If you look down from the top of any large hill in District 3, you’ll see ridiculously tall buildings towering over their normal-sized neighbors. These rude developments spawned a movement to establish reasonable height limits to preserve the character of our neighborhoods.
These height limits have come under attack recently, and variances to overcome them are routinely issued. The City’s population has also been growing at a rapid rate, albeit not fast enough for most developers and many at City Hall. The City is only so big, our streets are narrow and our infrastructure is old and straining. We are under forced water restrictions, causing our parks to go brown and requiring residents to cut back. Are we getting ahead of ourselves by encouraging accelerated growth? I believe we are. My opponent, however, declares that he is for more density and bonus height limits. As you can see from the map above, District 3 already has the highest density in San Francisco.
I understand there is a demand for housing in the Bay Area, and this is a good problem to have, but why should the bulk of the new dwellings be built where it is already too crowded? I believe we should have a regional approach to growth and encourage migration to communities that need increased population. Oakland, for example, needs 100,000 more people much more that we do and its much quicker to get to downtown SF from West Oakland, than from many parts of San Francisco. To facilitate this, we should also focus on improving regional transportation and start thinking of the Bay Area as an interconnected community instead of individual localities.
There is little doubt that San Francisco will gain population. There are area and locations that are prime candidates, but we need to make sure that we don’t “spoil a good thing” by making it too difficult to live here. Lets get our infrastructure up to speed first and also work with our neighboring communities, to help them take advantage of the population migration.