September 28, 2013

This Week In Noe Valley: Working Class SF From The Air, NIMBYs Shut Down, Chabad Compromise

News from, about and for Noe Valley from around the interwebs:
[Photo: "I hate mornings" - alealex]

September 26, 2013

Announced: Buttons Candy Bar

We heard from Catherine that Buttons Candy Bar will open in the space recently occupied by When Modern Was II at 4027 24th St. All we found about it is what's on the sign: "classic confections, cheerful gifts & frozen treats." No permits on file, no website that we can find. But we did find the d.b.a. info that states the owners are Alison Porter and Donna Taylor.

So... Alison, Donna - please contact us. We'd love to hear more about your plans.

September 21, 2013

This Week In Noe Valley: Expensive Real Estate And Those Who Pay For It

News from, about and for Noe Valley from around the interwebs:
[Photo: @markoniel74]

September 17, 2013

This Week At The Planning Commission: Millionaires Behaving Badly

Noe Valley has hit the big time: we now have the sort of NIMBY battle usually seen in Malibu, Belvedere and Sea Cliff. At issue this week is 645 Duncan St - a vacant view lot right next door to, and down the street from, some of the most expensive homes in Noe Valley. Plans to build a new, modern, 4200sf home to the west have met resistance from one Bruce Gilpin, who 5 years ago paid over $5M for 625 Duncan - 6000sf on a 50 foot wide lot and 270 degree views. Here's item #18 at this week's Planning Commission:
September 19

– south side between Diamond and Castro Streets; Lot 039 in Assessor’s Block 6604 – Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2011.11.17.9087, proposing to construct a new single-family dwelling on a vacant lot within an RH-1 (Residential, House – One-Family) Zoning District and 40-X Height and Bulk District.
Staff Analysis: Full Discretionary Review
Preliminary Recommendation: Do Not Take Discretionary Review and Approve
We first received news of the online petitition to stop the project a few weeks ago (347 signatures, 10 by hand), but the negotiations go back to 2011 per Planning documents. The original design has been scaled back, but apparently the loss of a western view is still driving objection to the project. Despite many changes to the design, on Sep 11, 2013, Mr Gilpin's lawyer delivered another strongly worded objection to the project to Planning Commission President Rodney Fong citing setback, height, facade finishes and a lack of negotiation in good faith.

Planning Staff has determined that the proposed project meets Residential Design Guidelines, is in character with the surrounding neighborhood, and complies with all codes. The Staff Analysis is clearly annoyed by this DR: "Angling the 2nd and 3rd stories to mirror the eased setback of the DR Requester, who is the exception in the neighborhood with a 50'-0" wide home, would not be consistent with the prevailing 25'-0" wide neighborhood facade patterns." Discretionary Review reform can't happen soon enough.

The full analysis, with plans, arguments, letters, renderings, etc, is worth a read if you're interested in how to spend your money when you have tons of it.

FWIW - The owners of the small building directly to the west at 647 Duncan are in strong support. Maybe they'd like to build something someday?

Update 9/19: DR denied - Planning Commission approves project 7-0.

[SF Planning: 645 Duncan St (PDF)]
[Socketsite: A Rather Ironic Noe Valley Fight Continues, Decision This Week]
[NVSF: Hot Properties: The $5M Club]

Opening: New Pop-Up Store on 24th Street

In what's sure to be the first of many pop-ups in the old Bay Cleaners space, a sign this week announced the arrival of Personal and Small Group Training at 3906 24th St. Personal training? $80 for 1 session or $750 for 10. Small groups of 3-4? $950 for 10 sessions. Is that what personal/group trainers are pulling in these days or is that makes the rent work? Regardless, it's unclear why they need a storefront in a prime Noe Valley location.

If you're interested in a workout, you can contact From the sign, it looks like they plan to open on or around Oct 1st.

The long term plan for the space is to construct a new building with residential over retail. Permits pending.

September 3, 2013

Free Music In The Noe Valley Town Square

The 10th annual Noe Valley Music in the Park Square is this Sunday and will be the first event in the Noe Valley Town Square (besides the weekly Farmer's Market).

Admission is free and in addition to live music there will be  food and drink, a jumpy tent for kids, balloons and more.

What: Music in the Park
When: Sunday Sept 8, 1PM - 5PM
Where: Noe Valley Town Square - 24th St between Sanchez & Vicksburg

For more info or to volunteer, contact the Friends of Noe Valley.

September 2, 2013

Photo: Sutro At Sunset

Photos of last night's spectacular sunset lit up Twitter last night. This one is our favorite from neighbor Tamar Hurwitz.

[Photo: Tamar Hurwitz]