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Friday News Roundup: Supes Vote Down SoMa Housing Project and Outside Lands is Upon Us

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Proposed SoMa housing design courtesy of Solomon Cordwell Buenz

Hey there, San Francisco. 

Happy Friday and Halloween Weekend and Outside Lands Weekend! It’s a busy time in San Francisco. But before you head out to Golden Gate Park or whatever else you’ve got in store this weekend, here are some of the top local news stories from this past week. 

Outside Lands is upon us

If you’re attending the first-ever Halloween edition of Outside Lands, have an awesome time! The SFist reported on Wednesday that ground in Golden Gate Park is relatively dry after last week’s storm, so that’s a good start. 

On Thursday, SFGATE released a list of 13 bands and artists not to miss, and the SFist reminded festival-goers not to forget proof of vaccination (or, a negative Covid test taken within the previous 72 hours). Also, this seems important: According to the Outside Lands’ website, you can get “expedited entry” into the festival grounds by downloading the CLEAR app and creating a “CLEAR Health Pass,” something you can do ahead of time. 

Outside Land will be live-streamed on Twitch this year, though the exact streaming schedule has yet to be released. And, as Broke-Ass Stuart mentioned this week, there are some good spots outside the fences (like behind the main Land’s End stage on Chain of Lakes Drive) where you can listen in for free. 

Record-setting rain

Last Sunday’s rainstorm sent us 4.02 inches! It was the wettest October day on record for San Francisco, and the city’s fourth wettest day overall, according to the National Weather Service

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Public Works, which handles “street trees” and all the fallout from them after a storm, said that the department received 700 “tree requests” over the weekend, with an additional 200 added in the last 24 hours. 

“We’re making good progress but still catching up,” she said. 

Supervisors vote down SoMa housing project

On Tuesday, in an 8-3 vote, the Board of Supervisors rejected a proposal that would have turned a Nordstrom’s parking lot near the corner of Sixth and Market Street into a 495-unit housing project. Supervisor Matt Haney, who supported the project, said around 100 of the housing units (or, 24%) were slated to be rented at below-market rates. 

Mayor Breed was critical of the supervisors’ decision on Twitter, saying it was “no way to run a city.” 

Plans nixed for homeless drop-in center in the Haight

The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing has pulled the plug on its plans to turn the former McDonald’s parking lot in the Haight into a temporary homeless drop-in center “with bathrooms, handwashing stations, toilets, and staff to provide referrals to food and housing resources for homeless young people in the neighborhood,” the Chronicle’s Mallory Moench reports. The department cited a lack of funding for its decision. 

In 2023, the city plans to break ground on the site and turn it into 160-units of 100% affordable housing.

DA recall election looks likely

Last Friday, organizers for the second recall effort against District Attorney Chesa Boudin submitted 83,000 signatures, 32,000 more than was required. Though the signatures still need to be certified, a recall election next year is now “very likely,” the Chronicle reports.

World Cup considers Levi Stadium

The 2026 Men’s World Cup will be held across Canada, Mexico, and the United States, and as the Examiner reported this week, FIFA officials are coming to the San Francisco Bay Area this week to consider Levi Stadium as a potential game site.

Regency Ballroom for sale

The Regency Ballroom, a historic concert venue on Van Ness, is up for sale, the San Francisco Business Times first reported on Wednesday. The venue is still hosting concerts today, though the Compass listing online called the property “an icon poised for transformation.”

City extends shelter-in-place hotel program

The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing said on Wednesday that it will shut down the city’s shelter-in-place hotels by September 2022—a five-month extension to the program that will cost the city an additional $21 million. Currently, around 1,200 people still reside in the SIP hotels, which were set up early in the pandemic to give shelter to the city’s homeless. Reporter Matt Charnock writes that “the department aims to rehouse between 35 and 40 people weekly to meet the September 2022 deadline, but cited various obstacles in permanently rehousing individuals.”

Non-citizens to vote in local school board elections

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted this week to permanently give non-U.S. citizens the right to vote in local school board elections. The legislation also explicitly extends to school board recall elections. If Mayor Breed gives the ordinance her final approval, it could go into effect as early as December, ahead of February’s special election to recall President Gabriela Lopez, Vice President Faauuga Moliga, and Commissioner Alison Collins.

And finally… Muni cutbacks announced

On Wednesday, Muni announced that some bus routes would be temporarily suspended as a result of “the city’s mandate that only vaccinated employees may work after November 1.” Earlier this month, SFMTA director Jeffrey Tumlin warned of such cutbacks given that some 120 transit workers had not yet provided proof of vaccination. Suspended lines include the 1 California Short, 14R Mission Rapid Short (weekdays only), 30 Stockton Short, and 49 Van Ness Short (on weekends only).

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That’s all for this week! If you enjoy these news round-ups, but would also like to read them daily, I’d love for you to subscribe to my newsletter, The SF Minute. It’s free to sign up! And I’ll send you an email each Monday through Friday with the top news stories around San Francisco. 

Alright, enjoy the weekend y’all. – Nick B. 

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Nick Bastone

Nick Bastone

Nick Bastone is the founder of the San Francisco-based newsletter, The SF Minute. Previously, he worked as a tech reporter for The Information and Business Insider.

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