Debate on plan for greenest West Coast building

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A world-class architect who promises to build the West Coast’s greenest commercial building on San Francisco’s Embarcadero has nonetheless raised the hackles of some residents and city officials.

They say the building is too tall for the city’s majestic shoreline and might set a bad precedent for future development along the boulevard.

The plan by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects was backed by the city’s Planning Commission this week on a 4-3 vote, but city planners, architecture critics and some neighbors say they wish the 123-foot, 10-story building could conform to the waterfront’s 84-foot height limits. “The city’s general plan says buildings can go to 84 feet on the waterfront so you don’t just start granting exceptions just because it’s a green building,” said Planning Commission President Christina Olague, who voted against the project.

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