Minutes of Meeting called by Svetlana Kaff, Neighbor and Candidate for Supervisor

Issue: Crestmont Hills Development Project
Meeting Date: July 24, 2004
Place: Clarendon Playground Recreation Center

Four buildings are to be constructed at the end of Crestmont Drive containing 34 units. The neighborhood currently consists of single-family homes.

There are zoning issues.
There should be a road between Crestmont Drive and Oak Park that was never built.

Other issues:

  •           Parking
  •           Traffic
  •           Safety
  •           Noise
  •           Emergency vehicle access
  •           Health
  •           Project will destabilize the steep hillside
  •           Virgin land issue
  •           Endangered species on the land

Residents encouraged to:

Believe that land is currently owned or controlled by the developer. Mr. Chin owns the land.

Project is now before the Planning Commission.   An environmental impact study is being done.   The city will need to hear from you in the form of letters, or a Homeowners Association can commission its own EIR.   The city is likely to reduce the scope of the project.   There will be a hearing before the Planning Commission and a second round of reviews.

The developer will require a zoning variance. We believe that the developer has applied for a variance.

You can go to the planning commission and request copies of blueprints for the proposed project. You could take pictures of plans with a digital camera

Does the Homeowners Association own the access road?   If so, would the developer need to get an easement? There is a difference of opinion as to whether the Homeowners Association owns ½ of the road. The courts could impose an easement.

The developer claims that Crestmont Hills LLC has an easement.

One resident drove to the development site and walked down the road to discover that there is already heavy machinery clearing the area. Why is the machinery clearing the land? Perhaps it is to enable the developer to complete a survey.

Could we obtain a restraining order? Questionable. We would need to convince a judge as to why the project should be stopped. It is very expensive and a lot of trouble to get a restraining order.

Is the fact that there is a bulldozer on the access road considered trespassing? Suggest that residents take photos of activity that is going on.

Who has title to the access road?   Is there an easement?   What is the scope of the easement?

Assertion that the bulldozer is actually parked on the land of one of the homeowners. Take a picture of the bulldozer that includes the number of the house.

Need to exhaust all inexpensive ways to fight the developer first. Hearings on the EIR have been extended until July 31 st.   Everyone needs to get their letters in to Irene Nisihimura in the Planning Department. A meeting participant handed out a sample letter.

Letters should mention:

  •           Erosion
  •           Land slippage
  •           Underground springs
  •           Mud slides
  •           Increased traffic
  •           Danger to children

When you send in your letter, ask that you be added to the list for all future mailing from the Planning Department concerning the proposed development.

Rick Crawford is the planner involved to whom the petitions should be submitted.

Could there be a separate street going to the project that would ease traffic and congestion concerns?

The 36 bus runs down Warren Drive .   The bus takes up the whole street.   There would be no way for construction trucks to get past the bus.

How would traffic be affected by the project?

What history of past, failed development efforts for this area exists?   Someone could check in newspaper archives, on the Internet, at City Hall, etc.

What geological reasons exist to show why the property has not yet been developed?   Soils problems?   Structural problems?

There is the issue of noise during construction.   There will be blasting.   Will blasting compromise the structural integrity of my home?

The developer has called a meeting for next week.   Developer meetings are usually public relations shows.   People are encouraged to attend to voice their concerns.   Show up and let them know you are unhappy with the proposed development.

Someone suggested that there should be a name chosen for our group.

There needs to be another road going down to 5 th Avenue .   Having the developer put in a road might be a negotiating point.

It is troubling that Tony Hall hasn’t responded.   Assertion that Tony Hall was “in bed” with the developer.   Tony Hall may have a new job and may be leaving the Board of Supervisors.

We need to use the media.   Svetlana will send a press release to The Examiner.   Svetlana says a reporter has promised to do our story.

We need to contact members of the Board of Supervisors who are not pro-development.

Sam Sobol, a cardiologist at UCSF spoke briefly.   His negotiating position is that there should be no project.   Drilling could destabilize the hillside.

Why was Crestmont Drive limited in its width when it was initially built?   How wide is it?   How would a fire engine get in to deal with a high-rise fire?   This could kill the project.   Fire trucks have to be able to turn around.

People on Crestmont Drive have a history of problems with underground streams and soil shifting.   A soils engineer needs to study this issue.

What is UCSF’s position on this issue?   They could become a powerful ally.   Have they been contacted?

We need to contact other neighbors who didn’t make it to this meeting.

In the past a house slipped onto Warren Drive .   The city put in a retaining wall at the cost of $750,000 and announced an assessment of the homeowners to recover the cost of the retaining wall.   A local resident passed out a leaflet to the entire neighborhood informing residents of a meeting with the city attorney.   So many residents appeared at the meeting that the city attorney declined to meet with them.   The assessment was dropped.

Svetlana will contact all meeting participants.