Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Corbett Heights Quarterly Meeting next Thursday, July 27

Hi Neighbors - 

We have an excellent meeting coming up next Thursday.  Both our current and former Supervisor will be there to talk with us - Scott Wiener and Jeff Sheehy.
We'll also have our annual election of our board.  A few people who had served for several years could no longer participate, but we have 6 new wonderful people to add to the remaining 4.  
Below is our slate of officers.  If you are an existing member, please let me know by email or USPS mail by noon on the 27th of July if you approve of all, some or none.  There will also be paper ballots dispensed at the meeting.  

1.  President:  Gary Weiss (Almost former owner of IXIA after 34 years.  Chair of Land Use Committees of both DTNA and EVNA, VP of SF Hiking Club.)
2.  Vice-President:  Maryann Dresner  (Has her own attorney practice in SF)
3.  Treasurer:  Leslie Koelsch (Retired School Administrator; has been active in CHN since the beginning, as well as the former organization, TPENA before that.
Secretary this position will rotate.
4.  Rick Johnson:  (Manages a software service for CA Technologies)
5.  Kevin Dunn:  (Agent with Zephyr Real Estate)
6.  Paul Allen:  (Retired 12 years ago.  Most recently a lawyer for Visa USA for 13 years.)
7.  Grace Gellerman: (Wikimedia Foundation)
8.  Brad Lyman:  (Management Consultant who advises Mutual Fund and Investment Managers)
9.  Bill Holtzman:  (Former head of PR for City of Toronto, head of Public Affairs for Apple Computer, Canada.  Also worked on numerous Presidential campaigns.)
10.  Dirk Aguilar:  (His field is international business, has worked for Google, has lived in Europe and Latin America before moving to Ord St. in 2013)

In addition, our boundaries have for some reason omitted Lower Terrace, despite the fact that it is between Ord Court and Vulcan which are a part of Corbett Heights.  We would need to change our bylaws to include a new street.  Once again, please let me know if you support.


- Gary

(also - if you feel able or willing to help distribute fliers please let me know!)




7:00 PM



(Thru the BofA doors, take stairs or elevator on right)


Voting will take place for our new 10 person Board.

  • Senator Scott Wiener will discuss his activities in

    Sacramento, and how they affect us in Corbett Heights.

  • Supervisor Jeff Sheehy will talk about District 8 issues.

  • Corona Heights Large Residence Special Use District: Thanks to both of our guests, we are now the only neighborhood in SF that is restrictive to "monster homes". We'll discuss the legislation.

  • Corbett Slope: It's underway! Platform and planters almost complete!

  • History Project goes before the Historic Preservation Commission on August 16!

  • Castro & Upper Market Development Projects

  • and more...


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Membership is not required to attend meetings. Those who pay dues ($20/year)*

receive regular email updates, assist with printing costs, and contribute towards neighborhood improvement events.

*Please go to and pay using PayPal, OR

you may bring cash or check - made payable to CORBETT HEIGHTS NEIGHBORS or CHN -

to the meeting, OR mail to 197 Corbett, SF 94114.

Make sure you include your name, address, phone numbers, and your email address.

Contact us at:

Monday, July 10, 2017

Corbett Heights Neighbors Meeting

Hi Neighbors,

Our next quarterly meeting is coming up - Thursday, July 27th, 7 - 8:30PM above BofA on Castro/18th Streets.

Our guests will be Senator Scott Wiener and Supervisor Jeff Sheehy.

So please try and attend!  We'll be sending out a full agenda a little closer to the meeting.

- Gary

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Corona Hts Large Residence Special Use District!

Dear Neighbors -

Some great news - the legislation was passed unanimously by the Planning Commission!  We will now have even greater controls than we had under the Interim Zoning Controls - - - IF it gets passed by the Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee Monday.  
The 3 members of that committee are Mark Farrell, Aaron Peskin and Katie Tang.  Aaron Peskin has told me that he is supportive, and I'm hopeful that Farrell and Tang will also go along, but it's critical that we have a decent showing at the meeting.  
It will take place this coming Monday, June 26th at City Hall, Room 250.  The meeting begins at 1:30, but we are pretty far down the agenda - Item 7 out of 10.  
If this passes Land Use, the full Board of Supervisors will almost definitely follow suit the following day.  Then it's just up to the Mayor to sign it, and since he appointed Supervisor Sheehy who sponsored the legislation, it's more than likely that he will sign it.  WHEN it passes, we will become what I believe is the only neighborhood in SF to have an ordinance that specifically targets oversized homes.
So - please show up if you can!  We had a nice showing of neighbors this afternoon at the Commission hearing.  I hope we can have even more on Monday.
Here's a link to the Agenda:

- Gary

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Corbett Heights Updates

Hi Neighbors,

There are several important dates are coming up:

Corona Heights Large Residence Special Use District:
In March of 2015 Supervisor Wiener sponsored the Interim Zoning Controls (IZC) legislation.  It included all of Corbett Heights while going as far north as Museum Way.  
The "monster home" proliferation in our neighborhood provided the impetus for the legislation.  What it intended to do was to rein in what many developers saw as open season for building oversized homes that began to seriously erode the look and feel of our neighborhoods.  
What the IZC could not do was to require that the Planning Department or the Planning Commissioners adhere to the intent of the legislation when making their determinations.  All that it required of Planning Staff or Commissioners is that they require project sponsors to seek Conditional Use Authorization (CU).  This just added a lengthy, more complex and more costly additional requirement.  The IZC had its greatest effect during the Appeals process.  Any development that was being appealed would be heard by the full Board of Supervisors.  This would have been the most effective tool for neighbors.  All of the cases that we threatened with appeal after being approved at Commission level were settled largely in our favor.

Interim Controls can only be in place for 2 years.  When they were about to expire I spoke with Supervisor Sheehy who agreed to sponsor permanent controls!  We should all be very grateful for his doing this.  I worked with Andres Power, formerly Supervisor Wiener's chief legislative aide, on any changes to the controls that could make them more effective.  The additional wording requires that Planning Staff and Commissioners respect both affordability and context (how well it fits into the greater neighborhood) to an existing neighborhood when deliberating support for a project.    

This is what you can do:
  • Attend the Planning Commission Hearing.  It is set for Thursday, June 22.  We won't know where it is on the Agenda until just before the hearing.  I'll let you know.  Hearings generally start at noon.  Please attend if you are able.  Any of you willing to speak may simply say that you either support or oppose the legislation.
  • More importantly - Email (or mail) a letter to the Planning Commission stating your view on this legislation.  A letter of support may look like the following:


Case No.: 2017-003880PCAMAP

Jonas P. Ionin, Commission Secretary
San Francisco Planning Department
1650 Mission Street, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA 94103

Dear Commissioners,
I live in Corbett Heights (or other neighborhood) and have benefitted greatly from the Interim Zoning Controls that had been in place since 2015.  The character and the physical and architectural beauty of our neighborhood is worth fighting to protect.  I offer my full support for the new Corona Heights Large Residence Special Use District.  I would also like to thank Supervisor Jeff Sheehy for sponsoring it.

Your name:
Your address:

And copy the following commissioners:


Mt. Olympus Project: 271, 301-303 Upper Terrace
As many of you know, this project which will be built over 5 lots, covering the hillside connecting Upper Terrace to both Roosevelt Way and 17th Street - if it gets built as planned - would be the largest development our neighborhood has ever seen.  The average size for each of the 10 units is well over 5,000 square feet.  Almost everyone I've spoken with is not opposed to building housing on the site.  And no one is against adding housing.  But the size and ultimate selling price - based on square feet - for each of these units is so out of scale with the neighborhood, that we feel a need to fight the developers in hopes that they bring down the size to an acceptable level.  After all, they will build and move on.  

The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, July 27th.  I will be sending out updates to confirm the date and the time.  But in the meantime, it would be extremely helpful if you would write a letter to the Planning Staffer handling this case - Erika Jackson - to show either support or opposition to this aspect of the project.

A letter of opposition may look like the following:

(email or mail to:


271, 301-303 Upper Terrace, Block No. 2628, Lot Nos. 32A, 32B, 34, 35A and 35B.

Erika S. Jackson
San Francisco Planning Department
1650 Mission Street, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA 94103

Dear Ms. Jackson,

I am a resident of Corbett Heights (or other).  I love that my neighborhood has a mixture of architectural styles.  What I also love is that this neighborhood has remained relatively middle class, and somewhat affordable when compared to many others throughout the city.  When garage and common space are included, these proposed homes are 2 - 3 times larger than the average home in our area.  
For these reasons we remain opposed to this development.

Your name:
Your address:


Merritt Park Cleanup Day:

The green space at the intersections of Market, Danvers and Merritt has seen better days.  Lately it's been the site of a giant homeless encampment.  Several neighbors have agreed to help start the process of cleaning up this potentially beautiful space.  Following are the details:

Here's the link to the NextDoor post with the background: Here is the schedule: 1) Saturday, June 24th, morning only (so that we have the rest of the day to do weekend!) 2) Meet at the park at Merritt and Danvers ~8:30 am. Please dress appropriately, bring water, and bring your favorite tools if you have any (just in case). 3) Focus on pruning, trimming, stacking, and humor for ~3 hours. 4) Assist the "DPW Guy" with loading the Waste @ ~11:30 am. (They send 1 person in the truck, and he/she will need assistance.) 5) Bug-Out by Noon!


Open Meeting of Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association (DTNA)
The upcoming meeting will include something of interest to many people outside of its boundaries.  The guests will be Judges Teri L. Jackson and Garrett Wong of the San Francisco Superior Court.  The discussion will focus on lenient sentencing of those accused of quality-of-life crimes.  
In addition, Supervisor Jeff Sheehy will be there to speak and answer questions. 
The meeting is open to the public.
The location is the CPMC Davies Campus, Gazebo Room.  (When approaching the hospital from Duboce, across from Harvey Milk Rec Center, walk up the few steps to the hospital on the left.  Instead of entering, walk around to the right.  Continue on the Plaza.  You'll be walking directly towards the Gazebo Room.  Entrance door is to the right.)
Meet and greet begins at 7PM, meeting begins at 7:30.
Monday, June 12, 2017.


Thanks for your interest in the neighborhood!

- Gary

Friday, June 2, 2017

History Project Viewable on Planning Dept's Website

Hi All,
For a brief period the Planning Dept will have an electronic version of our History Project aka The Corbett Heights Historic Context Statement on its website. The primary goal it to get feedback from our community.
Please have a look!
- Gary

Friday, May 5, 2017

Notes From the Corbett Heights Meeting

Corbett Heights Neighbors Meeting Notes -April 27, 2017

We had quite a good-sized group last Thursday. More than 45 people.

First - I must thank the folks who helped distribute the fliers: Ted Teipel, Kathy Flanders, Barbara Presta, Janice Low, Kazumi Matsuyama, Grace Gellerman, Cindy Valdes, Rick Johnson, Kevin Dunn and Nancy Peoples. Thank you all!

Treasurer's Report: As of last week we had 95 paid household members. We have $3897 in our bank account. Thanks to Leslie, our treasurer, for keeping track.

Shannon Ferguson, Tim Frye & Michael Corbett attended the meeting to provide public outreach about our Corbett Heights Historic Context Statement (History Project). Shannon and Tim are from the Planning Department's Historic Preservation section, and Michael Corbett is the consultant we hired and the author of the document. As you know, the project is now approaching 5 years since we started. But at over 250 pages of text, maps and old photos, we're sure you'll agree it was worth it.

After a few small additions such as page numbering and photo attributions, the Planning Department will complete its review process, during which time the document will be posted on the Department's website in order to solicit any input by CHN members.

After it completes its review and considers any comments made by our membership, the Planning Staff will recommend that it be approved. The final step is a hearing before the Historic Preservation Commission which we anticipate will adopt the document.

Tim Clinton & Paul Dawson of Dawson-Clinton: 271, 301-303 Upper Terrace.

The Dawson & Clinton team attended our meeting a year ago in April. Not much has changed during the last several months:

  • the total square footage for the 10 units is roughly 50,000 square feet.

  • the building at 301-303 Upper Terrace will be remodeled and kept as rent-controlled.

  • the 8 market-rate units will average 5327 square feet each.

  • the 2 rent-controlled units will average 3257 square feet each.

  • the lap pools, thankfully, have been scrapped.

Several of us who are keeping a keen eye on this project have countless fears about it. Will their insurance cover any damage caused by land movement? (As you have most likely seen, a huge chunk of the hill came crashing down on a car parked on Roosevelt a few months ago. And the entire hill across 17th Street from the project is currently undergoing a huge reinforcement due to the entire rock face sliding down onto 17th Street a year ago.)

Another fear is that since at least half of the projects in our area that have received their entitlements have ended up being "flipped" or sold after receiving these entitlements will this project follow that same pattern. The new owner would be able to make numerous changes to the project without going through the whole review process over again. Since Dawson & Clinton is a small firm, and since they have been working on a very similar project on Kansas Street in Potrero Hill, we feel there is a great likelihood that they also will opt to flip the project. It's difficult to imagine how such a small firm could handle two simultaneous, huge projects.

They estimate constuction time to be 2.5 years from start to completion, but we feel this is ridiculously optimistic. But even at 2.5 years, imagine the dust (silica dust is toxic to humans), noise, traffic and parking disruption and general elimination of peaceful livability in the area.

In addition, by basically tripling the size of the average home size, they are also setting a precedent for out of scale, less affordable housing that is out of context with our neighborhood.


Ozzie Rohm of Noe Neighborhood Council attended to explain and seek our support for amendments we are recommending to the Planning Department regarding its new Urban Design Guidelines. Most neighborhoods are affected by Residential Design Guidelines that have been worked out between neighborhood leaders and the Planning Department over many years. The new guidelines were initially created as a sort of umbrella guideline, but after review, representatives from neighborhood organizations across the city discovered several issues that would or could ultimately be damaging to existing guidelines.

There were 3 small but critical issues that we are hoping the Planning Department will acknowledge. The members present voted unanimously to add Corbett Heights Neighbors to the list of associations that supports these changes. Please let me know if you're interested in knowing more about this.

Corona Heights Large Residence Special Use District: In May of 2015, Supervisor Scott Wiener sponsored the Interim Zoning Controls (IZC) for Corbett and Corona Heights. The intent of this legislation was to limit the size of new or "remodeled" homes in our area, after dozens of our wonderful small, older homes were being converted into enormous, characterless behemoths. It also sought to preserve rear-yard open space. The legislation required that any developer wanting to exceed the dimensions described needed to apply for a Conditional Use permit (CU). Attaining a CU is a much more difficult and cumbersome process than the previously required Variance.

The problem we had was that every single project went the CU route, and ignored the intent of the legislation. And the Planning Department and the Commission saw nothing in the legislation that forced them to abide by this intent.

Now that the IZC has expired, a new Special Use District is being established in our neighborhood that will take over where the IZC left off. It will also retroactively affect any project from when the time when the IZC were first approved.

In addition, 3 key elements are included that will require the Department and the Commission to heed the legislation's goal. It requires that any proposed project increase the housing supply (rather than creating one single-family dwelling); maintain affordability (tripling the size of the average home in an area does not preserve affordability); is compatible with existing development.

Supervisor Sheehy has sponsored this legislation. This is an enormous bonus to our neighborhood. Please thank the supervisor for doing this! In addition to the existing boundaries of the IZC, States Street, in its entirety has been added.


Corbett Slope: It's been years, but work has finally begun!! Thanks to then Supervisor Wiener, funding was set aside to create a wonderful neighborhood park. The fence is down, and work to create a level, disabled-accessible platform in in process. It will have planter boxes of both wood and concrete. An entirely new irrigation system will be installed.

After this phase is complete we will begin discussion on the stairway that will connect Corbett to Market. Slowly but surely!

Corbett/Ord Triangle Park: Many thanks to Olga and Brad, and some neighbors on Douglass Street who have been responsible for keeping the park clean of trash, needles and other undesirables. They are there the 3rd Saturday of each month, from 10AM until around 1PM. Please stop by to lend a hand!

75 Mars: The owner is anticipating a move-in before the end of the month. The garden will start happening after the house is completed.

3198 Market: This is the property east and adjacent to the Miller-Joost house, and immediately below Al's Park. The owners of this land-locked parcel (they purchased it over 3 years ago) completed the whole permitting process over a year ago. They were building it for their son who was to be attending SF State. After everything he decided to go to school on the east coast instead. But now, the plan is back to the original. They should begin work on that as soon as the construction crew is assembled.

Hattie Street Fire: Last October there was a devasting fire on the NE corner of Hattie and Market. 3 homes were affected, 2 of which were determined to be a danger and were demolished. The 3rd (yellow) one from the corner was damaged. The upper unit in the yellow house is almost complete, and the lower one should be finished cometime in June. Both demolished homes will be rebuilt by the owners.

86 Ord: After "remodeling" this home a couple of years ago it was listed and sold for $4.5 million. Last month it was put on the market again for $3.875 million, and sold 2 weeks later for $4.85 million. This is why we need the new Special Use District legislation!

1965 Market/FedEx: The project sponsors are proposing two separate buildings: the Market Street facing structure would sit above a remodeled FedEx building. It would be set back about 35' from Market Street and bring the total height to 75'. The rear building, where the parking lot is now, would stand 85' above the street. More to come shortly.

2201 Market: (Catarra RE/Industrialists/Glidden Paint)(Built in 1956) The project will be 63.5' high and have 100% lot coverage. Permitted. Unsure as to the ground-breaking date.

Home Restaurant (2100 Market): In the works. The project will contain 7 stories, 62 units, a roof terrace, 2 ground floor retail spaces and a restaurant. There will also be a storefront along 14th Street.

Lucky 13 (2140 Market Street): This is another, unfortunately bland, unexciting addition to Upper Market. Unsure as to the start date.

Super Duper currently expanding into the former Check Cashing corner.

Volvo Centrum (3512 16th Street): The owner is proposing remodeling and preserving the existing garage - which is considered a historic resource. She hopes to have a large restaurant and their architectural offices on the ground floor. They also plan on adding 2 set-back floors above, providing 8 units of housing. More to come...

Interested in helping out your community?

  • We are fortunate to have several green spaces in the neighborhood. If you would be interested in helping out on any or becoming a steward please let me know.

  • Land Use: if you have knowledge in land use, or are interested in learning - either about some of the projects listed above or just in general, let me know as well.

  • Participate in some capacity in the running of Corbett Heights Neighbors.

  • Helping organize a neighborhood block party or other social event.

  • Helping distribute fliers prior to our quarterly meetings.

Membership: If you haven't paid for a while or would like to join, annual membership is $15 per year per household. Besides being used for flier printing and snacks for garden workdays, the money is used to purchase plants, any garden equipment and irrigation supplies we may need to take care of our various mini-parks. The easiest way to join is to go to our website:, and click on the "Subscribe" button. That way, PayPal will automatically remind you next year. Or, you can send a check made out to CHN to 197 Corbett, 94114.

Thanks for your interest in the neighborhood!

- Gary

Friday, April 21, 2017

Corbett Heights Meeting Notice




7:00 PM



(Thru the BofA doors, take stairs or elevator on right)


  • Dawson & Clinton will present the latest plans for what will be the largest project in our neighborhood's history - Upper Terrace/Roosevelt/17th Sts.

  • Shannon Ferguson (Planning Dept.) and Michael Corbett (author of our Corbett Heights Historic Context Statement) will discuss the remaining steps required to complete the project. Copies available for viewing.

  • Ozzie Rohm of Noe Neighborhood Council will discuss critical changes to the Planning Department's new Urban Design Guidelines and how they would/could have a negative impact on our neighborhood.

    Corbett Slope Updates - the fence is down!

  • Castro & Upper Market Development Projects

  • and more...


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Membership is not required to attend meetings. Those who pay dues ($20/year)*

receive regular email updates, assist with printing costs, and contribute towards neighborhood improvement events.

*Please go to and pay using PayPal, OR

you may bring cash or check - made payable to CORBETT HEIGHTS NEIGHBORS or CHN -

to the meeting, OR mail to 197 Corbett, SF 94114.

Make sure you include your name, address, phone numbers, and your email address.

Contact us at: