The future of a one-acre plot of land in Mission Terrace is at the center of a heated debate between residents and Golden Bridges School, according to today's San Francisco Chronicle. The land is currently used by the operators of Little City Gardens, an urban farming outfit that produces food and flowers, some of which are sold to restaurants and boutique groceries. The commercial farm also provides educational programs and tours. According to the Chronicle's report, the land was purchased by the private school two years ago for $1.2 million. The school now wants to build four buildings on the property, to the heated objections of some neighbors who have launched a campaign to prevent the development. According to the article, "Save the Farm" placards are sprouting up in windows all around the area.
The article points out that the school purchased the land from a developer who wanted to put condos on the site. Those plans were reportedly abandoned due to community objections, and the property was sold to the school that, according to its website, has ecology, environmental concerns, respect for nature, and sustainable practices as core principles for its curriculum. They would reportedly preserve 2/3 of the site as open space, but their current plan does not include the operation of Little City Farms.
Neighbors told the Chronicle the loss of the farm isn't their only concern. They are also worried about traffic and parking. There are also allegations of a discrepancy (school officials call it a miscommunication) between the plans presented to the neighborhood and plans filed with the city. No matter what the complete story is, few would disagree with reporter J.K. Dineen's assessment that this dispute is a sign of the times. He writes: "In a city where the median price of a home is north of $1 million , every lot is a potential fight, even those neglected for decades."
· Little City Gardens [Official Site]
· Golden Bridges School [Official Site]
· S.F. neighbors fighting startup school that's uprooting tiny farm [SFGate]