A rendering of the approved building at 1050 Valencia. Courtesy of project architect Stephen Antonaros.

The San Francisco Board of Appeals on Wednesday reversed an earlier decision to chop a floor off a five-story development at 1050 Valencia Street.

In a unanimous vote the board will allow a fifth floor on the 12-unit development at Valencia and Hill streets but will require the architect to design the top floor with a 10 to 12-foot setback.

Both the developer and the opposition have 10 days to request a rehearing, according to Cynthia Goldstein, the executive director of the Board of Appeals. If neither side asks for a rehearing, Goldstein said, Wednesday’s vote will become final.

Steven Williams, an attorney for the neighbors, said that in the months that followed the December vote, the board “came under tremendous pressure,” from the “cheerleaders for development.”

On Wednesday, he said, the board “kind of split the baby in half” by agreeing to the fifth floor with setbacks.

Williams said the neighbors would consider settling with the developer to insure that affordable housing is built on site and that a car share space is added. They would also like an agreement that the new tenants not apply for residential parking, Williams said.

Stephen Antonaros, the architect, said they have already agreed to on-site affordable housing. While the developer, Mark Rutherford, still has the option to pay a fee instead of building on site, doing so would require him to go through another approval process with the Planning Department, Antonaros said.

Any change on the on-site affordable housing could present approval problems since some of those who spoke in favor of the development on Wednesday explicitly tied their support to the need for more affordable housing.

In terms of a space for a City CarShare vehicle or a Zipcar, Antonaros did not see any opposition, but wasn’t entirely sure what ADA or other requirements that would entail. He doubted, however, that the developer could legally restrict the rights of tenants to apply for parking permits.

Antonaros said he will redesign the 12-unit building to accommodate the setbacks and that those plans will be resubmitted to the Planning Department.

The decision was first reported on SocketSite.

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Founder/Executive Editor. I’ve been a Mission resident since 1998 and a professor emeritus at Berkeley’s J-school since 2019 when I retired. I got my start in newspapers at the Albuquerque Tribune in the city where I was born and raised. Like many local news outlets, The Tribune no longer exists. I left daily newspapers after working at The New York Times for the business, foreign and city desks. Lucky for all of us, it is still there.

As an old friend once pointed out, local has long been in my bones. My Master’s Project at Columbia, later published in New York Magazine, was on New York City’s experiment in community boards.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how you make that long-held interest in local news sustainable. The answer continues to elude me.

39 replies on “In Reversal, 1050 Valencia Approved With Five Floors”

  1. -They would also like an agreement that the new tenants not apply for residential parking, Williams said.
    How about FUCK YOU, instead?

  2. It’s good to see that Mission Local has taking down the long unsourced quote from SocketSite and has added this:
    “We are working to update this story with a fuller report, but the basic information – that the SF Appeals Board reversed its December decision – is accurate. The parties differ on the details of how and why this happened.”
    They should say why they have made the changes.

    1. The story was confirmed. Adding more information as it becomes available is the responsible thing to do, and is not an admission of any wrongdoing.

      It would be more honest of you if you had stated your opposition to this project initially, as that would have helped readers understand why you raised this issue very selectively when the same “criticism” could have been made about many pieces here and elsewhere.

  3. Nothing I wrote was inaccurate or has changed in any way.
    Streetsblog post is a separate matter. It was not cited by SocketSite. And it’s not a primary source in any event.
    It’s another blog with a very clear agenda, albeit a different one from SocketSite’s.
    Note, just as one example, Aaron refers pejoratively to “vociferous neighbors opposed to the perceived” problems. While he correctly notes that DOZENS of neighbors spoke for their neighborhood and against this project, he quoted only one neighbor — the ONLY one who supports the project, of the dozens of neighbors present in opposition.
    That doesn’t even breathe the same air as decent reporting.

    1. If ML has gotten it’s readers to examine what different parties have said about this project, then it has done it’s job here.

      I’m going to take a wild guess here and say that you oppose this project.

    2. “It’s another blog with a very clear agenda”

      DOZENS of neighbors spoke for their neighborhood and against this project

      where’s the citation that the project is not “for their neighborhood”? Or is that just the opinion of a another commenter with a very clear agenda?

  4. I’m finding it hard to resist pointing out a certain commenter’s lack of debating skill and ethics and turn to personal attack when cornered.

    Good luck, BellaDancer. Your skill and intelligence is evident.

    As an aside, I haven’t directly responded to that commenter’s statements since Sunday, although this may be considered a little slip. Until today, I think he has responded to almost every, if not every, comment I have written.

    1. John, you are either extremely stupid or extremely disingenuous. Maybe both. My point is very clear. Citing an anonymous blog is not journalism. And good journalism is not a “buyer beware” profession.
      This is not good journalism and Mission Local owes both us and the University of California a lot better.

      1. The story has been corroborated, so your concern was misplaced (as well as ideologically-based, it appears).

        Would you have protested so much if the source had been sympathetic to your values?

        1. Read again, landline. My cite was from Streetsblog.

          A generally left-wing website, so presumably ideologically pure enough for you and the now-corrected Bellasdancer

          1. There is nothing left wing about streetsblog.org and they are as much about advocating their position as socket site is.

          2. Streetsblog is essentially a blog on hating cars. They just dress that up as “livability”. And it’s more pro-cycling than pro-tranit.

            They also censor comments that do not tow the partly line. Bunch of kooks, essentially.

          3. Streetsblog is similar to the solipsistic, narcissistic left in that they believe that since they are convinced that their goals are honorable that anything they due in pursuit of those goals is indemnified due to the goodness of the desired outcome.

            This is how they can simultaneously pretend to support livability and transit first while larding up the City with new housing and cutting roadway throughput that snarls surface transit along with the evil private autos.

            Another case of middle class white people showing up at a political context with what they see as bright ideas and losing their self esteem whenever anyone pushes back with new data and evidence. These sciency types have a mortal fear of scientific analysis that might pop their policy bubble, hence the attacks on CEQA.

        2. I stand corrected. BellaDancer’s point about journalistic ethics and sourcing remains valid and still stands.

          1. Apology accepted. Even so, you cannot claim to have quit stalking me if, instead of responding to me directly, you back the other side as here.

            That would be wrong even if she had been right here, which she was not.

  5. SocketSite is an anonymous blog. The articles are not signed and the site lists no names of people responsible for the site. The About Us page has no information.
    How does Mission Local justify quoting and linking to a completely anonymous, unsourced industry-leaning blog?

    1. You could make the same comments about Wikipedia or Google search.

      If the results prove to be accurate and reliable, then it may not matter that there is no brass plate with a name on it.

      1. Mission Local purports to provide journalism. That is a profession and a practice with a long history and canon of standards. What you do privately for your own use to get information is your business. But when you present information as Journalism, with the imprimatur of the University of California School of Journalism on it, you have to do investigation, reporting, and sourcing. Third-hand anonymous information is not reporting.

        1. I’m not arguing against fact-checking but references to Wikipedia and the results of Google searches are used routinely in the media, and usually it is deemed sufficient to simply site the source, which ML did in this case.

          As long as the source is cited, then the reader can make their own judgment as to whether to believe it.

          Personally I routinely discount things I read here and elsewhere because of the source. I ask only that the source be revealed, and not that it be beyond dispute or doubt, since that itself can be subjective.

          1. We’re not talking about what’s “routinely” done. We’re talking about this specific posting. And it’s not sufficient to cite the source, saying SocketSite “reported” something. If the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal wrote a story like this without saying that SocketSite is a pro-development, completely anonymous blog that cited no document except their own previous blog posting, they would be excoriated.
            When a news outlet publishes something in a responsible way, it is not up to the reader to check the sources. That is what a responsible news outlet is required to do. You can’t be responsible and just publish any old thing and say, “This is a buyer beware business — I’m just putting rumor and fabrication out there, if you believe it that’s your fault.”

          2. Ah, I see your issue here. You don’t like Socketsite because it is “pro developer”.

            You only want ML to cite anti-developer sources. It’s not about journalistic integrity at all.

            Also bear in mind the resource issue. ML cannot provide the kind of coverage that the NYT or the WSJ could. ML is essentially a part-time volunteer effort staffed by students. You’re comparing apples and oranges.

            Again, I’m comfortable with ML reporting what others entities and parties are saying. As long as the source is cited, no harm is done.

        2. Socketsite has a reputation for being exceedingly accurate, and when they make a mistake they quickly admit and correct it. You don’t need to know the guys name who runs it. It has a long and stable presence, and if you have a question just email the site admin, and he’ll gat back to you. Bala boom Bala bin.

          They also reported, accurately, that the elbo room may get redeveloped (they covered it again yesterday.) It’s ML that challenged that. Now looks like ML screws the pooch on that assertion. But, I don’t see a retraction here.

          1. Sockstsite lists no admin contact, no site manager, no owner, no editor, no contact address for anyone other than Tips, no street address, no information at all about who is posting on and running the site and how to contact them.

          2. Belladancer, we still know more about Socketsite than we know about you, which is exactly zilch.

            So given the choice between believing a popular website with a good reputation or believing an anonymous commentator who appears to have an issue with Socketsite, I think I know which readers are going to go with.

            And of course which ML should go with.

          3. BD- emailing tips goes directly to the editor. But yeah, it wouldn’t hurt them to have a better contact us apparatus.

          4. BD, so you don’t like Socketsite but you use it anyway, even while telling ML that they should not?

    2. Can’t this just be a form of citizen journalism which uses “alternative sources of legitimacy than traditional or mainstream journalism”.

  6. OK, can we now just build the damn thing already? Rarely can there ever have been so much noise about so modest a project. Anyone wanting to know why SF doesn’t have enough housing should study this exercise in pettiness and NIMBYism.

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