The City Council’s Community and Economic Development (CED) Committee will hear a community-initiated proposal for a Moratorium on Public Land Sales at the committee’s next meeting, Tuesday, June 12, 1:30 p.m. in City Hall Hearing Room 1.
The moratorium originally was proposed at a Post Salon community assembly discussion on April 29 concerning the lack of a city policy to protect public land and utilize it for truly affordable housing.
“The city allegedly has a policy of preserving publicly-owned land as an irreplaceable resource and giving preference to ‘leasing’ city land, rather than to sell for private profit,” said housing activist James Vann, a spokesman for the Post Salon.
“Despite adopting a policy favoring leasing, the city has continued to sell valuable public property to private developers and corporations for expensive housing, luxury condominiums, corporate offices, and market-oriented development,” said Vann.
Over the last two years, the city has received numerous complaints from the community that “public land should be used for public good,” and lobbying from non-profit housing organizations that public land should be used for affordable housing to aid the city’s critical affordable housing crisis.
A joint committee of city staff and community representatives met for almost two years to develop a new policy on the disposal of city-owned land. Early this year, the badly divided joint committee disbanded, according to Vann.
In the meantime, cidty staff continues to recommend parcel sales, approved by the City Council with little deliberation.
With the assistance of Councilperson Rebecca Kaplan and her staff, the Salon’s resolution to enact a “180-Day Moratorium of the Sale of Public Land Until the Council Adopts a Public Land Policy” was written as a resolution and placed on the June 12 CED Committee agenda.