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700 Valencia Street: A Telenovela in the Making

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Hell no, the Mission won't go (at least, not yet) over 700 Valencia Street, the 5-story, 9-unit luxury condo building planned for the corner of 18th and Valencia Streets. The nabe has been at war over the development for some time; though some Commissioners on the Board of Appeals agree that the 50-foot structure is out of scale with others in the nabe (check!) and would negatively impact the urban landscape by blocking the mural on the eastern side of the Women's Building, the Planning Department has reportedly downplayed those issues during public discussions. Some Missionites are also miffed over the building's lack of an affordable unit— sorry to say it, kids, but developers can buy their way out of San Francisco's inclusionary housing mandate. Also on the table is the issue of urban density, a hot topic here in the city, and one generally supported by progressive housing advocates given, among other implications, the ecological benefits of compact living. Controversy. Contradiction. Tomorrow night's Board of Appeals meeting is the make-or-break for this project. Holding ...
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[Right: Artist Keri Orvik photographed other Missionites atop 716 Valencia street in order to memorialize the view from the corner as it currently stands. Image courtesy Keri Ovik; Left: Elevation plan for 700 Valencia Street; eastern view.]