San Francisco city DA cites construction companies responsible for Bayview dust pollution

San Francisco city DA cites construction companies responsible for Bayview dust pollution

Posted on: May 08th, 2022

San Francisco officials have issued cease and desist orders to four companies allegedly violating zoning laws and adversely impacting residential neighborhoods. The construction businesses were ordered to stop their operations by March 15.

The demand letters—sent to Murphy Properties, Inc., Bauman Redi-Mix Concrete, Precision Engineering, and M Squared Construction—address the concerning level of dust and noise that these companies have generated through unauthorized industrial activities in a residential neighborhood in Bayview Hunter’s Point.

“Creating this level of pollution in a residential neighborhood not only endangers public health but is illegal under our city’s zoning laws,” city attorney David Chiu said in a March 10 statement. “These conditions would not be tolerated in any other neighborhood, and we cannot tolerate them in the Bayview.”

The Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure (OCII) and its interim director James B. Morales were also involved in the cease and desist communication.

OCII is the successor agency to the former San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, and it is responsible for implementing the Bayview Hunters Point Redevelopment Plan in this area.

“With the assistance of the city, OCII will fulfill the redevelopment objectives to create a diverse and vibrant residential area in this former industrial area,” Morales said. “The rebuilding of the Alice Griffith residential community, across the street from these unauthorized uses, was a significant first step in this effort that must be protected by ensuring compliance with the current residential zoning.”

“Community has been complaining about dust and particulate matter in the area for years. When they discovered these companies operating illegally in our community they immediately reached out to my office. I reached out to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) and they began to investigate and have also cited companies for being irresponsible,” said Shamann Walton, president of the San Francisco Board of supervisors, who also represents District 10.

They also have been providing weekly reports to our office. Through deeper research, I also learned that these companies were operating outside of allowable uses in this former redevelopment area,” Walton said. “We met with the community, OCII and BAAQMD last week. It was clear to me these companies were operating illegally and I have been working with the City Attorney, community and OCII to shut down this activity. The community has been the leading force behind this most imperative action. We may even have to take further steps to deal with these irresponsible companies.”

As early as January 2021, Bayview residents have complained of excessive dust blighting the neighborhood, stemming from concrete and construction companies operating at 955 Egbert Ave. Similar operations are occurring nearby at 895 Fitzgerald Ave. and 700 Gilman Ave. The level of dust and particulate matter in the air has raised public health, environmental, and equity concerns, the statement says.

The property owner of these lots, Murphy Properties, Inc., rents space to construction companies Bauman Redi-Mix Concrete, Precision Engineering, and M Squared Construction. These three entities use the space for a variety of heavy industrial purposes—crushing and mixing concrete and asphalt, transporting soil, and storing crushed materials and debris. Approximately 30-40 trucks travel to and from the site daily carrying materials and stirring up additional dust and debris from these unpaved lots. Neighbors also complain about excessive vibration and noise from the heavy industrial activity.

The lots in question fall under the zoning controls of the Bayview Hunters Point Redevelopment Plan and are located within the Candlestick Mixed Use Residential District. That district is zoned for residential and light commercial uses such as neighborhood retail, family child care facilities, and small professional offices.

Industrial uses, like those currently occurring at these lots, are not permitted in the area and are a clear violation of the land use controls in the redevelopment plan. The redevelopment plan for the area sets out a legally binding zoning framework to support a dense, vibrant residential neighborhood—not heavy industry.

. The cease and desist orders can be found here:

Bauman Redi-Mix Concrete & Murphy Properties, Inc.

Precision Engineering, Inc. & Murphy Properties, Inc.

M Squared Construction, Inc. & Murphy Properties, Inc.

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