8 Washington St. will create vital housing 

? “Read the fine print on 8 Washington St.” Opinion, Tuesday

8 Washington St. will create vital housing

The 8 Washington St. plan is an example of the balanced planning our city needs. Beware of the spin — the fact remains that today a private club and an asphalt parking lot are cutting off access to The Embarcadero waterfront. It is also true that the 8 Washington St. plan will transform the site by creating new parks, opening up access with public spaces and family housing.

The author of your op-ed piece apparently missed the more than 100 community meetings, Port Commission hearings, Planning Commission hearings and two Board of Supervisors votes that all approved the development plan. The plan also follows the guidelines set out by The City’s general plan and the North East Embarcadero Study — official planning documents adopted by the City.

This is a good plan that has been developed and approved by our communities and planning officials. I urge all San Franciscans to read all the print and learn for themselves how this plan will create parks, jobs and housing for our city needs.    

Jim Chappell
San Francisco

Condo tower good for S.F.

Allan Jacobs’ comments on the 8 Washington St. condo project are misleading at best, if not downright false.

Although this project would in fact raise building height limits somewhat in a limited area, it is farther from the waterfront than the old Embarcadero Freeway and surrounded on two sides by much taller existing buildings. It would not reduce public open space as he suggests, but rather replace a large asphalt parking lot and an expensive private tennis and swimming club surrounded by a 10-foot-high green wall (which cuts Jackson Street off from The Embarcadero). And it would provide funding for a substantial amount of affordable housing in The City which would not be built, on-site or anywhere else, if this project is rejected.

Most egregiously of all, Mr. Jacobs accuses the sponsors of 8 Washington St. of resorting to “ballot-box planning in a terrible, piecemeal way.” In fact, this project has been thoroughly vetted and approved over a period of more than five years by the Planning Department, the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors.

The sole reason that its fate will now be decided at the ballot box is because the project’s opponents have put it there.

John Alspach
San Francisco

? “Congestion fees will help fight city gridlock,” Editorial, Tuesday

Road fee bad for business

Your editorial is shortsighted, and I believe congestion fees will damage The City’s economy.  

Congestion fees will discourage people from shopping, doing business and opening new businesses in downtown, South of Market and possibly other areas depending on how the borders of the congestion area are drawn.   

A better solution would be improving the infrastructure to deal with more traffic and improve the public transportation.   

Howard Epstein
Former chairman, San Francisco Republican Party
San Francisco

? “Proposed Bayview homeless shelter would provide service where it is needed,” The City, Sunday

Help available in Bayview

Your article states that there are no shelters in the Bayview. This is incorrect. The Bayview offers housing for the homeless at 1601 McKinnon Ave., 1221 Newhall St. and 661 Third St. The first shelter has an expansion planned and the last was added within the past year.

Jonathan Gee
San Francisco

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