New Effort to Give SF Voters Say Over Waterfront Development

Want to build on the water? Some in SF want that left up to the people to decide.

By Chris Roberts
|  Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014  |  Updated 6:20 PM PDT
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Want to build on the San Francisco waterfront?

You may have to go to the voters for approval.

Building off their victory in the November election -- when a luxury waterfront condominium development was shot down by voters -- some anti-development activists in San Francisco want to put real estate deals in the hands of the people.

New developments, such as the Golden State Warriors' new arena, would require voter approval if a ballot measure proposed for the June vote passes, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

Right now, developers can build higher than the limit of between 40 and 105 feet on the waterfront as long as they receive an OK from the Board of Supervisors or the Planning Commission.

That could change if a ballot measure pushed by Rebecca Evans, the local head of the Sierra Club, is approved by voters.

If the measure wins, then such ambitious projects like the Warriors' new arena would also have to go to the voters.

Development advocates say planning decisions are too complex to be made by the public.

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