Join us! DHIC Spring Neighbors Gathering ~ June 1

Let’s get together & continue to improve our neighborhood!

Join hosts
Bruce Bowen and John O’Duinn

and our special guests

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman


Dennis Richards, SF Planning Commissioner

Engage in dialogue with Supv. Mandelman on District 8 issues, homelessness, conservancy, demolition, housing issues

Get an SB 50 update from Dennis Richards and ask your questions

Spikes Coffee and Yummy Treats!

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Get Informed on the Proposed Green Benefit District

A special assessment district, the Mission Dolores Green Benefit District, is proposed for our neighborhood and a surrounding area. It would have its own special assessment paid by all property owners in the district (estimated at $150 to $300 per year for an average size property.) The creation of this district requires a petition then a vote of property owners. DHIC has not taken a position on the GBD and urges residents to be informed on this important decision.

 

DHIC Board members, Hans Kolbe and Bruce Muncil, collaborated on this summary of the pros and cons for a green benefit district. Please educate yourself. The next steps in forming a green benefit district are: collecting signatures on a petition to authorize a vote on a green benefit district and then (for all property owners in the proposed district) a vote for/against the green benefit district.

GBD PROs

  1. The GBD provides a long term framework for neighborhood activities and improvements through a fixed funding mechanism.

2. The GBD will bring together and amplify the voices of neighbors and neighborhood groups. The GBD will not compete or interfere with existing groups but support them.

3. The GBD activities will be prioritized and controlled by neighbors, merchants, and neighborhood groups.

4. Initial Priorities as determined by neighborhood surveys and group meetings are:

  • Enhanced maintenance and safety of our neighborhoods public spaces
  • Small scale greening improvements such as sidewalk and median gardens
  • Improved pedestrian and bicycle safety
  • Special services around business corridors: 18th Street and Valencia Street

5. For the DHIC area the GBD will put an emphasis on safety and cleanliness of the hillside stairs (lighting, power washing) and supporting the garden committees activities and possibly attempting new gardening areas currently not maintained by city or neighbors

6. The GBD will organize and support neighborhood activities honoring our historical legacy and engage in shaping our future

7. The GBD will be a strong advocate towards the City and its agencies and hold them accountable for providing their baseline services. The GBD will not make up for a shortfall of city services.

8. The GBD will be professionally organized and managed. Its spending and priorities are public and auditable.

9. The GBD will have stature to attract significant outside funding from private businesses and foundations, goal 30% of budget.

For more information go to the Mission Dolores Green Benefit District website. And for an example of existing GBD in the Potrero Hill/Dogpatch neighborhood see: https://www.potreroview.net/dogpatch-northwest-potrero-hill-green-benefit-district-pursues-success-through-partnerships/

GBD CONS

  1. GBD expands on City services already available now, at additional cost to our current taxes. Assessment is ostensibly an extra tax to cover what we already pay the City.

 

  1. Implementation not democratic: Final vote only requires a majority of votes cast, not a majority of all property owners. Votes are weighted by lot size and building square footage, giving City Government properties (Parks, DPW, Police, Fire) and affluent residential properties a larger block of votes over average property owners. Not one vote for one property.

 

  1. Creates another bureaucracy in addition to the City departments. Can create confusion as to who is called and for what services. Why do we need a $120,000+/yr GBD manager when we have our very responsive Supervisor Mandelman?

 

  1. Three other SF Neighborhoods have rejected GBD proposals: Inner Sunset, Greater Buena Vista, and Golden Gate Heights all rejected GBD because residents determined GBDs had more cons than pros.

 

  1. The Mission Dolores Neighborhood Association opposes the proposed Castro/Mission Dolores Green Benefit District: www.NoGBDtax.org

 

  1. Assessment has no current provision for relief for seniors or limited income: Unlike supplemental taxes which exempt seniors, by law GBD assessment cannot. Additional parcel assessments/taxes reduce affordable housing viability for long term vulnerable fixed income senior residents.

 

For more information see – Concerns Around Green Benefit Districts from Mission Dolores Neighborhood Association and this Mission Local article on GBD

 

 

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Neighborhood Safety Update

Thank you to the block safety groups in Dolores Heights and on adjacent streets for their work! We want to alert you to recent trends:

  • Car break-ins especially around Dolores Park on the weekends
  • Organized gangs commit most break-ins and target tourist areas
  • Call 911 if you see anyone looking in parked car windows –Mission Station Police want to arrive before or during a break-in
  • Block groups may post warnings not to leave any belongings in cars
  • Suspicious activities in our neighborhood
  • People checking out doorsteps (UPS drivers continue to hear of package theft activity) or spending time in parked cars on isolated or dead-end streets

If it doesnt look or feel right, call the SFPD non-emergency at 415-553-0123 which will dispatch a patrol car

If you are not on a block safety alias, email info@doloresheights.org to get connected.

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SB 50 Has Been Amended – What Does that Mean for Dolores Heights?

SB 50 has been amended. Yet it still overrides San Francisco’s thoughtful planning for density and growth. And it is a top-down, cookie-cutter proposal that benefits real estate developers . It provides significant value to developers through upzoning, by-right building, greater heights and mass. Yet, it doesn’t require developers to provide any additional contribution to fund affordable housing, transit or infrastructure.

It guts the Dolores Heights Special Use District height and rear-yard setbacks — allowing buildings to rise to 45 or 55 feet and include any number of units. When combined with other existing laws, it can allow projects to override the City’s demolition controls and our setback rules. And it can allow all of this without any additional investment in our already overtaxed transit and water infrastructure, and without even providing for any new affordable housing. Finally, Sensitive Communities (including parts of the Mission, Bayview, Tenderloin, and parts of SoMa) have no guarantees that their local plans will be implemented. Moreover, the plans must comply with the bills density requirements. So SB 50 doesn’t protect them from the market pressures that drive displacement and gentrification.

This article by a former Los Angeles city planner provides a more detailed summary.

Cities are standing up to SB 50s heavy-handed two-sizes fits all approach. San Francisco officially opposes SB 50 as the wrong way to solve our affordable housing crisis. To date, 35 other cities joined us in opposing SB 50. More cities and groups are reviewing the bill.

So, if not SB 50, how can we solve our affordability crisis in San Francisco?

Here are some ideas. Let us know what you think

  1. Continue San Francisco’s planning for growth: In 2018 the City authorized 6,097 units of new housing (only 31 single-family) – on track to produce a projected additional 92,000 housing units needed for new San Franciscans in 2040. This is more housing authorized than other Bay Area county except Alameda and Santa Clara counties with 15 to 30 times more land area.
  2. Target incentives to close gaps: Identify shortfalls in the required state RHNA goals for housing by income level (market-rate,moderate, low, and lowest). Apply the SB 50 framework to those categories (e.g., market-rate or affordable) in which cities are under-producing housing. In San Francisco, we aren’t achieving our RHNA goals for affordable housing, so apply SB 50 incentives/ waivers to affordable projects only.
  3. Prioritize affordable housing production
    1. Use our state and local bond mechanisms and tax dollars to fund affordable housing (e.g., Mayor Breeds proposed $500M bond and the announced education tax refund )
    2. Apply SB 50’s incentives and waivers to projects that are minimum 50% affordable
  4. Implement a rental registry to track rental housing stock and prevent tenant evictions/housing demolition
  5. Recommend cities conduct community-based planning to achieve the community’s housing goals. Example – Supervisor Mar has initiated community-based planning for the Sunset District neighborhoods
  6. Have SF Planning Department conduct an Environmental Impact study to quantify total development capacity and effects on transit, infrastructure, and quality of life before implementing a program with the scope and scale of SB 50
  7. Fund transit as the foundation for sustainable development before implementing SB 50. Target state transportation funds to denser areas such as San Francisco. Have SF Board of Supervisors & SFMTA solve the $21 billion deficit which SF Muni needs to fund its projected 2045 capacity
  8. Obtain funding for infrastructure investments for denser development:
    1. Developers: additional infrastructure (water, sewer, schools, etc.)
    2. Employers: increased mass transit costs (operations and capital)
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Green Garden Day Saturday, May 4 at Noe & 20th Streets

Our Green Garden Day stairway clean-up takes place on Saturday, May 4 from 9-11 am at Noe & 20th Streets.

Heavy lifting and hill climbing are not required.

There’ll be coffee provided by Spike’s Coffees & Teas and treats from the DHIC, garden tools and gloves courtesy of SF Parks Alliance and SFDPW, as well as lots of friendly faces.

Our mission is to improve our public staircases and their surrounding green areas with a healthy combination of gardening, safety, neighbor involvement and fun!

Everyone is welcome.

E-mail stairs@doloresheights.org for more info, or just show up!

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City of San Francisco Opposes SB 50!

Next Step: Contact State Legislators before the

State Governance and Finance Committee Hearing on April 24

Send comments by April 17 – or Call until April 24 am

Committee members and Contact Info Here

On Tuesday, April 9, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 9-2 supporting the Resolution to Oppose SB 50, unless amended. They also voted to draft amendments to SB 50 to protect San Francisco (note:Senator Scott Wiener, the bills sponsor, would have to agree to add these amendments.)

The Supervisors opposition shows that San Francisco officials and the residents DO NOT support Senator Wiener’s bill.It does not effectively address our affordable housing crisis.Rather, it incentivizes more and taller luxury housing.

Read SB 50

This bill will upzone 95% of San Francisco, enabling wholesale development of denser and taller buildings in all neighborhoods throughout the City. Dolores Heights will experience the maximum impact with no zoning or Planning regulation regarding density, standards (height, setbacks, design guidelines, etc), or location of projects. SB 50 allows developers to build up to 55 feet in Dolores Heights and in many other neighborhoods within mile of the streetcar lines or other rail transit (and up to 45 feet between and mile of rail lines.) These are baseline heights; as the SF Planning department drawings below illustrate, developers who add just one unit of affordable housing qualify for more incentives and waivers including additional height and waiver of rear yard setbacks. Yet it adds no greater affordable housing than what San Francisco’s laws currently mandate.

Planning Commission Analysis of SB 50

The Senate Governance and Finance Committee will hear SB 50 on April 24. Please contact the State Legislators on this Committee today. You have two options to contact them:

Personal email from you:Click herefor a listing with names, contact info, and suggested message.

Fast and easy – add your name to this email. The Senate Committee has a staffer who counts and records the individual signatures: https://www.livablecalifornia.org/email-to-stop-sb-50-today/

We need your voice to stop this destructive bill!
Please write or call our elected officials

Click here for contact info/ draft message.

Search this SB50 map

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April 6 Green Garden Day CANCELLED!

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Would SB 50 Wipe Out Your Neighborhood?

SB 50 – the state bill that will wipe out our neighborhoods. It lets developers build MORE – taller luxury apartments – with no review or appeal by SF Planning or by neighbors. This is housing for the wealthy – not for the 50% of San Franciscans who cannot afford the rents/sales price of luxury/market-rate housing.

SEARCH & SHARE this SB 50 Map. If you’re in a Yellow, Blue or Red zone, call your legislator, and get on social media and make your voice heard!

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How SB 50 Could Affect YOU

To recap – Senator Scott Weiner‘s SB 50 will destroy both single-family neighborhoods and affordable apartments for up to eight-story luxury housing. This bill will radically transform San Francisco — the diversity of our neighborhoods and our population. It also strips us, the residents, of our ability to engage in the meaningful give-and-take process of planning and community-building. It gives luxury housing developers authority over zoning and planning and allows them to build taller, denser apartment blocks. For example, SB 50 would permit minimum heights of 55 feet for most of Dolores Heights (all lots within 1/4 mile of the J Church line or 45 feet for lots located between 1/4 and 1/2 mile of the J Church.) In exchange for including a small number of affordable units in their towers, developers can have additional height of up to 30 feet under the State Density Bonus Law. In sum, it gives San Francisco developers significant additional profit in return for no greater percentage of affordable housing in their projects.This is bad deal for San Francisco. We need more affordable housing for the 50% of San Franciscans who earn less than our average median income.We do not need more luxury housing; SF is currently building nearly double its state-set housing goal for market-rate (luxury) housing.

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SB 50 – Neighbors Tell Planning Commission “No”

Board of Supervisors to vote on Resolution

Dolores Heights neighbors and residents of other San Francisco neighborhoods spoke in opposition to SB 50 at the San Francisco Planning Commission meeting on March 14. The Planning Commission issued an analysis of SB 50 on March 8. Over 100 people opposed to the bill were at the hearing. Many cited the impact of the bill on our residential neighborhoods – where developers can build denser and taller market-rate housing (not affordable to the majority of San Franciscans.) The most compelling voices were those representing tenants and low-income communities who called out the gentrification and displacement that this bill will cause. The Planning Department staff provided a graphic of the size and mass of buildings that SB 50 would allow.

On March 21 Supervisor Gordon Mar introduced a resolution opposing SB-50 unless amended. It is co-sponsored by six other Supervisors (including our supervisor, Rafael Mandelman.) The Board’s Land Use Committee Meeting will hear the resolution on April 1st starting at 1:30pm at City Hall.

We need your voice to stop this destructive bill. Please write or call our elected officials.

How SB 50 will Affect YOU

To recap – Senator Scott Weiner‘s SB 50 will destroy both single-family neighborhoods and non-rented controlled affordable apartments for up to eight-story luxury housing. This bill will radically transform San Francisco — the diversity of our neighborhoods and our population. It also strips us, the residents, of our ability to engage in the meaningful give-and-take process of planning and community-building. It gives luxury housing developers authority over zoning and planning and allows them to build taller, denser apartment blocks. For example, SB 50 would permit minimum heights of 55 feet for most of Dolores Heights (all lots within mile of the J Church line or 45 feet for lots located between and mile of the J Church.) In exchange for including a small number of affordable units in their towers, developers can have additional height of up to 30 feet under the State Density Bonus Law. In sum, it gives San Francisco developers significant additional profit in return for no greater percentage of affordable housing in their projects. This is bad deal for San Francisco which needs more affordable housing and has plenty of luxury housing.

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