Friday, May 28, 2010

Please send a letter of support to the Planning Department regarding the Spork Site!

Dear members and friends of Liberty Hill,

The Liberty Hill Neighborhood Association (LHNA) is concerned about the proposed development of 1050 Valencia Street, where Spork is, at the corner of Hill Street. There is a proposal for a very large, 5-story, 16 unit building with no parking spaces and no open space, over a restaurant. This location is at the edge of the Liberty Hill Historic District.

We understand that this location will be developed, and are happy to work with a responsible developer with an appropriate design. We are concerned now because of the dramatic negative impacts of this proposed design, which would dwarf everything in the surrounding area, and totally overwhelm the small historic block of Hill Street it sits on.

We have filed an appeal from the negative declaration on the Environmental Impact Report, and our hearing is scheduled for the afternoon of May 27. We’ll let you know about updates on the meeting. We expect that this will be one step, one hearing, in a process that may go through a number of phases, with more applications, meetings, appeals and public hearings. We know that numbers matter. It will be important to have people in the hearing room, and when people cannot be there, it will be very important to have letters. Writing a letter AND being at the hearing is the ideal!!

You can read the decision on the developer's submission (it’s a Negative Declaration on the Environmental Impact Report, or “Neg Dec”) and our appeal on the LHNA website at

Please email Clint Mitchell, Peter Heinecke, Risa Teitelbaum or John Levin with any questions.

Thank you very much !!

Sample Letter – Please copy and paste this text into an email and send it to Jeremy Battis, cc’ing and

Monday, May 3, 2010

Help us save the historic character of our neighborhood!

Join us in supporting responsible neighborhood development!

What you can do:

  • Join us at the appeal hearing on Thursday, June 17th (check back for the specific time) to show your support in front of the planning department. Location: Room 400, City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

  • Write a letter/email to the planning department to voice your support for a building that better integrates into our historic neighborhood and has less environmental impact.

  • Attend our monthly Liberty Hill Neighborhood Association meetings!


Shizhuo Holdings Trust has submitted a preliminary plan for new construction at 1050 Valencia street, at the corner of Valencia Street at Hill Street and the current site of Spork restaurant. Their plan calls for a 16 unit, 5+ story apartment building with no parking or backyard space, and it pushes the limits of the new Eastern Neighborhood requirements on height and open space. If the current plan is built, there will be a significant negative impact on our historic street.

At this point, the Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration issued by the planning department concludes that there will be no environmental impact on the neighborhood and therefore that there is no need to conduct a more rigorous environmental study. The Liberty Hill Neighborhood Association (LHNA) feels that there are multiple areas of concern that need clarification and compromise regarding the site, including parking impact (34+ new cars will be added to the neighborhood), shadow effect, noise, and massing. LHNA has appealed this ruling in a letter to the planning department, and we will be presenting our appeal in front of the planning committee on June 17th to encourage a more thorough environmental study of the proposed plan.

The Liberty Hill Neighborhood Association appeal letter addresses the following findings from the Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration Report:

  1. Land-use Planning

  2. Aesthetics

  3. Population and Housing

  4. Cultural Resources

  5. Transportation and Circulation

  6. Noise

  7. Wind and Shadow

  8. Hazardous Materials, Foundation and Excavation

We treasure our unique, historic Liberty Hill neighborhood and feel that the proposed building would be incongruous with and detrimental to the character of the neighborhood. Please join us in encouraging development that better integrates into our historic district and retains the bohemian character of the Mission.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What's Happening with Spork?

LHNA has a very active committee that is working to ensure that the multi-unit mixed use development on this site is sensitive to the historic neighborhood it abuts.

Please join our monthly LHNA meeting to learn more.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cesar Chavez Street and St. Lukes Meetings November 19th

There are two meetings that LHNA members and friends may want to attend. The first is about the proposed changes to St. Lukes and the second is about proposed changes to Cesar Chavez.

St. Lukes - The planning commision has extended the comment period and will hear a second round of oral comments next Thursday, Nov. 19.Anyone who wishes to participate in the actual meeting should contact Gillian Gillet at for details.

You may also send an email as a way of registering your opinion. Please see the LHNA google groups site for more info.

Cesar Chavez Street - CC Puede is hosting a meeting to discuss status of proposed changes to Cesar Chavez St. The primary changes are eliminating a lane of
traffic each way and adding bike lanes each way. At the same time certain pedestrian safety and aesthetic improvements will be made.

Join your neighbors who are working to make Cesar Chavez Street safer
and more livable for all. CC Puede will update you on the latest plan
to bring a landscaped median, bike lanes, reconfigured traffic lanes,
and widened crosswalks. Learn about a new plan to redesign the freeway
maze at 101. Bring your ideas and comments.

Thursday, November 19, 6:30 pm
Precita Community Center
534 Precita (between Alabama and Florida)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Unanimous WIN for LHNA & Neighborhood

Liberty Hill Neighborhood Association joined with our neighbors yesterday to ask the Planning Commission to deny a permit to Alternative to Meds Center’s unlicensed drug treatment facility at 827 Guerrero, the Landmark McMullen House.

The Planning Commission voted unanimously to disapprove the permit. It’s a big win for our neighborhood, and congratulations to all of you for your involvement, your calls and letters, and your support. They were critically important in letting the Commissioners know that this facility is unnecessary, undesirable and incompatible with our neighborhood.

Our LHNA members stood with Friends of Guerrero, the San Jose / Guerrero Coalition, Fair Oaks Community Coalition and Mission Dolores Neighbors, to support our representatives who addressed the Commission. Elizabeth Zitrin spoke for Liberty Hill.

Our coalition of neighborhood groups told the Commission about inconsistencies and misrepresentations by Alternative to Meds Center (ATMC), about their violation of State Law, about the police and ambulance calls to 827 – three in a month for suicide attempts, and we told them why the State Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP) had issued a Notice of Operation in VIOLATION OF LAW last Friday.

This was a model of cooperation among our neighborhood groups.

ATMC may appeal this decision, so stay tuned. We will keep you informed.

For those who were unable to attend, you can hear the audio here: Listen to Planning

You can watch the re-broadcast on SFGovTV this evening, Friday, April 10.

Or after today, you can watch it on your computer here: Watch Planning

For those of you who watch the replay, the neighborhood's testimony begins at about 37 minutes into the hearing. Prior to that (at about 20 minutes in), the Expediter for ATMC made a brief last minute request for a delay. That request was denied and a very successful hearing was held. Do watch or listen to get a good understanding of some of our issues.

You can see the Chronicle’s coverage on SFGate at ATMC SFGate.

And keep an eye out for coverage at MissionLocal.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Liberty Hill Neighborhood Association is Back!

After a couple of dormant years, the Liberty Hill Neighborhood Association (LHNA) is back. On Tuesday, April 6th over forty people attended a meeting hosted by Elizabeth Zitrin and Clint Mitchell at their gorgeous restored Victorian on Hill Street. Newer neighbors got to meet the original team who helped protect our neighborhood's historic structures by getting the historic district designation. Thanks, Elizabeth, Clint, John Barbey and Risa Teitelbaum!

Interest was strong to reinvigorate LHNA with discussion about forming several committees including; Design Review, Communications, Outreach, Transportation, Open Space & Parks, and Commercial Corridor Plans and Improvements. Neighbors are encouraged to sign up for one of the new committees or create another. Clint volunteered for the Design Review Committee, Laura Wentworth volunteered to advise. Laura, Tracy Wheeler and Vaughn Shields volunteered for the Communications Committee. Todd Mavis volunteered for the Outreach Committee.  Another area we may want to address is Safety and Disaster Preparedness.

Other issues discussed included; residential parking (Peter recently got Hill Street done), undergrounding power lines, homelessness, blighted storefronts, group buying power for solar installation, continued vigilance of historic preservation and the plans for Valencia Street from 15th-19th as well as plans for Mission Street. Partnering with other neighborhood associations is a high priority as well.

Dues were set at $20 per household, $10 for singles and $5 for seniors and students, with a policy that no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Sherry Steiner agreed to be acting Treasurer at least until there are proper elections. Peter Heinecke offered to be acting Secretary and Clint offered to be acting President but only until elections are held. Anyone who's interested in being President or VP please prepare your campaign platform!

Elizabeth gave a brief history of the controversy surrounding 827 Guerrero Street - a lovely mansion near the corner of Liberty Street that is currently being used as an unlicensed drug treatment and rehab center. After some debate, it was agreed that Elizabeth would represent LHNA as being opposed to the pending conditional use permit application on the grounds that the treatments being offered should be licensed and the business owner should reapply after obtaining licensing. The Planning Commission hearing is Thursday, April 9th at 1:30 pm. Commission Chambers – Room 400 City Hall. 827 Guerrero is item 8a and 8b of the Regular Calendar. Anyone who is interested should attend the meeting.

Another issue of immediate concern is the proposed building where Spork is there is concern that it will push new height allowances. We need someone to volunteer to research that project.

The next meeting is set for May 4 at 6PM and all meetings will be held on the first Monday of each month unless there's a holiday. The next meeting will be at Greg Elich and Vaughn Shields's home at 24 Hill Street.

There were a couple of other people who volunteered whose names we didn't get, my apologies, please contact Tracy(at) with your information.