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James Robertson overturned the project approval decision and said it had relied on an environmental study that used outdated and incomplete traffic data.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Incomplete and outdated data were given as reasons for overthrowing the state’s lawsuit on 8 Washington project.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?