Coalition Demands Community Benefits for South City Downtown Development

The Coalition for Community Benefits submitted a letter on August 19 to the South San Francisco Planning Commission urging commissioners to negotiate a robust community benefits package for the 211 Airport Blvd. proposed residential development.

Since the adoption of the Downtown Specific Area Plan (SAP) early this year, the City of South San Francisco has experienced growing interest from developers to build in downtown. The most recent proposal comes from the developer, Pinefino, LC, who is proposing to build a residential project of 83 units with 134 parking spots.

But this proposal does not include any of the community benefits laid out in the SAP.

The Coalition letter [PDF] calls for the developer to hire local construction workers and pay them family-sustaining wages, provide a meaningful amount of on-site affordable units, and adopt programs that encourage the use of transit.

The proposal, which is for all market rate rental housing, ignores the burgeoning need to build more workforce housing for existing residents who live in overcrowded conditions. Despite the site’s location next to the Caltrain station, the developer is including more parking spots than required by the City. Moreover, the proposal doesn’t guarantee that the construction jobs created by this project will pay family-sustaining wages for local construction workers.

Planning commissioners have the tools to ensure this project benefits existing and future residents of South San Francisco, but in the absence of any guarantee of quality jobs and workforce housing for local residents, this project will contribute to the gentrification of downtown and the displacement of downtown residents, who are already being priced out of their City.

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