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Family Play Date on Sunday May 20 from 10-12 am at Helen Wills. We will have coffee, doughnuts, and a chance to get to know your neighbors! Please join us and spread the word!
After receiving many inquiries regarding the possibility of establishing some kind of regular schedule of mechanical street cleaning, the Neighborhood Improvement Committee recommended to the RHN Board of Directors that we conduct an online survey of our members on this issue. Thank you to the 321 of you who responded. A solid 70% favor mechanized street cleaning. We will be meeting with city officials to determine appropriate next steps and will continue to report to you on our progress.
The results have been compiled and can be viewed at RHN Street Cleaning Survey.
DZLU MEETING DATE: April 17, 2018
1. ONGOING PROJECT UPDATES:
a. PHILZ COFFEE at 2230 POLK — The Conditional Use hearing (because Philz is a formula retail use) is scheduled for May 10th. The consensus of DZLU (7 in favor, 2 abstentions) was to support Philz’s application. We agreed that DZLU should draft a support letter to the Board expressing our concern that this location has been vacant for over 10 months and about the increasing number of empty storefronts on this northern part of Polk Street’s commercial district, and noting that Philz has offered ideas to “localize” this café by planning such events as local art displays, literature readings, etc. Though there is concern that the market for this use may have reached its limit, each café nevertheless has different products, ambience and personality. Philz was founded in San Francisco, appears to be popular in other SF neighborhoods, and there seems to be interest among Russian Hill residents.
b. WHOLE FOODS 365 at 1600 JACKSON — RHN sent another letter of support to the Planning Commission, its third over the past 2+ years, as did many individual supporters. Planning staff is supporting the project. It was urged that all attend the Conditional Use hearing on April 26th.
Note: Subsequent to DZLU’s meeting, the Commission voted, after much testimony pro and con, to continue the hearing for 90 days asking the WF team and the building developer to consider the possibility of retaining the existing building with the full grocery in the 20,000 sf ground floor, but using the 2nd floor, and perhaps some expansion to a 3rd floor “penthouse” in order to incorporate a housing element into this project. While the Commission directed the developer to explore adding housing, a totally new replacement mixed-use building project would not be able to include a grocery store of this scale because Polk Street’s zoning prohibits retail space over 4,000 sf. Most of the Commissioners appeared to acknowledge the breadth of support from neighborhood residents.
c. 915 NORTH POINT – 37 units in four stories. Jamestown (developer) relayed there is no firm date yet for a Conditional Use hearing, though it is anticipated it will be scheduled for late summer or early fall.
2. ONGOING POLICY UPDATES:
a. POLK STREET/PACIFIC AVENUE SPECIAL AREA GUIDELINES — DZLU representatives had met with Planning who shared the guidelines and invited comment. These are a parallel document to the more general Urban Design Guidelines approved by the Planning Commission on March 22nd. They focus on site planning, architecture and public realm design principles with a sharper focus on issues pertinent to Polk St. As with the Urban Design Guidelines, they do not modify existing zoning or height limits. DZLU will draft a comment letter to Planning for Board review.
b. SB 827 TRANSIT-RICH HOUSING — Scott Wiener’s proposed legislation failed to advance at the Senate’s Housing and Transportation Committee’s hearing on April 17th. It may be taken up again after more revisions next year.
Note: Subsequent to DZLU’s meeting, RHN President met on 4/27 with Senator Wiener and neighborhood association representatives from Cow Hollow, the Marina, Presidio Heights and Pacific Heights requesting a “seat at the table” on any future efforts on this bill.
c. RESIDENTIAL DESIGN GUIDELINES REVISIONS — DZLU requested that Planning keep RHN/DZLU involved and updated on this.
d. SF URBAN DESIGN GUIDELINES — Planning Commission approved these on March 22nd. RHN had sent a letter providing comments over a year ago which have been incorporated or acknowledged, and DZLU had no objection to the final draft.
As a Russian Hill Member, sign up through our website and get 10% refunded once registration is complete.
Nine Studio is offering summer camp from June 11 to August 24, 2018 for ages 4 – 11. Each week will feature a different theme and series of art classes.
Spend summer with us!
DZLU MEETING DATE: March 20, 2018
1. ONGOING PROJECT UPDATES:
a. WHOLE FOODS 365 at 1600 JACKSON
PLEASE BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR FUTURE EBLASTS SPECIFICALLY ON THIS ISSUE.
The Conditional Use hearing before the Planning Commission has been scheduled for April 26th, sometime after 1PM.
(1) Please send individual letters to the Planning Commission, if you have not done so recently, at least one week in advance of the hearing.
(2) Please attend the hearing and express your opinion and reasons!
b. 982 GREEN — A variance was approved on 1-24-2018 allowing historic restoration to proceed on this project, which had undertaken significant work without all permits. Neighbors’ expectation is that construction will commence and be completed in full accordance with the City’s directives on historic preservation of the south elevation. This work includes removal of side additions, installation of appropriate windows and trim, removal of the eastern garage and reduction in height of the 2nd garage by removing its gable. (The variance was for an extension on the non-historic north elevation and for the front yard location of the permitted carport.) In September 2017, RHN issued a letter to Planning (which Planning later cited in its actions) reinforcing the full restoration directives and other enforcement actions.
2. ONGOING POLICY UPDATES:
a. SB 827 TRANSIT-RICH HOUSING – Sen. Scott Wiener’s state-wide proposed legislation would allow a development within ¼ mile of a major transit stop to be built higher than existing zoning limits in order to provide additional housing, without local input. Heights would be a function of street width.
This is a highly controversial new piece of legislation, with the expectation that many modifications will be made to be more inclusive of San Francisco’s specific needs and challenges, and responsive to input from RHN. Our recommendation is to review all information and to carefully and thoughtfully follow the legislation through the amendment process, prior to taking any position. Amendments have been offered to strengthen demolition and displacement protections. Ongoing work on the bill is warranted to reflect the high density of Russian Hill and SF’s northeastern neighborhoods and their unique urban design and historic qualities.
b. SF URBAN DESIGN GUIDELINES – This went to Planning Commission for final approval 3-22-18 (status to be confirmed). RHN had sent a letter providing comments over a year ago which have been incorporated or acknowledged. DZLU does not object to latest draft.
c. UNDERGROUNDING OF UTILITIES
i. Endorsement secured from India Basin Neighborhood Association, and ongoing discussions with other groups,
ii. Starting a monthly SFCUU newsletter,
iii. Exploring the idea of moving the Master Plan to SFPUC and funding potential,
iv. SFCUU is supporting Proposition A in June election regarding SFPUC bonds for water & green power,
v. SFCUU highlighted recent Chronicle report on PG&E undergrounding funds being directed to other system improvements and municipality credits being cut without discussion, and
vi. SFCUU is working to secure a meeting with new D2 supervisor Catherine Stefani.
“Do you see any “dead trees” or “empty tree wells” on the sidewalks? Would you like to see more trees or small gardens planted in your neighborhood? The Annual Spring Tree Planting on Russian Hill and Nob Hill is being coordinated now in cooperation with Friends of The Urban Forest. Trees and gardens are now being planted at no cost to homeowners.
Tree maintenance and tree root damaged sidewalk repair now being provided by SF Public Works. Homeowners and or “renters” can apply for new trees, replacement trees, and even small sidewalk gardens to be installed at no cost to homeowners. Applicants will be asked to commit to arranging weekly watering of the new plantings until they are established.
Please contact Jeff Cheney at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to apply for your trees and gardens as part of the 2018 Spring – Russian Hill Tree Planting Project.
Please help us reforest the city.
DZLU MEETING DATE: February 20, 2018
Cheers – Cheers! Grab a drink and mingle with your Russian Hill Neighbors at our Cheers event at a local bar on May 18. Watch for details as we get closer.
Picnic – This year we repeat our popular RHN picnic at Teepee Park on Hyde. Join us at this fun event where we enjoy the beautiful weather while gorging on picnic food. Watch for details as we get closer.
Cheers – Cheers! Grab a drink and mingle with your Russian Hill Neighbors at our Cheers event at a local bar on July 13. Watch for details as we get closer.
Symphony night – Each year RHN participates in a special night at the symphony. You’ll have the opportunity to purchase very low price tickets to this great evening and to be seated with (and meet) others from the neighborhood. Watch for details as we get closer.
Christmas Party – Russian Hill Neighbors annual holiday party will take place on December 9.