How high should Haight-Ashbury affordable housing be built?
SAN FRANCISCO (Tara Moriarty/KTVU) - Some people in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood are raising concerns over an affordable housing complex to be built at the current site of a McDonald's restaurant.
According to critics, the new building will simply be too tall.
In a city plagued by skyrocketing rents and home prices, affordable housing projects like the one to be built at the site of the fast food chain on Haight and Stanyan would seem to be a no-brainer.
"I grew up in this neighborhood and there's not very many options," said Ebere Emenike, San Francisco.
Now a group of residents called HANC or the Haight Ashbury neighborhood council says one of the project's preliminary plans for a seven-story building is too tall.
"I think it's just ill-fit to the area." said Emenike.
Most of the buildings near the site are Victorians with three to four stories. Opponents of a 65 foot tall building say the proposed building wouldn't have the character that the others have.
"Not that there's a very specific architecture in the area or anything like that but I think it would just kind of stick out and you have to think about Golden Gate Park across the street," said Emenike.
Jim Jenemann realizes the city needs more affordable housing, but he's against new construction.
"Reality. Everybody can't live in San Francisco....it's 49 square miles that's part of the problem."
But many neighbors said they're not only eager for more housing, they're itching to get rid of the McDonald's which has been a magnet for crime in the past.
"Yes, it was a hotbed," admitted Lt. Ed Santos, with SFPD's Park Station."The business has attracted drug dealers, drug buyers. people with mental health issues. There's been violence."
At Amoeba Music, next door, Product manager Tony Green said he understands aethestic and traffic concerns but whole-heartedly supports more housing for low and middle income residents.
"The nature of the whole city is changing from the influx of very highly paid people," said Green.
"No decision has been made," said Acting Mayor London Breed, who helped the city secure the spot for $15.5 million. She said debates over the building's height are premature.
"There's really nothing to talk about at this point other than there will be a community process with people who live there involved in the process," said Breed.
Another proposal calls for a five -tory building.
"Four or five I think would be a good medium," conceded Emenike.