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Outer Sunset residents file appeal over 'toxic,' 'pre-apocalyptic' 20-unit apartment building

A Star Wars sandcrawler beside mockups for the 3945 Judah St project. | Photo: Mike Murphy / Twitter 
By Sasha Perigo - Published on November 18, 2019.

A group of Outer Sunset residents, led by Green Party member Mike Murphy, have filed an appeal against a housing development at 3945 Judah St. The development was approved by the Planning Commission earlier this month.

The 3945 Judah St. project is planned for the currently vacant former site of a gas station, adjacent to the N-Judah Muni line. It would contain 20 units, five of which would be rented at below market rate.

The project would double the amount of housing built in the Outer Sunset since 2011. Only 21 units were built in the neighborhood in the past eight years, according to the SF Planning Commission’s housing inventory report.

Flyers hung around the neighborhood refer to the project as the “Judah Sandcrawler.” Opponents of the project picked up the name from Adam Brinklow’s article in Curbed SF, where he compared the design of the project to a type of vehicle from "Star Wars."

Flyer hung at 45th Ave & Judah St. | Photo: Chris Arvin/Twitter

Opponents of the project cite environmental concerns, lack of parking, and height of the building as concerns on their GoFundMe page. Neighbors are also requesting a decrease in height, which they say would decrease the density and affordabilty of the project from "16 units with 23% affordable, rather than 20 units and 25% affordable.”

Murphy announced the appeal of the project on Twitter, where it received over 200 comments as of Monday afternoon, most of them negative. On Twitter, Murphy framed his opposition as concern that the project will be built over “our groundwater supply.”

A report prepared by San Francisco’s Environmental Planning Department said “the project would not result in significant impacts to traffic, noise, air quality, or water quality.”

Murphy was the Green Party candidate for District 4 Supervisor in 2018. On his Green Party endorsement questionnaire, he stated his opposition to all new housing development in District 4. “I would discourage further development at this point given the current number of projects in the pipeline,” he said at the time.

Flyers opposing the project are requesting that neighbors attend an appeals hearing on January 29.

Maelig Morvan, a member of Outer Sunset-based pro-housing density group Westside = Best Side!, said the appeal is unlikely to be approved, but will delay the construction of the project by at least three months.

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