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SAN FRANCISCO-The San Francisco Redevelopment Agency voted unanimously for its new president yesterday, selecting a woman who has just recently been named to the commission. Chantel Walker was nominated by Mayor Willie Brown and praised by two supervisors who formerly have been critical of some aspects of the Redevelopment Agency.

Walker, who is a community development and housing program officer for the Marin Community Foundation, replaces Michal Foriest Settles who quit within weeks of a controversial meeting during which she helped turn down a South of Market proposal.

During the meeting in October, a 4-3 vote killed a nonprofit organization’s plans to renovate Sixth Street’s Plaza Hotel and build a refurbished Filipino-American theater in its place. Many unsatisfied people at the meeting called for changes on the commission following the denial, saying that no competing bid had been given.

Commission members say that Settles’ departure comes as a surprise to them. One member, Benny Yee, who presided over yesterday’s meeting as president, praised Settles and her ideas at such length that Walker asked him to conclude his remarks and banged the gavel to dismiss him.

The Redevelopment Agency is appointed by the mayor and confirmed by supervisors to oversee the redevelopment of certain areas of the city, including the Yerba Buena Center, South of Market, Bayview-Hunters Point, Mission Bay and parts of the Western Addition.

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