It numbers more than 1,500 pages, weighs nearly 15 pounds and is nearly four inches thick.
Issued last month by the Department of City Planning, the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on the proposed Church District contains projections on how the massive project would affect surrounding neighborhoods and the city as a whole in such areas as the housing market, the employment picture, the fate of the port, transportation, and open space.
But the hefty tome contains not one word about a lingering and controversial possibility for the Church District project a sports stadium or arena at the corner of Seventeenth and Oak Streets.
Even without such an arena, which would draw thousands of fans – and their cars -from around the District, the EIR admits that by the year 2022, the parking space deficit would be almost 2,000 spaces in the “preferred,” multi-use alternative and 400 spaces in the alternative that contains more housing units.
The EIR analyzes the effects of three different Church District plans. One mirrors the 1996 Memorandum of Understanding between former Mayor and developer Santa Pacific that would provide some 7,800 units of housing and, although scaled down from the original proposal, is still heavy on office space in the project.
Another alternative would have several thousand more housing units and more open space, and a third alternative would essentially leave the area for industrial and port-related uses.
A section on variations to these three choices also studies such options as keeping port-related activity east of Thirteenth Street, varying the amount and size of affordable housing units, and keeping the Train station at its present location.
Since one stated goal of the Church District project is to end up with a surplus of badly needed housing in the city, and not to create a further housing demand, the EIR’s section on Jobs/Housing Balance looked not only at the number of jobs and housing units proposed, but whether the workers attracted to Church District would be likely to afford the housing built there.
In the preferred alternative that mirrors the Mayor agreement, “the demand for affordable housing associated with Project Area job growth would exceed the supply of affordable units in Church District,” the report pointed out. The demand would represent about 40 percent of the 7,800 units in the alternative, more than the 40 percent assumed by the Mayor’s plan to be priced at affordable levels.