DZLU COMMITTEE OF RHN
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 @ 7:00 P.M.
Guest Speaker: Executive Director Dan Flanagan from Friends of the Urban Forest. Mr. Flanagan opened with many statistics about tree planting in San Francisco, including the fact that FUF has planted 50,000 trees to date and many sidewalk gardens and the alarming statistic that although approximately 1,200 new trees are planted/yr. by FUF and by private residents in SF, we are losing approximately 4,000 a year! Trees need care every year and yet the SF budget for trees is cut every year! FUF is proposing that the City take back responsibility for all street trees and that this be funded by a parcel tax on all properties in the city by 5 designations: 1) Condo/ T.I.C. w/under 20’ frontage, 2) Those with 20-40’ frontage, 3) Private homes, 4) Corner properties (double frontage), and 5) BOMA (over 1,600 sq. ft.). FUF, they has the support of DPW and the Supervisors for their initiative, and are hoping for ours and other neighborhood organizations’ support for this parcel tax plan. (He asked if we could put a note of support in our e-blast plus an announcement of their December tree planting on Russian Hill.)
1) ACTIVE PROJECTS:
- 627 Vallejo (Little Mama’s): It was reported that on July 28th the SF BOS unanimously approved the zoning legislation required to allow Mama’s to open at the vacant site of the old Rossi Market. Mama’s lease was conditional on this approval, so it is anticipated that this project will be going forward shortly.
- Macondray Lane Stairs: A meeting was held on 9/17 with DPW’s Bureau of Street Use and Mapping (who have jurisdiction over the stair), preservation specialists from the Planning Dept., Mason Lee (legislative aide to Supervisor Christensen) and Bob Bluhm. The meeting’s purpose was to discuss how to best utilize the $100,000 provided to DPW for Macondray Lane stair improvements via budget add-backs by Supervisor Christensen. The meeting clarified that, in order for the City to formally “accept the stairs and maintain them in the future, they would need to be replaced to meet City standards in a historically appropriate design. (Replication of the current design would not meet the acceptance standard.) It was also confirmed that the replacement costs would far exceed $100,000. DPW proposed that half of the funds be allocated for required studies, initiated by a Historic Resources Assessment, to establish a pathway toward ultimate replacement, and that half be allocated in the short term for stair repairs and maintenance by the City in the interest of public safety. Our representative was encouraged to seek grants from such groups as SF Architectural Heritage and SF Historic Preservation Fund Committee Grants from the SF Office of Economic and Workforce Development. In conferring with Mason Lee from Supervisor Christensen’s office after the meeting it was learned that the Supervisor clarified that her intent is that the $100k be used completely for maintenance by DPW to keep the stairs in reasonable shape for a number of years and relieve the abuttor, and it is NOT for studies toward a long-term replacement. That information was relayed to DPW. Long term, we can continue making the case to the City to find existing programs/budgets towards ultimate replacement of the stairs plus accepting permanent responsibility for maintenance.
2) OTHER PROJECTS:
– The problem was again raised of trucks crashing down Greenwich Street between Larkin and Polk and asked what committee should be dealing with this safety issue. It was decided to ask the RHN Board what committee should deal with this and perhaps suggest some possible preventative action the City might take.
3) NEIGHBOR INQUIRIES
- At the request of a neighbor, discussion ensued about the possibility of improving the DBI process for the timing of permitted construction and that perhaps we might develop a Contractor’s Good Neighbor Policy for Russian Hill (Nafiseh has some information on this and Carol Anne offered to work with her on this.) It was also suggested that we invite someone from Pacific Heights to our November meeting about how THEY developed their policy.