The RHN DZLU Committee met on Tuesday 01-24-2017
Some of the projects discussed include:
Lombard Crooked Street: Residents of Lombard Street and other Russian Hill residents attended a meeting with Andrew Heidel of SFMTA and Kanishka Karunaratne, aide to District 2 Supervisor Mark Farrell. The recommendation which had the most consensus was for a toll/reservation system on the “surge” system (photos of the licenses of autos driving down Lombard without reservations and the vehicles’ owners will be fined and billed.) Ms. Karunaratne is looking at both short term and long term solutions, including the Ambassador Program and curb bulb outs at intersections for pedestrian safety. There seemed to be no consensus on short-term solutions. The proposed reservation system was discussed as a possible long-term goal. Social media could be used to discourage overcrowding at peak times. Mr. Heidel and his colleagues offered additional options, but none were universally supported. There would likely be funds for traffic and construction, but possibly not for additional personnel. A report with recommendations will ultimately be presented to the Board of Supervisors for consideration. Smash and grabs auto break-ins continue despite the many efforts to curtail them. The police strongly recommend the installation of surveillance cameras by property owners.
Residential Guidelines for Russian Hill: The idea of establishing specific Residential Design Guidelines for Russian Hill had come up during a meeting with District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin. Other neighborhoods have done this to help preserve a specific neighborhood’s character. This is easier in very cohesive areas, and would likely be much more difficult due to the great variety of architecture on Russian Hill. DZLU will continue to investigate this idea.
1023 Vallejo St (1917 Julia Morgan): Since the City has determined that the property has historic merit and that the project cannot proceed as submitted, we are waiting to be advised if the project sponsors submit a revised proposal in accordance with the imposed restrictions.
Undergrounding of Utilities: SFCUU (San Francisco Coalition to Underground Utilities) will be meeting with CSFN (Coalition of San Francisco Neighborhoods) next month, as a means of further outreach seeking support from additional neighborhood organizations. SFCUU also met with the director of FUF (Friends of the Urban Forest) who agrees that without wooden poles there would be more room for street trees. It is hoped that future undergrounding will use trenchless tunneling as is used in Europe and Britain.
Wireless Antennae of Wooden Poles: Telecommunication companies continue to pursue adding additional equipment to our overburdened and unsightly wooden utility poles. The City Hall hearing in early January regarding 2215 Leavenworth went in favor of the telecom companies. Aesthetics are the only legal argument that can be used.
Possible S.F. Landmark Districts: Three independent proposals for significant expansions to private residences have recently raised concerns among neighbors about preserving historic resources on Russian Hill. DZLU’s meeting with the Historic Preservation Commission last Fall introduced the idea of developing SF Landmark Historic Districts for the three existing National Register districts: Vallejo Crest, Macondray Lane and the “Paris (1000) Block” of Green Street. San Francisco’s Historic Landmark Designation offers a customized ordinance for each district to
identify and protect character-defining features of that district. Currently, two groups of residents are exploring SF Landmark designation for two separate portions of Lombard Street. We hope to bring all of the principals involved in these individual efforts together to share information and provide mutual support. From a policy point of view, RHN has traditionally encouraged, supported and even sponsored the creation of Historic Districts as part of its Mission Statement and stated goals for Preservation.