UNN Community Meeting Jan 18, 2023 Summary

Supervisor Mandelman provided citywide updates and informed us about his activities.

We looked at SFMTA’s newly published How To Use Slow Streets Fact Sheet click here.

We reviewed our 2023 neighborhood goals including a look at the recent survey results click here.

UNN member Kit Carson provides this excellent summary of this meeting in the February, 2023 Noe Valley Voice:

The Good, The Bad and The Neighborly
Mandelman Gives State of the City at January Meeting
By Kit Cameron
On Wednesday, Jan. 18, a score of Upper Noe Neighbors turned out for the group’s first meeting in 2023. The attendees got a chance to hear about Slow Sanchez rules, meet the city’s Neighborhood Safety Liaison, learn the results of a neighborhood survey, and pepper their supervisor, Rafael Mandelman, with questions about everything from transit to housing to the fractious subject of unhoused San Franciscans.

The newly re-elected supervisor was greeted with warm applause as he joked that the number of rounds of votes for the president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in January exceeded that of the U.S. House of Representatives for Kevin McCarthy but finally Supervisor Aaron Peskin had been elected.

Mandelman, who chairs the county’s Transportation Authority, bragged that getting Proposition L passed in November gave the city crucial money to revitalize Muni. “We are closer than we have ever been to getting trains [from outside the city] going all the way to downtown San Francisco. It will be a seven-billion-dollar job, funded mostly by the state and federal government, with San Francisco kicking in 300 million,” he said. But he added, “Transit agencies are in a world of hurt,” because the pandemic money that was provided by the federal government is drying up and ridership is still not up to what it was pre-pandemic. “Muni is facing a grim year.”

Strain on City Budget

It is not only Muni looking at a budget shortfall. “San Francisco has a 200-million-dollar deficit this year and is facing a 500-million-dollar deficit next year,” Mandelman said. “The mayor’s office is trying to figure out how to make seven million dollars’ worth of cuts without diminishing city services.

“The police department is already understaffed,” he said. “We need to bring on new officers even as cuts to the budget are being contemplated.” Also, he said, “Mental health services continue to suffer, as we are woefully short on board-and-care and locked facilities for the mentally ill.”

On the housing issue, Mandelman noted a ruling by a San Francisco judge that prohibits the city from forcibly removing tents from the streets until the city provides shelter for everyone on the street. On the face of it, he said, this seems like a beneficial law but it is a bad idea. “Ultimately, we need to make laws to clarify jurisdictions, to be able to remove encampments,” when they are places of harm for individuals or vectors of crime or drug abuse.

The future, he said, is about building more housing. Mandelman is hopeful his own and State Senator Scott Wiener’s initiatives to create more aggressive targets for new housing, as well as changes in zoning and height restrictions, will eventually deliver.

Local Comings and Goings

Unsurprisingly, Noe Valley residents wanted news on two local issues: the future of the J-Church line and of the storied bathroom for the Noe Valley Town Square on 24th Street.

Yes, Mandelman said, he is committed to keeping the J-Church in the tunnel. More importantly, he wants to see J-Church trains come more often and on a regular schedule. “Right now, the schedule is dysfunctional,” he said. A robust discussion with UNN president Chris Faust followed, as to whether keeping the J in the tunnel could
improve reliability and frequency.

Plans to reduce costs for the town square bathroom are on track, said Mandelman, with rec and park now promising a price of under a million dollars. (See story on page 1, this issue of the Voice.)

You’ve Got a Friend

Legislative aides Jackie Prager and Adam Thongsavat made themselves known to the crowd and encouraged people to contact Mandelman’s office for information or help in specific situations. (Email mandelmanstaff@sfgov.org or call 415- 554-6968. Or sign up for the supervisor’s newsletter at SFbos.org.)

Dave Burke introduced himself as District 8’s public safety liaison, a civilian employee of the police department who works closely with Mandelman’s office. “If people have a break-in or interface with the police and feel their needs are not being addressed, call me,” he said, stressing that this is not the thing to do when an actual crime is in process; in that case, call 911. He gave both his email, dave.burke@sfgov.org, and phone, 415-933-9379.

The members of Upper Noe Neighbors were cheered by the recent official designation of UNN as a 501c(3) organization. As a non-profit, explained treasurer Erin Zielinski, the organization can apply for grants and expand what it does with the city and
other entities.

Group vice president Tony Harris added that the new status meant members could make donations to UNN. And, he added, the membership page at uppernoeneighbors.com made it “as easy as one-two-three” to join, at $20 a
year per person or business.

Slow Street Rules Solidified

The evening was drawing to a close when Faust reported with great satisfaction that the push by UNN and others to create guidelines for Slow Streets had resulted in a new document put out by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, as it made Sanchez Street a permanent Slow Street on Dec. 6 last year. The fact sheet can be accessed on the SFMTA website (sfmta.org) by searching “How to Use Slow Streets.”

The guidelines direct pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers to make space and be kind and considerate to one another. People are reminded that activities “need to preserve the use of the street as an active travel roadway.” Finally, the Slow Streets guidelines tell us, “Don’t be hostile toward other Slow Street users or make people feel unwelcome on the street.”

Picturing Church Street

The last order of business was to quickly review answers to a neighborhood-wide survey on the character and use of Church Street. Preservation of parking spaces and J-Church stops was resoundingly popular, as were ideas for decorative lighting along storefronts and adding a stop sign at 28th Street.

There was more muted approval for proposals including new benches, kiosks, banners, or flower baskets. As one response put it, “The current ‘brand’ of the neighborhood is low-key, unassuming, and neighborly. Improvements to generate more traffic must preserve that brand and avoid any glitz that simply cheapens it.”

With that, the first meeting of the year came to an end, chairs were put away, and neighbors dispersed into the night.

UNN Community Meeting Nov 16, 2022 Summary

Upper Noe Recreation Center, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
download a PDF of this page 

(Read “What’s Up in Upper Noe” by Kit Carson, a member’s perspective of this meeting published in the December, 2022 Noe Valley Voice. click here  )

UNN Board in attendance:
Chris Faust, Tony Harris, Erin Zielinski, Andy Levine, Ryan Patterson, Judy Marrocco.

After ten minutes to mingle and imbibe refreshments, the meeting commenced with 25 people in attendance.

President’s Message – We live in a very walkable community north to south, less so east to west. A vibrant Church Street with access for all is important for all of us. We depend upon our shops and restaurants to provide goods but they also act as destinations where neighbors interact and build community. Our merchants depend upon us to keep them in business. We are working on goals to enhance our sense of community and welcome visitors to shop and dine in Upper Noe. While most of our stores survived the pandemic, they need more sustainable patronage and foot traffic. Tonight we will explore some of these ideas. All are welcome to help.

Introducing Heather World – the new legislative aide for Supervisor Mandelman and District 8 liaison for Noe Valley. She replaces Jacob Bintliff, who left the D8 office last month. Heather is also our neighbor and a board member of the Glen Park Association. She has worked closely with our park committee and has written for the Noe Valley Voice. Contact her at heather.world@sfgov.org 415 554-7753.

Heather reminded us to contact David Burke, public safety liaison for D8, on matters of crime and safety. David.burke@sfgov.org

Use 311 to report issues and then follow up with sup Mandelman’s office.

Kevin asked about assistance with cracked and broken sidewalks. Several attendees chimed in. We need follow up on the sidewalk grinding project of spring 2021 that repaired most but not all sidewalks in our neighborhood.

November 8 Election – D8 Legislative aide Jackie Prager spoke about the outcomes and consequences of the supervisor, DA and proposition races. Many of the races were decided by very narrow margins. Moderates Joel Engardio in Districts 4 and Matt
Dorsey in District 6 move the BOS more towards the center. They will likely boost Sup Mandelman’s priorities for public safety, shelters, mental health care and conservatorships. Both housing measures to streamline building permits lost, leaving SF without a clear path to build the increased housing required by the State of
California. If we cannot build on our own terms, the state will enforce compliance.

DA Brooke Jenkins won by a wide margin. Relationships between SFPD and the DA’s office are improving, as is communication with other Bay Area law enforcement. This will help address public safety concerns.

Many attendees expressed exasperation with the ballot initiative process and the difficulty voters have with figuring out what each measure does. The language needs to be simpler. Why does the city attorney allow them to be written in such a confusing manner?

Why did the public support taxes on measures A (pensions), F (schools) and L (transit) but reject Prop O for City College? This possibly reflects a lack of public confidence in the College Board to solve the current fiscal crisis and build a strong future.

Church Street Improvement presentation by Andy Levine
 Emphasize distinction between Noe Valley downtown (24th Street) and Upper Noe
 How can we define the Upper Noe neighborhood and help the merchants?
 What would we ask for if we had funding?

Andy explained the 10 blocks of ideas for Church Street (see illustration) and opened up the meeting for feedback from the floor (see below).

 Need more non-restaurant commercial
 Is there a limit on the number of restaurants,, bars or other businesses?
 Most support is for bistro lights, banners/branding, flower baskets, planters/benches, historic markers
 Bistro lights create a sense of place; enhance feeling of safety
 Benches could be placed near MUNI stops; more flexible and cheaper than tearing up sidewalks to add
 Historic markers create a sense of place; could tie in to audio for more info (walking tour); could leverage
other organization resources.
 Archway would be impeded by the numerous overhead MUNI and electric wires
 Street graphics are overkill; require too much maintenance

Committee Updates/ 2022 Neighborhood Goals Review
Transportation – 311 is the most effective way to report maintenance and repair issues.
Stop signs Noe @ Day – Approved! Awaiting installation. Need follow up with Andre Wright.
 Stop signs on Church @ 28th – No Progress. Need intervention to interrupt the long stretch of Church that has no stops. Possibly move the stop sign from 26th to 28th to ensure that traffic stops at least every other block on Church. Relocating an existing sign would have minimal impact on MUNI.
 J Church – Restore the J Workgroup. Karen Kennard reports that their highly successful group is diligently monitoring data to ensure that SFMTA doesn’t concoct reasons to kick it out of the tunnel again. The best way to support adequate J service for our community is to ride it.
 Repaving both Church St and 30th Streets – Stalled. 30th St was moving forward but now we are getting mixed messages from SFMTA about scheduling.
 Slow Sanchez – UNN presented Community Guidelines to the public for consideration. SFMTA has a Slow Streets webinar Nov 28 and a public hearing Dec 6.

Finance – had $2500 in treasury and spent half of it on our 501c(3) application. Approval expected in December. Looking forward to qualifying for grants and programs. Kudos to Ryan Patterson for getting this project moving.

Events / Membership – Highly successful upper Noe Block Party 2022.

Upper Noe Merchants
 Organization has bounced back from COVID.
 Broad support for Upper Noe Block Party 2022. Over 30 local businesses participated with $3800 in prizes and donations to the park.
 Empty storefronts: Lehr’s was about to close but fortunately changed ownership and remains in
business; the former Key Kraft at 1585 Church St is now Love And Stem flower shop; Pomelo’s is undergoing retrofitting but has a tenant; Veteran’s Liquor owners have started a dialog.
Land Use – Working on branding for Upper Noe with lights, banners, planters, etc.
Park Committee – 311 is the most effective way to report maintenance and repair issues.
 Acoustics improvements for Rec Center auditorium, $10,000 in Add-Backs GRANTED 6/30
Expenses incurred so far: Acoustic architect paid $1200
 Finish Day St mural, $2,500 in Add-Backs GRANTED 6/30.
 UN Block Party, $2000 in Add-Backs. GRANTED 6/30
Expenses incurred: $2,549, Highly successful event.
 Concerts in the Park free music series, $1500 in Add-Backs GRANTED 6/30
Expenses incurred: $1500, Very popular events. Season ended in October.

UNN May 18 , 2022 Meeting Summary

Dear Neighbors,

We had a good participation for our community meeting via Zoom despite the absence of our headliners. Recently installed State Assemblyman Matt Haney got off to a busy start in his new post in Sacramento and had to cancel. Supervisor Mandelman was traveling in Israel.

We were fortunate to have District 8 Legislative Aide Jacob Bintliff join us to fill us in on some of Sup Mandelman’s activities. A prime focus for the District 8 office is Mandelman’s “A Place For All” plan that would require San Francisco to offer every homeless person a safe place to sleep. The legislation is meeting resistance from The Coalition on Homelessness and mixed support from fellow supervisors. It is frustrating.

Public Safety Liaison for District 8 David Burke is a civilian employee of the SF Police Dept. His job is to work with citizens on policing issues. He says SFPD is looking to increase staffing but if you are unsatisfied with police support, he can help. dave.burke@sfgov.org , 415-932-9379. He urges residents to leave front lights on all night to increase sidewalk-level visibility and inhibit crime.

Ryan Patterson introduced himself as a candidate for UNN Board. He has lived and biked in Upper Noe for about two years and has experience with nearby neighborhood associations. Ryan is a lawyer who represents all sides of housing issues. He recently worked with UNN on the 1900 Diamond development. His background lends itself to the Land Use Committee but he is also interested in addressing quality of life issues, transit, safety, and filling vacant storefronts.

Treasurer Report: Erin says we have $1883 in the bank. Currently, this pays for zoom meetings and our website. It will also cover refreshments when we are able to return to in person meetings, as well as our block party and community projects. Please go online to https://uppernoeneighbors.com/ to Join or Renew membership. While we include all subscribers within our neighborhood as members, dues are appreciated.

Upper Noe Block Party 2022, September 24 at UN Rec Center. If you are interested in helping, please contact info@uppernoeneighbors.com. Neighborhood and citywide organizations are encouraged to participate.

Upper Noe Merchants: Judy Marrocco is working to find grant money to beautify Church Street. If you know of any grants available, please share that info.

Land Use Committee: Andy Levine is currently working up sketches to develop branding for Upper Noe along the commercial section of Church St, between Cesar Chavez and 30th St. He envisions lights, signs and plants to distinguish Upper Noe as a destination. This committee can also provide help getting a project thru city bureaucracy. Anyone interested in participating on this committee is welcome.

Parking Meters: We are exploring options to provide more short-term parking on Church Street to assist merchants and institutions. One potential solution is to install meters on the block of Church St between 29th St and Valley. Input is welcome.

Church St Paving: Jacob is helping us to push SFMTA and DPW to get this project in motion. Currently, the pavement beside the MUNI tracks on Church St and on 30th St is not on any schedule for maintenance. This looks to be a long-term project.

Vacant Storefronts: Veterans Liquor at 1710 Church St has been empty since 2008, and several others, like Hall Realty, seem perpetually empty. They could be adding to the vibrancy of our neighborhood if property owners were willing to lease the space. Parties are interested in doing so. Jacob is helping us to find ways to encourage occupancy.

J-Church Restoration in trouble: Kathy Setian and Karen Kennard reported for the Restore The J workgroup (RTJ), which has monitored the J’s return to downtown subway service since Feb 19. They expressed concern that SFMTA is fabricating data to support kicking the J out of the tunnel again. A memo “SFMTA Pilots Surface-Only J Church Line to Address Subway Congestion” cites results from a supposedly public survey to support removal. RTJ had been anticipating that survey last fall but cannot find any evidence that it was ever administered. Furthermore, the published result do not support the memo’s conclusions. This is breaking news. A story on this is expected in the June Noe Valley Voice.

Slow Sanchez Community Guidelines: Bryan Klofas presented the DRAFT Slow Sanchez Community Guidelines as recently released by the UNN Slow Sanchez Committee. The Guidelines originated through task force discussions with Friends of Slow Sanchez last summer when the community raised concerns with how the street was being used, how that was affecting residents, and concerns for the consequences of a public street where right-of-way and official expectations were unwritten and/or blurred. View the Guidelines.

Our next community meeting is May 18.

March 16 Community Meeting Summary and Updates

Dear Neighbors,

If we saw you at the meeting last week, thank you for your participation. Captain Lew and Supervisor Mandelman were happy to see you and to hear directly from our neighborhood. Here is a brief summary of that meeting and an update on what is happening in and around Upper Noe.

I now serve as president of UNN. Olga Milan-Howells remains on the UNN Board as our past president. Tony Harris, previously a director at large, stepped up to be our vice president. Erin Zielinski and Bryan Klofas offered to serve another year as treasurer and secretary respectively. Andy Levine continues as a director at large chairing the Land Use Committee. Thank you all for your continued service. It is an honor to be at the helm of this distinguished group.

UNN is moving ahead on our 2022 Neighborhood Goals. Your input and participation is welcome. See https://uppernoeneighbors.com/issues/neighborhood-goals/ <https://uppernoeneighbors.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=827946d26faa70b62addf9112&id=3a2e5b4036&e=1017df4ca4> for updates.

Jackie Prager is the newest legislative aide in Supervisor Mandelman’s office. She is the former executive director for the SF Democratic Party. A resident of Upper Noe herself, Jackie will act as the Noe Valley point person for District 8. Contact her at jackie.prager@sfgov.org . Jacob Bintliff will continue to assist us on housing and transportation issues. Supervisor Mandelman informs us that his office has started the Add Back process that provides funds for neighborhood projects. He asks that we submit our requests.

Captain Derrick Lew assumed command of Ingleside Station at the end of January and joined us for the first time. He reported that crime is down significantly across the board in the past year with the exceptions that assault and vehicle theft are up slightly. He addressed the shooting incident between cars on the 200 block of Valley Street. He assures us that this battle originated elsewhere and then moved through our neighborhood; it has no connection with anyone, any residence or activity in Noe Valley. The Captain also mentioned that SFPD is short about 300 to 500 officers. While some services such as foot patrols will feel the cuts, he is confident Ingleside officers will always have the ability to respond appropriately to Priority A in-process crimes and ensure personal safety. Learn more through the Ingleside Station Newsletters and the Captain’s monthly community meetings. Visit https://www.sanfranciscopolice.org/stations/ingleside-station .

Waymo spokesperson, Noelle Duong, updated us on what is happening with driverless cars in San Francisco. She assured us that stories about driverless cars frequenting a dead end street were overblown and old news. It was just a minor issue with navigating around a slow street, which they respect and avoid using. Click here to see her short presentation .

Phillip Kobernick shared with us his expertise on Home Electrification. He urged everyone to choose electric over gas when replacing appliances. This not only can save money but also reduces pollution in the home and for the overall environment. San Francisco’s Green Power energy program makes electric even more attractive. Click here to see his presentation .

Upper Noe Neighbors Safety Meeting Feb 24, 2021

Neighborhood Safety Meeting

We heard from neighbors about crime in Upper Noe. SFPD reports that overall crime in San Francisco is down but the most common types of property crime have increased in Noe Valley.
• Thieves have switched from victimizing commuters and tourists to targeting garages, homes and packages.
• Criminals work in crews, case the area during the day and strike between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m.
• SFPD is running stings and catching criminals but need our assistance.
• We are empowered to improve our personal security by removing the incentives for criminals to prowl our streets. Don’t be an easy target.

This data was recently published in the Noe Valley Voice.

Some of the input from our neighbors:

Please Increase Police Patrols –
• Patrols have increased in our neighborhood after midnight.
• Officers are frequently called away to more serious crimes in other parts of Ingleside Station.
• SFPD is down 150-200 officers due to attrition and less academy classes. Supervisor Mandelman supports more classes but was outvoted.
• Improve relationships with SFPD – policing is personal; wave, talk to them, help them to learn the trouble spots.
• Report suspicious activity

Burglary / garages –
• Update your garage door opener – new openers have 3rd generation electronics and are more secure.
• Make it difficult to drill, move or remove garage door safety releases.
• Replace the door glass with either plywood or polycarbonate unbreakable window.
• Emergency release kit security – if the only way to access the garage is through the garage door, the law requires an external key to release the door in case power is out. It is very easy for burglars to pop the lock out and open the garage door.
• Install double locks – add a simple sliding bolt lock inside your garage to block the door track. (below right)
• Add a shield to block the release lever from being hooked from outside (below left).

Porch Pirates –
• Brazen thieves generally do not care if you see them or yell at them. Do not physically accost them.
• Notify your neighbors that they have a package at their door or hold it for them.
• Have packages delivered to a locker or holding service service (UPS Store), a business or neighbor.

Sideshows –
• Incidents are increasing in this part of town.
• SFPD response focuses on monitoring popular locations and safely dispersing crowds.
• New law allows SFPD to impound cars for 30 days for participation in stunt driving demonstrations.
• January 24th incident at 2:20 a.m. was large and scary for resident along Dolores Street from San Jose Ave all the way down to 28th street. Cars blocked the road, raced around and drove the wrong way; participants tagged property and vandalized security cameras. Police response was slower / less than expected but SFPD called the operation a success. They impounded 11 vehicles and issued 10 citations for individual violators — not one of them a San Francisco vehicle or resident. Read more at https://www.sanfranciscopolice.org/news/citys-coordinated-response-deadly-stunt-driving-events

Cameras –
Can we add cameras along Church Street and major intersections? Merchants are being victimized.
High def is best for SFPD use but very expensive to install and maintain.
Can we help merchants add external cameras to their current systems?
Ring cameras are effective for home. Cosco has motion sensor video camera $99.
Register your home camera with District Attorney program so that police have an idea of the kind of coverage a neighborhood has and know whom to contact to gather evidence. https://www.sfdistrictattorney.org/resources/register-your-camera/

Practical Solutions
• Know your neighbors and look out for each other. Have a contact tree.
• Start a Neighborhood Watch Group. https://sfsafe.org/
• SFSAFE Home Security Check will do a walk-through of your home and point out vulnerabilities.
• Encourage neighbors to leave front light on all night. Motion activated lighting is good too.
• Keep the neighborhood clean. CALL 311 to report safety and maintenance issues – graffiti, trash, dumping.

Crime statistics are available at:
Ingleside Station Weekly Newsletter https://www.sanfranciscopolice.org/stations/ingleside-station .
Ingleside Station on Twitter https://twitter.com/sfpdingleside?lang=en
Neighborhood Watch https://sfsafe.org/

Predators prowl – Don’t offer them prey.

See uppernoeneighbors.com for more safety tips.

June 15, 2018

Historic Streetcars Return to J-Church Line
With construction complete at Cameron Beach Yard in Balboa Park, our historic F-Market streetcars are now moving back home from their temporary stay at the Muni Metro East in Dogpatch. This means more service to riders along the J Church route. As the streetcars travel to and from Cameron Beach to the start and end of their route, they will be running in revenue service, picking up and dropping off passengers along the J Church route between Balboa Park and Church and 17th Street in the early morning and evening.

Save This Date: September 15
Ten Together - Upper Noe Block Party

Upper Noe Block PartyThis fall marks ten years since Rec & Park transformed Upper Noe Recreation Center into an attractive community center. Upper Noe Neighbors, FNVRC, Upper Noe CRC, and FUNDOG have joined together to host a neighborhood-wide block party at the park. Come celebrate. Everyone is invited to join in the fun on Saturday, September 15 from noon to 4. Do you have some great ideas? Want to help? Would you like a table for your organization? Email info@uppernoeneighbors.com.

Bom Dia Reopens as "Douglas"
The commercial space at the corner of 29th and Sanchez is alive again. Following the closure of the long-standing St. Paul's Market, the store lay dormant until Bom Dia transformed it into an upscale market. That venture was short-lived. This time, the space opens as a cafe' simply named Douglas. Along with a new name come changes to their selections. Currently, as they get up and running, they offer groceries, gourmet foods, wine, coffee and pastries. However, Douglas has added seating and will soon offer sandwiches to eat in or take out. 

Free Karaoke For Adults
Serenade your sweetie, practice your Pitch Perfect act or simply croon to the crowd on Friday nights from 6:30 to 8:30 at Upper Noe Rec Center. Just drop in. No charge. 

Upper Noe Neighbors Meeting
Our general meeting for July is cancelled. Enjoy the summer and please come to the next general meeting on September 19.

- Your UNN Board

Contact: president@uppernoeneighbors.com

November 20, 2019

Next Upper Noe Neighbors Community Meeting
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
7 – 8:30 pm
* Assemblyman Chui’s office will provide updates on current legislation and address issues of concern to neighbors.
* The scooter company will discuss its operations, where scooters are allowed to be placed and how neighbors can report problems, such as a scooter blocking a sidewalk or entrance.


Sept 18, 2019

Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Upper Noe Neighbors Community Meeting
7 – 8:30 pm

Ed Mason delivered a report on SFMTA / MUNI.
– F line is a revenue line on Church Street and should be picking up and dropping off passengers.
– MUNI has an operator shortage. A scheduling adjustment to improve service will take shape in January.
– seats on the new Siemens streetcars are a known problem and the focus is on fixing that by adding contour to the seats, adjusting height and adding some forward-facing seats.
– Non-MUNI commuter bus traffic has increased 25% or more in the past 2 years.

Jessica Closson – District 8 Community Liaison for Public Safety
– explained her new position.
– D8 is the only one to have a liaison like her.
– her position is under Commander Fong of SFPD
– she is a non-sworn employee of SFPD but works in Supervisor Mandelman’s office.
– spoke mostly about homelessness, identifying hotspots and camps.
– focus on habitual services users.
– working on improving the perception of safety.
– what can the community do to help you (Jessica) to be successful?
– keep in touch with her.

Rafael Mandelman spoke about conservatorship
– he explained the idea and the laws in a very clear and simple way but I didn’t get notes.
– he said the issue with helping drug addicts is that their psychosis abates after about 17 hours and they are released. They never get 3-day hospitalization.
Read more about conservatorship in SF

Alex from Assemblymember Chiu’s office
– gave a short introduction. We’ll have her back again.

July 17, 2019

Wed, July 17 at 7:00 pm

* J Church Improvement Project – SFMTA and Supervisor Mandelman
* Mission Education Center – Principal Carla Llewelyn-Vasquez

Supervisor Mandelman’s office has been working with SFMTA to improve service on the J Church line. The J Church Improvement Project is focused on making near-term improvements to reduce delays and benefit customers as soon as possible. This is the next step in a larger effort to improve service. Come and share your experiences riding the line and voice your ideas on this project. Your input matters! SFMTA will be putting together proposals over the summer based on what we tell them.

May 15, 2019

Upper Noe Neighbors
May 15, 2019


UNN Board members Olga, Chris, and Laura were joined by an additional twenty or so neighbors.  And of course, it was raining!

Our guests included Recology Public Relations Manager Robert Reed, Paolo Ikezoe from SF Planning Department, and Kyle Smeallie from Supervisor Rafael Mandelman’s Office.

First, Robert Reed (a neighbor who lives over on Bernal) from Recology discussed Recology’s efforts to ensure San Francisco manages its waste responsibly.  Highlights from his talk:

  • The big issue with recycling right now is that China is no longer accepting plastics and paper, when it used to be the largest buyer of this recycling in the world.  So, now it is a struggle for waste management agencies to find places to send recycling.
  • The good news is that San Francisco and Recology are leaders in recycling, and have good relationships with recycling mills.  Currently:
    • Recology has been able to recycle all paper.
    • Glass is recycled nearby in Modesto.
    • Compost is sent to California vineyards and farms.
    • However, there is no market for plastics anymore.  So far, though, Recology is still able to find places to recycle everything.
  • Statistics from Recology:
    • Receives 700 tons of recycling daily that’s sorted into 14 types.
    • Receives 800 tons of compost daily.
  • Since switching to larger recycling bins and smaller trash bins over the last 18 months, recycling in SF is up 10%, waste is down 10%, and composting is up 2%.
  • Even with recycling, plastic is a problem and polluting the planet.  Recology recommends the following measures to reduce plastic use:
    • Refuse single-use plastic containers
    • Reduce consumption of goods that use excessive plastic
    • Support pro-zero-waste efforts
  • One point of confusion was cleared up. Recology does not recycle items from the top bin of those new round public garbage receptacles and has no plans to do so. Logistically, that would be difficult because they use different trucks for waste and recycling. So, at best, those bins assist individual scavengers and reduce the need for them to dig through the trash. Bottom line, those receptacles are not official recycling points and shouldn’t be treated as such.
  • Check out more information on what Recology is doing at betteratthebin.com

Next, Paolo Ikezoe from the SF Planning Department provided an unbiased, “just the facts” presentation regarding SB 50.  (While this bill was tabled the next day, similar bills are likely to be proposed in the future, so the information is nonetheless helpful!).  Highlights from Paolo’s talk (full presentation can be viewed here:

  • SB 50 would:
    • Remove density limits in “jobs rich” and “transit rich” areas, and would increase height limits in certain of those areas.
    • Legalize 4-plexes statewide.
  • SB 50 would not:
    • Apply to properties where there has been any tenant in the last 7 years, or an Ellis Act eviction in the last 15 years.
    • Apply to communities sensitive to gentrification for at least 5 years.
  • SB 50 would most likely apply to:
    • Vacant properties
    • Non-residential properties
    • Owner-occupied single-family homes
  • In SF, the Richmond, Sunset, and SW SF would be most affected. Noe Valley would not see much effect because of the type of housing preferred here. Cardiotone at the corner of Day, would be an example of a property that could develop under this legislation to add 2 – 4 floors of apartments above the commercial space.
  • SB 50 and similar bills have been proposed because there is no debate at the state level that there is a housing shortage.  The governor has stated that California must build 3.5 million new units of housing by 2025.

Finally, Kyle Smeallie from Supervisor Mandelman’s office took questions and comments on blight and empty storefronts on Church Street.  Sup. Mandelman is aware of these issues, and the supervisors have been working on some options to combat commercial vacancies:

  • For example, opening a small business is currently very onerous.  On average, it takes 220 days. Supervisors are working to streamline the process Citywide, starting with Upper Market/Castro.
    • Another issue is that people may request discretionary review of applications to fill vacant properties.  It is not prohibited to use a pseudonym on DR filings, and this can result in more filings that slow projects.
  • Another approach proposed by Supervisor Peskin is a vacancy tax on properties sitting empty, to encourage landlords to lease them.
    • Under Supervisors Peskin’s proposal, owners of commercial properties in Neighborhood Commercial Districts — areas where stores and services are clustered — that are vacant for more than six months would face a fine of at least $250 per day. Landlords with three or more residential units that are vacant for six months would also pay $250 per unit per day until the unit is leased.
    • Note: In March, the Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance requiring registry of vacant storefronts.  Landlords must register a vacant storefront within 30 days and pay a $711 annual vacancy fee, or face a $2,844 penalty.
  • Finally, Supervisor Fewer has proposed a residential rental registry, to gather data on renters and vacancies.

Kyle was also asked whether the enormous property taxes that new owners face were adversely affecting their ability to provide affordable units. He said that tax relief for a period is something they can look at.

Please send your concerns, suggestions and comments to info@uppernoeneighbors.com.