SF Supervisor wants to build housing on top of public libraries

ByMelanie Woodrow via KGO logo
Wednesday, June 6, 2018
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One San Francisco Supervisor believes she may have the solution to the city's housing crunch.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- One San Francisco Supervisor believes she may have the solution to the city's housing crunch.

Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer has her sights set on building up.

"It is all about land use here in San Francisco," said Supervisor Fewer.

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Fewer is the Vice Chair of the budget committee. At a recent meeting, she suggested building affordable housing on top of San Francisco's public libraries.

It's not an entirely novel concept.

The Mission Bay Branch library has affordable senior housing and an adult health center above it. The Glen Park Branch Library is in a mixed-use building that has housing.

In an emailed statement, the San Francisco Public Library says there are no plans for existing library locations to have rooftop housing.

"... the San Francisco Public Library is certainly open to creative strategies for future library capital projects. However, input from neighborhood residents and library users would be necessary to ensure support from the community," said Michael Lambert, Acting City Librarian.

"Parking is pretty challenging around here already so bringing more housing would put a stress on the neighborhood," said San Francisco resident Judy Brittain.

"So many people need affordable housing and there's all this empty space," said San Francisco resident Taylor Newton.

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"When the building has been renovated on a number of occasions I think there were some limitations of what they could do because of the historic nature," said Robert Carlson, Presidio Branch Manager.

Still the Supervisor is hopeful.

"We have very few sites that we can look at for 100% affordable housing and knowing that we have such a housing crisis now I think we have to think outside the box and be very creative," said Fewer.

The San Francisco Public Library says the idea is probably more of an option for future branches in the areas of the city with expanding populations such as the southeast corridor.

For more stories, photos, and video on housing in the Bay Area, visit this page.