February 26, 2010

Community Meeting Minutes: Let The Free Market Work

It was a full house tonight at St. Philips. Not as many people as at the Whole Foods community meeting but still a good turnout and all the usual suspects were there with Bevan as the smooth-talking moderator to keep things civil. The most vocal were people who live on or around 24th Street, or on Jersey or Elizabeth (with restaurants in their backyard).

Short SFPD Presentation
  • Captain Corrales praised Chief Gascon, who has brought in new perspective and ideas – like fingerprint kits for car break-ins
  • Lots of clapping for Lorraine Lombardo, 24th St beat cop for 20 years
More Restaurants on 24th Street
  • Quick overview of the proposal from Bevan that passed the Board last month, and he then introduced the lady pictured here (couldn't catch her name). Her main point – Starbucks opened in 1993 even when we had all these rules in place. All of this needs more study - we need balance and stability “like a good shopping mall.”
  • Another woman stood up and asked what “necessary and desirable” means in the planning code. The Planning Department's Elizabeth Watty's answer: “It’s subjective.” It needs the community support and restaurants typically should be no more than 20% of commercial space. And no formula retail or chains – communities typically support independently-owned restaurants.
  • Yet another complained about the “hustle and bustle on the streets to create a new restaurant” so that they could "open and close, open and close” and the “pizza crusts” and “rats” she worried about with a place like Extreme Pizza opening (it was shut out in the 90s)
  • Bill and Carol Yenne stood up and said they’ve lived in the 'hood for years, have kids and grandkids here (on and around 24th Street) and everyone they know supports more restaurants
Other Highlights from Public Comment
  • Everyone hates nail salons, title companies and banks
  • The biggest opponents to more restaurants are people who live on or around 24th Street and near restaurants (they hate the noise, smells, and delivery trucks)
  • There were a few people who worried about the gentrification of Noe (all these changes are driving out “working class people like me”)
  • Fresca, "the taqueria" and Hahn’s Hibachi are hated by their neighbors for the noise and smells
  • Starbucks neighbors hate the noisy refrigerated delivery semis that idle in their driveways for hours every night
  • Savor was held up as a good neighbor for respecting and listening to complaints and installing state-of-the-art (read: quiet) ventilation
  • At the end of this segment Bevan asked for a show of hands. There were many more for more restaurants than against. 4-to-1? 3-to-1? Hard to tell but it was a solid majority.
Pavements to Parks (aka the New Plaza for Noe on 24th and Noe)

Debra Niemann gave a quick talk about what the Noe Valley Association does (greening, maintenance, crosswalks, making downtown Noe an urban village) and highlighted some of the recent projects like the green area near Starbucks and the pedestal newsstands – as well as the Harvest Fest.

"Very soon" they plan to invite neighbors to talk about the proposed green common space at 24th and Noe. No details yet, except that Flora Grubb is donating the landscaping and other vendors are donating design time. Send an email to info@noevalleyassociation.org if you want an invitation to the meeting to discuss the proposal. The hope is to have a decision soon enough to open the space on June 21.


V said...

Has anyone who lives over or around a restaurant on 24th ever asked them why they chose to move there in the first place? Quite sure it's been commercial for at least 5 decades now.

Anonymous said...

V, surely you understand that San Francisco Real Estate is not a choosers market. You find what you can find, or live in a box on Hoffman Street away from the noise.

Rach said...

By the way, how come no one talks about Toast? Toast on 24th street is way more annoying than Starbucks. They are loud, smelly, and gross. I hate Toast. Not to mention that their food is an exercise in mediocrity.

Anonymous said...


rocky's dad said...

here's a thought..Hate mongers like Rach might wanna consider this.


Anonymous said...

Tip for Anonymous 6:26 pm

TYPING IN ALL CAPS is generally considered to be SHOUTING ON THE INTERNET.

That said, I think the food at Toast is perfectly acceptable.

Anonymous said...

I love Toast, The former occupant of the space (Herb's) was more than a bit tired and worn out. The two young men who own Toast on Church came in with their updated neighborhood oriented menu & cleaned up the place nicely. Based on the crowds on the weekends I'd say they are doing lots of stuff right. It's a great breakfast/lunch spot for a wonderful neighborhood like ours.

murphstahoe said...

Toast has the perfect NV business model. Buy 10 highchairs and hire kid-loving waitresses.

rocky's dad said...

yea, we know what typing in all caps mean..

and yes, I WAS SHOUTING.

btw: toast is very cool, good food, nice people. both locations are great.

kitchen bitch said...

Toast is a welcome addition to the 24th Street village. I live across the street from it and have never experienced anything bad from the business. They certainly seem to have captured the hearts of NV residents (mommies, daddies, mommy wannaebes, gay daddies, etc.) Everyone goes and enjoys and walks away with money in their wallet and a full belly.

Noe Valley rocks! I am moving from here in the very near future and will miss it with all my heart! I want to be Mayor of NV but I can't from afar!