Supervisors vote down SoMa housing project / Outside Lands mud report

10.27.21 * Circulation 2,480

Hey there, San Francisco. 

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Okay...onto some news… 

On Tuesday, in an 8-3 vote, the Board of Supervisors rejected a proposal that would have turned a Nordstrom’s parking lot near the corner of Sixth and Market Street into a 495-unit housing project. Supervisor Matt Haney, who supported the project, said around 100 of the housing units (or, 24%) were slated to be rented at below-market rates. Mayor Breed was critical of the supervisors’ decision on Twitter, saying it was “no way to run a city.” 

So why was the project rejected? There’s a lot of speculation. The Chronicle’s J.K. Dineen reports that affordable housing advocate groups like TODCO had gentrification concerns (as in, not enough units were going to be affordable). Some supervisors also raised issues with the environmental impact report, including Myrna Melgar, who said it “didn’t include alternatives that might have lessened shadow impact on Mint Plaza,” Dineen wrote. 

The more cynical reason would be a political one, as in, it was a way to make project-supporter Matt Haney look bad. As Dineen pointed out, seven of the supervisors who rejected the project have endorsed David Campos over Haney for the open District 17 Assembly seat. Still, as reporter Joe Eskanzi wrote on his SF Politics text thread today, the theory that “this move came about to stick it to Haney...doesn’t work because he [actually] comes out looking better, not worse.” More on this, I’m sure. 

Quick bits: 

  • 🚰 The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing has pulled the plug on its plans to turn the former McDonald’s parking lot in the Haight into a temporary homeless drop-in center “with bathrooms, handwashing stations, toilets, and staff to provide referrals to food and housing resources for homeless young people in the neighborhood,” the Chronicle’s Mallory Moench reports. The department cited a lack of funding for its decision. 

    Supervisor Dean Preston condemned the move on Tuesday, saying: “We only know that the entire community will suffer if these services are not delivered as promised...We believe housed neighbors are best served when unhoused neighbors have these facilities and services.” In 2023, the city plans to break ground on the site and turn it into 160-units of 100% affordable housing. (Chronicle

  • 🎒 On Tuesday, the school board voted unanimously in favor of allocating $40 million to modernize the Mission’s Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8 Community School. Mission Local’s Annika Hom writes that “parents and staff at the school have long awaited this money... Just in the past year, an electrical outlet shocked a student, a gas leak prompted hundreds of students to evacuate, and a crack in the blacktop caused a student to trip, requiring 12 stitches.” (Mission Local

  • 🏟 The 2026 Men’s World Cup will be held across Canada, Mexico, and the United States, and as the Examiner reports, FIFA officials are coming to the San Francisco Bay Area this week to consider Levi Stadium as a potential game site. (Examiner

All things Outside Lands: 

  • The SFist posted a very important “mud report” ahead of this weekend’s festival given our recent heavy rains. Luckily, they said: “On a scale of one to ten, we’d rate it a three, that is, not very muddy at all.” (SFist

  • Our friend Paolo also reported on one of the best parts of Outside Lands, the food. From this year’s food and drink line-up, he likes the pumpkin mole from Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas, the mochi muffins from Third Culture Bakery, and the beer from Hella Coastal. (Examiner

  • And, for those without a ticket, Broke-Ass Stuart put together a list of top spots within Golden Gate Park to hear Outside Lands for free. (Broke-Ass Stuart

What else I’m reading: 

The full story behind the 16-year-old 49ers fan who donned swimming goggles and a cap during Bay Area rainstorm (SFGATE

Warriors star finds love with his fishing boat (NYT via the Examiner

'All Political': SF Board of Education President Gabriela López on the Recall Effort Against Her, 2 Other Board Members (KQED

The rain made the Golden Gate Bridge hum as loud as ever. Here's when officials say they'll have a fix (Chronicle

And finally… a piece by Paolo

Carlos Altamirano cooked alongside his mom when he was a child in Nazca, a city near the southern coast of Peru. Today he cooks up a veritable tidal wave of rich, fantastic Peruvian food throughout the Bay Area.

“When you love something, you always keep on going,” Altamirano told me in a recent interview. “It’s like art. Like design.”

Earlier this year, in April, he opened a brick-and-mortar location for his hugely popular food truck Sanguchon on Valencia Street. Situated on the ground floor of an otherwise uninteresting apartment building, one might ignore the wooden sign sporting a cartoon pig with a belly of flame. This would be a big mistake.

“I put out a beef tongue anticucho, and I didn’t think it would come out nice,” Altamarino said. “But I tried it and said ‘wow.’ It came out so tender, so juicy.” 

The chef also has Mochica, a Peruvian restaurant that he and his wife opened in SoMa back in 2004. In Half Moon Bay, at his flagship restaurant La Costanera, Altamirano spends most of his nights on the line. He serves Peruvian staples – ceviche, anticuchos (grilled skewers, chicken or beef heart), lomo saltado – but with a Northern Californian spin.  

Keeping his culture alive is for more than just for himself. It’s for his wife, for his kids, and for his staff, who are mostly Peruvian. He hopes to show people all the different facets of what Peru has to offer, refracting the gem of his homeland bit by bit. 

“My job as a chef is to give you not just ceviche,”  he says. “We have to introduce it little by little. Something new, something you’re scared to try.” 

The fine folks at La Costanera paid for Paolo’s meal. Your journalist recommends the yucca fries.

That’s all for today! Thanks so much for reading ya’ll and we’ll see you back here tomorrow! - Nick B. 

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