8 Washington waterfront project loses again, this time in court

A planned luxury high-rise condominium project on San Francisco’s waterfront, already rebuffed by city voters, has taken another hit from a judge, who said city officials hadn’t properly studied the project’s likely impact on local traffic.

When city planners approved the 8 Washington development in 2012, it was designed to include 134 condo units, along with retail stores, and rise 12 stories at the foot of the Embarcadero near the Ferry Building. Those plans were shelved in November 2013 when San Francisco voters, by a nearly two-thirds majority, approved a measure limiting all waterfront construction to eight stories unless developers won an exemption at the ballot box.

The condo developer, Pacific Waterfront Partners, said it would submit a new eight-story plan but would continue to rely on the San Francisco Port Commission’s approval of the original project. But in a ruling made public Friday, Superior Court Judge James Robertson overturned the project approval decision and said it had relied on an environmental study that used outdated and incomplete traffic data.

In reviewing the project’s effect on traffic, Robertson said the city relied on conditions observed during rush hour on a single Wednesday afternoon in 2007. The study failed to consider other weekdays, when traffic and parking demand picked up during farmers’ markets, and also did not look at traffic increases during the next five years as businesses grew and parking sites dwindled.

The city also failed to study updated traffic information for nearby intersections off the Embarcadero, which include a quiet neighborhood with small streets, limited parking and a park at Sydney G. Walton Square, all of which would face more congestion from the condominium complex, Robertson said… (more)

Incomplete and outdated data were given as reasons for overthrowing the state’s lawsuit on 8 Washington project. This project has lost at the ballot box and in court. Will the developers finally allow it to die?

Potrero Hill Democratic Club Gets Political

By Sasha Lekach : Potrero View – excerpt

Politically-inclined Southside residents have been gathering at the Potrero Hill Democratic Club (PHDC) for years, to debate local, state and national issues, and share ideas about how to address challenges associated with the environment, budget deficits, campaign finance, equity, education, public safety and more…
At last month’s gathering the first discussion topic was a proposed development at 8 Washington Street, along the waterfront…
But by the end of the meeting a quorum of voting members was present, and the club endorsed the campaign “No Wall on the Waterfront”…
when there’s a hot issue — such as parking meter plans or a District 10 race — and that new faces are always popping up… (more)


8 Washington opponents seeking to delay decision

By: Joshua Sabatini : SFexaminer – excerpt

Opponents of the proposed 8 Washington luxury condo development are calling on a state commission to postpone a vote on a crucial land exchange agreement that the project hinges upon.

The State Lands Commission is scheduled to vote Tuesday on an exchange that would allow developer Simon Snellgrove to develop his 134-unit project on Seawall Lot 351 and the adjacent privately held land. The agreement would swap the state’s public trust oversight of the public property for oversight of other Port lands.

The opposition is not surprising. Project opponents recently collected enough voter signatures to request a referendum seeking to overturn the project. As a result, the Board of Supervisors must re-vote in September on the project’s height increase. If approved, the project would go before the voters in November 2013, halting the project until then…

One suit hinges on parking rights agreed to in a signed contract.