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SoMa Heritage Hullabaloo

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[Plan area map via SF Planning Department. Click image for larger version]

The Filipino and LGBT communities, both well established in SF’s SoMa, may soon have special “heritage districts” set aside to honor them, if The Western SoMa Community Plan, presented to the Planning Commission last week, goes ahead. This plan, according to the Examiner, “would establish development guidelines and design standards for a 205-acre area loosely bordered by Mission, Third, Townsend and 13th streets.” And part of those guidelines: social heritage districts, similar to the Jazz heritage area we find on Lower Fillmore. The idea, according to Project Planner Paul Lord Jr., is to enhance and protect, to "promote the groups’ continued use of the area by groups with historic ties through economic development, urban design and planning.”

But in a development that should surprise absolutely no one, several longtime residents don’t want these changes. The Concerned Citizens of Western SoMa group, for instance, largely stands against the plan to "divide up" the neighborhood and the influence of the popular (yet vague!) threat of "special interests." Meanwhile, in yet another non-surprising development, the Filipino and LGBT communities have indicated their approval of and desire for these designated districts.
· Rift emerges between LGBT, Filipino communities over special SoMa districts [SF Examiner]
· Concerned Citizens of Western SoMa [website]
· Westen SoMa Citizens Planning Task Force [website]