Future of San Francisco gas station up for debate

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – The future of a popular San Francisco gas station is in the middle of a tug of war. 

Twin Peaks Auto Care can be found at the busy corner of Portola Drive and Woodside Avenue. 

Part of the debate is over whether the decades old gas station should remain or be replaced by affordable housing. 

This gas station is on public land and the lease is about to be up. The station owner would like to renew for at least the next 20 years but as the state and city move away from gas-powered cars and housing continues to be a crisis.

Opponents say maybe it should go.

For decades, Twin Peaks Auto Care has been a spot to fuel up or get work done on your car.

Now it’s at the center of debate over climate change, uses for public land and affordable housing.

“We need to be building more affordable housing and if that comes at the expense of a gas station I’m all for it,” Snell said.

Neighborhood resident Cody Snell says homelessness is a major problem in San Francisco and rejecting the proposed lease extension could help.

Other residents argue the gas station is a small business that’s good for the community and also because there are not many gas stations left in the city.

“We’ve used this gas station for 30 years, we’ve lived here and many times in an emergency or you need gas in a pinch or a broken-down car they really come in handy,” a resident said.

“We still need gas stations that we can rely on. They’re becoming fewer and harder to find around here,” another said.

On Twitter, Supervisor Matt Haney blasted the gas station’s petition for extending the lease.

He said, “I cannot support a 25-30 year lease for a gas station on public land. State & city climate goals require phasing out fossil fuels much earlier. Our city has declared a climate emergency. There are many other uses for this site, including affordable housing.”

“We understand that these fuels will be gone in the future and that’s good for the planet but in the meantime, people do need to fill their cars,” one of the residents said.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors was set to vote on the lease proposal on Tuesday but that vote was delayed.

Twin Peaks Auto Care is left hanging in the balance.

“I think if it’s a choice between someone having adequate housing and me being able to get gas then the choice is easy for me,” Snell said.

“I understand the need for affordable housing and things like that but you know there’s still a lot of cars that need a lot of gas to get around and we’re not all-electric vehicles,” one said.

Supervisor Norman Yee, who represents this district, has publicly acknowledged that the gas station is well-liked in this neighborhood but did not respond to our request for further comment. 

As for a rescheduling of the vote on the proposed lease extension, a date has not been set.

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