Housing on BART land has been a third-rail issue. Will this effort be different?

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The San Francisco Chronicle, Rachel Swan

When Assemblyman David Chiu gazes at a moat of asphalt encircling a suburban BART station, he sees a solution to the region’s housing crisis.

Many BART parking lots fill with cars during the day and turn into empty moonscapes at night, wasting prime land that could be lined with apartments and shops, with compact parking structures for riders, said Chiu, D-San Francisco. Though others share this vision, development of BART parking lots is a contentious issue: Bickering over height limits, aesthetics and parking spaces has long hobbled the transit agency’s ability to get it done.

Chiu is pressing a bill that aims to fix the problem by requiring BART to zone its vacant property for housing and retail, and limiting cities’ ability to obstruct or delay that development.