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:

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Corbett Heights Meeting next Thursday, April 27

Hi Neighbors - 

We have a very full lineup of guests for next Thursday's meeting:

Shannon Ferguson and Michael Corbett will be attending to talk about the finally-almost-complete History project.  Shannon is from the Planning Department - they will be approving the final version.  Michael, of course, is the author of the extensive 250 page document - jam-packed with data as well as old maps and photos.  The History Project is officially known as the Corbett Heights Historic Context Statement.  Those of us who have been working on this for what seems like aeons are extremely happy and proud of the results.  
We will have a paper copy for you to look at, as well as - hopefully - an electronic means to view it.

Dawson & Clinton, the developers of the massive project that goes from Upper Terrace to both 17th Street and Roosevelt.  Currently the plan includes 10 dwellings, averaging almost 5300 square feet each, and a private lap pool for each building.  
Other than the astonishing size of these units, the primary concerns are the instability of the hillside itself, the likelihood that neighboring homes could be seriously negatively impacted, silica dust from the disruption of the rock outcroppings which are mostly Franciscan chert - in addition to the expected timeframe for excavation and construction during which time lanes of both Roosevelt and 17th Streets will be closed off, creating a traffic nightmare, and the fact that dust will cover virtually everything.
The scariest thing - as you've all probably noticed, is that, to demonstrate just how unstable the rock is, there was a huge landslide on the opposite side of 17th Street, as well as a smaller one on the other side of the hill on Corbett just west of Mars.
The Planning Commission hearing is tentatively set for June 8th!  And no environmental reports have as yet been released.

And finally, Ozzie Rohm of the Noe Neighborhood Council will be there to give a brief explanation of something the Planning Dept is trying to do that may have some serious impacts on our neighborhood - as well as others across the city.  I've been meeting with a group of people from several neighborhood organizations in SF about this issue.  She (Ozzie) will give a very brief description of 3 changes we feel will greatly improve the new Urban Design Guidelines.  After that we'll ask for a show of hands by members to see if we approve or oppose the changes.  

So please try and attend!  These 3 topics are about as important as any we've discussed in the past.  

Also - I'll have the full agenda and Meeting fliers printed up tomorrow.  If anyone is able to help distribute them please let me know.

- Gary

Monday, January 30, 2017

Corbett Heights Meeting Notes

Corbett Heights Neighbors Meeting Notes - January 26, 2017

We had a packed meeting last Thursday - just under 50 people were there. A few people needed to stand since we ran out of chairs!

First - I must thank the folks who helped distribute the fliers: Ted Teipel, Kathy Flanders, Dirk Aguilar, Barbara Presta, Janice Low, Kazumi Matsuyama, Grace Gellerman, Cindy Valdes and Bill Prince.

And Thanks, Bill, for taking minutes!!

Treasurer's Report by Leslie: As of last week we had 105 paid household members. We have $3684 in our bank account. Thanks, Leslie for keeping track!

Supervisor Jeff Sheehy was present to introduce himself to the neighborhood. He has replaced Scott Wiener (now representing us as our State Senator) as our District 8 Supervisor.

He is San Francisco's first HIV Positive supervisor, and much of his past was spent fighting for and helping protect the rights of that community. His priorities as our representative include fighting to prevent what our new President is attempting to accomplish in terms of his targeting of the immigrant population, elimination of our health care safety net, removal of women's rights, etc. As a father living in Glen Park, he's also concerned about general quality of life issues - there and in all other communities in the city.

Showing his support for something very important to our neighborhood, Jeff is committed to making our Interim Zoning Controls permanent! More on that at a later date.

I'm hoping to have him back for a longer chat in April.

Joel Pomerantz has been obsessed with learning about San Francisco's waterscape for about 30 years. He's the founder of Thinkwalks, and usually leads dozens of walks per year, teaching about the hidden natural history of San Francisco.

There are currently no underground creeks in San Francisco. There had been some during certain periods in SF history when, for example, in the 1850s through the 1860s there was a series of giant storms. Between December 1861 and into 1862, a series of "atmospheric rivers" dumped large quantities of rain. One early measurer found 36" in one month and 24" in another, compared to about 19 or 20 inches average rainfall yearly. Now, with less rainfall - partly due to urbanization - these creeks have dried up or are minimal in quantity.

Many springs were covered over with concrete by citizens and the water diverted to the sewers, so these are now gone.

Joel spoke for about 1/2 hour and not a peep was uttered until we had a Q & A period. He had some books and maps for sale. If you're interested in acquiring any, check out or

Dave Guerra and a co-worker spoke with us about the spate of mailbox break-ins throughout San Francisco. Guerra is the supervisor of the Mail Theft Program from San Mateo up to the Oregon border. Mail theft is a federal crime, and reporting it is critical to the investigations. It is important to report not just the theft when it occurs but also later when you get information about how your mail has been misused – without evidence of financial losses, it is very difficult to prosecute. Please call 877-876-2455 at any time to report.

Some hints from Dave: Cameras can really help to provide video footage of the theft; there are locking mailboxes that are approved by the Post Office; be aware when you are expecting something of value to arrive; collect your mail as soon as you get home rather than leaving it in the box a long time; there is some protection if you require a signature when a package is delivered, or if you insure such packages; if you find trashed mail, pick it up and call the number so that they can contact the addressees and check to see if there is an ongoing investigation.

Corbett/Ord Triangle Park: Many thanks to Olga and Brad who for at least the last year have been responsible for keeping the park clean. They are there the 3rd Saturday of each month, from 10AM until around 1PM. Please stop by to lend a hand!

After waiting almost a year, DPW finally replaced a dead tree in the northwest corner with a new, young ginkgo tree. Currently it looks like a stick, but pretty soon it will leaf out and make us proud. DPW also finally replaced the sidewalk along the Corbett and Ord side of the Park.

75 Mars: The owner is hoping for an April completion!

History Project: It's been out of our hands for the last several months, while the Planning Department reviews it - and they read very slowly.

The good news is that it's spectacular! 256 pages, loads of old photos and maps. It will have been worth the wait.

Corbett Slope: We met with members of DPW and all approved a plan for the "park" space near the current gate. It will have planters, and a paved open area that will be accessible to people with disabilities. Sometime later in the year, hopefully, we will work more on the plan to have a stairway that will connect Corbett to Market.

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 a couple of weeks ago. The 3rd one from the corner was damaged - serious burns on the south wall are visible, but thankfully, it will be repaired. The residents have had to find an apartment to live in temporarily in the neighborhood. Both demolished homes will be rebuilt by the owners - from what I hear.

Upper Terrace/Roosevelt/17th Street Project: We've been watching this project for two years now. Tim Clinton and Paul Dawson of Dawson-Clinton General Contractors had planned on demolishing 2 existing homes on Upper Terrace, and constructing 10 homes on the hillside. They were recently advised to keep 2 rent-controlled units on Upper Terrace, so the smaller of the 2 existing homes will be kept but extensively enlarged and remodeled.

The rock hillside has always been extremely unstable. Neighbors on 3 sides are very concerned about what could happen to their property and foundations during the likely 3 year construction process, and afterwards as well. No one has been given believable insurance of their protection other than the Trumpian "it'll be fine".

In addition, the average home size remains almost 5,300 square feet PER unit. And, the lap pools are still in the plan as rear yard open space.

We are still anxiously waiting for the environmental Planner, Michael Li, to get around to reviewing the project. If this review has occurred, please be aware that the

PLANNING COMMISSION HEARING IS TENTATIVELY SET FOR MARCH 16th. Depending on the outcome of the environmental review, and depending on whether Dawson & Clinton has agreed to some protections and overall size reductions, I will be asking you to write letters, or, even better, to show up at the Planning Commission hearing in March.

1965 Market/FedEx: If this project is allowed to proceed it would be 2nd largest of all of the new buildings along the Market Street corridor. Since it's on the corner of Duboce, it's a very high visibility site.

The current owners/project sponsors are Jeffrey Keller and Eric Grover of Keller Grover, LLP, a law firm. The Mission Revival building is considered a historic resourse and must be retained.

According to the Market/Octavia Plan, a building on that corner can stand as high as 85'. The parking lot behind the former mortuary, now FedEx, is on a site on Duboce that can hold a 55' tall building.

According to the State Density Bonus Law passed last year, the project sponsors can add 2 addtional floors to the Duboce building making the new structure 75' tall. In doing this they are not required to add any additional BMR (below market rate) housing. This does not sit well with those of us who have been fighting for increased BMR units in all of the new buildings. Some of our attempts have been successful, others not so.

The proposal would have given them 96 units, (16 of these 96 are attributable to the density bonus - 80 before figuring the bonus into the mix). There would be parking for 47 cars.

The current inclusionary requirement only applies to the 80 base units. The requirement is 14.5%, or 12 units. They "voluntarily" agreed to add 2 additional BMR units, totaling 14.

The proposed building towers over the existing FedEx building. But it's the lack of respect for the classic building that some of us feel is a larger issue. As it turns out, the Historic Preservation Commission, as well as John Rahaim, director of San Francisco Planning, both feel the Market Street building is too tall for the building it would sit on top of. They're even considering allowing increased height along Duboce at this point and chopping all but 2 floors off the corner building. By the end of the month the sponsors will have gotten back to the Department with a plan showing revised massing and design.

Of several issues that were brought up at EVNA's and DTNA's Land Use meetings, one important one was a request by us to include at least one additional, smaller ground floor retail space. Since FedEx will have moved out, and the parking lot will be gone for good, there is uncertainty about whether it would return. If it doesn't, we would prefer seeing an option for a smaller retail space, as all of the small ones that have been built along Market Street recently have been rented, whereas most of the larger ones still sit empty.

2201 Market: (Catarra RE/Industrialists/Glidden Paint)(Built in 1956) The project will be 63.5' high and have 100% lot coverage. I applied for Discretioinary Review of the project on behalf of DTNA. There were several unacceptable things about the project that fortunately were eliminated immediately prior to the DR hearing. None was a big deal in terms of cost to the developers, but as a result we will have a better project for the neighborhood.

Home Restaurant (2100 Market): Demolition of the old structure should take place very soon. The project will contain 7 stories/62 units/a roof terrace/2 ground floor retail spaces and a restaurant. There will also be storefronts along 14th Street.

Lucky 13: The project sponsors will begin presenting to neighborhood groups soon. They will be at the DTNA Land Use meeting on February 6th.

Harvey Milk Plaza will be getting a complete makeover in the near future. SFMTA has been holding community meetings to discuss ideas and listen to input from residents. One thing that's certain is that there will be an additional elevator installed on the south side of Market Street in the Plaza area.

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.

Please participate! If you're a member, and if you can spare a very small amount of time each month, please let me know! We can definitely use some more help!

Thanks for your interest in the neighborhood!

- Gary

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Corbett Heights Meeting next Thurs, January 26!

Hi Neighbors,
Our quarterly general meeting will be next week.  Our new Supervisor - Jeff Sheehy will introduce himself.  And the wonderful Joel Pomerantz will be there to talk with us about San Francisco's natural history.
So please try and make it!

- Gary

(also, anyone interested in helping distribute fliers, please let me know!)




7:00 PM



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


  • Our new Supervisor Jeff Sheehy will introduce himeself. He

    replaces Senator Scott Wiener as our District 8 representative.

  • Joel Pomerantz, local natural historian & founder of

    Thinkwalks will discuss some of the natural hidden wonders of San Francisco and beneath it.

    (He will have some of his books and maps for sale at the meeting. We are requesting, but not requiring a small donation to help cover his very reasonable fee.)

  • Corbett Slope & Our Other Park Updates

  • Updates on the Huge Roosevelt/17th/Upper Terrace project.

  • Corbett Heights History Project - getting closer!

  • A representative from the USPS will discuss mailbox theft.

  • 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:

Friday, December 23, 2016

The other half of the Holiday update:

(Sorry the photo of the plans does not show up in the blog.  Please let me know if you'd like to see a copy - happy to send it to you.

The History Project:  It is complete, and has been submitted to the Planning Dept for review.  They're very slow readers (and, the document is around 250 pages, including maps and tons of photos) so we're told they will have completed their review by early to mid February in time to present it to the Historic Preservation Commission.
Unwilling to wait that long, we're already planning the cover design and printing options.  

75 Mars:  Thankfully, the project has been moving forward recently with crews working on it daily.  The stairway railings have been installed, but access to the stairs remains cut off.  Windows are in.  The sub-roof is on.  Still a major eyesore, but at least an end is in sight, however remotely.  And the storage bin along Corbett has had the graffiti painted over (a lot of you had mentioned that).  When it's all completed, and the new plantings are in, we'll finally see some benefit to all the waiting.

3198 Market St.:  As I've mentioned recently, the family that bought this undeveloped, landlocked parcel - adjacent to the historic Miller-Joost house - almost 3 years ago went through a painful process to get neighborhood approval, acceptance by the Fire Dept, and every other department that has ever existed.  After finally receiving entitlements, the son who was to live there while attending SF State decided to attend college on the east coast!  So it's back on the market.  They purchased it for $300K and have it listed for $995K.  - just because you're curious.  

Upper Terrace/Roosevelt/17th Street project:  We've had several meetings with the project sponsors.  With the exception of a requirement that they keep 2 rent-controlled units on site, nothing has really changed.  The rent-control requirement will mean that the smaller of the 2 existing buildings on Upper Terrace will be fixed up and probably expanded a bit to contain 2 dwellings.  
Also, a big sticking point has been the scale of the individual dwellings - average size remains in excess of 5300 square feet each for the new construction.
The original approval hearing before the Planning Commission was scheduled for November, then moved to January.  The January hearing has been continued to some time during the first half of 2017, maybe.  The Geotechnical Report was completed one year ago - but the department hasn't gotten around to reading it.  A bigger issue is an environmental review.  For a project this  size, an ER requirement would seem an obvious step, and we're praying that whoever will make that decision will see it that way.  
After all, with the relative blocking off of parts of Upper Terrace for long periods of time, the concern about the extreme instability of the hillside during construction, the dust, the drilling, the parking and lanes that will be eliminated along 17th and Roosevelt during construction, and the duration - despite the sponsors' estimate of 2+ years, you can bet that it will be a healthy 3 years from when they begin drilling out the hillside to when it's complete.

New D8 Supervisor:  No, I don't know who the Mayor will choose, but he or she will be invited to our next neighborhood meeting on January 26th.  
By the way, the incredible San Francisco historian - Joel Pomerantz - who teaches about local natural history through his website and tours:  will be talking with us at the January meeting as well.  He's written a book and  published a map about local water history - both will be available for sale.  We're requesting a small donation to cover his very reasonable fee.  The donation is entirely optional.


See you in the New Year!

- Gary

Happy Corbett Heights Holidays!

Hi Neighbors -

Thankfully, I have some positive updates on some of the issues within Corbett Heights that have been dragging on endlessly.  

Corbett/Ord Triangle Park:  We finally received our new ginkgo tree to replace one of the 2 Brazilian Pepper Trees that died a while back.  It was promised last February.  10 months ain't too bad!
Other improvements within and bordering the park are "slated" to be done at the beginning of the New Year (hopefully that means 2017?)

Corbett Slope:  Major improvements to the Slope are all approved!  The initial phase will be the upper, mostly level area near the entrance gate.  
The area will be leveled a bit and a permeable paving will be poured.  We'll have several long planters, improved irrigation and a new entrance moved slightly west.  The area will be accessible to people with disabilities.  
The second, larger phase will take place next year.  That phase entails building a new concrete stairway connecting Corbett to Market!  It will start just west of the bend in the fence, arch around to the southwest, and exit through a new opening in the retaining wall on Market.  Here's a screenshot of the latest plan.  Apologies for the quality of the photo.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Notes from Corbett Heights Meeting

Corbett Heights Neighbors Meeting Notes - October 27, 2016

About 30 people showed up for the meeting - despite the rain!

First, I'd like to thank all of the people who helped distribut fliers: Ted Teipel, Kathy and Hank Flanders, Dirk Aguilar, Barbara Presta, Rick Johnson, Kevin Dunn, Janice Lowe, Kazumi Matsuyama, Grace Gellerman, Cindy Valdes and Bill Prince.

And thanks to Bill Prince for taking notes during the meeting!
Greatly appreciated!

Treasurer's Report: Our Treasurer, Leslie Koelsch, reported that our membership consists of 90 households. Our September bank balance was $3272.56.

Senator Mark Leno arrived shortly after 7, and proceeded to give us a rundown of ALL 17 State ballot initiatives. I'm color coding these based on the Senator's personal opinion - Green in favor; Red opposed.

51 – This puts out general obligation bonds for $9 billion for K-12 schools and modernization of existing facilities. The repayment for these bonds comes out of the general fund and requires no new taxes. Jerry Brown opposes this so as to not have to spend the interest money from the general fund. Leno supports it to keep supporting our schools.

52 – The Medicare hospital fee program: This measure extends an existing fee. There will be no impact on consumers or tax-payers. One great reason to pass this is that it qualifies us for $3 billion in federal match funds so this means it's really worth it. Supports.

53 – This was put forward by a multi-millionaire from central valley who opposes Jerry Brown's twin water tunnels (not the reason he opposes this measure). It requires a vote of the people of California for any lease-revenue bonds for any purpose over $2 billion. This means it would require a vote for the high-speed rail program also. Leno opposes this as it does not allow for an emergency situation, like an earthquake or natural disaster that really would require that funds be available fast.

54 – This was also put forward by one person, Republican billionaire Charles Munger. It requires that before any legislation can be taken up for a vote by the legislature, it would have to be provided in written form to the public for at least 72 hours. This would give corporate interests more time to mount opposition to legislative matters. Leno feels the legislature will cope if necessary. But still opposes.

55 – In the recession of the last decade, the voters of California raised taxes, increasing the sales tax by ½% and increasing the personal income tax rates for the wealthiest in the state. This does not extend the sales tax which is to its credit as a sales tax is regressive. This continues for twelve years of the income tax provisions. The proceeds go to schools and health care. The schools would feel a big pinch if this is not passed. Supports.

56 – This measure adds $2/pack tax on cigarettes. The money would go for health care. Tobacco is spending tens of millions of dollars to oppose it saying that this money would just go into the general fund although this actually is not true. Now smokers pay 87 cents per tax. We are 37th of fifty states in our taxing of cigarettes. E-cigarettes will be taxed under this measure for the first time. Supports.

57 – Prop 47, a couple of years ago, reduced drug possession from a felony to a misdemeanor and was a real benefit for criminal justice reform. This measure reverses a previous vote of the people that gave local district attorneys the authority to decide whether a juvenile is tried in a juvenile court or an adult court. There were a lot of negative outcomes to indeterminate sentencing. This measure shifts the authority to the judge in the courtroom which Leno supports. For a variety of nonviolent nonserious crimes this measure allows for an inmate who has served the base sentence to make his/her case to the parole board for your parole. Our spending on corrections has been rising so that it's approaching the amount spent for higher education. The law enforcement universe opposes this. Gov. Brown spent millions to get this on the ballot. Decades ago he sponsored a measure for determinate sentencing which is fraught with racial disparities. Now there is a range of determinate sentences. DAs oppose this, sheriffs are neutral, police chiefs oppose it but it will probably pass.

58 – In the 1990s, citizens passed Prop. 219 which required that schools ensure English language proficiency. This measure allows school districts to establish dual-language programs which encourage the study of a second or third language. Prop 219 is not affected. Supports.

59 – Does not have the effect of law – but it puts California citizens on record as being opposed to Citizens United. Even 70% of Republicans polled oppose Citizens United.

60 – This was put on ballot by Michael Weinstein who also put Prop. 61 on the ballot. It requires all those in porn industry to wear condoms. Weinstein is the executive director of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The measure gives a private right of action to any citizen if they see a clip of porn without a condom to take them to court and sue them and the citizen would get a portion of the suit's proceeds if they prevail, if OSHA does not respond within ninety days. It authorizes him (Weinstein) to be an AIDS Czar to be removed only by a 2/3 majority vote of the legislature. Every AIDS service organization is opposed to this.

61 – Michael Weinstein – The pharmaceutical industry spent $95 million to defeat this. It prohibits state government from paying any more for pharmaceuticals than the VA does at the federal government level. The industry is using ads with veterans saying that if passed the industry will raise their prices on VA meds to make up for the difference though there are federal rules make this not really true. Weinstein's put in $15 million of his own money to support this measure. Leno (and Bernie Sanders) supports.

62 – This measures ends the death penalty in California and replaces it with life without the possibility of parole. Those opposed to death penalty support this. This would save about $1 billion over five years to eliminate the high costs of defending the long long process of appealing death sentences. Without current system, we've condemned 1300 people to death since 1976 but only thirteen have been executed so we don't actually have a death penalty – 99% of those sentenced to this are not executed. We could spend this money in law enforcement. Supports.

63 – This was put on the ballot by Gavin Newsom. It requires background checks for ammunition, which is now easier to buy than pseudoephedrine. It also prohibits possession of large-capacity assault weapon magazines. 2nd Amendment folks are opposed. Leno supports.

64 – Legalizes all uses of marijuana. Put on ballot by Gavin Newsom. Senator Feinstein opposes. Generates a billion dollars a year. Allows cities to prohibit it within their boundaries. Supports.

65 – Plastic bags. In SF and in many regions statewide, plastic bags are banned. This was put on the ballot by the plastic bag industry. It would redirect the money collected by groceries to environmental projects (sounds better than it is). Every environmental group in California opposes this.

66 – Counters Prop 62. It Gets rid of a lot of safeguards in the appeals process that are there to prevent killing innocent people. This would cost the state a lot, speed up executions. He strongly opposes.

67 - Referendum on the legislature's bag of single use plastic bags. Vote YES on this referendum to sustain what the legislature did. This also put on by the plastic bag industry.

Next, Jeff Kositsky, new Director of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing spoke about the homeless crises facing San Francisco and cities across the country. This program brings together six different programs in six different departments to create a single strategy and data base as opposed to the current thirteen different data base systems that don't speak to each other. We spend less than 2.5% of the City's budget on homelessness that would really beef up services. We have 6200 units of permanent housing for homeless people, twice as much as the next highest city but he hopes they can coordinate it all (coordinated entry) and prioritize who gets the housing.

He says to report problems by calling 311; it is not a perfect system, but citizens' reports to 311 do help identify "hot-spot" problem clusters on their maps, which can then be systematically addressed.

An Encampment Resolution Team has been started by the City. It will differ from previous programs that just pushed homeless people around. This program moves people into shelter, brings doctors, provides showers and restrooms. With this system, half resolve their homelessness and the other half does not end up back in the same place.

Upper Terrace/Roosevelt/17th Street Project: There was a Planning Commission hearing scheduled for November 3. It's been rescheduled - tentatively - for January.

The project now consists of 10 dwellings, 2 in each of 5 buildings: 4 units on Upper Terrace, 2 on 17th St, 2 on Roosevelt, and 2 straddling the corner. The total building square footage for the 10 units is 52,609 square feet. That translates into an astounding 5,261 sq. ft AVERAGE, per unit. The average dwelling in SF - including those in Pacific Heights - is 1600 sq. ft.

In addition, each building is shown as having its own lap pool.

The overall design, partially thanks to the Planning Department's Residential Design Team's requests has improved considerably. There are "view corridors" between each of the buildings. This helps to reduce the blockiness and "uni-building" look.

Dawson& Clinton are "working with" the Dept. of Public Works to discuss improvements to the existing Monument Way Stairs. The stairs have been derelict for many years. They will require a huge amount of work - rebuilding most of the stairs, re-doing all of the overhead lighting, completely replacing the landcaping and installing irrigation. Once DPW completes a review of the needs and costs, several of us on a committee will be discussing possible improvements with Dawson & Clinton.

Aside from the need for an overall reduction in size of the project, the ability of the hillside to sustain such an enormous project in an extremely unstable area has come into question. With a very notable landslide directly across the street on 17th Street, and another just west of 300 Corbett, this has become a great cause of concern. Several residents of Upper Terrace are particularly concerned about what the massive amount of excavation will do to their foundations.

And last, since Upper Terrace is too narrow for large trucks to navigate, all of the staging for the project will be on or around the corner of Roosevelt and 17th. This means that for 2 - 3 years, there will be parking disruption, traffic increases and noise and dust proliferation.


75 Mars: Preliminary roofing has been applied. Windows are going in. Interior work ongoing. Estimate by owner is that it will/may/could-if-all-the-stars-align be complete by February.

3198 Market: This is the land-locked parcel just east of the Miller-Joost house on Market. We were really happy with the 3rd interested party - who ended up purchasing the lot. The first two interested parties either wanted to break through the giant retaining wall on Market to build a driveway, or to pave Al's Park as a driveway. The new owners' plan was to build a relatively small 2 unit building below, with no auto access - only bicycle and foot access. It was meant for their son to live in while he was attending SF State. After over 2 years attempting to satisfy the Planning Dept., the Fire Dept. - among others, they finally received their entitlements. After all the delay, their son ended up enrolling in a college in NY. The lot - with the entitlements - is once again for sale.

Corbett Slope: DPW is now committed to building a stairway that will connect Corbett with Market. This is great news! It will start just west of where the bend in the chain-link fence is, make a wide "C" turn to the right, and make it down to Market where an opening in the new retaining wall will be created.

The relatively level area at the east end - near the entrance gate - will get a major facelift as well. There will be a leveled area with a base made of concrete or permeable material. And several planters. And - the fence, up to the bend will be removed!

Corbett/Ord Triangle: A ginkgo tree will soon be planted by DPW in the NW corner of the planted area near the bench. They also will repair the buckled sidewalk on both the Corbett and 17th Street sides. More decomposed granite will be dropped off for the path to be improved. In addition there will be some irrigation system improvements - with a lockable cage to cover the timer apparatus.

History Project: All 256 pages have been submitted to the Planning Dept. for approval. Then it will need approval from the Historic Preservation Commission. We're currently discussing printing options - although the actual printing needs to take place after it's received final approval.


2201 Market (Catarra Real Estate/Industrialists/Glidden Paint): A new building for this site will be 63.5' high. It will have 100% lot coverage. The plans that were submitted for approval had several elements that were not acceptable to many people in the neighborhood.

One was a corner with an exposed concrete support pillar in front of a recessed ground floor retail space. Since there was no entrance on the corner, the open space would likely be used as an "urban campground" and the exposed concrete pole would be a magnet for graffiti.

The intention was to have one large retail space. The problem with this was that up and down Market Street, almost all of the very large retail spaces remain empty. Almost all of the smaller ones have been rented.

There would have been 2 stairway "penthouses" on the roof. These are the enclosures you see all over that surround an exit door on the roof. They are frequently used to house rows of cell phone antennae.

And the 4th issue was that the sponsors of the project refused to include the 2 required BMR (below market-rate) units onsite. They opted for either offsite (a less desirable/expensive neighborhood) or to pay an "in-lieu" fee.

I filed to request a Discretioinary Review on behalf of DTNA (Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Ass'n.) During the review process, the approval hearing is postponed. We immediately heard from the project sponsors who were interested in talking.

The pole and the corner is now enclosed. The 2 stairway penthouses have been removed. They've agreed to include a 500 square foot retail space on the Sanchez side. And something is currently being worked out regarding the BMR units. All in all, a great success.

2198 Market: Xmas tree lot/Shell Station. Almost finished. It will have 87 rental units (52 1-bedroom, 35 2-bedroom). It will be 7 stories - 65' tall on the Market St. side, 81' tall on the corner and 40' on Sanchez. It will have 34 parking spaces, 2 carshare, 89 bike parking spaces, and 5115 square feet of ground floor retail.

Home Restaurant (2100 Market): This project could break ground in early 2017. It's the same developer as the glass block building at Market and Buchanan. The approved plans show a mostly glass, 7 story building that includes 62 units and 2600 square feet of ground floor retail.

Sullivan's Funeral Home (2254 Market): By Prado Group (a real estate development, investment, and property management company). Approved LEED Platinum (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) plans. Also could break ground by mid 2017 55' along Market/40' along 15th St. 45 Dwelling units. 13,550sf ground floor retail. 22 Car pkg.

Super Duper will be expanding into the hideous Check Cashing place on the corner next door.

And last and least:

Les Natali:

Zapata's: This well-loved burrito establishment was give a last minute reprieve of an additional 10 months. Still no lease, and a very uncertain future.

The saga of Les' properties continues. Zapata's is still almost definitely out after October thanks to Les. Good news is that the Patio lost it's liquor license while he continues to search for an imaginary person/business to lease the space from him. It's been closed since 1999.

Patio Cafe: For the last 2 years, Les has been desperately searching for 2 people to fill "managerial" positions for the restaurant which would be Hamburger Mary's. And you know how difficult it is to find good help!

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Membership: If you haven't paid for a while or would like to join, annual membership is $20 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