SSF to Create ‘Community Facility District’; Cost Est $355M Unfunded

South San Francisco, CA   February 23, 2019 City Council Special Meeting 2.27.19 Agenda

UPDATE MARCH 14, 2019 11AM: The San Mateo Daily Journal reports today that the County Superior Court has ruled in favor of existing business, Kashiwa Fudosan America, who had objected to the city’s effort to create a small tax district designed to finance infrastructure improvements near the Oyster Point Development.

The SMDJ further reported ‘the court found that the city was not a qualified landowner, for the purposes of voting in the special election required to form the district and the city was not qualified to coordinate such an effort, due partially to concerns associated with including land in the district which is regulated by the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.

Kashiwa Fudosan America’s attorney, Ben Reznik, considered the district’s proposed formation an especially egregious attempt at government overreach, which essentially would have rigged the system to require his client to pay an estimated additional $200,000 in taxes, per the SMDJ article. “I’ve been doing land use zoning work in California for 41 years, and I found this a very arrogant approach,” Reznik is quoted. {to read the full SMDJ article CLICK HERE}

NOTE: As the City continues to approve new businesses, especially in the ‘Bio-tech’ area, traffic has become increasingly problematic for all who live and work here. In addition, the increase of job creation continues to add to the housing crisis with the Bio-tech area refusing housing thereby pushing those requirements into other neighborhoods, forever changing the character of South San Francisco.

As the reports show, this ‘boom’ has been sudden and without planning, springing from the ‘Deep Recession’ which began to recover at the end of  2010. The City now boasts 28,000 workers come to SSF and this ‘Community Facility District‘ will benefit them.  Traffic in that area needs to be addressed, as it does through out our City, including our neighborhoods which have become commuter corridors.

It is important that all residents be aware of how our City monies are spent, and what new taxes maybe added, no matter what ‘District’ may be impacted. {Note: In addition the City will be investing $168M in the Kilroy Oyster Point Development Project infrastructure} With all the development and changes happening so quickly in our City, we have to ask how Council can stay abreast of it all, and be responsible for decisions that benefit those who elected them into office. Residents continue to ask for a neighborhood park in Sunshine Gardens, a grocery store, decent ball fields, among just a few ‘amenities’ important to those who call South City home.

Per the staff report below this economic growth has benefited residents “South San Francisco and its residents have benefited from this economic success in the form of greater job opportunities, increased home values and elimination of blighted sites in the city, replaced by modern buildings.” {continue reading the report below}

The following information is from City Staff, at the direction of the City Manager.

This economic growth has not come without a cost, however, and traffic in South San Francisco has increased with the growing number of jobs and associated commuters. Much of the increased traffic is associated with growth in the City’s biotechnology and industrial area

This appears to be heading to our ‘Mail Ballot Vote’ in November 2019. * see clarification in the next paragraph, per City Offices:

2.25.19 EDIT UPDATE: Thank you to Communications Director Leslie Arroyo for the following clarification:

To clarify a few things so there is no confusion with your readers, as this is NOT a tax on residents. The PPT you included does not include the last four slides of the PPT presentation, which discusses how the businesses E101 only will pay the proposed tax, and only if 2/3rds of those businesses agree.

You also mention that this item “appears to be headed to our mail in ballot in November.” As mentioned, this is not a tax on residents, and thus residents will not get a vote. The proposal is asking E101 businesses to pay for the traffic impacts associated with the E101 growth; thus, the E101 businesses would be asked to vote to voluntarily raise a special tax for traffic.








EDIT 2.25.19 UPDATE: The following five power point graphics were inadvertently left off our original publish and was brought to our attention by the City’s Communications Director Leslie Arroyo.



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3 years ago

From Leslie Arroyo: “The proposal is asking E101 businesses to pay for the traffic impacts associated with the E101 growth; thus, the E101 businesses would be asked to vote to voluntarily raise a special tax for traffic.”

This is a lie, take a look at the CFD area, there are plenty of businesses in the proposed district that are on the West Side of 101. These are mostly small family businesses that will have to pay to bailout South City and Genentech. If Genentech and east-side biotech want the improvements, they should pay. Something that is not mentioned in the article, is that every parcel is allotted votes by the acre. 1 acre = 1 vote, which, to me, seems illegal. Guess who has the most acres (and votes) in the proposed district? Genentech! The corrupt city council full of Genentech proxies should reconsider this proposal and at least allow 1 parcel = 1 vote. The city council should also increase the development fees for future project for R&D and E101 office space. STOP THE GENENTECH BAILOUT!

Karen Long
Karen Long
3 years ago

It’s good that they propose a district because then the district property owners pay. However, someone needs to ascertain that there would be no city liability in event of shortfalls Also, my recollection is that such districts can be enlarged to include more properties or neighborhoods – fairly easily, once set up? Didn’t they do that with the redevelopment agency, start with one blighted area with the East Grand and then expand to other areas?

3 years ago

Questions about eastside $336,000,000 proposal…

1. no new circulation road? (especially north-south towards east side), if not then all the traffic will still be forced onto Airport Blvd

2. connecting to 380… possibly a good idea, but…
getting permits to go over the bay waters…difficult .. involves several agencies at both fed and state levels
very expensive to build over bay and bay mud (may explain the very high estimated total project cost?)

ending on Littlefield or to the east…..without a new north-south collector road (see item 1 above)….would just create new traffic snarls at end of the new road, plus dump a lot more cars onto Airport Blvd

3. proposal for new Utah Av interchange with Bayshore Freeway.. probably not feasible… there appears to be very inadequate merge distances on the freeway to try stuffing an additional interchange in there… especially given the 380/101 merge problems that already exist … .

also, the diagrams for the proposed new interchange appear to show very questionable design plans…may create traffic tieups on Utah as well as backups maybe onto Freeway?

also, i can’t figure out would utah be extended west or would the proposed interchange just dump more traffic right onto frontage road west area, or?

4. bus to Glen Park Bart? why GP? why not SSF or Colma or SBruno Bart? shorter, and Traffic conditions between SSF and GP Station would cause delays, difficulties…

5. existing 101 freeway design is confusing .. especially needed are clear direcction signages as the interchanges are distinctly non-standard…..
Oyster Point interchange is a horror show for out-of-town drivers, as with the extremely non-standard entrance from downtown Grand Av to 101 North, etc.

6. why isn’t SSF City Council fixing all the traffic congestion in the main part of the city (downtown and ECR and Westborough Blvd and…and…)? This is where everyone lives………………onlyl a minority of SSF residents ever venture into the east industrial zone much anyway

don’t the residents counts for anything?

7. more and more and more and more big apartment tenements… just creating more and more and more traffic congestion, parking problems, and long lines all over town,

8. the city infrastructure on the west , main side of town is old and not designed for this huge increase in population and pop density

.. who will pay to fix ?

9. who in their right minds would want to live in dense apartment blocks stuffed into industrial zones or right up against major highways, with inadequate parking and almost no residential services or schools within safe walking distance, anyway?
we now hear rumors of another big apartment project going in on south Linden in the industrial zone south of the RR ? and yet another big apartment to be stuffed onto the little Arby’s lot? and a big new apartment project planned for the municipal services and old fire station and probably the pacific grocery all as one huge develoment maybe/????????????? rumors… rumors…wth? like we need more traffic jams there at the one and only cross-street in the entire city?
anyway, I hope the city has good answers to all of this, especially since a lot of the problem-making
is being ‘accomplished’ right there in city hall?

confidential, I could be wrong on the above quick comments because the plan i could find online was not very clear….but… let’s just hope.. the city lets the residents have several really honest and good discussions… before doing any more (damage)..? I sure hope the above “fears” all all mistaken!!!!!!
they could be…. I sure hope so!

Cynthia Marcopulos
Cynthia Marcopulos
3 years ago

It appears our City Council and City Staff care more about the east side businesses than they do about the residents who call South City “home.” As they attend biotech conventions to entice more businesses to come here, this means our city has to supply housing for those workers — however, Genetech and the other biotechs say NIMBY! and force the building of massive developments next to already established neighborhoods (i.e. Sunshine Gardens).

The Community Civic Campus at ECR/Chestnut is already overburdened with traffic and limited parking with the 24 Antoinette Lane apartments, the Peninsula Pines’ 210 apartments and the upcoming car wash’s 5-story 174 units, let alone the proposed PUC site development.

The Community Civic Campus could have been retrofitted for $103 million dollars instead of the $210 million dollar price tag we are looking at, and that is without including interest on the money borrowed to see this project through. Most disturbing about this is the misleading figures given for parking for the Community Civic Campus. In actuality, there will be 134 parking spaces on the actual property. However, to soothe resident concerns, it is being presented that there will be 200 parking spaces (down from 220 a month ago) and that attendees of Park and Rec classes, visitors to the library, and residents attending Council meetings will have to fight the other housing developments for street parking in order to access and utilize this Campus.

Let’s look at the hard facts.

In 2015, the Staff Report stated that the MSB could not be retrofitted because it would not serve our growing community and there was insufficient parking for all the visitors to the MSB. Four years later, you would agree, our population has grown, so the need for more parking to participate and enjoy a $210 million dollar Community Civic Campus should be foremost in everyone’s mind.

The MSB has 112 parking spaces on its property; the Orange Library has 88 parking spaces on its property. I am sure Council will have reserved parking, as will staff, so they won’t have to fight for parking, yet citizens, who are footing the bill for this, and who may want to attend Council meetings, will have to fight for street parking — is this democracy denied if they can’t find parking?

If people are not able to park at the Community Civic Campus due to lack of available parking on the property itself, then our City must build a multi-level parking garage to serve this building that will house the Park and Rec, the library and the Council Chambers. If it does not, then we will have a building that will be the burden of generations upon generations to repay this boondoggle that no one will be able to use.