TNDC sued for noncompliance with BOS resolution urging compromise on 2550 Irving Street.
Updated: Jan 20, 2022
Nearly one year ago, the Mid Sunset Neighborhood Association accidentally learned from their Supervisor, Gordon Mar, that the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development had awarded part of the 2019 Prop A funding to the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation to build a seven story affordable housing project at 2550 Irving Street. Despite pleas from the community for greater transparency and engagement, especially with the high numbers of non-English speaking neighbors and seniors left out of untranslated Zoom-only meetings, TNDC has ignored the community’s key concerns over PCE contamination, scale and density. Supervisor Mar has repeatedly gone on record
stating the neighbors have legitimate concerns and expressing his disappointment that TNDC and MOHCD have been unwilling to discuss compromise.
Since then the MSNA has led a coalition of neighborhood groups and merchants in opposing as proposed TNDC’s plans for 2550 Irving Street, and developing compromise solutions. We have spoken out against the excessive size, density and cost of this project with the Board of Supervisors, the Mayor, and other neighborhood organizations. Environmental experts have volunteered their time and expertise to show why TNDC's response plan is inadequate for the growing scope of PCE contamination that DTSC is now investigating on both sides of the 2500 block of Irving Street. Architectural experts have developed a compromise design to replace TNDC’s completely out-of-scale design that TNDC and MOHCD proposes to force upon the neighborhood. And while TNDC repeatedly claimed the project could not “pencil out” for less than 98 units in 7 stories, we’ve done the math and determined it could still qualify for the proposed funding with less units and height while maintaining the developer’s proposed tenant mix.
In July, when the Board of Supervisors voted to approve a $14.3 million pre-development loan to TNDC, Supervisor Mar got the unanimous support of the BOS to add two important amendments: 1) the loan is contingent on DTSC approval of TNDC’s response plan for PCE contamination, and
2) the BOS urged TNDC and MOHCD to reach a compromise with the neighborhood over height and scale.
For more than six weeks, TNDC and MOHCD has repeatedly promised, yet failed to meet with Supervisor Mar to review the compromise design and their final application before filing with the Planning Department. After 5pm on Friday, December 3, TNDC Director Katie Lamont called MSNA President Flo Kimmerling to inform her that TNDC formally submitted its plans and entitlement application to the SF Planning Department earlier that day.
Advancing to this stage without meeting with the neighborhood over the Compromise Design is in direct violation of the BOS amendment. It is the MSNA’s position that TNDC should not be allowed to advance to the Planning Stage and begin applying for state financing until they honor the terms of the Resolution. Accordingly, our Coalition had no recourse but to file a legal complaint on Tuesday, December 7. The San Francisco Superior Court has scheduled a hearing on the request for a preliminary injunction for January 7, 2022.
In the last year of news coverage, several key public facts have not been reported:
The PCE contamination was known to the San Francisco Police Credit Union as early as 2019. TNDC knew at least by January 2020 when they attached to their NOFA response the Environmental Site Assessment conducted by AllWest on behalf of the SFPCU. Yet neither party nor any City officials shared this information with the neighbors until December 18, 2020 when the NOFA award was made public – not even when PCE levels inside the Credit Union were so high they triggered DTSC oversight, and SFPCU closed off 75% of the building to human occupancy, improved their HVAC and added four interior locking doors. In 2020, as TNDC solicited support from affordable housing advocates, they purposefully withheld their knowledge of the site’s environmental concerns. San Francisco has a long and shameful history of building affordable housing in majority minority neighborhoods on sites known to be contaminated – the MSNA would like to see those sites cleaned up before they are built up.
The recent reduction in units from 98 to 90 is not the result of compromise. It is because even after two years of extending the Feasibility Review Period in their Purchase and Sales Agreement, TNDC still failed to identify, until last month, a utilities easement that reduces the buildable footprint of the property. Not only does this mean eliminating units from every floor of the building, but it calls into question the validity of their appraisal and negotiated price for the parcel.
We agree with the San Francisco Budget & Legislative Analyst’s audit of MOHCD which recommends investing in more Affordable Housing on the Westside. We also agree with the BLA’s assessment that MOHCD’s lack of documented standards in the solicitation and review of proposals decreases developer participation and drives up costs precisely when the City needs to ramp up the affordable housing production pipeline.
To read the details beyond the headlines, including documentation of all facts entered into evidence, visit Case Number: CGC21596994 at www.sfsuperiorcourt.org. To read and sign up for our latest community updates and donate to our legal fund, visit www.midsunsetcommunity.org. For media inquiries, contact MSNA President Flo Kimmerling at firstname.lastname@example.org