San Francisco developers file new proposal for Sunset District high rise

The developers of a rejected building that is proposed for 2700 Sloat Boulevard in San Francisco have filed a new proposal for the site. 

The new proposal includes modifications that align with the State’s recently approved Assembly Bill 2011.

Robert Fruchtman is a volunteer San Francisco YIMBY has been keeping a close eye on the ongoing battle for the proposed housing high rise to be built in the outer lands of the city’s Sunset District "Frankly I think it’s a waste of the city’s time right now."

A software engineer by trade, he cares about affordable housing in the City, and pays attention to the issue. He’s posted a thread about the ‘boondoggle’ of a project the developers have pitched several times to the City Planning Commission, each being rejected.

Fruchtman says the developers aren’t being efficient or effective in their attempts to build more housing on the west side of the city, and finds it baffling.

He shared "a lot of their reasoning doesn’t make sense to me. I’ve read through the application and the city’s response to the application."

"I think the city has had to exercise a lot of patience for the accusations they’ve made. "

The developers of RH Planning include John and Raelynn Hickey. They’ve proposed a new set of plans to comply with Assembly Bill 2011, which allows for expedited housing construction with some conditions.

The bill allows for ministerial, by-right approval for affordable housing on commercially-zoned lands, as long as the projects meet specified affordability, labor, and environmental criteria. The bill also requires that all projects seeking approval under its provisions ensure all construction workers earn prevailing wages and receive health benefits.

Saam Barrager, is a third generation San Franciscan and lives in the neighborhood.

He’s a supporter of affordable housing in the densely populated, yet mostly, single family homes on the southwestern edge of the city across from the San Francisco Zoo.

"We need more housing, we need more housing in every neighborhood in the city, including in the avenues.

‘The big project, the one that everyone was really furious about, I know I’m in the minority, but I was in favor of that!’

"People in the sunset are saying no to absolutely everything! The day is fast approaching where they can’t say no to anything."

By email, the city’s planning department shared a statement about the new proposal, confirming developers have submitted yet another set of plans, even though RH Planning is suing the City for rejecting the last set of plans it submitted.

" AB 2011 provides for streamlined approvals and in some cases increased height limits and relaxed density limits" in exchange for the on-site affordable housing and workforce commitments, according to the city’s Planning Department. 

They’ve submitted — simultaneously along with their lawsuits — an application for the project to be considered under AB 2011. They’re essentially proposing that the project now be considered under an alternate path entirely, coming in with a new project, if you will, that enjoys the ministerial approval, and the density bonuses afforded under that act," San Francisco Planning's Chief of Staff Dan Sider, said in an email to KTVU.

Joseph De Castro has lived in the Sunset district for 35 years.

He shared he’s concerned about the height limit, saying "12 stories, yes! 15 stories- no!’

He fears a large high-rise will create traffic, noise, limit parking and ultimately change the neighborhood. "I’m just against it!"

Whereas the previous proposal featured four narrow towers attached together; the new application seeks to take advantage of the AB2011 density bonus law requirements. The new plan reportedly has the project's base with six narrow attached towers.

One of the developers that is wrangled in the back-and-forth proposals for the building at 2700 Sloat Boulevard is John Hickey.

He and his wife Raylynn Hickey filed a lawsuit against the City.

John Hickey was indicted in 2004 and served six years in federal prison for a Ponzi scheme involving Napa and Sonoma real estate developments.

He was accused of bilking investors out of $20 million.