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