Op Ed: Too Big for Potrero Hill
Over a period of several years, I worked with a dedicated team of parent-volunteers to bring Live Oak School to Potrero Hill. Now an out of town developer, Related California, wants to build 320 rental units and about 10,000 square feet of commercial space on 3.5 acres adjacent to the school. This project is too big. As proposed, 1601 Mariposa is considerably larger and denser than anything else in our neighborhood. To put the project’s massive scale in perspective, consider Victoria Mews, with 94 condos over 4.4 acres, or the development over Whole Foods, which comprises 165 condominiums over a full city block.
Live Oak always anticipated future development of the site, but never anything like this. Related California plans to put four stories a mere 16 feet away from Live Oak’s classroom windows. They’ll build as high as five stories near the school’s courtyard play area, shadowing it for much of the school year. The building will also cast shadows on the southern portion of Jackson Park where the playground and community gardens are located.
Health hazards during construction to children at the school and playground, as well as to residents in the area, pose too big a risk. The site contains asbestos and heavy metals from serpentine and landfill. There are three underground storage tanks that have leaked and contaminated the soil and groundwater with benzene at levels that are well above the risk level for cancer. Unfortunately, the Eastern Neighborhoods Area Plan included an environmental impact report (EIR) that didn’t consider this site’s peculiar and significant impacts. A full EIR needs to be completed before any approvals for designs are even considered.
I ask that you join me in signing the online petition at growpotreroresponsibly.com. It’s a good early step to let the City and developer know that we must Grow Potrero Responsibly.
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