ATT won't sell that copper. They'll take it down. Why would you sell your network to another company to turn around and compete against them? You don't do that. You take it down when you're new network is built. You didn't see cable doing that when they rebuilt to HFC and you won't see a Telco do that either.
And as far as the VARDs they can be plopped anywhere within the ROW and the city can't do anything. And if need be; ATT will go to the state and get the job done that way as they have in most states they do business in and i'm sure Cali is one of them.
Edit add; and as I thought- SF has NO say so anymore in Cali. Only the state does since 06. »arstechnica.com/hardware/news/20···7873.ars