The massive expansion plan for UC San Francisco’s Parnassus campus received broad support from the Planning Commission on Thursday, but concerns remain about vague, affordable housing names.
The expansion of the original UCSF campus would include a new hospital, more than a thousand housing units and 4,000 new jobs, as well as an upgrade of facilities and nearby transportation. Because UCSF is a government agency, its project is under the jurisdiction of the regents of the University of California and is not subject to local land use laws. However, the university is developing a Memorandum of Understanding with The City.
“I am very supportive of the project and I definitely support the implementation of the MoU,” said Commissioner Sue Diamond, who announced that her daughter is a pediatric researcher at UCSF. Commission President Joel Koppel and Commissioner Rachel Tanner also spoke highly of the project.
The long-awaited draft treaty was released last week and Mayor London Breed officially announced its contents on Monday. UCSF has committed to hiring 30 percent of the jobs, including around 1,000 construction jobs, on site. About $ 20 million would be spent on transit improvements while a transit pass is tracked through a tuition fee.
Most notably, UCSF has agreed to build 1,263 units, down from 762 units originally. Forty percent of UCSF’s new and existing housing would be affordable, half for those earning up to 120 percent of the area median income, or about $ 108,000 for a household of one. The other half would be for households with an AMI of up to 90 percent, or $ 81,000 for a single person household.
Commissioners Deland Chan, Theresa Imperial and Kathryn Melgar called for the plan to include more detail on AMI designations than a general cap to ensure affordability for service workers. Supervisor Myrna Melgar, a former planning officer who now represents District 7, previously told the auditor the MoU needed more negotiation to ensure lower affordability.
“I am concerned that the proposed AMI values do not exactly match those in lower brackets that must be on campus, and that could immortalize Supercommuter,” Chan said.
A UCSF hospitality services supervisor could only make $ 39,000, while an administrative assistant would make at least $ 51,000, according to the UCSF presentation. UCSF said it would provide an analysis of employee types and typical commuting patterns.
Chan also pushed for expanding his transportation program to make it part of employee benefits rather than just a tuition fee.
Dozens of public commentators have expressed their support for the project. Many came from groups that endorsed the plan, such as the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, the Bay Area Council, UCSF alumni, and the San Francisco Marin Medical Society. Inner Sunset Park neighbors expressed support but pushed for funding for the commercial corridor.
“We’re still in a real estate crisis, it’s a much-needed addition,” said Emily Abraham, associate director of public order for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. “The Memorandum of Understanding addresses potential problems that could result from population growth. Please do not delay this critical project. “
Some criticized the plan for impact on construction, an imbalance between jobs and housing, a lack of transportation or details, a lack of nursing beds and insufficient community contributions to the Memorandum of Understanding.
“$ 20 million for what? What improvements in transit? “Asked Pinky Kushner. “Living for whom?”
The UC regents will vote on the environmental impact report for the campus expansion by January 21st, which was delayed from November. Supervisor Dean Preston, whose district is on the campus border, tabled a resolution Tuesday urging the UC regents to postpone EIR approval to their March meeting to allow more time to negotiate the MoU to have. (Disclosure: Janet Reilly, co-owner of the San Francisco Examiner under Clint Reilly Communications, is UC regent.)
However, on Thursday, Planning Director Rich Hillis said the MoU did not need to be completed before the EIR was approved. The EIR specific to the new hospital will be developed by the summer and subjected to a separate approval process.
“We cannot approve this letter of intent until the regents certify the EIR and adopt the plan,” said Hillis. “We look forward to this ongoing partnership.”
Preston also convened a memorandum of understanding hearing, which has had a public session scheduled for Monday in the Land Use Committee since a draft was released.
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