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News + PoliticsEnvironmentBayview residents denounce plans for huge parcel-delivery building on Toland

Bayview residents denounce plans for huge parcel-delivery building on Toland

Environmental justice concerns dominate hearing on what may be a new Amazon center with 5,000 cars and trucks a day.

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The Planning Commission heard consistent testimony from residents of Bayview Hunters Point Thursday in opposition to the proposed two-million- square-foot parcel-delivery building proposed for Toland Avenue.

Speakers representing neighborhood and environmental groups pointed out that the project could worsen what is already the worst air quality in the city.

Several speakers representing construction trade groups spoke in favor of the project, which is not unusual; the trades tend to support almost anything that involves building and creates jobs.

Camilla Elan talks about the potential air pollution of the new 2 million square foot building

But people who live in the impacted area were dubious that the draft environmental impact report on the Gateway Project took seriously the threats that they live with every day.

Camilla Elan, a longtime community activist and organizer, noted that the DEIR doesn’t even make clear what type of use the project will have, now and in the future. “The project description leaves out specific uses for a building that will be here for more than a century,” Elan said.

In fact, you have to read a long way into the document to see that “parcel delivery” for an unspecified tenant will take up almost 75 percent of the space.

Environmental lawyer Sue Hestor noted that “two million square feet of parcel deliver services has a much greater impact on surrounding areas …these trucks bussing through the neighborhoods has a heavy impact.”

Commissioner Kathrin Moore echoed that sentiment: “Parcel delivery services will impact every neighborhood. The unruly behavior of existing delivery services becomes dangerous in our neighborhoods.”

She talked about existing air pollution in the Bayview: “We are already in an unacceptable circumstance. How can we mitigate that? I find it ludicrous that mitigation is even possible.”

The commission took no action, since the written public comment deadline has been extended.

But while some commissioners said they found the DEIR adequate, there’s enough opposition that this project is a long way from final approval.

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.

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