St. Mark's Lutheran Church members say they will raise $5million to seismically retrofit their 19th century church onO'Farrell Street and build 240 units of assisted-living seniorhousing in a 23-story building. The church has received approvalfrom the city's Planning Commission, agreeing also to make 48 unitsat another housing tower affordable for at least 50 years.

The First Unitarian Universalist Church appealed this ruling tothe Board of Supervisors, saying that they had not been included inthe planning of this structure, which includes no affordable orbelow-market rental units. The church says that it also facesretrofitting challenges and has raised $2.2 million through membercommitments.

First Unitarian proposes two shorter towers instead but St.Mark's argues that this won't work. "I hate to see this kind ofdebate,'' said Supervisor Gavin Newsom, who says that there aregood people on both sides.

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