July 27, 2013

This Week In Noe Valley: Victorians, July Fog, And A Google Bus Driver Dishes

News from, about and for Noe Valley from around the interwebs:
[Photo: christinericks]

July 20, 2013

This Week in Noe Valley: @ev Exits Noe, NYC Through SF's Eyes, And Typical SF Roomates

News from, about and for Noe Valley from around the interwebs:
[Photo: French Attitude in SF]

July 16, 2013

Closed: Bay Castle Cleaners

We were surprised to see the paper in the windows of Bay Castle Cleaners today. It always seemed to have a lot of activity, and Noe Valley can surely support more than a few cleaners. But an average of two stars on Yelp might explain why the owners have vacated.

There's a sign in the window directing people to pick up their clothes at 6215 Mission St in Daly City. That's Crocker Cleaners, and Yelp doesn't like them either. We tried calling the owners, but the number has been changed to a 650 area code number that rings and rings. That number is for Crocker Cleaners.

So it doesn't look like Bay Castle Cleaners is going to reopen on 24th St. Does anyone know the whole story? Rent pressure? Bad business plan? And more importantly, does anyone know what's destined for the space at 3906 24th St? Could it be that the owners of St Clair's think they can run a better business from here as well?

July 14, 2013

This Week At The Planning Commission: Preschool Vs. Traffic On Cesar Chavez

A look at Noe Valley projects in front of the Planning Commission this week. Information is provided by the Planning Commission, and taken from its published agenda. All hearings are on Thursday at 1:30pm, Room 400 in City Hall.

July 18, 2013

- south side between Guerrero and Dolores Streets, Lots 030 and 045 in Assessor's Block 6577 - Request for Conditional Use Authorization pursuant to Planning Code Sections 209.3(f), 209.3(j), 317, and 303 to increase enrollment at an existing preschool (d.b.a. Gan Noe Preschool) operating at 3771 and 3781 Cesar Chavez Street and establish a religious facility. Enrollment at the preschool would increase from 22 children to 42 children and the project would result in the removal of the dwelling unit at 3781 Cesar Chavez Street. The proposal does not include any significant alteration or modification to the exteriors of the existing buildings with the exception of minor changes to signage and fencing. The subject properties are located in a RH-2 (Residential, House, Two-Family) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions
In addition:
Request for Variance from Planning Code Section: 151, for parking, for a project proposing to increase enrollment at an existing preschool and establish a religious facility. Two off-street parking spaces are required for the proposed use but none would be provided. The subject property is located within a RH-2 (Residential, House, Two-Family) District and 40-X Height and Bulk District.
In sum, the Project Sponsor asks to expand the preschool, remove a dwelling unit and add a religious facility (d.b.a. Chabad of Noe Valley) that will have services and events throughout the week.

Planning states receipt of 20 letters from neighbors against the project, and receipt of a petition of 40 names in support (but doesn't indicate if those in support are from parents who want their kids in the preschool).

Planning recognizes there are some major issues, including:
The Project Sites are located on a heavily trafficked arterial street that is the main thouroughfare for access to Highway 101 from Noe Valley. It is unknown how the increase in children would affect traffic on the street but the sponsor has agreed to implement a traffic management plans whereby teachers would help facilitate student dropoff within the driveways and within a new loading zone located between the driveways and implement a staggered pick-up and drop-off.
But Planning staff recommend approval because:
Preschool/child care services are difficult to find in the City and those that operate often have long waiting lists. The ability of the City to provide these services will help its ability to attract and retain families in the City. Housing is also a scarce resource in the City. On balance, the need to help preschool/childcare services flourish in the City out weigh the benefit of retaining the existing dwelling unit
The only letters in support of the project included in the Planning Document are from the Project Sponsor.
Opposition has been led by neighbor Richard Rochman of Citizens Concerned about Cesar Chavez St. We've posted the PDF of their opposition here. It's well worth a read as this project will affect anyone who uses Cesar Chavez.

Planning contact is Michael Smith, (415) 558-6322.

Update (7/18): Lots of thoughtful testimony. Commissioners sensitive to both daycare/preschool issues and also use of the site as a religious facility, but want followup to assure that neighbors' concerns are addressed over the long term. Commission approved with conditions about operating hours, strict limits on number of students and noise mitigation, and addition of traffic monitoring on a 6-0 vote.

[SF Planning: 3771 and 3781 Cesar Chavez St Conditional Use (PDF)]
[Citizens Concerned about Cesar Chavez St: Opposition to Gan Noe's application
[Photo: Richard Rochman]

July 9, 2013

Free Summer Garden Party

Summer is in full swing which means it's the perfect opportunity to get outside and visit the Noe Valley Library's new garden. Bonus: If you go this Saturday from 2-3pm, you can enjoy a cool drink while listening to a guitarist from the SF Conservatory of Music. The event is free and open to everyone.
What: Garden Party
When: Saturday, July 13 – 2-3pm
Where: San Francisco Public Library, Noe Valley/Sally Brunn Branch at 451 Jersey St.
[Photo compliments of Sally Brunn] 

July 3, 2013

NVV July/August 2013: We Read It So You Don't Have To

The Noe Valley Voice is published ten times a year and has been a neighborhood fixture since 1977. Here are notable highlights from the latest issue. Links are to stories we've covered here on NVSF or outside sources as the Voice doesn't post stories online until the middle of the month.

July/August 2013

Front Page: Photos of Noe Valley families in the '90s.

Letters: Letter from Noe Valley community benefit district founder Carol Yenne thanking the cleaning crew for finding a lost hearing aid; more disapproval for the hygiene and service at La Boulange since Starbucks took over.

Features and Short Takes: R.I.P. breast cancer advocate Barbara Brenner, and Julian Rodigruez of Bernie's; Noe Courts proposals are online for review at sfrecpark.org; Friends of the Urban Forest tree planting coming to Noe on August 24; Upper Douglass Dog Park at 27th and Douglass is looking beautiful - please stay off the grass while the roots take hold. Interview with an accountant turned astrologer on Clipper St. who uses iPad apps in her research to allow more time for "interpreting the charts."

Cost of Living in Noe: Hot, hot, hot.

Store Trek: Kitami Ropa (1478A Church St.)

Rumors: The Noe Valley Town Square clears the final hurdle - if you haven't pledged yet, now's the time; Quitters is filming in San Francisco and around the hood; 2 blocks on Noe Hill are trying to get their street zoned for parking; dog grooming parlor Clipper Corner is closed; June Fisher M.D. celebrated her 80th birthday at Le Zinc; Noe Valley's mini-golf legend Steve Fox is set to open Urban Putt in the Mission this fall; Noe Valley "mayor" Sam Salameh, proprietor of Good News on 24th St., reports the neighborhood's favorite magazine is Vanity Fair, followed by Music Mojo and The New Yorker. Newspapers? "They're dead," says Sam. Meanwhile, Phoenix Books reports the favorite book is Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Video Wave says the favorite movie rentals are Quartet, Silver Linings Playbook, Side Effects and for kids it's Oz the Great and Powerful.

[The Noe Valley Voice]