next 20 years. it's right on time. it provides jobs both during and after the construction. rent control has be taken care of. i'm impressed by the work you are doing. i think this will lead to a presicident. make sure you can keep that in place. if this project is not approved, one of my big worries is not that it will go back to the era of benign neglect, but back to the era that i call aggressive exploitation but it was a relentless battle at the rent board and they sold off blocks of the neighborhood. that kind of danger responisks e very nature of parkmerced, which
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has never had the block by block arrangement before. in 30 years, this project will be done, if it is taken. if it is not taken, the buildings will be 90 years old. this is our chance to leave a legacy. i encourage you to please do everything you have to do to have this project completed. thank you. supervisor mar: thank you. >> good morning, supervisors free on behalf of the housing action coalition, just to make three key points. first, this is the largest investment in affordable housing on the west side of the city ever. it's the largest investment in transit infrastructure on the west side since the l and n lines were put in and does not cost the taxpayers a nickel. development agreement is solid. it has a lot of protections that were never in the trinity plaza agreement.
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it's a far superior document. there's never been a peep about the trinity plaza development agreement. opponents believe that if this proposal is rejected, everything will happily returned to where it is today and the change can be prevented at parkmerced. this is certainly the least likely of all the outcomes before us today. change is coming to parkmerced. the only question is whether the city obtains the benefits and the residents get the protections contained in the development agreement. if the project is rejected, the developer could build in-fill on remaining open space. this would mean no additional retail, open space, gardens, and investment in transit. it would likely include increased rents. the second alternative might be the peace will sell off of property that has been referred to before.
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they have sold off three pieces. it is not covered for rent control or pay property taxes. san francisco is a highly motivated to acquire more housing. imp calls for 5000 more units. would anything prevent them from doing this? yes, the development agreement does. density equity -- supervisor mar: thank you. >> my name is matthew. i'm a san francisco native. i would like to speak in strong support of this project. i was thinking about this on the way over. the project is owned by a corporation whose bottom line is whether or not they're making money. if they are not making any money, they will either defer maintenance or sell parkmerced.
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if the development project does not go through, the units will continue to deteriorate. they are just getting older. they are already 50 years old. 20 years down the line, they will be 80 years old or 100 years old. at some point, it will be more expensive to maintain them than to own them. at that point, the corporation that owns parkmerced will decide to sell it off to somebody else who will not to a better job. i strongly support this project. thank you. >> my name is kathy. i'm in the parkmerced action coalition. i want to speak first on behalf of the coalition. as usual, we have not been notified. people have been ignored through this whole process. our representatives tell us they have not seen the legislation proposed today. i would like to stand with
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paulie marshall and ask that this be postponed until we have a chance to read this and discuss. now i speak as an individual. last night, we attended the twin peaks counsel and saw the head of planning, who simply said 75% of all planning fees are from developers. why don't we knock off the beauty of this project, which we have spent one year of our lives on? it has no integrity. there should be no construction of 1500 units of sound housing. admit the city needs money and we're doing it on the backs of the people who live here. we will not go away. we may be displaced and moved to modesto or wherever. like the native american people, you will always deal with us. we are connected. you cannot displace a population. the maintenance on the property
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is a horrendous. they have painted the garden apartments. the gardners are butchers. they are not maintaining the broilers. we want a limited equity callo- op. god help us, we will save this property for the people in san francisco that need affordable housing. thank you. supervisor mar: thank you. pete anderson, helen thomas. >> hi. my name is michelle. i'm a journalist and attorney and a proud residents of our city. i'm here today because i'm concerned about the legal violations that have committed, particularly those involving procedural due process and state and federal anti-housing
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discrimination laws. i only have two minutes. the parkmerced redevelopment plan, as currently written, will never be implemented in our city. i can guarantee that if city officials approve this plan, it will be handcuffed by lawsuits from our city's civil rights community and affordable housing advocates. this is san francisco. we are blessed with a greater concentration of public service and civil rights advocates than any other community in our nation. i implore you to avoid yet another lawsuit that will tie up city attorneys for years, as was the case with laguna honda. instead, take the time to do it right to postpone approval until the concerns raised by the planning commissioners, rent board commissioners, and countless parkmerced residents, housing and civil rights
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advocates are addressed. many who have testified before me are asking for further studies so that the controversial environmental impact report can be fully studied, not railroaded through. there's no need to rush. thousands of lives are at stake for your job as elected officials are to put their concerns first and also to follow the law. a generation ago, our nation's supreme court decided a crucial housing discrimination case that was brought by a parkmerced tenant. it is one of the most important fair housing cases ever decided by our supreme court. parkmerced tenants are prepared to go to court again. fair housing attorneys are prepared to represent them. supervisor mar: thank you. thank you. let's have the next speaker. thank you very much. next speaker?
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>> my name is laura traveler. i have lived in parkmerced for 26 years and i'm here to raise my voice in protest of the parkmerced expansion plan. the developers' and dishes and we 30-year plan would destroy this 16-acre site that now constitutes parkmerced. my mother came to parkmerced in 1974. she referred to the beautiful city of parkmerced as zion. bellperson talk about replacing tone hole -- developers talk about replacing town halls. muni can be done now without destroying apartments.
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the civil grand jury has come out with their findings. the title of their findings -- the developers of parkmerced have lied to you 10 times. i'm going to read the two allies i think are so important. no. 5, the project will provide new open space. the truth, the project would eliminate 7 acres of open space. number 8, the project will make parkmerced green. the truth, it will cut down over 1000 trees. the phrase the developers used to describe parkmerced is that it is a design from the past. the true one, the manhattan ization of parkmerced. greedy, maniacal developers should not destroy this city.
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thank you very much. supervisor mar: can you repeat the grand jury civil -- the civil grand jury findings again? the major ones you talked about. >> the project will make parkmerced green. the truth, the project will cut down over 1000 trees. the project will replace or provide for new open space. the truth, the project would eliminate 7 acres of open space. supervisor mar: thank you very much. >> you are welcome. supervisor mar: next speaker. ms. ting. >> i am from the parkmerced action coalition. yes, we're here in the audience.
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we are very opposed to this. we do not want any demolition. we have not had enough time to go over these new papers that you have given us. just looking at it quickly, we do not feel that $160 million is enough. this is one of the articles mike was talking about -- my neighbor -- about the larry gluck demolition. i think it is in harlem. it's the piece of property that he owned when he wanted to try to destroy those people. he was not allowed to. parkmerced is a beautiful place. it's absolutely spectacular. it's a lovely place to live. we do not want to be torn down. we would like to stay just where we are. we would hope that you vote against this.
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we do not want to be put out of our homes. we want to stay there. thank you very much. supervisor mar: thank you. >> good morning. i'm with the housing rights committee of san francisco. i would like to mention these scary scenarios. i think it is possible here. even though i would like to believe in fairy tales, i also know from experience as a tenant advocate for the last 15 years that you pass something on the ballot or you pass legislation, it gets challenged, and it gets struck down. no matter how much to plan and how many meetings you have for you have lawyers and legal people assuring you this cannot be struck down and this is constitutional, it gets struck down. i want to know what happens if all of what mr. chiu is proposing -- and i like what he is proposing -- what happens if
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that is struck down? what happens to the tenants? the other right that is not being talked about is the right to quiet enjoyment. 30 years of construction does not constitute quiet enjoyment and the right to safety, which is also guaranteed by california civil code. when toxic substances are poured into your environment daily for 30 years -- safety? hardly. 30% of tenants at parkmerced currently are seniors. are they going to benefit from this housing? no. this housing will not be affordable to most people in san francisco. we know that most people in san francisco cannot afford market rate housing or condos? who is this being billed for? obviously, not the people live in san francisco right now. that's the problem. they're asking for more gentrification by doing that. history should have taught us
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that lesson by now. finally, i would like to propose that the only way that we protect the rights of tenants, the only way we guarantee there's no displacement or gentrification is to reject this project. thank you. [applause] supervisor mar: thank you. i think dr. faulkner had been called previously, as well. >> good afternoon. my name is gene adams, a longtime tenant of parkmerced. my first point, compensation being offered is certainly not adequate for most of the seniors and disabled. it will have no alternative but to go homeless and go to golden gate park, if golden gate park will receive them as homeless people. the environmental impact of 30 years of demolition, but the release of toxic pollutants into
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the atmosphere of the most vulnerable part of san francisco, the son said, did irreparable damage to the environment. not just the $1 million homes own parkmerced, but the low- income homes in merced heights. environmental damage that will never be eradicated because pollutants will stay in the atmosphere forever. please reconsider and deeply ponder over the so-called imaginary profit for the future of 30 years. it may not ever work. besides, seniors and handicapped are not adequately compensated. a large proportion of them will suffer and there's no reasonable accommodation for their needs as required by federal law. thank you. supervisor mar: thank you. mr. faulkner.
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>> my name is dr. terence faulkner. i would like to incorporate by reference the grand jury report, which is titled "parkmerced vision -government by developer." we have a large group called fortress that bought control of parkmerced, basically because they were on the verge of bankruptcy in october. the head of fortress is daniel mudd, the former ceo of fannie mae. fannie mae was a wonderful lobbying organization. they did a wonderful snow job on the congress of the united states. there's a book, "all the devils were there."
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basically, they do wonderful lobbying. they talk of congress into a lot of things. the cost of the united states government over $100 billion. one of the most expensive transactions in american history. mr. mudd has now come to san francisco and he is going to bless us some more. my advice to you is -- let the buyer beware. you were going to get stuck. you are not going to like the results. in vancouver, they did not like the results of fortress. they lost river tonight in new york. you are going to get hurt. i'm sorry to say that. what's happening at parkmerced -- they've gotten rid of garbage collection at the doors now. it's bad management. it's the worst we've ever had. we've had bad management in the past. the current management at parkmerced is the absolute
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worst. they do not collect garbage of the doors anymore. supervisor mar: thank you. i'm going to call the last remaining cards. john thomas, jeff, kevin mckay, manny flores. >> good morning. in the executive director of the professional property management division and i'm here to speak on behalf and in favor of the parkmerced project. a lot has been said about the displacement of tenants, the demolition of homes in the process. in the long run, i think there will be new homes built that will be better for the tenants. parkmerced has agreed to comply with the current housing ordinances. the renovation and expansion will increase affordable housing in san francisco. it benefits all the citizens in this city. the other thing to also keep in mind is that the city needs to
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grow jobs and this is an opportunity to do that. to do it in a situation where it is local to the community and also citywide. the tax revenues and the fees are significant. the additional individuals and families moving into parkmerced will mean increased revenue generated to the payroll and other taxes and fees. in addition, the project will produce permanent jobs both on site and in the surrounding communities. construction jobs are estimated to average over 1000 per year over the 20-year period. the proposed project will be rehabilitating an existing site. many of these homes are over 60 years old. as a homeowner of a 50-year- old home, i know that's difficult. this works with existing infrastructure to attract families to the city, which i think would be a great benefit.
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in closing, by providing jobs on site and locally in the community, parkmerced is setting the example of creating living spaces and jobs in the city and should be commended for their vision of creating a better san francisco. please approve this project. thank you. supervisor mar: thank you. >> good morning. i am at the collatiocoalition. this demolition is also a demolition that has never been seen before in san francisco since the redevelopment in the 1960's and 1970's. the african-american community and the japanese town was demolished and it never recovered from that. during that instance, it was homeowners and renters. there was a terrible situation.
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now with parkmerced, the excuse for development is -- it is 50 years old. my house is 98 years old and i had to do maintenance. i had to change the sewer. at a small cost for keeping a house, keeping your home. in parkmerced, they should do the same. 50 years old is not all for a house. someone lives there. that's their home. that is not being considered. in some sense, the renters are treated like second-class citizens. they are being treated like sharecroppers. [applause] a landlord is the big boss. he is the man. the renters are just renters. they're not people. it does not matter. we all know what the real reason for this is. money.
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big money. developers are going to make a big profit. the city thinks they're going to make a profit. there is infrastructure that will cost. these things will not offset the cost. more importantly, there is a human cost. these are people that live there. they are not just numbers. please send it back. supervisor mar: thank you. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i live in the sunset. since the previous two speakers mentioned the housing stock, i happen to have the housing characteristics start from the housing elements from the old housing element.
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to have a house in san francisco which was built after 1939 is 54% of the housing stock. that's nothing unusual. the houses in parkmerced are among our newer housing stocks. i wanted to comment on something totally different. i'm a member. we had a meeting last night on disaster preparedness. formally the differdeputy direcr of dbi was the speaker. he expects the big one to be close. the most of the damage will occur on old concrete buildings. parkmerced has 11 hours with
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load bearing walls of concrete. they are very vulnerable for earthquake. i think the whole project is done from the wrong end. if they need to demolish something, demolish from the earthquake safety point of the. -- point of view. the towers, not the garden apartments, provide a wonderful quality of life. the project and the eir denies there are problems with the existing tower. a second project is that -- supervisor mar: thank you very much. thank you. next speaker, please. >> i have lived in parkmerced
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for 38 years with my husband. we happen to like it very much there. i will make this very short. we have a lot of respect for the management. we find that they have been very honest with us. they are really trying hard. they have really put in a lot of effort into keeping our place clean. i know not everybody agrees with this, but i walk the property every day and i see a lot. i want to thank them. thank you,, supervisors. supervisor mar: thank you. >> my name is mike smith, nine- year resident of parkmerced. my home is neither blighted or sound. i've had a lot of problems with it. i can only imagine that a good
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percentage of people in parkmerced have also had problems tear i. i like living in parkmerced. i do. for the amount of rent taipei, i expect a little bang for the buck. i'm in favor of the project. i believe the quality of life will increase. we will not have to leave the property practically. everything will be there for us. i have to apologize. i've kind of forgotten the other issue. i'm also in favor -- i'm a retired union man and i'm in favor of 1300 jobs being created for this project. i'm in favor. thank you. supervisor mar: mr. turner? >> good afternoon, supervisors. brooke turner