This area is to discuss and report on issues the neighborhood is facing.
1. The Crestmont Development. A builder wanted to add an apartment block at the end of Crestmont, a narrow winding road just below Mt Sutro. Most neighbors opposed it on the grounds of safety (landslides, fire access), neighborhood character (no apartment blocks in Forest Knolls); and infrastructure issues. [Edited to Add 1: Apparently stopped for now.] [Feb 2010 Edited to Add 2: Have heard that it may have been restarted.]
2. The 36 Teresita route. In 2009, the City planned to curtail the service of the 36 Teresita, the only bus serving Forest Knolls, on the ground of inadequate ridership. Neighbors pointed out that it was not so much a matter of numbers as a matter of access; there were people without cars who relied on the bus. For the present, the service continues, but no one is sure if the plan may yet be implemented. [Edited to Add: It appears that the feedback has been accepted, and the route changes – implemented from 5 Dec 09 – will not affect Forest Knolls. However, the frequency falls to 30 minutes (instead of 20 during weekday rush-hours); and the last bus leaves Forest Hill at 11 p.m.]
3. Sutro Cloud Forest. In May 2009, UCSF, which owns the land on Mt Sutro just above Forest Knolls, planned to cut down thousands of trees on a quarter of the forest, including an area just above the neighborhood ostensibly in the name of fire mitigation. Opponents believe this is a ruse for a native plant conversion of the forest, and the fire threat is an excuse to get FEMA funding for a landscaping plan. They consider it dangerous because of increased fire hazard from a more open and dryer forest; greater landslide risk; concern about toxic chemicals (Roundup and Garlon) being used; and worries about the area being artificially reclassified as a High Fire Risk with impacts on disclosure requirements and insurance rates. (At present, Cal Fire notes there are no areas of Very High Fire Hazard in San Francisco.)
[Edited to Add 1: SaveSutro kept a daily Fog Log for September/ October/ November. The longest period the forest was without fog or rain was 7 days. The forest remained green and damp throughout. ]
[Feb 2010, Edited to Add 2: UCSF has withdrawn its applications from FEMA. It is looking for a different way forward. Details on the SaveSutro website.]
4. Extended parking meter hours in San Francisco. Despite Oakland’s unfortunate experience with extended hours on its parking meters (a revenue measure), San Francisco’s MTA still has such a plan under consideration. This does not directly affect the neighborhood, which does not have meters; but it affects the residents who shop or work in surrounding areas like West Portal or Miraloma. [Edited to Add: There’s a good discussion of this in the November ’09 issue of the Westside Observer. The article (on page 2) is by George Wooding, president of the West of Twin Peaks Central Council.]
5. Another issue that affects Forest Knolls indirectly is SF PUC’s plan to build a gravel distribution center on Clarendon Avenue, on the eastern edge of the Laguna Honda Lake. This area was apparently presented as a temporary staging post, but now is being made permanent. Neighbors are protesting.