We’ve been following the much-disputed San Francisco Overlook project for some years now.
This is the planned development at the end of narrow, twisting, Crestmont Drive and was earlier called the Crestmont Hills project.
San Francisco’s Planning Commission approved it in 2013, and we reported on that HERE. Soon afterward, the developers reached an agreement with the Mt Sutro Woods Home Owners’ Association to reduce the number of units from 34 to 29, and reduce the heights of the buildings. An April 2015 report on the real estate website, SocketSite.com, reported that the project was able to proceed.
But it didn’t proceed. Instead, it was put up for sale.
FOR SALE AT $14 MILLION
- In May 2015 SocketSite reported that the site was for sale, with the plans for the units (but without building permits).
- In January 2016 they reported that the asking price, initially $20 million, had been cut to $15 million.
- And in November 2016, they said the price had been cut to $14 million.
Hmm. According to a November 2016 mailing I received from realtor John Kirkpatrick, homes in the Forest Knolls neighborhood sold for an average of $1.195 million. Forest Knolls homes have 2 or 3 bedrooms and 1 or 2 bathrooms, but the back half of the garage typically offers customizable space. You can put in another 2 rooms and bathroom down there if you want. They’re standalone homes with no shared walls and most of them have a yard. That’s the competition to this project.
Let’s say these 29 luxury homes are priced at about $1.5 million, because they’ll have the latest fit and finish. Other benefits, like a 2-car garage and views are not unique to the development.
That would be a gross take of $43.5 mn, roughly 3 times the asking cost of the land and plans. Is it worth it? I don’t know.
ACCESS IS STILL AN ISSUE
Though there’s an agreement with the Mt Sutro Woods HOA, the project’s only access runs through the very narrow Crestmont Drive, which has houses on one side and a steep hillside on the other. Though on the map it looks like you could easily link it up to 5th Avenue, the intervening land doesn’t belong to the developer and is also very steep.
The way in to these 29 would-be homes is through the Forest Knolls neighborhood. Fears of destabilizing the mountainside where many homes are supported by concrete piers, fears of added traffic on an already narrow street, fears of potential emergency situations with very poor access, all could fuel more opposition.
Walter Caplan of the Forest Knolls Neighborhood Organization asked me to post this “save the date” for the Forest Knolls Holiday Party. It’ll be at the Armenian Church at 275 Olympia Way, on Dec 18 at 4 p.m. – with snacks, dinner, Santa, and gifts for children.
Unlike previous years, there’ll be a $10 per adult charge to cover costs. Children are free! If you wish to attend, please fill in the form below (or still better, in the linked PDF file) and mail it in with your check.
(Download the PDF here: forest-knolls-christmas-2016-save-the-date2a )
Each year, the Forest Knolls Neighborhood Organization (FKNO) encourages neighbors on Oak Park and Warren Drive (and a small stretch of Christopher) to join the “Loop” – a Halloween-friendly route that kids can trick-or-treat on.
This year, it’s been expanded to Forest Knolls Drive and Woodhaven Court. It runs between 5.30 and 8 p.m. People who want to greet kids with candy can get a pumpkin and a pumpkin sign to let them know they’re in. FKNO will provide both pumpkin and sign – email Walter Caplan at email@example.com
One of the delights of living where we do is being so close to wildlife. I don’t mean just the raccoons or the hawks – but actual whales! I’d been seeing Youtube video of humpback whales in Pacifica, barely 15 minutes south of us.
So I went out to Pacifica Pier around 4 p.m. on a sunny Saturday afternoon, hoping that I’d maybe see a whale. I was disappointed to find access is truncated – the pier is shaped like a shallow L, but the short arm was closed off after a big storm damaged the parapet. (In the picture below, you can see the concrete slab of the wall has been pushed in by the waves. I wish they’d repair it!)
In the fine weather, the Pier was crowded. Lots of people were fishing, lots of others walking around. My hopes rose when I saw a couple of people armed with cameras with lenses as long as my forearm… maybe they were seeing whales? I only had my iPhone camera, but thought maybe I’d get some distant sightings.
I didn’t have to wait long. Almost immediately, I could see the puffs of whale-spouts in the distance, north of the pier.
Soon I could even see the whales when they surfaced. Flocks of birds surrounded them. As they fed, the fish that escaped them fed the gulls and other sea-birds. After I’d been there an hour or so, I wanted to leave. Except, I couldn’t. Every time I started to leave, more whales swam by.
Finally, one came in so close, it was inside the surf line. Someone next to me was explaining to a friend that it was likely a calf, and the shallow water was easier to breathe in. It was almost alongside the pier. After a minute or two, it turned around and swam back out.
Our neighborhood doesn’t see much crime, so it was surprising when neighbor Florence Meyering posted on NextDoor that there were police on Clarendon Avenue with guns drawn! (This was on 23rd July 2016 around 5.30 p.m.)
“As I was driving on Clarendon/Twin Peaks Blvd, I saw police with guns out and police cars were arriving from everywhere. They were looking at the hill towards Mount Sutro Forest. Does anyone know what was going on and if they caught whomever were were after?” she posted, along with the picture above.
So I wrote to Park Station police, and they wrote back within a couple of days: “On that date and time, there was a carjacking that occurred. I believe officers were most likely responding to this incident. The suspect is in custody and the stolen vehicle returned to it’s rightful owner.”
All’s well that ends well.
Are you a short-term rental host? (AirBnB, VRBO, even on Craigslist – anything less than 30 days at a time) The city of San Francisco requires you to register. Walter Kaplan asked me to publish this PSA:
Forest Knolls residents who wish to act as a short-term rental host MUST register with the City’s Office of Short Term Rentals. The City is hosting a registration event at the Ortega Branch of the San Francisco Public Library on Thursday May 5, from 5:30 to 8:30 PM.
There will be walk-in registration, and no appointment is required.
Here’s the original message from the city:
Hi. Here is the information on the upcoming (City-run) registration event at the Ortega Branch of the Public Library. Feel free to share with your neighbors.
Short Version: If you plan to host short-term rentals (including through websites such as VRBO, Airbnb, & Craiglist) in your home, then registration is required with the City’s Office of Short-Term Rentals. A walk-in registration event (no appointment required) will be held at the community room of the Ortega Branch Library, on the evening of May 5th from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM. For more information visit http://www.sfgov.org/OSTR.
Long Form Version:
The San Francisco Office of Short-Term Rentals is offering additional opportunities to apply for registration as a Short-Term Rental host** or just to ask questions.
- At the Ortega branch (3223 Ortega Street – meeting room) of the San Francisco Public Library on the evening of May 5th, from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM. Walk-in registration (no appointment required). This is not a library sponsored program.
- Walk-in registrations (no appointment required) at 1660 Mission Street (inside the Dept. of Building Inspection), on the 5th floor, on every Wednesday afternoon, between 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.
- Evening walk-in registrations (no appointment required) on the first Monday of every month, from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM, at the Planning Department. Located at 1650 Mission Street, on the 4th Floor.
- At the Earthquake Retrofit Fair on April 18th from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM, at Bill Graham Auditorium, located at 99 Grove Street. No appointment required.
- Registrations can also be handled, by appointment, on most weekdays (at 1660 Mission Street), and take about 20 minutes. Appointments are held at 1660 Mission Street, on the 5th floor. Appointments can be requested online at http://www.sfgov.org/OSTR.
- Having a complete application and required documents (listed on Page 3 of the application form) can help speed up review and approvals after the registration event or appointment.
- Registration is required with BOTH the Office of Short-Term Rentals AND the Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector.
For more information on the application requirements, including documents needed in order to register visit http://www.sfgov.org/OSTR.
For more information on registering with the Treasurer & Tax Collector, visit http://www.businessportal.sfgov.org/home-rentals.
Hosting Short-Term Rentals WITHOUT being registered with the Office of Short-Term Rentals can result in daily fines. The City’s Administrative Code (Section 41A) requires registration if a permanent San Francisco resident would like to host short-term rentals in their home. To file a complaint about a Short-Term Rental, or if you have any questions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 575-9179.
**Short-Term Rentals are for stays of 30 days or less, that are hosted in residential dwellings. This includes if you offer stays in your home through the use of online platforms such as: Airbnb, Craigslist, Flipkey, HomeAway, and VRBO.
OMAR MASRY, AICP | SENIOR ANALYST
Office of Short Term Rentals, City & County of San Francisco
P. 415.575.9116 l F. 415.558.6409
1650 Mission Street | 4th Floor | San Francisco | CA 94103
Barbara Oleksiw, our favorite organizer of fun FREE events for neighbors, writes:
We’re again expecting the Easter Bunny to hide gazillions of colorful eggs
in our backyard.
Gates open at 10a.m, but there’ll be plenty of supplies for those coming later.
Bring your own basket … or use one of ours. All welcome.