Dear Neighbors -Our next neighborhood meeting will be a week from this coming Thursday, on Thursday, January 22, from 7 until 8:45. The entire meeting will be devoted to one subject: development in Corbett and Corona Heights. I'm attaching a link to last week's SF Chronicle article by JK Dineen, as well as a few letters to the editor that followed. Our newly appointed Planning Commissioner, Dennis Richards, will be speaking from the preservation standpoint. Streets like those in our neighborhood are beginning to resemble those south of Market. We have the ability to control this. So PLEASE come to this meeting and hear both sides to this urgent issue! We expect a full house.- Gary
On Corona Heights
What's happening in Corona Heights ("Growing controversy," Jan. 6) is symptomatic of development in many of the city's older neighborhoods. Homes and streets that were designed and constructed in the late 19th and early 20th century are being challenged by increased population and modern technologies. I visited Corona Heights today to better understand the concerns of residents over proposed residential development. Narrow streets clogged with parked vehicles wind down steep hills making driving difficult and parking next to impossible creating a perfect illustration of how density creates congestion.
The streets of the neighborhood are already choked making further development a real threat to its quality of life. Ironically, the charm, intimacy and character of these neighborhoods is attracting development that cannot be supported by the existing infrastructure. San Francisco's boom economy is creating challenges to its architectural and cultural heritage in neighborhoods throughout the city. The question is how can the city accommodate change and preserve its character? There is no simple answer, only a constant re-engagement of intelligent design and community input. What the future holds depends on the decisions made today.
Steve Abney, San Francisco
The article about developers moving in on yet another small, charming neighborhood (Corona Heights) should alarm us all. In this time of dwindling space and natural resources, we need to embrace and encourage the concept of small is OK. Members of the San Francisco Planning Commission who think that a 4,000-square-foot home is necessary in order to raise children are clearly beholden to the developers.
And developers who argue that the city needs homes this big for families are paid to say nonsense like that. I raised three children in a 1,500-square-foot house. Cozy, yes, but it forced us to communicate and get along better than if we could each disappear and avoid each other. The city should support the building of homes with smaller footprints that use far fewer resources. And in doing, help preserve a neighborhood's character.
Holly Hadlock, Mill Valley
Thank you, J.K Dineen, for reporting on the serious issue of the loss of community in San Francisco due to greedy developers and speculators. Sadly, we are losing the very character and fabric that makes the city's neighborhoods unique, all in the name of creating "affordable housing" and "solving the housing crisis." The proposed homes that are mentioned in the article average $3 million! This is "solving the housing crisis"?
Michael Antonini of the Planning Commission says "If you want a big home in San Francisco, you are going to have to pay for it. People with families are going to demand larger homes. If they can't get them here, they will get them somewhere else." Somehow, for the last 150 years or so, families have managed just fine here. Now we have to destroy a unique and beautiful corner of the city in order to create $3 million homes for the "modern family"?
Kenneth Miller, San Francisco