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NIMBYs vs. Homeless People: Really, It's Not About You. Really.

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574 Fifth Street. Photo Credit: LiveSOMA

San Francisco's favorite way to spend $500? By filing a Discretionary Review with the Planning Department! Today's choice for the Five-Benjamin Handshake is 574 Fifth Street, once better known as the fabulous Global Village Hostel and currently a partially burned-out and vacant former hostel. According to a post in today's LiveSoMa, the owners are planning to renovate the building into a group housing project, taking overflow from one on O'Farrell Street near Union Square. The group sounding the alarm is SOMA Forward- their website is registered to one Azmeer Salleh who lives nearby on Clara Street- with fears that the owners will operate the group home as they did the hostel, allegedly a magnet for general mayhem. We all know about homeless people and general mayhem. Irresistable!

For starters, don't group homes operate under contract? Turns out the 574 Fifth Street owners also own the building on O'Farrell, Foley's Hotel, which is not a group housing facility but that only-in-SF hybrid of SRO and tourist hotel. The planning department gets involved because they're seeking to switch uses- turning the Fifth Street property into group housing for the current SRO residents at O'Farrell and converting that property into a full-on hotel. Kudos to BeyondChron for clarifying this morning's NIMBY drama. After a quick look at reviews of the Global Village it's the folks on O'Farrell who may need to be nervous.
· 574 Fifth Street Controversy [LiveSOMA]
· Global Village Hostel [Tripadvisor]
· SOMA Forward [SoMaForward]
· Community Housing Project [CHP]
· New Housing Comes to SOMA; Neighbors Peddle in Scare Tactics [BeyondChron]