San Francisco supervisors on June 25, 2019 approved turning a parking lot near Piers 30 into a navigation center that with 200 beds for homeless people.

Bob Butler/KCBS Radio

Homeless Shelter Opponents Sue San Francisco Officials

Jenna Lane
July 11, 2019 - 8:37 am

Residents who oppose San Francisco's plan to build a 200-bed navigation center along the Embarcadero are now suing the city.

The lawsuit centers on the claim that the State Lands Commission would have rejected the homeless shelter if city officials had properly submitted the project for review. 

City officials held  public meetings about the navigation center proposed for the vacant lot, a $100 million parcel, in the shadow of the Bay Bridge. But the plan did not change enough after neighbors like Wallace Lee had their say, so now they are suing.

Lee's group Safe Embarcadero for All criticizes the city for bypassing the State Lands Commission, and argues that navigation centers would be more appropriate if they were built in industrial areas. 

"We think the city should be looking for sites that won't be impacting a lot of residents," said Lee, adding that there are 10,000 residents within a three-block radius of the proposed Embarcadero site. 

A spokesman for the city attorney's office said that the project went through all necessary reviews before it was approved last month. 

Spokesman John Cote said the plaintiffs are trying to shift the homeless crisis to someone else's backyard at a time when everyone must take part.

"I agree, I do think everyone needs to pitch in," said Lee. "But our area has already pitched in more than our fair share. We are home to several homeless shelters and housing projects for the formerly homeless."