“San Francisco Overlook” Project for Sale

We’ve been following the much-disputed San Francisco Overlook project for some years now.


Crestmont map

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.

SF Overlook Project on a very steep slope – Google Maps image


  • 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.


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.

The steep hillside above the planned development
The steep hillside above the planned development

The House Collapse

collapsed house on Graystone San Francisco Dec 2013

Just over on the other side of the hill, someone was getting a house renovated. They were lifting the whole house to strengthen the foundations so they could build higher. On Monday night, it collapsed and slid 50 feet downhill.

According to the SF Chronicle news report, the owner had wanted to demolish the dilapidated 1400-square foot rental and build a 4200-square foot house instead. He couldn’t get Planning Commission permission for that since it would reduce rental housing stock; instead he went with a major “remodel.” Neighbors fought the plan for 6 years, saying the larger house would be out of keeping with the neighborhood. But in the end, the Planning Commission approved it 5-2.

Looks like the house is totaled and the owner (Port Commissioner Melvin Murphy) will need to demolish and rebuild after all!

The good news: No one was hurt.  Although another building apparently had to be evacuated, I think it was found to be safe and everyone was let back in.  When I went by to take this photograph, they were allowing traffic through on Graystone Terrace, the narrow winding road below the structure.

It did make me think, though, about building on steep hillsides, and collateral risk. Hope whoever finally builds San Francisco Overlook is a lot more careful.

Update and Thanks from Crestmont Preservation

The steep hillside above the planned development
The steep hillside above the planned development

A few weeks ago, I’d noted that the Planning Commission approved the San Francisco Overlook project.

Here’s a more detailed note from Dr Sam Sobol of Crestmont Preservation. In summary: The Mount Sutro Woods Owners Association (which is the relevant association for that area of the neighborhood) decided not to file an appeal.

They may take separate action, but for now, the broader neighborhood is not involved. As Dr Sobol says: “If the time comes when we again need to mobilize the larger neighborhood to take action, we will let you know. In the meantime, we want to express our profound gratitude for the support so many of you have shown over the years…

Crestmont-Mt.Sutro-Forest Knolls Neighborhood Preservation Coalition

A note of appreciation and look toward the future
The Planning Commission 7-0 Decision

Bulletin 4-12-13

A month has passed by since the Planning Commission hearing on the San Francisco Overlook project took place. I regret that I was not able to attend as I was on a long planned overseas trip when the meeting, rescheduled from February 14 to March 7, took place.

[Article from the San Francisco Chronicle, March 11, 2013

Mt. Sutro residents fight development ]

I have now had the opportunity to review the entire video of the proceedings and wish to thank all the neighbors on Crestmont Drive, Forest Knolls and the downhill apartments who turned out to support our neighborhood, and especially the two dozen who spoke against the development. Your reasoned, intelligent, articulate and impassioned arguments covered all of the relevant issues, highlighting why this project is so wrong for our community.

[Webmaster: The Video can be viewed HERE.]

Unhappily, the Planning Commissioners seem committed in this era to the growth of housing in the City, particularly in the Western districts, no matter how disruptive or inappropriate to the location or oversized the project. It was evident that the decision had been made and that no amount of community resistance or outrage would reverse that decision, as confirmed by the 7-0 vote to approve the project.

Unwilling to give up without further action, I subsequently explored the option of mounting an appeal to the Board of Supervisors, arguing in part that the project shouldn’t be built without a pedestrian stairway downhill to 5th Ave, both for better access to public transit and for safety as an escape route in case of fire, landslide or other uphill emergency blocking Crestmont. This issue was raised by Commissioner Hillis during the Hearing, and he even brought up the question of eminent domain to force an easement by the downhill property owner which would allow for such a stair walkway.

However, conversations with two of Supervisor Norman Yee’s legislative aides, one of whom explored the issue with the City Attorney’s office, convinced us that such an appeal would be quixotic and have no chance of achieving the 8-3 necessary vote in the Board of Supervisors. Moreover, the unanimous vote of the Planning Commission made any hope of securing sufficient votes among the Supervisors to materially change any element of the project, on any grounds, virtually nonexistent.

We, therefore, did not mount the necessary petition drive to appeal to the Board of Supervisors, which would have required signatures of 20% of all homeowners within 300 ft. of the project’s borders. Nor did the adjacent homeowners’ association, the Mount Sutro Woods Owners Association (MSWOA), submit such an appeal within the 30 day limit.

Does this mean that the project will inexorably move forward in its present form? Not necessarily! There remain other issues which may have to be resolved by mediation or the courts, involving SF Overlook’s failure to abide by certain of the MSWOA’s restrictions and covenants. These issues are, however, within the provenance of the immediate homeowners’ association (of which the developer is a member) and do not directly involve the larger Crestmont Drive and Forest Knolls neighborhood.

If the time comes when we again need to mobilize the larger neighborhood to take action, we will let you know. In the meantime, we want to express our profound gratitude for the support so many of you have shown over the years in our attempt to deter or downsize this development, and in particular those who have helped on so many occasions to distribute flyers and posters, and especially those who spoke out so eloquently for our neighborhood’s values, safety and integrity at the March 7th hearing.

Samuel Sobol, M.D.

SF Planning Commission Approves San Francisco Overlook Project

The steep hillside above the planned development
The steep hillside above the planned development

So the SF Planning Commission, following the hearing on March 7, 2013, approved the San Francisco Overlook project.

(See earlier posts – like this one  or this one – for more details.)

I’ll keep this website posted with more details as they come out.

Crestmont Project Meeting Today – 13 Feb 2013

The steep hillside above the planned development
The steep hillside above the planned development

You would probably have received this  flyer in your mailbox, but at the request of the Crestmont Coalition, I’m posting it here as well.

There’s a meeting this evening about the San Francisco Overlook project, called by the project owner. Here’s what the Crestmont Preservation Coalition says.

(If you’d like to download the flyer for printing, it’s here as a PDF: Crestmont project Neighborhood Meeting,2-13-13 )

Crestmont Meeting 13 feb 2013
Crestmont Coalition Flyer

Crestmont Preservation Coalition Bulletin

The steep hillside above the planned development
The steep hillside above the planned development

This is a critical time for the San Francisco Overlook issue. (Backstory HERE and most recent information HERE.)

Here’s a bulletin from the Crestmont-Mt.Sutro-Forest Knolls Preservation Coalition:



Crestmont-Mt.Sutro-Forest Knolls Neighborhood Preservation Coalition     

SF Overlook Development     

Too large!!!   Not safe!!!   Help Stop or Downscale!!!

Working to Stop or Downscale S.F. Overlook Development

Update February 8, 2013


The Planning Commission Hearing is scheduled for Thursday, March 7 and it’s time to mobilize! Any further development on this hillside, at the end of the City’s longest cul-de-sac, is fraught with risk and is wrong for our neighborhood. But if construction proves to be inevitable, instead of the proposed 34 unit development, our goal is to get this project downscaled to a smaller number of single family homes as proposed in Alternative B in the EIR (p. 274).

Please mark your calendars and plan to attend two important neighborhood meetings as well as the critical Planning Commission hearing.

  • Wednesday, February 13 at 7 PM – S.F. Overlook Developer Forum. Location: Midtown Terrace Community Room, 280 Olympia Way (at Clarendon Ave.)  Hear the developer’s proposals and express your concerns.
  • Tuesday, February 19, 7-9 PM – All Forest Knolls and Crestmont neighbors are invited to a get-together to discuss issues and strategy for the Planning Commission Hearing. Hosted by Reed Minuth and Megin Scully, 485 Crestmont Drive. RSVP Jeffrey Eade, eadej@me.com, 415-606-4414.
  • Thursday, March 7, 12 Noon – Planning Commission Hearing, Room 400, City Hall.  Everyone opposed to this project is urged to attend the hearing! Those who wish to speak will have 3 minutes to present their arguments against this massive 34 unit development which threatens our neighborhood.  ATTENDANCE IS IMPORTANT!  Additional information and flyer posted on http://crestmontpreservation.org


STOP SF OVERLOOK t-shirts can be ordered here: http://www.zazzle.com/preservecrestmont
We have also posted a link on http://crestmontpreservation.org.

REMINDER: Please display the poster in your window and urge your neighbors to also display the poster! If you need a poster, please email info@crestmontpreservation.org.

Sam Sobol
Working to preserve our neighborhood


D7 Supervisor Candidates on ‘San Francisco Overlook Project’

As everyone probably knows by now, District 7 is voting for a new supervisor this November. There are nine candidates.

The steep hillside above the planned development

The Crestmont-Mt. Sutro- Forest Knolls Neighborhood Preservation Coalition spoke with four of them (or their representatives) about their positions on the controversial San Francisco Overlook project.

(This is a project that plans to build 34 apartments on a steep slope at the end of a cul-de-sac below another steep slope where the houses are supported by concrete pilings. That Background is HERE. The public comment period on the recent Draft Environment Impact Report ended in June 2012; an appeal’s been filed through a lawyer HERE.)

I’m republishing the position statements here from the coalition website (www. CrestmontPreservation.org)  with permission and minor edits and formatting differences – and added pictures.


BULLETIN from Crestmont-Mt.Sutro-Forest Knolls Neighborhood Preservation Coalition

Positions on SF Overlook Development     
Position Statements by Four District 7 Supervisorial Candidates

We have met and spoken with four of the major District 7 Supervisorial candidates, or their representatives, and provided them with extensive materials outlining the reasons why our neighborhoods are united against a project the size of the proposed San Francisco Overlook development. We solicited their comments for distribution to the Crestmont-Mt.Sutro-Forest Knolls community.

The following responses were provided by FX Crowley, Joel Engardio, Mike Garcia and Norman Yee (in alphabetical order):


Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the Crestmont-Mt. Sutro-Forest Knolls Neighborhood Preservation Coalition regarding the SF Overlook Development. I share the Coalition’s concern over the current DEIR [Draft Environmental Impact Report]. The developer’s vision for the project appears too dense for the surrounding neighborhood.

The developer must address the issue of compliance with the neighborhood’s Mount Sutro Declaration of Conditions, Covenants and Restrictions. Given the site’s history of frequent landslides, the developer should also provide a “design-level” geotechnical review, especially since that data is required to fully identify the project’s environmental impacts and adequate mitigation measures.

I support the Coalition’s request to consider alternatives to this project. As Supervisor, I will be an advocate for the Crestmont-Mt. Sutro-Forest Knolls neighborhood as I am for my own Lakeshore neighborhood and surrounding community. I will ensure that any proposed building development is properly vetted and neighbors’ concerns are addressed going forward.




I oppose the San Francisco Overlook development. It’s a matter of common sense. When we have homes hanging out over one of the steepest hills in San Francisco, supported by concrete poles, do we really want to begin moving earth for a major development and risk destabilizing the area? Why risk a landslide?

I’m sure the developers will make a good case that everything can be built safely. But there’s also the issue of everyone’s safety when it comes to getting firetrucks and ambulances down that one, little road to serve all the new residents. Then there’s the parking nightmare — and if you don’t want to drive, where’s the nearest bus line? None of this makes sense.

I’m certainly not anti-development. I believe San Francisco needs to grow for the future. I also believe District 7 needs to play its part to provide more housing in places like Park Merced. But the development on Crestmont Drive is not a good fit. Neither are condo towers in Miraloma Park. We have to be smart about development. As your supervisor, I will work for you and not for the special interests that back other candidates. That means I can be an advocate for what’s truly good for the city and the residents of District 7. I am the only candidate that the San Francisco Chronicle endorsed for supervisor in District 7. I hope you read why the Chronicle says I have “the right stuff” to represent you. It’s reprinted on my website: www.engardio.com



In an effort to familiarize myself with all the issues involved having to do with the San Francisco Overlook Development, I met with Dr. Sobol, Dr. Gorman, and other concerned neighbors. They provided me with a great deal of information and expressed their concerns and took me on a tour of the site for the proposed development. I later also talked with Alice Barkley, the attorney for the neighbors, and an old friend whom I know and respect from my years on the Board of Appeals. I then talked to Jessica Berg, of Berg/Davis Public Affairs, the consultants to the developer, Gary Testa. I met with Ms. Berg and Adam Phillips, the project lead, who gave me information from their perspective about the project.

My understanding is that what is left in the process is the acceptance or rejection of the Draft EIR, to be followed by a final EIR, which is appealable to the Board of Supervisors. Also to be completed, is the analysis required under the Slope Protection Act, passed by the Board of Supervisors in 2008. My understanding of the Slope Protection Act is that while safety having to do with structural engineering issues is important, so are issues having to do with neighborhood character. After the slope analysis, another step in the process, or perhaps part of the process required under the Slope Protection Act, is a peer-review overseen by the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection at which point an analysis is made having to do with the engineering feasibility of the proposed project. In addition to all this process, yet to be held, a site permit then has to be attained from the Department of Building Inspection (DBI). That permit is appealable to the Board of Appeals. The point being, there is a considerable amount of process still to be had, and it would be a highly unusual project that goes through this much process without getting whittled down. The real issue for your neighborhood is just how much it gets whittled down.

Because I have 7 years of experience in land use having served on the Board of Appeals I am reluctant to ever express an opinion without seeing all the facts. Allow me, however, to say this – without having put pencil to paper I feel as though the project is economically infeasible. I also, again without having seen all the facts, am leaning heavily toward thinking that a considerable amount of mitigation has to take place.

Please let me be emphatic about this, regardless of where I land on this or any other project that takes place in District 7, which is not to indicate that I favor this development, it is my intent, where there are tensions between the developer and the neighbors to always be willing to have conversations with the developer about mitigation measures that would alleviate the concerns of that neighborhood. In closing, I have a record on the Board of Appeals of opposing projects that do great harm to neighborhood character, particularly if there are concomitant life-safety issues. Thank you very much for the opportunity to respond to your request for a position statement on the SF Overlook Development.




From what I’ve heard, I would support the neighborhood against a development of this size, and favor a smaller development such as the alternative proposed as Plan B* in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR).



*Alternative B in the DEIR, p. 274, is a Reduced Project Alternative: 16 single-family residential buildings, with 38 parking spaces. =====================================================

We have posted the position statements on our web site, www.CrestmontPreservation.org


STOP SF OVERLOOK t-shirts can be ordered here: http://www.zazzle.com/preservecrestmont
We have also posted a link on http://crestmontpreservation.org.

REMINDER: Please display the poster in your window and urge your neighbors to also display the poster! If you need a poster, please call Sam Sobol, 415-640-3869 or email info@crestmontpreservation.org.

Working to preserve our neighborhood

Crestmont-Mt.Sutro-Forest Knolls Preservation Coalition
Samuel M. Sobol, M.D.

Crestmont Preservation: Comments from Mt Sutro Woods

The steep hillside above the planned development

Readers who have been following along with the Crestmont Project story would be interested to know that the Mt Sutro Woods Owners Association has filed a response to the Draft Environmental Impact Report.

[Click HERE for the back story; and HERE for the most recent developments. The name of the project was changed to San Francisco Overlook, but as far as we know, not much else was altered from the original plan. A developer wishes to build 34 housing units at the end of a long cul-de-sac on a steep slope accessible only by driving through Forest Knolls neighborhood.]

The report was filed by the law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP. The bulletin below summarizes the issues and has a link to the full letter on the Crestmont Preservation website.

BULLETIN fromCrestmont-Mt.Sutro-Forest Knolls Neighborhood Preservation Coalition

Draft EIR

Letter to Planning Department
Response to Draft EIR Update, 6-26-12

(The comment period to the Draft EIR ended June 19, 2012.)

Letter from McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP on behalf of Mt. Sutro Woods Owners Association (MSWOA):
“…we believe the DEIR is severely flawed in many respects and fails to meet minimum legal requirements as an informal document under CEQA. The DEIR needs to be supplemented with additional information, analysis and mitigation.”

The letter addresses the following issues:

  • Geology & Soils
  • Construction Impacts
  • Parking
  • Circulation
  • Alternatives
  • Parking & CC&Rs
  • Violation of Arbitration Decision

The letter is posted on our web site  www.crestmontpreservation.org

Direct link to letter (PDF file 2MB): Click HERE


STOP SF OVERLOOK t-shirts can be ordered HERE (on Zazzle).
We have also posted a link on http://crestmontpreservation.org.

Please display the poster in your window and urge your neighbors to also display the poster! If you need a poster, please call Sam Sobol, 415-640-3869 or email info@crestmontpreservation.org.

Sam Sobol

Crestmont Battle: Draft Environment Impact Report is Out

For neighbors who have been following the Crestmont (now renamed San Francisco Overlook) battle: The Draft Enviromental Impact Report has been published. It’s time to let the city know what you think.

[Click HERE for the background on this battle, and HERE for the update.]

I received this email from Dr. Sam Sobol, who is co-ordinating the opposition.

BULLETIN from Crestmont-Mt.Sutro-Forest Knolls Neighborhood Preservation Coalition

SF OVERLOOK Development – Draft EIR Published!

Planning Commission Public Hearing, Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Draft EIR for the San Francisco Overlook Project was published May 2, 2012, and is available for review online, http://sfmea.sfplanning.org/2004.0093E_DEIR.pdf

Paper copies (510 pages) and CDs are available at the Planning Information Center (PIC) counter at the Planning Department, 1660 Mission St., San Francisco. We will post a link to the Draft EIR on our web site.

The public comment period, during which the Planning Department must respond to any objections, extends for 45 days and we urge all of our neighbors to review this document and provide feedback and objections to the Planning Department and the Planning Commissioners, as well as our Supervisor Sean Elsbernd (see addresses below). Letters and/or e-mails should be addressed to Mr. Bill Wycko and cc’d to each of the Planning Commission members and Mr. Elsbernd. The more letters the Planning Department receives, the more impact our concerns will have. You are not limited to a single letter, and each letter can address a separate issue of concern.

The Planning Commission Public Hearing will take place Thursday, June 7, 2012, Room 400, City Hall. Prepare now to join your neighbors to add your voice to our objections to this massive project which threatens to overwhelm our neighborhood. Commission meetings begin at 12:00 PM, but we will be notified of a more precise time in advance.


Planning Department: Bill Wycko, Environmental Review Officer, San Francisco Planning Department, 1650 Mission St., Suite 400, SF 94103. bill.wycko@sfgov.org

Commissioners: Address same as above.

Rodney Fong, Commission President, planning@rodneyfong.com

Cindy Wu, Commission Vice-President, cwu.planning@gmail.com

Michael Antonini, wordweaver21@aol.com

Gwyneth Borden, plangsf@gmail.com

Ron Miguel, rm@well.com

Kathrin Moore, mooreurban@speakeasy.net

Hisashi Sugaya, hs.commish@yahoo.com

Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 244, SF 94102, Sean.Elsbernd@sfgov.org

STOP SF OVERLOOK t-shirts can be ordered here: http://www.zazzle.com/preservecrestmont

We have also posted a link on http://crestmontpreservation.org.

REMINDER: Please display the poster in your window and urge your neighbors to also display the poster! If you need a poster, please call 415-640-3869 or email info@crestmontpreservation.org.

Sam Sobol

Alert: Crestmont Development – San Francisco Overlook

The steep hillside above the planned development

[EDITED TO ADD (April 6, 2012):  The EIR has been delayed. Please follow the Crestmont website for updates as they happen – and I’ll try to update this also.]

I received the note below from Dr Sam Sobol, who is spearheading the move to prevent this proposed development from spoiling our neighborhood. As many of you know, this has been an ongoing issue for Forest Knolls. All the access to the new building/s would be through our neighborhood. For those who have not been following it, here’s the history:

What it’s all about: Click HERE

Recent developments:  Click HERE

BULLETIN from Crestmont-Mt.Sutro-Forest Knolls Neighborhood Preservation Coalition
SF OVERLOOK Development – Publication of Draft EIR



Update, 3-6-12

The Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) on the SF Overlook project at the end of Crestmont Drive will be published Wednesday, March 21, 2012.

[Edited to Add: Delayed, not sure when]

The review and comment period will end on Monday, May 7. We will mobilize all our resources at that time to make our neighborhood’s voice heard.

There will be a public hearing before the Planning Commission on Thursday, April 26. Please pencil in this date on your calendar and plan to attend this important hearing. We will need to appear in force and make sure our message is heard!

STOP SF OVERLOOK t-shirts can be ordered here: http://www.zazzle.com/preservecrestmont
We have also posted a link on http://crestmontpreservation.org. We hope to see many neighbors at the hearing wearing these t-shirts and sweatshirts.

Please display the poster in your window and urge your neighbors to also display the poster! If you need a poster, please call 415-640-3869 or email info@crestmontpreservation.org.

Sam Sobol

Here’s what the poster looks like:

Redistricting, SF Overlook, and Coit Tower: West of Twin Peaks Central Council Meeting, Jan 2012

Another day, another visit to a lovely building. This time, it was the Forest Hill clubhouse to attend a meeting of the West of Twin Peaks Central Council (WTPCC). This is a group of some twenty neighborhood organizations, including Forest Knolls Neighborhood Organization, The Woods, and Mt Sutro Woods Home Owners Association.

Here’s my take on it  — and things you might want to act on.


San Francisco Rec and Parks  had a bond issue back in 2008 and want to come back for more. Though Dawn Kamalanathan made an excellent presentation, with pictures of kids and playgrounds, I got a sense of skepticism from the room.

The first set of questions related to the funding: If SFRPD borrows $185 mn from the public, it will have to pay interest and then pay it back… with taxpayer funds. Where, people wanted to know, are the repayments coming from?

The second issue was that SFRPD has spent money on extensive capital improvements, but it doesn’t have the operating budget to maintain them – or indeed, anything else. One example was JP Murphy Playground, where they renovated and improved the clubhouse, and then laid off the director and closed it down. Someone else quoted a park in her area, where improvements were made and all the gardeners laid off or retired and weren’t replaced.

A third set of concerns – where I also spoke – was about the Natural Areas Program and how funding it is leading to tree felling, habitat destruction and a growing use of Tier I and Tier II pesticides. Is this a good idea to fund?

Later, someone pessimistically told me that bond measures always pass because they’re paid for by home-owners but voted for by renters – and renters are the majority in San Francisco. I dunno.  I was a little puzzled at the tone of the whole thing. It was not exactly, We really need to do these specific things, and so we need the money. It was more like, We really want to raise some money, and so you tell us how you want us to spend it. Odd.


The steep hillside above the planned development

As readers of this site will know, the old Crestmont project slated for the dead end steep slope on Crestmont Drive has been revived in a new guise: San Francisco Overlook. (My article on the original project is here.) An Environmental Impact Report has been submitted to City Hall, and it’s under review.

The WTPCC wrote a letter in support of the Mount Sutro Woods Homeowners Association, which is spearheading the resistance to this dangerous project. (The picture here is the steep slope just above the planned development.)


Jon Golinger made a presentation explaining that though the San Francisco Rec and Parks Dept (SFRPD) is making maybe $500 thousand a year from Coit Tower, it’s not maintaining the place at all. Lights are broken, signs are outdated and warped, and worst of all, there’s water damage on the historic murals. Meanwhile, SFRPD wants to change the concessionaire and rent out the space for private events.

The group is trying to get enough signatures to put a measure on the ballot to force SFRPD to spend some of the money it makes off Coit Tower in maintaining and improving it. If anyone would like to collect signatures for them before Feb 4th, please email me at fk94131@yahoo.com, I have a signature sheet. Their website is at ProtectCoitTower.org


Every ten years, San Francisco’s districts are redrawn, based on population. This year, the growth in population in District 6, because of all the new building there, means all the lines have to be redrawn. Here’s the preliminary draft of the proposed new districts.

According the the tentative plan proposed by the Redistricting committee, Forest Knolls, Miraloma Park, Mount Sutro Woods, and Galewood Circle,  The Woods and Twin Peaks Improvement Association would all move to District 8.

The concern for WTPCC is that such an arrangement would mean that the concerns of the homeowners of the current District 7 would be over-ridden by the quite different concerns of the voters on the other side of Twin Peaks. They have made a different proposal. In the map below, everything within the blue boundary would be D7. (The colors denote the various Neighborhood Organizations.)

I think it’s a pretty good option, but I’m concerned that Mount Sutro goes into an entirely different district. Rising as it does above our neighborhood, everything that happens there (at least on this side) affects us. If the trees are felled and there are landslides when their roots die, our neighborhood is where they’ll land. If they start using pesticides as the Natural Areas Program does regularly on Twin Peaks, it’s our area it’ll wash into. If the tree-felling destroys the windbreak, guess which neighborhood gets the wind?

Update: Fight the SF Overlook Development, Get the T-shirt!

The steep hillside above the planned development

Readers of this blog will know that the much-opposed Crestmont Development (34 units at the end of a narrow road on a steep slope) is back with a new name, The San Francisco Overlook. It’s still 34 units, it’s still at the end of a narrow road, and the hill remains pretty steep. The Environmental Impact Report is in its final phase, and comments will soon be due.  The neighborhood coalition is geared up for the battle (pardon the pun) with t-shirts, sweatshirts and bags.

Here’s where I  first described the problems with this development — with some maps showing exactly why it’s a bad idea.

This update was sent by the Crestmont-Mt.Sutro-Forest Knolls Neighborhood Preservation Coalition. (It’s republished with permission and added emphasis):

SF OVERLOOK Development Threatens Our Neighborhood!

EIR in Final Phase!

Preparing for Upcoming Publication of 2nd Draft of EIRUpdate, 6-25-11

As summer has begun, we are awaiting the publication of the 2nd draft of the  Environmental Impact Report (EIR) pertaining to the SF Overlook 34-unit condominium project at the end of Crestmont Drive. Once it has been published, we will have 30 days to  express our concerns and objections regarding this oversized development which will add far too much traffic, parking congestion and density to our neighborhood.

We will notify all of our Mt.Sutro Woods and Forest Knolls neighbors when the time comes to deluge the Planning Department with letters. It will also be important that we  attend and speak at the public hearing which will be held by the Planning Commission.

With a united effort on the part of the community, we believe we can stop this project in its present form. If something must be built on this treacherous hillside, we are  fighting for a much scaled-back development of far fewer  single family homes which would address the critical issues  of safety, congestion and density at the end of this fragile cul-de-sac, and be more in character with the surrounding  neighborhood.

As a visible reflection of our resolve, we have adapted the  now familiar red and yellow “STOP SF OVERLOOK DEVELOPMENT”  poster to a line of t-shirts and sweatshirts. We have been  wearing them on our walks around the neighborhood and  several neighbors have expressed the wish to obtain these distinctive sportswear items for themselves and their family  members, to further spread the message of their objection to the proposed development.

If you are interested, the t-shirts and some other STOP SF  OVERLOOK items can be ordered here: http://www.zazzle.com/preservecrestmont. We will also post a link on http://crestmontpreservation.org.

We hope to see many neighbors at the hearing wearing these t-shirts and sweatshirts as they might send a powerful  message of neighborhood sentiment and cohesiveness!

Please display the poster in your window and urge your neighbors to also display the poster!  If you need a poster, please call 415-640-3869 or email info@crestmontpreservation.org.

Crestmont Development, alias San Francisco Overlook: New Name, Fast Track

Someone sent me the notice below with a request to post it here. The Crestmont project (which I wrote about here, almost exactly a year ago) seems to have reappeared with a new name, and a fast timeline. There are meetings in early May.


http://www.CrestmontPreservation.org 415-640-3869



Same massive 34 condo project with minor revisions

Same Developer, New Partner and New Name


The project is in the last phases of the EIR (Environmental Impact Report)

* * * * *

Mandatory SF “Community Workshop” Meetings

Tuesday, May 3 and Wednesday, May 4, 2011

7:00 P.M.

Clarendon School, 500 Clarendon Ave, San Francisco

Please attend the meetings and express your opinions about this development which threatens our neighborhood

* * * * *


  • Much more traffic on narrow Crestmont Drive, San Francisco’s longest cul-de-sac
  • Dangerous for drivers, pedestrians and children
  • Limited access and passage for emergency vehicles
  • Destabilization of the hillside above and below

* * * * *


  • Loss of green space
  • Insufficient parking
  • No public transportation
  • More traffic and parking congestion in Forest Knolls

 * * * * *

Please display the new “STOP SF Overlook Development” poster in your window

To keep up with the latest developments and sign up for email notifications, visit www.CrestmontPreservation.org

Mandatory SF “Community Workshop” Meetings

Tuesday, May 3 and Wednesday, May 4, 2011 7:00 P.M.

Clarendon School, 500 Clarendon Ave, San Francisco