Parkmerced Agreement Won't Protect Tenants, Civil Grand Jury Says

Stay tuned for the future ...
The Civil Grand Jury has released an interesting and curiously timed report on the proposed Parkmerced development which validates the city's worst fears -- that tenants would no longer be protected by rent control laws.

According to the report -- which was released a week before the project is slated for a vote -- the agreement between the city and Parkmerced Investors LLC doesn't guarantee that residents of one the city's largest housing complexes will still be protected by the city's rent-control laws after the project is complete, as promised. Even worse, there's no reason to believe families wouldn't possibly be evicted.

The agreement calls for the demolition and replacement of 1,583 rent-controlled units. Residents were assured that the new units would also be rent-controlled.

The Grand Jury's findings are a significant determination for the controversial project, which came before the city's Economic and Land Use Development Committee, only to be delayed another week. Tenants have argued that the redevelopment project would create the risk of losing their rent control.

A pivotal part of the agreement between developers and the city was that future renters would be grandfathered into the city's rent control ordinance, meaning no future owner of Parkmerced could arbitrarily raise the rent.

In exchange, the city would offer the developers a slew of perks, including relaxed height and bulk restrictions and increased density.

Yet the agreement is "aspirational and inconclusive," the report says.

According to the report:
The Development agreement claims to make exceptional efforts to assure tenants in rent-controlled units have continuity of protection, however, the agreement is fundamentally unable to deliver such assurances because of overreaching state laws that are changeable and subject to court interpretation. Meanwhile, tenants will live under a cloud of uncertainty, possibly for years.
SF Weekly contacted several Parkmerced housing rights groups, but none have yet responded.

The Grand Jury is recommending that before the city sign off on an agreement with Parkmerced developers, it should first pass legislation that would ensure future residents would continue living in rent-controlled apartments.

P.J. Johnston, spokesman for the Parkmerced project, says that this kind of law already exists in San Francisco. 

"This reeks of the nasty side of San Francisco politics," Johnston says. "You engage in an extremely open public process ... and then on the eve of the big vote, someone drops a highly political stinkbomb in your lap."

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This is no timely "stink bomb", we have been saying the same thing for months--I guess it took the Grand Jury's report to make the issue so widely noticed that it warranted a reponse - a response that isn't denial but the same as name calling.

'The Coalition to Save Parkmerced' is the oldest and only Parkmerced tenant group to have opposed the Parkmerced Demolition Project since 2005. We also have legally-challenged in court San Francisco State University's Expansion Plans and the 800 Brotherhood Way Project.

The person posting above ('goodmaab50') from the newly-formed PMAC group needs to get his facts straight and stop being a revisionist.


There were also 4 appellants (PmAC, SFT, and two individual tenants) some of these groups also have legal counsel, and  may add further issues to enforce in regards to the "developer-agreements" and issues being promised... Like why a "washer-dryer-dishwasher" is equated to a loss of over 800SF of open space per garden unit. What's the real VALUE in terms of loss to tenants of the open-space alone.. Last I checked land was pretty pricey in SF......

The 'Coalition to Save Parkmerced' ,an appellant to the Parkmerced EIR, has proudly been opposing development in the Lakeside area of the City since 2005, including the SF State Expansion Plans and the 800 Brotherhood Way Project. No other tenant group inSan Francisco took the court actions we did to oppose these major development plans.Get your facts straight, Mr. Goodman ('PMAC'), and stop being a historical revisionist. Visit our website '', to get the latest updates on the ParkmercedDemolition Project and our long-term opposition to it.


PJ Johnston is like Tim Colen a "hack/lobbyist" for special interests. This project does not connect existing transit systems, does not enforce the cities general plan, and impacts an existing community disproportionately. Why not build in stonestowns empty parking lots or along West Portal where there is tons of 1 story buildings adjacent to THREE transit lines. Or along Taraval, Judah, Geary, Sunset Blvd., Lakeshore Mall, Ocean Ave? The issue is at the state level, and unless there is declaratory relief there should be no proposal approval.  Which groups did you contact? PRO? They were taken over by the developer. The only groups who speak for the tenants are PmAC Parkmerced Action Coalition, and tenants advocacy groups SFTU, HRCSF, SFAHC (not SFHAC) and Tenants Together.

The only "stink bomb" is this project. Time to drop it, B.O.S. It doesn't add up.

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