A letter to the SF Planning Commission regarding The Church of 8 Wheels building proposal.

roller skating rinks under threat of development gentrification article Church of 8 Wheels may be bulldozed for development

Dear Members of the San Francisco Planning Committee,

I’m writing in regards to the proposed plans for 554 Fillmore, currently operating as The Church of 8 Wheels.

I think we’re all well aware of the struggle for affordable housing in the city. However, it seems that this developer seeks to use the housing scarcity to their own benefit, not that of the SF community and its residents.

My concern lies with the fact that the owner/developer purchased the land and building at 554 Fillmore with the full knowledge of the historical value and structural requirements of the former Sacred Heart Church, but now wants the rules to be changed in favor of their development.

What message would a committee approval send to other developers? Do we want to set the precedent that rules and regulations really don’t mean anything so long as the promise is large enough?

If these variances are allowed, a mere 36 people will be able to utilize this building. This limits housing benefits to a few, while separating thousands from the human benefits of health, fitness, connection and fellowship that recreational activities provide to its communities.

The Church of 8 Wheels is also a highly visible positive tourist attraction for San Francisco, frequently featured in airports and in-flight media. However, a new techie dorm crammed with people with no exposure to natural light or air is likely to attract a different kind of attention, a PR nightmare for the city.

So let me ask you, is 36 larger than THOUSANDS?
If you ask me, that math just doesn’t add up.

I am asking that the city reject these variances in accord with keeping the best interests of ALL of San Francisco residents in mind, not just a few.

Thank you for your consideration.

NOVEMBER 2020 UPDATE:
San Francisco’s nightlife lives on at a roller rink in Golden Gate Park

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