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.