Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Corbett Heights Meeting Notes

Corbett Heights Neighbors Meeting Notes - July 27, 2017

We had quite a packed crowd last Thursday. 55 squeezed into the room.

First - I must thank the folks who helped distribute the fliers: Ted Teipel, Kathy and Hank Flanders, Bill Prince, Janice Low, Paul Allen, Grace Gellerman, Phil Byland, Rick Johnson, Kevin Dunn and Nancy Peoples, Desiree Roldan, Bonnie Day and Dirk Aguilar. Thank you all!

(And thanks to Grace for taking notes!!)

Treasurer's Report: As of last week we had about 115 paid household members. We have about $4000 in our bank account. Thanks to Leslie, our treasurer, for keeping track.

New CHN Board: We voted in our new board: President: Gary Weiss; VP: Maryann Dresner; (We'll have a rotating Secretary); Treasurer: Leslie Koelsch; Other officers: Kevin Dunn, Rick Johnson, Paul Allen, Grace Gellerman, Dirk Aguilar, Brad Lyman and Bill Holtzman.

Chairman of our Garden Committee: We also appointed Garret Robertson to this position. He and partner Jake Shogren have worked to transform the Corbett Slope by planting dozens of mostly native plants. If you are interested in participating in any type of public garden work in Corbett Heights, if you would like to help out during any upcoming garden cleanup days, if you may be interested in becoming a steward of one of our green spaces or if you would like to apply for funding for plants, tools etc., please let me know and I'll forward your contact information to Garret.

CHN Boundaries: We voted to approve the addition of Lower Terrace to Corbett Heights.

CHN Website: Please check out our website: We are finally making some much needed updates - including to our map of our boundaries. And Thanks to Ian Goldstein for helping with the website!

Senator Scott Wiener: This is the first CHN meeting Scott has attended since becoming our Senator. He noted that each time he attends there are more people - said it was the sign of a healthy neighborhood. He said that with a 2/3 Democratic majority in both the CA Senate and Assembly, they are working to defend CA values and inclusiveness.

Following is a listing of some of his accomplishments since taking office:

  • Passed Senate Bill 1 - largest investment in transportation in CA history. If successful we should have stable statewide funding to help fix the transportation infrastructure. 20% will go towards public transportation - BART, CalTrain, MUNI.

  • Helped pass the Cap and Trade extension.

  • Helped pass the budget which includes investiments in K-12 and early childhood education.

  • He's continuing to work to support LGBT issues, authoring a Bill of Rights for elderly LGBT people.

  • Worked on SB35 with a goal to ensure that all communities are addressing the housing shortage in California. This is perhaps the most contentious measure. Some feel it may be very successful in smaller, more spread out communities and less so in SF.

(Only read the following if you're interested in the AT&T box installation issue.)

I asked about AT&T boxes - still a simmering peeve of mine. There is a local issue involving legislation that Scott sponsored a few years ago requiring that AT&T and other companies installing SMFs (surface-mounted facilities) allow murals to be painted on the boxes and landscaping to be provided around them. AT&T threatened to sue SF. Malia Cohen suggested reducing the in-lieu of fee that AT&T would need to pay to get out of it.

My question was regarding the reason that AT&T and other companies are even allowed to install boxes in the public right of way. Telephone service used to be considered a utility. You couldn't live without your landline, and the only way to provide one to you was through this antiquated system. Well now, not only are there numerous other ways to provide this service, but fewer and fewer people even have landlines. These companies provide internet service and offer the ability to stream movies - and the competition is fierce. So why should any company be allowed to pollute our sidewalks in order to compete more cheaply with another company providing the same service?

Several years ago, when AT&T was installing 726 of these glorious boxes, the company representative said on numerous occasions that if a neighborhood does not want the boxes AT&T will not install them. We took them at their word and, after surveying the neighborhood, we proved that over 85% of us didn't want them. We became the only neighborhood in the city to have a moratorium on the boxes. They're now hoping to install 500 more! I'll let you know more as I find out.

Re: an environmental protection question :

Scott                 Scott said he's committed to moving CA to an increasingly greater percentage of clean energy. The goal is to get to 100% by 2050. He authored SB700 to require solar tiles on roofs in SF. Discussed better batteries that will store power when you aren't home and bring more stability to the system. The bill will be in the form of a rebate for home owners and business owners who will install equipment to store energy.

Re: the Water tunnels:

Scott do Scott does not support the tunnels that would allow water to move from the delta to SoCal. He is a big believer in water recycling, and CA is way behind Australia and Israel. We have a longterm structural shortage as a state. The technology is so good now that you can convert any type of water into drinking water.

Re: any impact of SB35 on our neighborhood?

Scott: it Scott: It does not touch local zoning. If a neighborhood is zoned RH-2, you can't build 3 units on it. The bill is about the process - saying to cities that if you zone for density, people need to be able to build for density of zoning. It applies to communities that are not meeting existing goals. SF is meeting its goals for market rate, but not for below market rate.

Re: the increase of the homeless and disabled in tents on our sidewalks.

Scott: th Scott: The voters passed Prop Q last November which was about getting people out of tents and requires 48 hours notice. There is now a process that is more complicated, but deals with tent dwellers in a more humane way. We have to do so much more to invest in ways to address mental health and drug abuse.

Re: his position of single payer bill 562:

Scott vo Scott voted for it. It passed the senate and is in the assembly.

Supervisor Jeff Sheehy:

Re: Homelessness - one somewhat promising bit of news is that it hasn't increased, supposedly, since 2015, whereas Oakland is up 30% and Seattle 20%.He said he's been very focused on the homeless youth, half of whom are LGBT. He's worked to expand the hours at the LGBT Center so kids have a place to go to get off the streets and get linked to services, education, jobs and meals. Worked to expand Larkin Street Youth Center which has outreach workers specifically trained to work with the needs of homeless youth.The SFPD gets between 5-6,000 calls per month on homeless issues.Since taking office he has gotten funding for Harvey Milk Plaza gardens, worked to expand library hours district-wide, and chop-shop legislation.Would love to support any opportunity to prevent more AT&T boxes - and thinks a solution could be Supervisor Farrell's city broadband (fiber) network that will be on the ballot next year.In addition - he sponsored legislation to create a permanent Special Use District - called the Corona Heights Large Residence SUD - to try and combat the proliferation of oversized homes in the area.

Corona Heights Large Residence Special Use District: Supervisor Wiener had sponsored the Corona/Corbett Heights Interim Zoning Controls in 2015. It proved to be a very effective tool in our fight to prevent monster homes from replacing neighborhood cottages and more traditionally sized homes. It was set to expire this past March. We approached Supervisor Sheehy's office about the idea to create a permanent SUD to replace the Interim Zoning Controls. As it turned out, they were very eager to do this. After several versions, amendments and reviews, it went before and was supported by the Planning Commission recently, followed by two hearings before the Board of Supervisors where it was supported unanimously. On July 21, the Mayor signed it. We are now the only neighborhood in SF to be a SUD, created specifically to battle over-development.

Corbett Heights Historic Context Statement or as we have so fondly referred to it as - The History Project - is now finally complete! It will go before the Historic Preservation Commission on Wednesday, August 16th. The agenda for the hearing is not available yet, but it starts at 12:30 in Room 400 of City Hall. Please send letters of support to by August 4. Come in person if you can.

Corbett Slope: Very exciting! Work began a couple of months ago. A slab has been poured that will be ADA compliant. It will be surrounded by incredible redwood planters - made with 3"X12" redwood slabs. This whole area will be accessible to people with disabilities. DPW will complete the planters, irrigation system and a new sidewalk. Then they will fill the planters with soil and provide some of the plants. Garret and his partner Jake have provided close to 100 plants already for the hillside. Next year the work to build the stairway down to Market will ensue. Please - we will need volunteers to help out after the work is complete. We hope to form the Friends of Corbett Slope.

Upper Terrace/Roosevelt/17th Street project: At this point the hearing for this project has been continued indefinitely. Due to all of the instability of the hillside, there is an environmental review going on. Apparently it is nowhere near complete. It does not mean the hearing will never take place - it just means that until the review has been completed and submitted, they cannot plan a date for it to be heard.

At this point they do have some support from some residents on Upper Terrace, but they won't be nearly as impacted as the residents below. All of the residents who live either on 17th Street or on Roosevelt remain opposed for one reason or another. The plan is still to build 10 units - 5 buildings. And the average square footage remains around 5,000.

75 Mars: Almost finished! Really. The park portion has now been landscaped with quite a wonderful selection of trees and shrubs, and I assume the stairway will actually open shortly.

3198 Market: This is the landlocked parcel just east of the Miller-Joost house on Market, and just below what has been fondly known as Al's Park. The work has finally begun. In order to satisfy the Fire Department, and to allow for a pair of paramedics to move someone up that hill, it was required that the access path be 4' wide, with an addional foot on each side - making it a 6' wide path. In order to accomplish this, they removed all of the plants and "artifacts" that had been there for years. It's a little startling to see the area so denuded, but in the very near future, we'll be forming a garden committee specifically for the site. It will eventually look spectacular. Also suggested is the planting of a tree to honor Al. And - many of the "artifacts" will be returned.

1965 Market/FedEx: The current owners/project sponsors - Jeffrey Keller and Eric Grover of Keller Grover, LLP, a law firm are awaiting an environmental review. The UDAT (Urban Design Advisory Team) has apparently reviewed it, but their results are not publicly available. The Mission Revival building is considered a historic resource and must be retained.

Sullivan's Funeral Home (2254 Market): The mortuary has ceased operations, but Prado Group, the real estate development and investment company, and property managers are apparently waiting for something in order to break ground.

Home Restaurant 2100 Market): In progress. Will be seven stories with 62 units and two ground-floor retail spaces - including one on 14th Street.

Lucky 13 (2140 Market): After years of working on this, the owner has decided to sell. They had received most of their entitlements to build. 50' tall, 40' on the back.

Volvo Centrum (3512 16th Street: The owners - Martin Building Group decided to just fix up the existing building and lease the space. No additional stories to be added at this time.

Thanks for your interest in the neighborhood!

- Gary