October 10, 2016 Corey Smith

Why SFHAC Opposes Prop X

No on Prop X

We all want to keep arts, industry, and nonprofits in San Francisco. This is the wrong way to do it.

After more than ten years of public debate, the Board of Supervisors passed zoning rules for the Eastern Neighborhoods that strike a balance between keeping space for industrial jobs, artists, nonprofits and housing. We agree that it is time to assess whether the balance is right – and to make changes if it isn’t. But this measure, hastily conceived, with no analysis or data, and no outreach to affected neighborhoods, is not the way to do it. Here’s why:

Hurts housing production and affordability. Requiring home-builders to include industrial space in new buildings will drive up the price and drive down the amount of new housing, right at the time we need more housing than ever. We need solutions that will help preserve the arts while not killing housing production and ballot box zoning just makes our housing shortage worse.

Wrong kind of spaces for industry and the arts. This ballot measure would produce small, expensive “boutique” artist and industrial spaces and includes no rules telling building owners how much they can charge in rent nor any guidelines ensuring the spaces would function for real artists, manufacturers, or other industrial uses. It will lock in a one-size-fits-all land use policy today that may not help the jobs of tomorrow.

Doesn’t belong on the ballot. Everything this measure calls for could have been done through the normal planning process and in fact legislation is pending to do just that! These sorts of zoning changes need to be done thoughtfully, to balance multiple important needs and interests. We have a Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors to do this on behalf of residents of the City. While we appreciate that the policy can be changed with a two-thirds majority at the Board of Supervisors, this is complicated land use policy that doesn’t need to be in the hands of voters.

Send a message to your elected leaders to do their job by voting NO on Proposition X. Download SFHAC’s pro-housing voter guide to see our positions on five other measures.

Corey Smith

Corey Smith is HAC's Executive Director and can be reached at corey@housingactioncoalition.org.

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