The plan to redevelop the Hunters Point Shipyard in San Francisco passed a major hurdle Thursday when the city's redevelopment and planning commissions approved the project's environmental impact report at a joint meeting.
The Planning Commission approved the certification of the environmental report by a 4-3 vote, while the Redevelopment Commission approved it by a unanimous 7-0 vote. Proponents and opponents of the project packed the City Hall room where the meeting was held, forcing officials to open an overflow room to accommodate the dozens of people who spoke during a public comment period.
The 500-acre project would be San Francisco's largest redevelopment project since Golden Gate Park, according to Michael Cohen, director of the city's Office of Economic and Workforce Development. It would include 10,500 new housing units and close to 1 million square feet of retail space. More than 320 acres of new parks would be developed, and at least nine sports fields are being planned.
Opponents of the project claimed toxins would not adequately be removed from the former U.S. Navy shipyard site, now a federal Superfund site. So far about 88 acres have been cleaned up and signed off on, and an additional 150 acres have been cleaned but are undergoing testing and certification, Cohen said.
Miami-based Lennar Corp. was chosen to develop the site in 1999, and the project has been developed over the past decade.
Thursday's vote came at about 9:20 p.m. after about a six-hour public comment period, followed by about two hours of discussion between the commissioners.