Building proposal pushback in San Francisco's Outer Sunset neighborhood

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco's Planning Commission approved a project to take an old abandoned gas station off 45th Avenue and Judah and develop the space into a mixed use commercial and residential building.

But some residents in that Outer Sunset neighborhood say it's too over the top.

According to San Francisco's Planning Department project summary, HOME-SF is proposing to develop a five-story building with 20 residential units - some they consider affordable - with seven off-street parking spaces.

David Scheer lives around the corner and is one of many residents that spoke out in opposition to the project during last week's public hearing. "Our main concern is we want public participation in the nature of our community," Scheer said. "We don't want to have somebody who doesn't live here and who's never lived here to just come in and build a huge high density project," Scheer said.

The architect for the project, Michael Leavitte, says they're only adding an additional 10 feet to the building, which would make it 55 feet. Currently, the max height for buildings in that part of the Outer Sunset reach 40-45 feet. But Scheer points out from the plans, there is an elevator shaft that will make the building a lot taller than 55 feet.

"There's also an extra piece and a mechanical area on top, an elevator shaft that goes to the top of the roof deck, so that's going to be 74 feet tall. That's huge, that's going to be an eyesore in the community forever," Scheer said.

Scheer created a GoFundMe account to raise money for the cost of submitting an appeal. "It's likely going to go nowhere. But at least it's a way for us to put some pressure back from the community on this process so we can at least get heard," Scheer said.

He also posted flyers notifying people in the neighborhood about the plans.

Scheer stresses they are all for the space being developed, they just want to feel they have input. "Frankly, it's very modest opposition... I mean the opposition is basically we'd like to have a story taken off and more consideration for handicap and elderly in the parking proposal," Scheer said.

And they also want documentation from an environmental report. "Another concern is, of course, the contamination of the ground soil. We want that done responsibly. You know, in general, we're all in support of this project being developed... this is just over the top," Scheer said.

The Planning Commission unanimously approved the project last week with a request for parking amendments.

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