Apr 28, 2022 3 min read

City College Seeks Funds Promised by Reservoir Developer

Balboa Reservoir
The Balboa Reservoir being used by the San Francisco Fire Department for training exercises. | Alex Mullaney/Ingleside Light

The transportation funds were committed to the college by Reservoir Community Partners in August 2020.

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In time for the return to campus this fall, City College of San Francisco is seeking funds the development team pursuing the 1,100-unit Balboa Reservoir housing project promised to the college.

The deal was struck nearly two years ago in August 2020 during real estate negotiations, Chancellor David Martin said at the college board’s Student Success Committee meeting on April 14.

“The $400,000 of transportation funds was identified as a mutual goal between the college and the developer [AvalonBay] Communities,” Martin said.

The development will take away a huge amount of parking that the college has used for decades requiring that the college community adapt. The funds committed to the college by Reservoir Community Partners will be applied toward transportation demand management.

The college is working to meet with representatives of the development team to get the transfer of funds underway.

“We have started that process and hope to have a meeting scheduled here in the near future regarding the [AvalonBay] representatives, and asking them to make good on the commitment that they made in front of our campus community at the Board of Trustees meeting in August of 2020,” Martin said.

The college will also contact the City and County of San Francisco in regard to its part of the past discussions, Martin said.

Emails and a phone call to AvalonBay Communities and BRIDGE Housing, the lead for-profit and nonprofit members of the development team, were not returned by press time.

Subsidized Public Transit

Trustee Thea Selby, a founder of the nonprofit San Francisco Transit Riders, spurred the collection effort.

“I want to thank you Chancellor for being persistent and steady and attempting to get what was promised to us,” Selby said.

Selby shared that she started working with college constituencies to develop a “Rams Pass” to provide free or subsidized transportation for the college’s student body as other community colleges have done elsewhere. She envisioned it helping all students in higher education across the city.

Selby said she believed it would be relatively easy for the college’s students to be included in the city’s existing Free Muni For All Youth program, which was extended until 2024 this month.

“I think we should be advocating to the SFMTA to take a second look at how they charge our students for public transportation,” Selby said.

Selby said the and other college leaders are monitoring Assembly Bill 1919 which would earmark funds for subsidized public transit.

“This is a step in the right direction as far as transportation needs and help and aid for students,” Student Trustee Malinalli Villalobos said.

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