San Francisco’s Proposition X preserves arts spaces


The devastating Dec. 2 Oakland fire that killed 36 people at the Ghost Ship, a warehouse that had been converted into an artist residence and performance space, highlighted once again how the soaring cost of living in the Bay Area is causing many people to make difficult choices about where to work and where to live.

The fire spurred conversations about what to do about such unsafe spaces — crackdown on them and leave the artists’ with even fewer living options. Or find other creative ways to ensure that artists aren’t continually displaced.

In November, San Franciscans took one step in that direction when they voted “Yes” on Proposition X, a measure that changes zoning laws and makes it harder for new housing and office construction to displace art spaces in the Mission and South of Market neighborhoods.

Now, if developers build on locations where they are displacing arts spaces, the law requires them to set aside space within the building for artists to work.

  • Darryl Smith, co-owner of the Luggage Store Gallery, talks with visitors at the Art & Auction Sale event for The Luggage Store Gallery and Adobe Books in San Francisco, on Dec. 10, 2016. (Tara McCullough/Peninsula Press)