Thursday, September 29, 2016

Corbett Heights Updates and Reminders

Corbett Heights Notes and Reminders

Hi Neighbors,
Huge apologies for the silence coming from me and our board lately.  It's been an "interesting" last couple of months, but root canal and ill 97-year-old mother aside,  there is a lot of news to report.  

Next CHN General Meeting - Thursday, 10/27 - 7PM
At this time the agenda is not fully flushed out, but Senator Mark Leno will be there to discuss State ballot initiatives, among other things.  Please try and attend!

Last CHN Meeting Supervisor Scott Wiener attended (during Hillary's acceptance speech!), and spoke about his campaign for State Senator, what he's accomplished during his term as D8 Supervisor and what he hopes to accomplish as Senator.  He also spoke about Proposition E, which transfers responsibility of street tree care from the homeowner back to the City.  Please vote to support this!

Roosevelt/17th St/Upper Terrace project:  After dozens of emails, phone conversations and meetings, several parts of the plan for this site remain unclear.  The Planning Dept's Residential Design Team (RDT) came up with several requirements that have drastically improved the overall look of the project.   The buildings along 17th and Roosevelt are visually improved, with "view corridors" between each of the 3 duplexes.  
They are now working with DPW and a committee of neighbors (I'm included) to determine which improvements to the Monument Way stairs would be best for the community.  The most obvious is the structural rehabilitation of the stairs themselves.  Then there would be lighting, landscaping and irrigation.  
There are many lingering issues with this project: 
  • The overall size: The last drawings showed an overall square footage of over 51,000 square feet.  That's over 5,000 square feet average.  
  • Lap pools are still included in the plans. 
  • The geotechnical report supports the fact that there is great instability in the hill.  Since Corbett Heights has just experienced 2 landslides (17th St. above Uranus, and Corbett, just west of Mars) this issue is of great concern.  This doesn't mean the project can't or shouldn't move forward, but it would be good to clarify what the plan will be to counter the concern. 
  • There will be over 2 years of horrific dust, debris, trucks, noise and congestion.  We would like to know how they intend to mitigate this issue.
Several neighbors plan on continuing to meet to stay on top of this issue.  Let me know if you'd like to be included.

Corbett Slope!
I just met with 7 members of DPW staff, along with Andres Power from Scott Wiener's office and our wonderful caretaker of the Slope - Gary Robertson this afternoon in City Hall.  I'm really happy to announce that the stairway connecting Corbett to Market is back in the plan!  From Corbett, they will begin just west of the bend in the fence, in the western half, arch to the right, and then arch back to the left to reach Market St.  A portion of the wall will be eliminated in order to access the stairs from Market.  
There will also be a portion of the upper "level" area that will be covered with a permeable surface suitable for persons with disabilities.  
All in all, this will be a phenomenal bonus to our neighborhood!

Corbett/Ord Triangle Park:
Earlier this year a group of us constructed a short stone wall along the Corbett side of the park, for the purpose of retaining some of the detritus, and preventing it from covering the sidewalk as often.  We also had a huge amount of mulch delivered which we spread over the accessible area.  Since then Olga and Brad have been there spending hours cleaning up the park on the 3rd Saturday of every month.  
Our intention was to replant some of the now bare areas.  DPW promised to help out with this over a year ago.  Somehow our little project never remained a priority for very long.  But as of last week, it's been "confirmed" (although I hate to potentially jinx it) that the following will take place by the 3rd week in October:
  • Plant a new ginkgo tree in the NW corner to replace a dead pepper tree that was removed;
  • Replace the doggie bag post that their crew knocked down when removing the dead tree;
  • Replace uplifted sidewalks along both Corbett and 17th;
  • Supplement the path on the upper portion with new DG (decomposed granite) as it has sagged over the years;
  • Provide a lockable cage over the timer apparatus to prevent it from being vandalized.
I'm trying to see if they'll help with replacing the irrigation hoses also. After all this, replanting can begin!

The History Project
It was finally finished a few months ago, and submitted to all of the necessary recipients.  And, months later, we are still waiting for their review to be completed.  Everything moves so painfully slowly.  Once it's all approved, our next step is to figure out printing and/or publishing.

75 Mars:  
This most ridiculous project will have taken longer to build than the Golden Gate Bridge.  I've spoken with the owner - Jonathan Deason - many, many times about the delays, and the extra cost for these delays.  I do believe he would like this to be finished at least as much as we would, but the reasons for the perennial delays have never made sense to me. 

George Miley:  I think that over the years, I've received more emails and complaints and inquiries about our resident homeless person than anyone or anything else.  George can usually be found on or near the bench at the top of Merritt Park (at Danvers and Market) - with or without his pants on.  He grew up across the street on Danvers.  His nephew still lives there.  When it's raining he apparently is allowed to sleep on the doorway landing.  
The police apparently have asked him to move along several times, but he always returns. No one is permitted to sleep or store anything in a public space.   If you'd like to complain to the police, I have direct contact info for the officers who deal with this sort of thing.

And Last:
I'm currently acting chair of Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association's (EVNA) Land Use Committee. The Committee discusses residential and commercial projects within Eureka Valley in all stages of the permitting process.  It focuses on ensuring that these projects are compatible with and meet the needs of our residential and business communities.  
The committee meets the first Wednesday of every month from 7:00 to 8:30 at the Chase Bank at the corner of 15th, Sanchez and Market Streets. In addition to discussing plans and permits, the committee delves into issues such as affordable housing, historic preservation, protection of green spaces and more.  
We're looking for people knowledgeable in land use issues and the intricacies of the Planning process and those who have a serious interest in learning. Let me know if you have any interest in getting involved or checking us out!

Really last: Our (CHN) Board currently has 8 members. If you've been a member for at least 3 months, and would be interested in joining us, let me know. Maybe you wouldn't need to wait so long between updates!

- Gary

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Corbett Heights Meeting Reminder

Hi Neighbors -

One last reminder that our meeting will be this coming Thursday, July 28th.  
Here are some of the things we'll be discussing:

- Supervisor Wiener who is running for State Senate will discuss District 8 and citywide issues.  
- Joel Pomerantz will give a talk on San Francisco's historic waterscape and natural environment.  (Contributions towards Joel's talk are not compulsory, but gratefully accepted!)
- Due to all the recent break-ins, we are hoping to have a discussion on any security systems or cameras/lighting that people have found successful.
- If you haven't voted yet to approve or disapprove our slate of officers, and our changes to the bylaws you may do so at the meeting.
- SFMTA has just finished a study of traffic circulation in Upper Market.  The results have dismayed many neighbors and businesses.  I'll discuss all of the contentious parts.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, July 22, 2016


Hi Corbett Heights Folks -

Since 2011, property owners in San Francisco have been responsible for maintaining the street trees that are in front of or adjacent to their homes.  You've probably heard about all of the problems that have ensued due to this poor decision.

Supervisor Wiener has proposed a ballot measure for a small parcel tax.  Funds from this tax would enable the city to once again take responsibility for the care and maintenance of the trees.  The proposal had the support of voters and until recently seemed as though it would easily get the support of 6 Supervisors.

At this week's Supervisor's meeting, Supervisor Mar, who had been a co-sponsor of the proposal, withdrew his name saying he wasn't sure anymore whether the parcel tax was the right approach.  In the meantime, care of San Francisco's trees remain in limbo.  

Please send a quick note to Supervisor Mar, asking that he reconsider and vote next week to support Supervisor Wiener's proposal.

Your note can say something like:
Dear Supervisor Mar:
We are very concerned about the state of our street trees, and feel that 
Supervisor Wiener's proposal, that until this week you had been a co-sponsor,
is the best solution.  Please, for the sake of the trees, vote to support this 

Thank you,

Jane Doe
Main Street.

His email address is:

Thank you!!
- Gary

Thursday, July 21, 2016

CHN Meeting - July 28, 2016




7:00 PM



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


  • Supervisor Scott Wiener will discuss District 8 issues

  • Joel Pomerantz - Presentation on SF's Historic Waterscape & Natural Environment

  • Discussion on Security Systems/Lighting

  • Corbett Heights History Project - finished!!

  • Reports on Corbett Heights' Parks

  • Successes Combatting Monster Homes in Corbett Heights

  • SFMTA's Upper Market Traffic Circulation Redo

  • Vote on CHN Board Officers/Approve Bylaws Changes

  • Castro & Upper Market Development Projects

  • and more...


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Membership is not required to attend meetings. Those who pay dues ($15/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:

Corbett Heights Meeting Next Thursday, July 28!

Hi Neighbors,

We have a packed agenda for our meeting next week:
- Supervisor Wiener who is running for State Senate will discuss District 8 and citywide issues.  
- Joel Pomerantz will give a talk on San Francisco's historic waterscape and natural environment.  (Contributions towards Joel's talk are not compulsory, but gratefully accepted!)
- Due to all the recent break-ins, we are hoping to have a discussion on any security systems or cameras/lighting that people have found successful.
- If you haven't voted yet to approve or disapprove our slate of officers, and our changes to the bylaws you may do so at the meeting.
- SFMTA has just finished a study of traffic circulation in Upper Market.  The results have dismayed many neighbors and businesses.  I'll discuss all of the contentious parts.

Attached below are a copy of the CHN Meeting Notice and also a link to the Upper Market Circulation Study:


Hope to see you at the meeting!!

- Gary

Friday, June 10, 2016

Some Corbett Heights News

Hi Neighbors,
Here are a few bits of neighborhood news:

  • Our next meeting will be on Thursday, July 28th, and we have a tentative yes from Supervisor Wiener.  Also, Joel Pomerantz will be coming to speak to us.  He's the founder of Thinkwalks, and the creator of Seep City - a map and book showing San Francisco's historic waterscape.  He loves sharing his knowledge of the natural environment.  
  • The crime wave continues.  I received this email from a neighbor on 17th Street last week:  

My two neighbors one house down the hill were home around 9:30 Monday night when a tweeker started breaking down the front door. They called 911 and apparently there had been other reports of a suspicious person in the neighborhood because the cops showed up while the guy was still trying to get in. Two cops had to battle the guy down the stairs and it took two more cops to cuff him.

AND - Just last night, under the street lamp near the corner of Mars and Corbett - across from security motion sensor lights that go off when even a hummingbird flies by - our tenant had all 4 wheels stolen from his Subaru.  Here's a photo:

  • DPW is still "discussing" how best to spend the $165,000 that Supervisor Wiener was able to get from last year's budget to use to turn the Corbett Slope into an actual park.  
  • Believe it or not, the History Project is still moving forward.  According to our consultant, it will be submitted for approval in July!  Including the text, the maps and the photos it's about 250 pages.
  • For those short-term-rental folks, here's a informational notice from the city:

  • And last - please check out:  Sometime within the last year I received an email from a concerned resident of Noe Valley who was fighting demolition of a small cottage on Valley Street.  Mid-battle he discovered that the house was actually an intact "earthquake cottage".  While the Planning Department was looking into its history to determine whether it was a historic resource worthy of preserving, it was discovered that it was actually 2 earthquake cottages that were placed at right angles to form a "T".  The battle seemed to have been won as the Planning Department refused to authorize the demolition.  Marc Norton, who's been battling this for over a year, is continuing to collect signatures.  We supported his efforts last year.  If you haven't signed yet…. Here's the latest:

Real estate speculators never seem to quit, and John Shrader -- who bought the property on Valley Street -- is no exception. 

Shrader has now come back with a new proposal.  He wants to demolish one of the Earthquake Shacks, move the other shack to the front of the property, and put it up on a "one story pedestal."  He then wants to create two units on the property, both entered through the one relocated Earthquake Shack that would survive the wrecking ball.  One unit would have two bedrooms, the other "3 bedrooms and a roof deck."  Somehow this would fit into a "3 story over basement" [i.e., 4 stories] structure, plus a roof deck.

 Shrader has not submitted any drawings or plans, but wants the Planning Department to let him know "if you think this is going in the right direction."
 Shrader does not seem to have gotten the message from the Planning Department that "369 Valley Street stands as one of the better examples of a compilation of Earthquake Shacks that retains a high degree of integrity and conveys the distinctive characteristics of these unique property types."
 We hope that the Planning Department will reject this new proposal from Mr. Shrader, consistent with their previous findings.
Stay tuned.

That's all for now.
- Gary