FOGG Alert – October 11, 2014

Government Audit and Oversight Committee Report – October 9, 2014

FOGG wishes to thank those who took the time from their busy schedules to attend the Thursday, October 9, 2014 San Francisco Board of Supervisors Government Audit and Oversight Committee meeting.

A special thanks to our supporters who testified on our behalf.

FOGG also thanks Our District 3 Supervisor and Board President David Chiu for setting up this meeting.

The meeting’s purpose was to review the zoning history of the 8 Washington Street proposed development, the Gateway Commons and our outdoor recreational facility, The Bay Club at the Gateway.

It was a good meeting for us.

Our attorney Sue Hestor, made a strong case to readdress the Planned Unit Development (PUD) approvals that were originally accepted by the City. She presented her statements clearly, even with the limited time allowed to speak.

 Good job Sue!

Supervisor Chiu first called on both the SF Port and Planning Departments to explain the present status of these areas, and their knowledge of former agreements that includes the area as a PUD first approved in the 1970’s.

You can read more on the FOGG Alerts of July 12, 2014 and October 5, 2014 on this website.

FOGG found their responses were mostly evasive and without much substance.

For example, the SF Port had at NEWAG meetings stated that the 8 Washington Street developer (Simon Snellgrove) has a revised plan that will be presented by this year’s end. That has been said since July. At the government Audit and Oversight Committee meeting, the SF Port representative said there is no plan they have seen!

Also, the SF Port claims they have no knowledge of any negotiations between the Gateway management and Snellgrove. That’s hard to believe since Snellgrove needs both SWL351 and the former 8 Washington site to succeed in any future plans.

It’s enough to say that the SF Planning Director’s responses were given to protect the competency of the Planning Department, but did not answer why the Planning Department ignored the original PUD until Sue Hestor uncovered the former documents.

One final note, a CalSTRS (California State Teacher’s Retirement System) representative was asked to attend to respond to questions concerning their $42 million investment of teacher’s retirement funds in Snellgrove’s proposed 8 Washington project. A CalSTRS representative did not attend.  No statement was submitted.

The Government Audit and Oversight Committee agreed to keep the zoning history issue open for future discussion and action.

In summary, this was another good day in FOGG’s 11 year effort to save our community’s outdoor recreational center.


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