DZLU MEETING DATE: July 23, 2019
1. ONGOING PROJECT UPDATES
a. 1600 JACKSON (AT POLK) — Mollie Stone’s Markets issued a press release on 7-25-2019 announcing its acquisition of its 10th Bay Area location at this site. It plans to open in 2020. DZLU will follow. RHN has been highly supportive of a full-service grocery use for this long vacant building.
2. ONGOING POLICY UPDATES
a. TRANSIT-RICH HOUSING—STATE LEGISLATIVE EFFORTS—SB 50 — DZLU reported on a recent SPUR lunchtime forum on state housing efforts including SB 50 with Senator Wiener and Assemblymembers Chiu and Ting. Wiener will reintroduce the bill next year and is optimistic about passage. DZLU will remind Senator Wiener of our request for a meeting with him to follow up on our earlier letter and discuss potential improvements.
b. UNDERGROUNDING OF UTILITIES — It was reported that PG&E is requesting a ~$2B rate increase related to fire safety to include funding to improve and reinforce existing utility poles, which could make their eventual removal even less likely. DZLU will ask for information on the status of a preliminary study commissioned by DPW, by Telamon Engineering Consultants, to look at utility undergrounding, including potential financing options. Supervisors Stefani and Fewer are co-sponsoring legislation on the safety of overhead power lines to be considered at a meeting of the BOS Safety Committee this Thursday, 7/25. RHN President will send an email to Supervisor Stefani thanking her for her efforts in this area.
c. HISTORIC PRESERVATION DESIGN GUIDELINES — DZLU had previously emailed planning staff to ask about the status of the guidelines, to which the response was that staffing issues had slowed the process. It was noted that concern was expressed by some community members about the potential of historic preservation efforts lagging after the departure of the preservation planning team head. DZLU will continue to monitor progress and consider further advocacy on this.
Subsequent to our meeting, we learned that the Citywide Survey of Historic Resources has started with a three-year timeline for completion and is not impacted by the staffing issues affecting the HPGs.
d. RESIDENTIAL DEMOLITION & ALTERATION CONTROLS — DZLU reviewed its draft policy statement on Supervisor Peskin’s proposed legislation to control extreme residential remodeling. This proposal would attempt to restrict near total demolitions and assess stronger penalties for unpermitted alterations, but many provisions will impede beneficial and needed work. The draft urges separating out the multiple issues covered in the proposal and suggests developing practical measures, many of which would not require legislation, to address clear problems. The draft also urged revisiting provisions that would drastically increase the number of required planning commission reviews. A letter detailing these recommendations will be prepared, but not sent until we have a clearer understanding of the legislative status and direction of these proposals. DZLU will contact planning staff to try to determine where things stand.
Subsequent to our meeting, we ascertained that potential revisions are in Supervisor Peskin’s court. DZLU reached out to Supervisor Perkin’s aide Lee Hepner who confirmed that the legislation as proposed would not be going forward, and instead, they will be looking to address a number of the issues individually. He will keep us informed and offered to meet to continue to receive our input.
e. POLK ST/PACIFIC AVE SPECIAL AREA GUIDELINES — The Planning Commission had approved these on 1-17-2019 and they are scheduled for BOS approval on 7-23. RHN has endorsed these guidelines.
f. LOMBARD ST TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT — AB 1605 (Ting), which would enable San Francisco to set up a reservation and pricing system on the crooked block of Lombard Street, has passed the Assembly and could be enacted as early as next year if it makes its way through the Legislature and is signed by the governor. The city is in the early stages of developing a reservation/toll system to manage the auto traffic around the crooked part of Lombard Street. The SFCTA approved the operations concept at its 7-23-19 meeting. RHN’s Transportation chair spoke at this meeting in support of the plan.