September 30, 2016 Corey Smith

Activists Push for Housing at Brisbane City Council Hearing

On Thursday night, a group of San Francisco housing activists joined SFHAC and GrowSF at the Brisbane City Council Meeting. The proposed “Baylands” project under discussion has increasingly been featured in local and national news thanks to a recommendation by the Brisbane Planning Commission to support a project that includes two-million square feet of office space with zero housing. The SFHAC has never been involved in a project outside of the City before, but given the reality that the Bay Area must treat the housing shortage as a regional problem – we had to do something! An alternative proposal, which SFHAC supports, calls for a mixed-use project with lots of housing, retail, offices, parks and community space on the 683-acre site just across the City’s county line. The SFHAC will keep attending meetings to support the much more sensible mixed-use project over the next few months.

Here’s the Brisbane City Council’s meeting schedule on this vital project:

November 17th, 2016: Site Remediation
December 15th, 2016: Traffic, Noise, Air and Other Emissions
January 19th, 2017: Water, Public Services and Policy
February 16th, 2017: Other Environmental Issues
March 16th, 2017: Economic Development
April 20th, 2017: Land Use and Planning Issues
TBD: Application and Community Presentations + City Council Deliberations

The SFHAC extends its deepest thanks to the amazing team that came down on Monday night. Besides GrowSF and Universal Paragon Corporations (UPC), the mixed-use project sponsor, there were residents from San Francisco, San Mateo, and other cities around the Bay Area who took it upon themselves to spend a Thursday evening at a public hearing. Many of the attendees were at their first public planning meeting and got a close look at democracy in action. It isn’t always pretty and generally takes much longer than we’d like, but the impact activists can have is noticeable. More than half the room supported housing at the site, which is rare at these types of meetings. Their activism gives us optimism that the long, difficult journey to get housing included at the Baylands site will indeed be worth it.

Photo Credit: Grow SF

Are you interested in supporting SFHAC’s housing advocacy? Sign our Brisbane petition and consider becoming a member!

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Corey Smith

Corey Smith is HAC's Executive Director and can be reached at

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