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Laguna Honda Reservoir: Update

July 2, 2010

If there’s anything I’m learning from having gotten drawn into neighborhood issues, it’s response times. And implementation times. And that the two are sometimes quite different.

At the Laguna Honda Reservoir, the SF PUC has built a gravel yard where it was supposed to restore the site to greenery, and decided to locate its Dive Team there. When neighbors protested and pointed out that it had Open Space zoning, the PUC promised to put the project on hold. That was on June 9th.

We wrote about it earlier here, here, and here.

15th June

After that, neighbors observed the following:

  • PUC trucks visiting the site on June 14th.
  • The Dive Team visiting the site on June 15th, unaware that any plans had changed.
  • PUC trucks and a dump truck on June 29th and 30th.
  • Loud truck activity from 11.18 and until after midnight, June 30th-July1. When a neighbor investigated, the guard said something about a water main break and asked him to leave the site.

ANNOYED

By this time, the neighbors were both suspicious and annoyed. Said one on Facebook: “It is obvious that this site is being used and I think we have all had our fill of lies from the people at the PUC...”

From neighbor Beverly Myer: “…when I was awakened by the beep beep, at first I thought it was a dream. Then I thought, it can’t be, even that PUC would not be that BLATANT, but when it continued I realized it was them, and they don’t care about anything that affects a residential area.”

PUC RESPONSE

One of them emailed the PUC, and got this response:

“I apologize for the inconvenience and noise that resulted when the Laguna Honda site was accessed late last evening. There had been a water main break and crews went to that site to get material needed to fill the hole so that the street was safe for traffic after the water main was fixed. Our Dive Team and Operations crews have been advised to stay out of that site until further notice, and I have been assured that for the forseeable future, crews participating in emergency repair work will gather fill materials at a more remote location. We will be setting up another community meeting about this site during the week of July 19, and will confirm the date, time and location early next week.”

Beverly’s reaction: “I like the way they refer to the timing of the gravel trucks as ‘late last evening’ – somehow 11:15 pm and midnight do not constitute ‘evening’ in my book. Evening connotes people still being awake, having dinner, watching TV, reading etc.

So here you have it: The PUC, after officially deciding to put the project on hold (which itself took more time than it should) has somehow not conveyed that to the operating end of the organization. Delayed response, even more delayed implementation. And even more anger among the neighbors.

2 July 2010

If you’re interested, look out for the meeting the week of July 19th. We’ll send out the details.

[Edited to Add: At the Sutro Forest meeting recently, FKNO President Walter Caplan noted that he was working to have the ugly chain-link fence around the reservoir removed. Stay tuned. We’ll update this with whatever Walter is ready to make public.]

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