The Wealth Train Is Steamrolling My Neighborhood

A rehearing request to the San Francisco Board of Appeals may be granted only to prevent manifest injustice. A month ago I did request a rehearing – my last chance, I thought, to present a case of severe injustice to the commissioners. An architectural drawing (above) shows the vast difference in scale between my cottage (yellow) and the planned construction next to it (purple). The outrageous size of the new home in the Liberty Hill historic district of the Mission struck all who saw the drawing – all except for the 4 members of the Appeals Board present at the hearing – Rick Swig, Daryl Honda, Ann Lazarus, and Rachael Tanner. They never asked the developer to downsize. They did not grant me a few months of construction delay to provide peace and quiet for the guests, who had booked my small airbnb place long ago. I had asked for a sound barrier to protect me from the torturing noise of deep excavation set to start any time and run for 8+ months. I did not get that either. Without addressing any of my requests at all one board member opined that  no manifest injustice had been done and the others agreed. End of discussion. Monster homes are welcomed by the city, no matter where, even on small lots and next to my unique historic cottage, the oldest home on the block.  A 2300 square foot home will be turned into 7000 square feet of luxury living, with 2 roof decks taking away the last bit of privacy from the neighbors, and a basement unit without access to daylight on top of the deep garage. The City has blessed it all adding more tax revenue to this already superrich city but taking forever away the charm, comfort and quality of life from this neighborhood. When I presented my case to the historic preservation commission I was told “Wake up, this is San Francisco!” If I don’t like it, I should go someplace else. My new neighbor, however, was never told to wake up and build his dream house someplace else. He will live there, so he swore. Welcome, Justin Mc Baine!

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