This piece in the WSJ today offers a data point that says "yes".
On the Waterfront
While critics of development often fight planned projects in courts and city council chambers, a group of opponents of a proposed downtown San Francisco condo project on the waterfront are looking directly to voters.
The opponents, who have dubbed the 112-foot development "Wall on the Waterfront," qualified for the ballot in late July, after they collected 31,000 signatures.
The project, officially called 8 Washington, would block views of the bay and hurt the character of the neighborhood, says Jon Golinger, who directed the ballot campaign. The project, he claims, would create a "feeling that you're in Anywheresville, U.S.A.," rather than San Francisco.
In turn, P.J. Johnston, a spokesman for 8 Washington, says the building is shorter than office buildings nearby, and the opponents are a well-financed group that has been misleading the public on the project.
"San Francisco has an entrenched network of NIMBY activists and lawyers," says Mr. Johnson, adding that although he has known the city to be filled with "professional obstructionists" that "this one takes the cake."
The issue has some time before it goes to vote. It is slated to come before voters in November 2013, when residents would decide whether to overturn an approval of the project by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, which previously approved the project.—Kelsey Gee
For those who want to see an academic paper that further studies the question of whether liberal cities block new housing click here.