1) ACTIVE PROJECTS (Key projects only):
a. Francisco Reservoir: Our representative reported that 1) The Conservancy had an exploratory meeting with Rec & Park staff on how the park is to be managed. The Francisco Park Conservancy is seeking to have construction, operations and maintenance fully under the Conservancy’s (RHIA’s) control and funding. This may take some diplomacy. 2) They also had a beginning meeting the S.F. Planning Dept. regarding the permit process, i.e. potential for EIR, historic significance of bricks, etc. 3) A survey (paid for by the City) is completed and in hand.
Last month we asked our represetative about the makeup of the Conservancy Board members. Has a final plan been made for implementation of what neighborhood groups, etc. will serve and how many slots will be allotted to RHN and to each of the other groups. He is to get back to us on this.
b. Roof Deck Policy: Our representative prepared an initial draft framework for reviewing roof deck proposals, reflecting such neighborhood concerns as blockage of public views, massiveness as seen from the street, architectural detail, an quality of life issues including noise, light and privacy. Refinement is ongoing.
c. 1045-1061 Broadway – Tree Removal : Our representative sent a report indicating that the Appeal Board’s original 1/14 decision holds that four trees can be removed, but only if replaced by 5 large trees no later than 4 months after the original trees are removed. We will track at each DZLU meeting whether trees are removed, and if so, timing and details of replacement.
d. Macondray Lane – Wooden Stairs: Per the Mgr of Regulatory Affairs, Infractructure Design, and Construction at DPW, the current thinking is that the stairs would need to be rebuilt “in kind” because of their historic nature. An historic resources report and consultation with qualified historic architectural designers is required. DPW will prepare a scope and project plan. We also plan to ask Julie Christiansen (our new District 3 Supervisor) if she might help champion this project, identifying potential reconstruction funding and qualifying it for DPW to take over responsibility for these stairs.
e. Undergrounding: Our representative met with Supervisor Mark Farrell and found that a new Budget & Legislative Analyst’s report showed better numbers w/more thorough research for undergrounding in San Francisco. From the four numbers listed, DZLU urged her to stick with San Diego as her example @ $3.66 Million/mile. She might do more work with Katy Tang, who is the most enthusiastic Supervisor re: undergrounding. (Track the progress of this committee at: sfundergrounding.org.)
f. 1111-1133 Green Street (“Animal House”): It was felt that there is little, if anything DZLU can add or do at this point. It is a matter of tenant/landlord and neighbors.
g. 950 Lombard Street/841 Chestnut: A large portion of the retaining wall has been removed and construction continues on the new driveway on the Lombard Street frontage of the property. It appears some shrubbery and tree(s) have been removed to accommodate this work. Originally, the approved design included new on-site parking which was to have been accessed from Chestnut Street. SF Planning determined that this change from Chestnut to Lombard was not sufficient enough to require new notice to the neighborhood, and that “none of the proposed removed trees were considered significant.”
2) NEW PROJECTS/Neighbor Inquiries/Notices:
a) Neighbor Inquiries
i) Wireless Antennae on Utility Poles: Seven new notices were received by RHN last Monday of new “Tier III Personal Wireless Service Facility Site Permit(s) for Extenet Systems, Inc.” (for Verizon cell service) and we have heard from several concerned neighbors about notices they have received on sites located throughout Russian Hill, with at least 31 sites being within RHN’s borders. Our two chief concerns are whether 1) these antennae might be dangerous to health and/or noisy, and 2) we are VERY concerned about how many of these “facilities” are planned on top of proposed ugly, high extensions to wooden utility poles which happen to be the very poles which Anne’s committee is trying to have taken down and undergrounded! After extensive discussion, it was decided that two DZLU members would follow up on this.
Our two representatives attended a DPW Public Hearing about these Wireless Facilities at City Hall Tuesday morning (2/25). We stated our concerns and afterwards corralled Paul Albritton a Verizon attorney into talking with us and at the very least we were relieved to hear that these antennae do not produce noise and are (supposedly) low frequency “harmless”. We later corralled Omar Masry, the Planning Department Wireless Planner into speaking with us over coffee and found him to be VERY involved and very sympatico to our concerns. We found out that Verizon is pushing use of every wooden utility pole they can (instead of the steel street lights with simpler design which were “sold” to the Board of Supervisors earlier this month) because they have a “public utility right of way” to these poles and would only have to pay a one time fee of $400 (plus construction of the huge ugly 8-10 foot extension to the wooden pole) vs. a charge of $4,000 per year per pole for steel light poles (rented from the City).