Skip to content

UCSF’s New Plans for Aldea (Above Forest Knolls)

March 21, 2019

I attended a meeting at UCSF’s Milberry Union last evening, 20 March 2019.

UCSF is rejigging its plans for Parnassus. After spending the last many years focused on its new location at Mission Bay, they want to come back to where it all started: Parnassus. They’re planning a new hospital by 2029, which will comply with new seismic codes. Beyond that, they want to improve the aesthetics of the Parnassus experience – create a sense of entry, strengthen the connection to Golden Gate Park and Mount Sutro, and build more space. They have a community group working on it, with mostly Inner Sunset residents and UCSF staff. (The list is here as a PDF: UCSF_Parnassus_Heights_Roster )

NEW PLANS FOR ALDEA

For those who aren’t aware of it, UCSF’s Aldea Student Housing adjoins Forest Knolls to the north just above Christopher Drive from Clarendon Avenue to where the forest is cut for the pipeline.

Among the plans to expand housing for students and staff, they are considering rebuilding the student housing at Aldea, from 171 units now to 500+ units when the project concludes. Aldea used to be subject to the “space ceiling” (explained in this post: UCSF’s Space Ceiling Saga) but apparently in 2014, the UC Regents decided to exempt it – as with all the other student housing.

To do this, they plan to replace their current, mostly 3-storied buildings, with 5-8 story buildings. They will probably start with the oldest ones, which are nearest to Forest Knolls.

For our neighborhood, it raises several questions:

  1. Parking. As it is, a lot of UCSF people park in Forest Knolls and Midtown Terrace because of inadequate parking at Aldea and Parnassus. If the number of units at Aldea triples, what happens to parking?
  2. Traffic. Aldea gives on to Clarendon at an awkward spot, just before the wide road up from Laguna Honda turns into the narrow one joining Twin Peaks Boulevard. Right now, Aldea doesn’t generate much traffic. But if it’s going to be housing 500 families? This is an area with NO amenities within walking distance – even a gallon of milk is a car-ride away. The connections to MUNI are also dismal. The only thing they have is the UCSF shuttle, down to Parnassus.
  3. Aesthetics. Aldea is adjacent to Forest Knolls on the north.  Right now, the Aldea buildings are low-key, low-rise shingled buildings partially hidden by trees. With plans for major tree removal as part of the “Vegetation Management Plan” for Mount Sutro, these buildings will be much more visible. The most recent structure at Aldea, the community center, is not very reassuring in terms of aesthetic inspiration. (See the boxy structure in the picture below.)
  4. Time Line. I didn’t get a clear sense of the time-line on Aldea. There’s something on the last slide that suggests 2025 as the target date, which means they will move quickly. As a state organization, they don’t need city permission, and are exempt from the usual constraints on building.

THE  PRESENTATION

I’m uploading a bunch of pictures I took of the presentation. They said that they would be putting it on their website, so hopefully you can get better quality pictures there soon. (I might download it here if it’s feasible.)

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

Advertisements

The Grab-and-Go List for Emergency Evacuations

November 20, 2018

Most of us, very fortunately, haven’t ever had to run for our lives ahead of a fire or flood or earthquake. But if it happens – it’s difficult to think straight. Someone posted this “Grab & Go” to Facebook and it looked so useful that I printed several copies. 

May none of us every need it!

Forest Knolls Holiday Party – December 9, 2018

November 19, 2018

Just in case you didn’t get the Forest Knolls annual holiday party flyer in your mailbox, here is the information.

The Forest Knolls Holiday Party is set for Sunday, 12/9, from 4-8pm with a dinner buffet at 5pm. The event will be held at the Armenian Church at 275 Olympia Way, next to our fire station.
If you plan to attend, PLEASE RSVP to forestknolls@comcast.net. There’s a form to be filled in and mailed to Forest Knolls Neighborhood Organization, PO Box 31387, SF 94131 (or you can email forestknolls@comcast.net).  Adults are $25/person, kids are free. Photos of the front and back of the flyer are given below.

Questions? Just email forestknolls@comcast.net

 

Halloween 2018

October 17, 2018
tags:

It’s that time of the year again, with the orange flyers in your mailbox, telling you about the Halloween loop. The Forest Knolls Neighborhood Organization does this each year.

Here’s the flyer as a PDF (the image is below): Halloween 2018 

If you’re on the loop and want to trick-or-treaters coming by, you’ll need to be home on Wednesday Oct 31 between 5.30 and 8 p.m. (with candy!).  Email the organizers by Sunday Oct 21 at forestknolls@comcast.net or call them at 415-621-0500. They’ll give you a pumpkin and a sign to indicate you’re participating.

If you want to take your kids trick-or-treating, bring them to the loop between 5.30 and 8 pm. on Oct 31 – and look out for the pumpkins of participation!

Big Machines Right Here!

August 20, 2018

They’re replacing sewer pipes on Woodhaven, right here in Forest Knolls. If you’re an aficionado of big machines (or have kids who are!), there are plenty.

I took these photos over the last week.

Every day is different and fascinating.

This was today!

Here’s the notice about the Sewer Replacement Project. It’s 5-6 weeks, they said, and started Aug 6, 2018. The first of many, from the sound of it. The big machines may be coming to a street near you!

Of course, it’s a lot of noise and dust and access/ parking limitations for the homes on Woodhaven and nearby, but hopefully it will prevent plumbing problems in future. Like this broken water main from 2009. That wasn’t even a sewer line, which would be more insidious!

:
:
:
:
:
END

New Trail from Clarendon up to Laguna Honda

July 30, 2018

Recently, I saw a new trail marker/ map on Clarendon Avenue, across the street from “The Woods” townhome complex, and decided to explore.

It goes through the ravine that probably was part of the lake in olden times. It’s now dry, and forested with eucalyptus and understoried with blackberry. Laguna Honda Hospital (LHH) gets it cleared out occasionally with goats. It’s quite delightful, a narrow winding trail that climbs up the other side of the ravine and comes out in LHH’s front yard.

Hiker and blogger Tony Holiday tried out the same hike – though he went a bit further, beyond the juvenile detention facility – and has given me permission to use his story and some pictures here. (For lots more great pictures, see his blog post, Daisies, on his site Stairways Are Heaven. It’s also a great resource for transit-friendly hikes.)

* * *

From DAISIES by Tony Holiday

Thanks again to a good Facebook friend who told me about a new multi-use trail. And it’s a beauty!

The trailhead is on the Midtown Terrace side of Clarendon, just past Laguna Honda Reservoir. This is the south side of Clarendon, across the street from “The Woods” residences. There’s a sign with a map at the trailhead. It’s also a short distance from Olympia Way and the Midtown Terrace Playground.

Does this trail have an official name? If not, how ‘bout the “Woods” Trail?
Loved it immediately. Lush, narrow, definitely magical, with beautiful old trees.

It curves round, winding up to a south ridge.

 

 

No one on the trail but me (and Karl the Fog).

Nearer the summit was chainlink fencing and some old trash just off the trail. The cans, etc. will probably eventually be cleaned up. An old dumpsite for Laguna Honda Hospital?

To my left as I climbed were backs of Dellbrook Ave. homes. To my right, above, some of the many hospital buildings, old and new.

Then there were all these amazing white daisies along the trail.

There are benches just inside the hospital grounds behind one of the buildings. Still no one around but me. Continued up to a way out at a hospital parking lot.

From here delighted to see more woods just ahead.

Hidden away in the forest here are two huge graffiti-covered tanks.

Started down (west) alongside the hospital grounds to my right; to the left the Juvenile Probation Dept. Down at street level was Woodside & Idora. Continued curving downhill to the #43 bus stop that’s just across from the Forest Hill Metro Station.

Another treat —the colorful mural at the entrance to the hospital grounds on Laguna Honda at the bus stop. I think this has to be my favorite of all murals seen so far. [For lots more mural photos, see Tony’s original blog post.]

 

 

– THE END –

West Portal – Closures and Big Machines

July 30, 2018

As everyone probably knows by now, West Portal tunnel is closed while they repair and replace the hundred-year-old lines.

The main staging area is West Portal, the commercial street. It’s a big mess. But a big intriguing mess. (And, we hasten to add, it’s open for business and the shops and restaurants are operating normally.)

We were fascinated by the huge, specialized machines parked everywhere in the first couple of blocks of West Portal.

And here are some more:

All in matching, very visible yellow, though each machine is different.

It’s all very much under control, and as long as you avoid Ulloa and Vicente and the stretch between, it’s not difficult to drive there or find parking.

 

But the stores sure could do with some support, so if you were thinking about shopping or dining there… please do. And if you have kids who are interested in huge machines and construction activity – it’s the perfect time to ogle the earthmovers!

 

 

– THE END –