DZLU MEETING DATE: February 18, 2020
1. ONGOING PROJECT UPDATES
a. SFCUU – Underground Utilities – It is anticipated that the Telamon report will be presented to the SF Board of Supervisors in March. SFCUU will be invited to one more pre-publication meeting.
SFCUU met with Mayor Breed’s budget and finance office on 2/18/20 to repeat its request of funds for the Master Plan. A total of $1 million is sought over two years to undertake a full Master Plan.
b. 1580 PACIFIC (at Polk) – JS Sullivan, the developers of the Jug Shop property, made a presentation to the Van Ness Corridor Neighborhood Council on 2/4. The project is moving through Planning and is on its second review. It is anticipated that in 3 – 5 months they will present to the Planning Commission for Conditional Use approval, followed by 18 months of construction. The project proposes 90,000 sq ft of new construction with five residential levels over a ground floor retail level. The project currently envisions a total of 53 residential units comprised of 28 – 1 BR, 21 – 2BR, 4 – 3BR units, of which 9 (17%) will be onsite affordable. Two of the units will be 2-story townhome units that open directly to Pacific. The developer is in ongoing discussions with the Jug Shop to maintain a corner presence.
Two additional commercial spaces are envisioned along Polk St. 32 parking places are planned – 27 for residents in a stacker system, plus 4 commercial spaces and 1 car share space. VNCNC was supportive of the proposal. DZLU will reach out to the developer and invite them to make a presentation and receive feedback later in the spring.
c. 1650 POLK (at Clay) — The family that owns the old Big Apple Market site (and ran the grocery there for decades), after two failed attempts to lease the building to other developers/projects, have decided to propose something they are calling Big Apple Playground, which would be a child/family “entertainment” place with all sorts of games
and equipment plus family type food service on the ground floor together with party spaces in the basement area, utilizing the current building for this purpose. Apparently, these kinds of places are being developed around the country (and globally) and have become quite popular. They foresee a subscription plan for families to enjoy the 5,000+ sq ft play area in the basement of the building. VNCNC voted to support the concept and DZLU will follow its progress. We understand this use would need to be approved as a Conditional Use by the Planning Commission.
Though outside RHN’s boundaries, DZLU is interested in this concept. Prompt revitalization of this vacant property with such a family-serving use would be beneficial. Some in DZLU felt reusing the building as js would underutilize the site and preferred that this be explored as part of a denser mixed-use residential project. If the existing building is reused, DZLU urged that the current exterior elevations be tended to,
with high quality graphics, lighting and building materials. Another committee member shared a concern that reconciling privacy and security issues that may be associated with a children’s play area with the desire for activation and transparency at the street level is an issue that would need to be creatively addressed.
2. ONGOING POLICY UPDATES
a. LOMBARD STREET — In the ongoing effort of RHN to advocate for the protection of our residential neighborhood, RHN representatives attended a meeting at City Hall on February 6th that had been called by Supervisor Catherine Stefani who had assembled stakeholders for Lombard Street. Catherine Stefani and Margaux Kelly, from the Office of Economic and Workforce Development introduced Drew Becher of the San Francisco Parks Alliance who will be managing a pro-active management program of this area. This will include traffic managers, and roving “ambassadors” staffed by Urban Alchemy. It appears that there is funding for this outside of District 2. There will be site managers and contacts to react to neighbors’ feedback. Representatives from the Lombard Hill Association shared support of the announcement and agreed that they did not want potential signage to look too commercial. The SF Park Alliance Action Plan is due to be implemented officially by March 16th and will likely be tried out before then.
b. POSSIBLE COMMERCIAL VACANCY TAX – RHN’s Local Businesses Chair had attended a Town Hall on 1/26 on Prop D which would impose a vacancy tax on empty storefronts in certain commercial areas of the City. DZLU representatives had also attended a North Beach Neighbors meeting on 2/10 that included both a pro and con presentation of Prop D. Please see minutes of DZLU’s 11/19/19 meeting for a recap of some of these arguments.
c. SB 50 AND OTHER HOUSING LEGISLATION – As reported last month, the legislation failed to receive the required number of votes in the Senate for passage. We will continue to follow future proposals.