Glen Park Association Meeting Roundup: April 19, 2018
By Heather World
Neighbors peppered politicians and a public utility wonk with questions about everything from parking lots to poop at the Glen Park Association spring quarterly meeting April 19.
More than a few neighbors asked about the unofficial parking lot on Kern Alley, which continues its slide into disrepair. The land is owned by the Hayes family (of Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White), which wants to legitimize the lot so it can charge for parking and upgrade it.
The problem is that half the lot is zoned for housing, said District 8 Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, who is working with the family to find a solution.
“I do not think any of us think it should be a permanent parking lot,” he said. “We’re trying to save it for the short term so for the long term it could be housing.”
So far the Supervisor has proposed an amendment to the Planning Code to rezone the lot for parking.
The Hayes family has approached the GPA and been invited to speak about the lot at a future meeting, said President Scott Stawicki. In response to complaints about the BART station, he said the association is working with agency officials to hash out plans to beautify the station, particularly the dusty empty planters above the tracks.
Sheehy reminded neighbors of BART’s phone app for reporting crimes.
“Please use it because it tallies issues and allows BART police to better allocate resources,” he said.
Sen. Wiener bills
State Senator Scott Wiener gave a rundown of news from Sacramento, defending his defeated controversial bill that called for higher density housing along transit corridors.
“When you have a hard bill doing something new, sometimes it takes a few years to work through it and get something that gets enough support — and that’s the way it should be,” Wiener said. “I’m happy that it has sparked a long overdue conversation across the state about what the housing crisis means in California and what it takes to solve it.”
The prolific Wiener has also written a bill to make it easier to prosecute auto burglars, another to increase resources for homeless youth, and a third to mandate the state issue health and safety guidelines around recycled water so local municipalities don’t have to. He has also introduced a bill to allow judges to consider a mentally ill or drug addicted person’s number of emergency room, psych emergency and jail visits when deciding whether to commit them to a conservatorship.
“We don’t want mental health and substance abuse issues to become criminal justice issues,” Wiener said. He said his office is still working with stakeholders like the American Civil Liberties Union to find the right balance between civil rights and an individual and society’s health.
Most questions centered on his housing bill, with neighbors fearful of San Francisco looking like Shanghai, China.
“These are very gradual change over decades, not an overnight revolutionary thing,” Wiener said. He agreed that transit must keep pace with housing development to maintain quality of life, citing his efforts: a statewide $3 billion regional transportation bond, a bond to expand the capacities of BART and Caltrain, and the doubling of MUNI light rail vehicles during his tenure on the city Board of Supervisors.
Water rate hike
Christina Codero, the director of financial planning for the Public Utilities Commission, explained the hike in water rates, which will update the city’s aging wastewater infrastructure and accommodate population growth by ensuring supply, seismic reliability, and conservation.
The average single family home uses 5.3 units of water, costing about $108 per month, Codero said. That rate will go up starting July 1, though the rate increase spans four years. By its end, the average single family home would be paying $149, she said.
Dotted throughout the meeting were smaller announcements: The Rec Center’s Facilities Coordinator Oskar Rosas distributed a programming at the meeting’s start; Evelyn Rose of the Glen Park Neighborhoods History Project announced the dedication of a plaque commemorating Glen Canyon as the country’s first dynamite factory, licensed by Alfred Nobel. Betsy Eddy of the Diamond Heights Community Association announced a political forum.