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The latest news and announcements from Mayor London N. Breed

Mayor London Breed and President Norman Yee Move Balboa Reservoir Housing Project Forward

1,100 new homes—50% affordable—built next to City College will prioritize family-friendly housing and affordable housing for educators.

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed and Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee today announced the introduction of legislation to initiate the first steps of the City review process for a housing project on the Balboa Reservoir site. The current project proposal includes building 1,100 new homes with 50% dedicated for affordable homes for families and essential workers, four acres of public open space, a childcare center, and community space. Situated next to City College, it allows for up to 150 of the affordable units to be prioritized for City College faculty and staff housing.

The Balboa Reservoir property is an approximately 17-acre parcel that the City and County of San Francisco owns under the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. It is located in the West of Twin Peaks area of south-central San Francisco, north of the Ocean Avenue commercial district, and directly west of the City College of San Francisco Ocean Campus.

“Our housing shortage did not go away during this pandemic, and now more than ever we need to continue to do the work to build more homes throughout our entire City,” said Mayor Breed. “These new homes at Balboa Reservoir for families, for workers, and for teachers, will help more people be able to live in San Francisco. This is an incredible project on the west side of town, and we need more like it if we are going to make San Francisco affordable for everyone.”

Supervisor Norman Yee established the Balboa Reservoir Community Advisory Committee in 2015, which included representatives for neighborhood associations, including Westwood Park, Sunnyside Neighborhood Association, and the Ocean Avenue Association. The Committee provided a public forum to establish principles and parameters for the potential project.

“The Balboa Reservoir project would not be where it is today without the guidance and input of the Community Advisory Committee over the course of five years,” said President Yee. “I hope it will serve as a model for what community-led planning can look like. We need a comprehensive approach to housing and I believe this proposal captures those principles especially incorporating child-friendly design elements, which I have been advocating for citywide. I want to emphasize to the public that this is an iterative process and I look forward to further engagement with the Advisory Committee, community members, City College, and immediate neighbors to ensure that the project we ultimately approve is one we can all be proud of.”

The Development Agreement and Special Use District being introduced at the Board of Supervisors today by President Yee is the result of five years of collaboration between the community, City officials, and City College. The Developer Team will be a partnership between BRIDGE Housing and Avalon Bay Communities with Mission Housing and Habitat for Humanity participating in the affordable housing component of the project.

“The Balboa Reservoir Community Advisory Committee has been the key forum for the community planning process for this project since 2015,” said Jon Winston, the chair of the Balboa Reservoir Community Advisory Committee. “I look forward to continuing working with the CAC, President Yee, and City officials to move this project into the next phase of City review.”

Community Driven Project

The project proposal is a response to more than five years of neighborhood outreach and discussion. From neighborhood meetings and workshops in 2014, the Balboa Reservoir Community Advisory Community (BR CAC) was formed. Over the following year and a half, the CAC created the parameters and goals for the project, and subsequently helped select the developer team. Since their 2017 selection, the Development Team continued to work with the CAC to refine the master plan and complete the environmental review.

550 Affordable Homes

Half of the 1,100 total homes will be affordable to low- and moderate-income families (30% to 120% of Area Median Income). Over 25% of the affordable units will be dedicated to educator housing, with a first preference for City College faculty and staff.

A New Neighborhood Park and Open Green Spaces

The development will include a new two-acre public park, located at the center of the new neighborhood and easily accessible to all community members. This is part of four acres of total public open space, including recreation areas and pedestrian ways.

Child-Friendly Project: Childcare and Community Spaces

A new childcare center will provide 100 spaces for children from families at a range of income levels, and will serve the surrounding community and families who move into the new homes. The project will include a large indoor community space on the ground floor adjacent to the public park. The project will also include housing design elements that will be targeted for families with children and will be guided by the San Francisco Planning Department’s Family-Friendly Housing General Plan Amendment and Design Review Guidelines that are part of Mayor Breed and President Yee’s San Francisco Child and Youth-Friendly City Initiative. 

Transportation Improvements

The project will pay approximately $10 million in Transportation Sustainability Fees to the City for transit and infrastructure improvements. The new neighborhood is designed around transit-first principles to encourage new residents to walk, bike, and ride transit. As a mitigation measure, the project will improve traffic signaling and rearrange dedicated turn arrows along Ocean Avenue, aiding transit and automobile flow.

Collaboration with City College

City College staff and educators will have first preference on over 25% of the affordable units. Public parking options will be available to the City College community to accommodate the redevelopment of the existing reservoir parking lot. Neighborhood design and community amenities will be arranged to provide easy access to the City College community and to complement planned new College buildings.