Friday, February 5, 2016

Corbett Heights Meeting Notes

Corbett Heights Neighbors Meeting Notes - January 28, 2016

First, I'd like to thank all of the people who distributed the fliers: Janice Low, Kathy and Hank Flanders, Dirk Aguilar, Barbara Presta, Ted Teipel, Tom Murphy & Dash and Kazumi Matsuyama . And thanks to Bill Prince for taking notes during the meeting!

Greatly appreciated!

Leslie Koelsch, our Treasurer gave the Treasurer's report. We have $2733 in our bank account, and have 110 member households.

Supervisor Scott Wiener spent a considerable amount of time discussing issues and dynamics in District 8. He's been working to speed up approval for affordable housing, and sponsored legislation to extend paid parental leave. There was a lot of talk about homelessness and the difficulty of getting people off the street and into housing.

A parcel tax is being discussed as a permanent means for financial support for the care and ongoing maintenance of our street trees. The current system forces property owners to maintain the trees. Besides being unfair, this has proven to have a negative impact on the trees.

The Interim Zoning Controls on development in Corbett and Corona Heights was discussed. There is great interest in making the controls permanent - or even strengthening them - in our neighborhood and others. We have until October before they expire. The supervisor is in talks with the City Attorney and other supervisors to see the best way to approach this.

And - Supervisor Wiener is running for State Senate.

Capt. John Sanford & Officer Jeff Sung spoke with us about crime and homelessness which have increased considerably of late. There have also been more car break-ins and home robberies. He highly recommends SF Safe as a means to increase awareness of crime and other suspicious activities on your block. Never leave anything visible in your car, and always make sure it's locked.

The police non-emergency phone number is: 415-553-0123

The best number to reach the dispatch center for emergencies is: 415-553-8090

Bruce Bowen, a resident of Dolores Heights spoke with us about an enormous and contentious project on Cumberland Street. 313 Cumberland is a vacant lot, and 323 has a small home. The new owners of both would like to merge the lots, demolish the small 1920s home and build a new 8400 square foot home. The hearing before the Planning Commission will be March 31.

The Affordable Housing Bonus Program has become a very contentious issue. It will be heard before the Planning Commission on February 25. Apparently certain Commissioners are concerned that people in District 8 were underrepresented in the most recent Commission hearing, and that people may not understand many of the details and potential impacts of the program. The recommendation is that the program should be tailored or changed to ensure that there can be neighborhood-specific input to the program based on what works for each neighborhood - what works for the Richmond may be inappropriate for the Castro..... it has been suggested that we in District 8 should pay close attention to this, and, if possible, attend the hearing on the 25th.

Undergrounding: Someone asked the question that has been asked many times before - will there be more neighborhood undergrounding? Supervisor Wiener implied that it is unlikely to be considered for a very long time as the anticipated cost would be between $3 - $4 billion.

Upper Terrace/Roosevelt/17th Street Project: This is the gigantic project proposed by owners/architects Dawson & Clinton. The property starts at the corner rock outcropping on Roosevelt at 17th Street and goes up to Upper Terrace. They've submitted plans several months ago – for 9 large homes - and are still negotiating with the Residential Design Team at the Planning Dept. It has been suggested that a new stairway be constructed from Roosevelt and end on Upper Terrace. At some point we will conduct a survey to determine whether there is neighborhood support for this stairway. Regarding the project itself, it does not even approach compliance with the intent of the Interim Zoning Controls. More about this later.

History Project: The consultant who has written our context statement (the History Project) - Michael Corbett - was working with someone within the Planning Dept. and making the final changes that were suggested. This person is now no longer with the Dept. A new representative is requesting yet additional changes.

One day this will be finished - and printed - hopefully this Spring!

Corbett/Ord Triangle: Providing it does not rain this Sunday, 2/7, we will be working on finishing the stone wall we started in December. Please stop by if you'd like to help - or just to see what we've done. We'll be there from about 10AM - 2PM.

75 Mars: Minor interior changes have caused permitting delays. Work has pretty much been stopped for the last couple of months. The park, however, is being worked on again. I've stopped trying to figure out what they're doing, but the open area now finally connects with Corbett.

32 Ord Court: The existing building is an approximately 1800 square foot home. The owners would like to expand it to close to 5000 square feet. It is out of compliance with the intent of the Interim Zoning Controls for this reason. The neighbors have requested modifications that were rejected by the project sponsor. There was a hearing recently during which the Planning Commissioners requested that they add a full second unit, and work with the neighbors to try and negotiate a compromise. We have a mediation meeting this Monday. And another Commission hearing will take place on March 3.


RC Station (376 Castro): No news.

2175 Market (76 Station): They supposedly had a "soft" opening this week. The main ground floor space will be Myriad Marketplace which will contain an assortment of small shops. The corner space will be a restaurant run by the owners of Mission Beach Cafe.

410 Castro/Sprint/Noah's Bagels space will most likely become a Fomula Retail (chain store) called LaserAway Skin Care.

Sullivan's Funeral Home is being developed by Prado Group which was also responsible for the Whole Foods building on Market at Dolores. They're proposing a LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Platinum building with 45 units and 13,550 square feet of ground floor retail. It would be 55' along Market St, and 40' along 15th. The funeral parlor building will remain as will the 3 flat building on 15th St.

Several neighborhood organizations have requested that they include 20% affordable housing as opposed to the required 12%. They so far have refused. There is also concern with the uninspired building design.

Home Restaurant (2100 Market): This project is being presented by Brian Spiers of the big ice-cube tray building at Market and Buchanan fame. He would like to build a mostly glass, 7 story building that would include 62 units and 2600 square feet of ground floor retail. The overall design is a concern to many as is his refusal to provide more than 12% affordable housing.

2029 Market St (Mecca/Shanghai Restaurants) will most likely be the new home of the Apothecarium.

A Formula Retail company called Massage Envy is interested in the old Radio Shack space.

A company called Sharper Future, a sex offender treatment and rehabilitation facility, was hoping to move into the old Out of the Closet space on the corner of Church and Duboce. But after discovering the nature of the business, dozens of neighboring residents and businesses were upset about the business' proximity to a middle school and Duboce Park. There was no outreach to the community. Supervisor Wiener requested that outreach be done before allowing the business to move in.

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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