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If You Host AirBnB or Similar, Please Register!

April 8, 2016

neighborhood-housesAre 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 shorttermrentals@sfgov.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.

Regards,

OMAR MASRY, AICP | SENIOR ANALYST
Office of Short Term Rentals, City & County of San Francisco
omar.masry@sfgov.org
P. 415.575.9116 l F. 415.558.6409
1650 Mission Street | 4th Floor | San Francisco | CA 94103
http://www.sfgov.org/OSTR

FREE Inner Sunset Easter-Egg Hunt, Sunday March 27, 2016

March 24, 2016

Barbara Oleksiw, our favorite organizer of fun FREE events for neighbors, writes:

kitten doggy thumbnailFREE Inner Sunset Easter-Egg Hunt, Easter Sunday, March 27th, 10 a.m. to Noon.

We’re again expecting the Easter Bunny to hide gazillions of colorful eggs
in our backyard.

easter eggsWe hope you’ll come hunt…or come watch the excitement.
We’re at the NW corner of 6th & Irving, San Francisco 94122

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.

Clarendon Trail Head Planned Beside Forest Knolls

March 18, 2016

forest-before The Sutro Stewards and UCSF are going ahead with plans to build the Clarendon connector trail, which would run inside the screen of trees that divides Forest Knolls from UCSF’s Aldea Housing.  This is, coincidentally, the area that was severely thinned in August 2013. (Before picture above, after picture below.) This means that the actual trail probably will cause less destruction than it would have before. They hope to finish it by November 2016.

forest-afterThe trail would start on the Clarendon- Christopher corner, go into the narrow alley behind the pump house and fence, and continue on parallel to Christopher. (That’s the orange line on the map below.)

clarendon trail

They’re also going to punch a new trail through on the South Ridge (the purple squiggly line), in addition to the Quarry Road Trail that was built with no notice to the community. These trails would not be bad, except that they always end up destroying trees – if not immediately, a year or two later when tree lining the trail are declared hazardous. Over 1500 trees have been removed since 2013, with around 350 being felled this last winter. There’s such a thing as too many trails for a 63-acre forest.

NEW TRAIL HEAD PLANNED

On March 14th, they had a meeting to design a formal new trail head at Clarendon x Christopher. (The red labels aren’t original to the picture, they’re just to orient you.)

clarendon trail head site nowThe initial designs showed a seating area of granite, a kiosk with maps and signs, and gravel.  The idea was to provide a well-marked entrance to the forest from the UCSF side (there is already one from the Stanyan side) that would avoid the campus, connect to new trails across Clarendon Avenue being built by San Francisco Recreation and Parks (SFRPD) near Sutro Tower, and have street parking available since UCSF has no plans to provide additional parking for this.  They were looking for public input on what they wanted at the Trail Head.

planned clarendon trail head UCSF

Some of the ideas – seating, some kind of shelter from the wind that blows up Clarendon, a water-fountain, an earthen berm along the Christopher side to provide wind protection,  permeable pavers on the ground instead of gravel.

So far, no funds have been set aside for this. It seems to be a fund-raising opportunity for the Sutro Stewards, who plan to write grant proposals for the money. UCSF may provide some funding too, but it is unclear how much.  The team – the Sutro Stewards, and Julie Sutton of UCSF, seemed to want people to think big. Maybe that would justify a bigger grant?

CONNECTING TO OTHER SFRPD TRAILS

Lisa Wayne of SFRPD attended, to show how the new trail would link to three other trail projects SFRPD is working on: The Creeks-to-Peaks Trail from Glen Canyon to Twin Peaks (already being built); the plan to turn half of the figure 8 on Twin Peaks into a bicycle/ pedestrian area by restricting cars to the other half (in design); and trails to connect Twin Peaks to Mount Sutro via trails past Sutro Tower (yellow dotted line below – in planning).

lisa wayne shows planned trail system

She’s hoping to get work started this summer, for an opportunity to use VOCAL volunteers. Hope this doesn’t  mean cutting down trees in the nesting season. Actually, not cutting down trees at all would be better, but trees are apparently the casualty of every SFRPD project, especially near any “Natural Area.”

next steps for SFRPD trail projects

CONNECTING TO THE BAY AREA RIDGE TRAIL

Several people from the Bay Area Ridge Trail group came, and Bern Smith spoke about how this new trail would connect to other trails and become part of a 550-mile trail system around the Bay.

Bay Area Ridge Trail visionWHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR FOREST KNOLLS?

Quite aside from such issues as tree removal and thinning of the forest, this project will practically be part of our neighborhood. On the one hand, if there’s enough seating, it might make a picnic or gathering spot for a neighborhood that doesn’t have one. On the other – could this mean parking problems on nice days?

UCSF is taking comments. You can send them to Christine Gasparac: christine.gasparac@ucsf.edu

COMMENTS AT THE MEETING

The gallery below shows the comments  from people at the meeting – which included a few members of the public, but no neighborhood representatives. If you click on the pictures, they should become legible.

 

UCSF: Free Kids’ Dental Care Day – Feb 16, 2016

January 22, 2016
I was contacted by UCSF School of Dentistry – which is hosting is hosting free dental care event for kids at the UCSF Dental Center at 707 Parnassus SF 94143 – and asked for help spreading the word. Please feel free to forward this post if you know anyone who would be interested.
Here’s their notice:
 UCSF School of Dentistry is hosting an event called Give Kids a Smile Day where kids ages 3-17 years old can receive free dental care!  The event this year:
February 6, 2016, 10am to 3pm

FREE SCREENINGSFREE FLUORIDE VARNISHFREE SEALANTSFREE TOOTHBRUSHESPRIZES & FUN for children ages 3-17!   SUPERHEROES WILL BE THERE!!

No appointment needed!  Arrive ANYTIME 10-3pm!

For questions or more info contact: CPHANatUCSF@gmail.com

UCSF Dentistry poster 2016

Forest Knolls Holiday Party on Dec 5th, 2015

November 13, 2015

Walter Caplan of FKNO asked me to post this flyer. A holiday party is planned for Dec 5th, 2015. Last year’s was great, and this one sounds like it’ll be awesome.

FK holiday flyer 2015
WHERE:  St. John Armenian Church Hall
275 Olympia Way – next to our fire station

WHEN:  For kids: 11 am – 2 pm for the kids
Santa will be there with gifts for the kids from 11 am – 2 pm

For ALL adults: 4 – 8 pm for ALL our neighborhood’s adults
Sandwiches – snacks – Christmas cookies – hot chocolate – warm cider – See’s Candies
A buffet dinner will be served along with holiday cheer

an opportunity to celebrate the holidays
and join with all your Forest Knolls neighbors
for food, drink, and the latest neighborhood gossip

RSVP to: whcaplan@comcast.net or 415.621.0500 (not in comments here!)
with the number of persons planning to attend

Santa would like to know the age range of children planning to attend
so his helpers can have age appropriate gifts for all the kids

You can download the flyer here in PDF form for printing: Forest Knolls Christmas 2015 leaflet

A Successful Forest Knolls Halloween in 2015

November 7, 2015

halloween-scary-house public domainRecently, we posted about the Halloween Loop, homes in Forest Knolls that would have candy for trick-or-treaters. For the 4th year in a row, it’s been great. It’s not the huge event that some streets put on that draw crowds from all over the city – it’s a friendly neighborhood Halloween.

“A successful Halloween was had by all!” writes neighbor Laura. “I know our family enjoyed going out trick-or-treating with our friends, who came to FK to join us. Among other terrific costumes we had that night, we had a detective, a bartender, a goth guy, and a zombie cheerleader!”

The pictures here are published with permission. (If you’d like to add in pictures of you or your kids in costume from Halloween, please email them to fk94131 at yahoo.com)

goth dude and zombie cheerleader halloween 2015

 

 

Forest Knolls Neighborhood – Staying connected on the Internet

November 6, 2015

computerBy request, I am reprising this post that lets everyone know how to stay connected with our neighborhood on the Internet. It’s been slightly edited and updated.

There are several ways to connect to what’s happening in our neighborhood.

1. NextDoor Forest Knolls

Right now, Nextdoor is probably the most active platform (which I wrote about HERE). It’s different from the Yahoo Group in that you need to give your actual name and address (and NextDoor will verify the address). It’s the opposite of anonymity. The idea is to facilitate the building of community and trust. There are group leaders who can act if someone seems to be violating community norms. I’m one for Forest Knolls. So far, there’ve been no problems.

It’s relatively private, in that only others on NextDoor will see it. It won’t show up on a Google Search, for instance. But I’d warn that it’s private, not confidential. There’s no way of knowing who might copy or forward your post to someone else. Also, over time people who move away might not bother to change the details on their Nextdoor account unless they want to set up a new account where they’ve moved.

If you use the “Nearby Neighborhoods” feature, it gives access to neighborhood-housesNextdoor in 10 other neighborhoods. That means when you post something on Nextdoor, you can decide whether to post it just to Forest Knolls, or to the whole bunch of neighborhoods. (If you post to all the nearby neighborhoods as well, around 4800 people could see your post.)

You can turn off some of the neighborhoods if they are not really of interest. People have been using it for things like recommendations for contractors, baby-sitters, household stuff for sale, announcements of neighborhood or commercial events – and warnings about crime and other safety issues. It’s a good way to meet up with others who have similar interests, say, for instance, small kids.

If you’d like to join, that link is HERE

2. This website and blog, www.ForestKnolls.info (not dot com or dot org ! dot INFO)

This runs stuff of general interest, occasional pictures and articles, and announcements. It’s a good place for laying out or updating any neighborhood issues. It’s completely public – anyone anywhere with internet access can read it (should they want to).

It’s got a Pets page, so if you’d like to add a picture of any Forest Knolls pet to it, send it in to fk94131@yahoo.com – with the name of the animal if you want it included. So far, we only have dogs and cats, but I’m completely open to pictures of iguanas or macaws or even the odd tarantula. Send them in!

If you want to stay updated whenever there’s a new post, you can subscribe to the site for emails. (Go HERE and enter your email address in the box on the right side.) Your email does not become public, but the Webmaster can see it.

3. The Forest_Knolls_Neighborhood Yahoo Group.

Anyone can join, though it’s really of interest to people within the Forest Knolls neighborhood. It’s managed by Mary Allen. You can give your actual name or not as you prefer. Your email address will be visible. It’s also public, but people are unlikely to search it out. They could if they wanted, though.

Here’s what I wrote about it with instructions for joining:

“This is a free group. Anyone can join, though of course its greatest value is to people in the neighborhood. And, as groups go, it’s civilized. I’ve seen groups where participants forget they’re in a public space, and start flame-wars or post overly personal information. This is not that kind of group.”

If you’d like to join that, the link is HERE. Look for the button that says “Join This Group!”

4. Forest Knolls Group on Facebook

Anyone who’s on Facebook can join, but you have to ask the administrator (right now, that would be me). I’d love for more people to join and post stuff. It’s a good place to share pictures or anything you like. It’s public to anyone on Facebook.

Here’s the link:

Join us on Facebook

WHAT SHOULD I JOIN?

What you decide to join really depends on how you want to use it.

  • The ForestKnolls.info website is intended to keep you informed, but it’s really dependent on the Webmaster. Stuff can slip by me. If there’s something you think the neighborhood should know, email me.  It’s pretty easy reading. It also has neighborhood information.
  • Nextdoor is good if it’s important to know who you’re talking to. Real names, real addresses. I think it’s pretty practical for the kind of thing you’d like to do in person. As of now, it’s got about 230 neighbors in Forest Knolls, and around 4,800 including the 10 nearby neighborhoods.
  • The Yahoo Group has around 100 members, though all of them may not be from the neighborhood. (There’s no requirement they should be.) It’s relatively quiet now; I think many of the functions it served have been overtaken by Nextdoor. But it does exist and is functioning.
  • Facebook is neat if you tend to go there anyway. It has the advantage that anyone in the group can post there – pictures, issues, just comments – it’s all welcome.

For myself – I’m on all of them. It’s neat that our neighborhood can be connected on the web. I hope more people join in – spread the word!