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Laguna Honda Reservoir: Good News for Now

September 10, 2011

We’ve been following the situation of the Laguna Honda Reservoir over the past months. The issue in summary: The Reservoir, situated at the intersection of Clarendon Avenue and Laguna Honda Boulevard, belongs to the Water Department. They had used a corner of it below Clarendon during the renovation project, assuring the neighbors that they would restore it to greenery afterward. Instead, last year, they decided to make it into a gravel yard and headquarter their dive team there. (The details are here and here.)

The neighbors — particularly at The Woods, which is right next to the spot and overlooks it — were very upset and have been in discussion with the SFPUC about it.

But it wasn’t over; and the neighbors have been following up with SFPUC.

We blogged about it here and here and here.

Another issue is that a beekeeper has been permitted to place a number of beehives in this area (which is otherwise inaccessible to the public. Some neighbors are concerned about how it looks, and also about how the bees might behave.

It seems that there’s been some kind of a resolution, at least for now. This is a letter from Judith Clarke, President of the Woods Home-Owners Association. (It’s published here with permission and added emphasis.)

I wanted to give you an update on what is happening at the Laguna Honda Reservoir. On August 24, 2011, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) cleaned up the piles of gravel and dirt that had been stored on the Laguna Honda site for about a year. They also removed the pipes that were stored there and raked the loose gravel to allow the plants to grow.

The SFPUC will be working up the street at the Sutro Reservoir to do seismic retrofitting. This work will begin in either November or January. The SFPUC will not use the Laguna Honda Reservoir area for that work.

At this time, there is no movement by the SFPUC to move a trailer and/or shed onto the Laguna Honda Reservoir site for their Dive Team, as had been discussed previously. I spoke with Suzanne Gautier of the SFPUC and she told me that she does not know of any movement in that direction at this time.

This is good news and thank you to all who donated money and participated in the efforts to prevent the installment of the trailer. We must still be vigilant in watching that area in case something changes in the future. Please continue to report any activity. We are still discussing the issue with Sean Elsbernd, District 7 Supervisor, and other members of the Board of Supervisors. Our attorney is not doing any work for us at this time, but she is available to us to provide legal advice and work in the future.

The tarps that covered the beehives on the far side of the reservoir were damaged by the storms we had this year. Currently, there are no tarps covering the fence to hide the beehives. Some homeowners had indicated that they did not like the tarps. Others have said they want the beehives hidden. Please let me know what your preference is for having the tarps on the fence. We have an opportunity to influence whether they are put back or not. Thank you.

Judy Clarke
President, The Woods of San Francisco

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in comments and I’ll send them on. [ETA: This post has been edited to remove personal/ non-public information as requested.]

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Barbara permalink
    September 11, 2011 10:04 am

    Frankly, I know little about bees and their hives, but my limited understanding is that honey bees are *not* harmful unless threatened, so perhaps more research can be done to properly argue their detriment, if that hasn’t been done.

    However, I find it incredible that a private beekeeper is allowed to use public land and have private access to make private financial gain without paying for the opportunity. If it is ruled that the bee hives don’t pose a threat, or at least one of acceptable risk, I would certainly hope s/he is paying for that privilege. If not, what’s to keep a private/licensed medical-marijuana grower from using public lands for private agricultural purposes.

    Finally, if the hives are proven to be of acceptable risk, I should think that residents of The Woods may bargain for a quid pro quo for accepting the hives…or at least allowing a trial period. It seems to me, a naïve non-resident, that nestling hives in the area might indeed provide a symbiotic natural benefit, that in time, be something to boast about.

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