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SAN FRANCISCO-Hastings College of the Law board members held a meeting this week to rethink a plan to build a large parking development near San Francisco’s Civic Center, voting to rescind their previous

approval. The meeting also named well-known Peninsula attorney Joe Cotchett to head a Blue Ribbon Committee to look into less controversial alternatives, according to a Hastings spokeswoman.

The school’s plan for an 885-space garage at Golden Gate Avenue and Larkin Street drew a demonstration by housing advocates at the most recent June 7 board meeting, when 11 people, including San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly, were arrested for trespassing. The eight-member board later voted to OK the project anyway.

The next week, several of Daly’s colleagues on the Board of Supervisors voiced support for a lawsuit to block the eight-story garage, which would have been made available to students, faculty and the public on a site that formerly held 85 units of affordable housing.

But it was apparently the weight of state Sen. John Burton (D-SF), who sent a strongly worded letter to the state-funded college urging the board to reconsider,that was most greatly felt.

The new panel led by Cotchett, a Hastings graduate and former board member, is expected to research alternatives that include some mix of housing, or housing and retail, instead of the garage-only approach and then make some recommendations.

That report would be made at the board’s next scheduled meeting in September, according to officials.

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