The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously rejected a 63-unit apartment complex, including 15 below-market-rate units, because it would cast an evening shadow on a South of Market park.
The proposal was to replace several smaller buildings at 1052-1060 Folsom St. and 190-194 Russ St. with an apartment complex that would shade a portion of Victoria Manalo Draves Park, a 2-acre open space next to Bessie Carmichael School, a public K-8. The project will now return to the Planning Commission for further review.
The shadow would impact the northeastern portion of the park, which has a basketball court, children’s play area, benches and a grass section often used by dog walkers. The shadow wouldn’t reach the southern half of the park, where the baseball field and batting cages are. On the longest day of the year, June 21, a shadow would be cast for 100 minutes, starting between 5:46 and 6 p.m. It would cover an additional 18.24% of the park, above the 30% of the park covered at that time by existing shading.
The 10-0 vote — Supervisor Ahsha Safaí recused himself because of a possible conflict of interest — came after hours of impassioned public comment on how the shadow would impact the SoMa neighborhood, which has the lowest amount of open space in the city.
I appreciate the need for open space. But this is not a severe degradation of that space. Moreover, San Francisco is just going to find a reason to oppose anything that changes anything about current neighborhoods, which given that now only the extremely wealthy can live there, gives them even more power to do so.