Home The Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council is a neighborhood group whose mission is to aid and encourage the people of the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood to work through democratic means and in a spirit of neighborliness, mutual respect and goodwill toward the improvement and enrichment of life and living conditions in their neighborhood. The Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council operates a neighborhood recycling center and a garden education project. http://www.hanc-sf.org/ Fri, 20 Apr 2018 10:50:38 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb April 12 at HANC: June Ballot Propositions -Part One- http://www.hanc-sf.org/next-meeting/april-12-at-hanc-june-ballot-propositions-part-one.html http://www.hanc-sf.org/next-meeting/april-12-at-hanc-june-ballot-propositions-part-one.html HANC's monthly (except August) general membership meeting is usually held downstairs at the Park Branch Library, 1833 Page Street (between Cole and Shrader) on the second Thursday of the month, beginning at 7 pm.  Our meetinngs are open to the public and free to attend.

Election Day for this year’s Primary Election is June 5, but early voting begins on May 7. Our April and May general meetings will provide information on some of the local ballot measures.


richardivanhoe@sbcglobal.net (Richard Ivanhoe) frontpage Fri, 06 Apr 2018 04:51:00 +0000
Who Benefits from Green Benefit Districts? Part One: A Bouncing Baby Boondoggle http://www.hanc-sf.org/general/who-benefits-from-green-benefit-districts-part-one-a-bouncing-baby-boondoggle.html http://www.hanc-sf.org/general/who-benefits-from-green-benefit-districts-part-one-a-bouncing-baby-boondoggle.html By Rupert Clayton, HANC Housing & Land Use Chair

Coming to your neighborhood very soon is a hip new concept for funding and controlling local services – the “green benefit district”. Local grandees are trying to launch one for the Inner Sunset and there’s already one up and running for Dogpatch and Potrero Hill. There’s also a proposal for a “Greater Buena Vista Green Benefit District” with the potential to encompass all of the Haight Ashbury. It sounds warm, fuzzy and eco-friendly, right? But what does it really mean?


richardivanhoe@sbcglobal.net (Rupert Clayton) frontpage Fri, 06 Apr 2018 04:56:46 +0000
Community Events at the Waller Center http://www.hanc-sf.org/newsflash/community-events-at-the-waller-center.html http://www.hanc-sf.org/newsflash/community-events-at-the-waller-center.html By Maggie Lohmeyer, Waller Center Site Coordinator

Join us at the Waller Center (1525 Waller Street, between Clayton and Belvedere) for our upcoming community events. All classes are free/donation based. Donations help to cover instructor's time and to provide future events at the Waller Center.

April 10th- Soccer Kick and Play:

Come to soccer day with Super Soccer Stars before their season starts in Mid-April! Class is free, but donations are welcome to help cover the cost of coaches and support future free events at the Waller Center.
9:15am - 9:55am: 2-3 years
10:00am - 10:40am: 12 - 24 months
10:45am - 11:30am: 3 - 5 years

richardivanhoe@sbcglobal.net (Maggie Lohmeyer) frontpage Mon, 09 Apr 2018 01:31:30 +0000
Plans for This Year's 4/20 Event http://www.hanc-sf.org/general/plans-for-this-years-420-event.html http://www.hanc-sf.org/general/plans-for-this-years-420-event.html By Alex Aquino, HANC Merchant Liason

For 4/20 at Hippie Hill 2018, we will follow the same successful infrastructure we put in place last year. Our biggest goals remain to keep the event safe, clean, and enjoyable for all, including our neighborhood corridor.

2018 port o let site map                                                                    2018 Port-O-Let site map is the same as last year.

richardivanhoe@sbcglobal.net (Alex Aquino) frontpage Mon, 09 Apr 2018 02:19:04 +0000
HANC Co-Sponsors Mayoral Candidates Forum http://www.hanc-sf.org/hanc-blog/hanc-co-sponsors-mayoral-candidates-forum.html http://www.hanc-sf.org/hanc-blog/hanc-co-sponsors-mayoral-candidates-forum.html HANC has agreed to be a co-sponsor of a Senior and Disability Mayoral Candidate Forum and Reception, which will take place on Thursday, April 12, from 1 pm to 4 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 1187 Franklin Street. The main sponsor is CARA (California Association of Retired Americans). We have a list of organizations that were also asked to co-sponsor this event, but we do not yet know which other organizations have agreed to do so.

richardivanhoe@sbcglobal.net (Richard Ivanhoe) frontpage Mon, 05 Mar 2018 03:42:48 +0000
March Meeting Recap: The Impact of SB 827 and SB 828 http://www.hanc-sf.org/meetings/march-meeting-recap-the-impact-of-sb-827-and-sb-828.html http://www.hanc-sf.org/meetings/march-meeting-recap-the-impact-of-sb-827-and-sb-828.html By Carlie Leduc, HANC Board Member

At our March meeting we were lucky to have with us Ozzie Rohm from Noe Neighborhood Council and Lisa Fromer from Liberty Hill Neighborhood Association.  They were with us to discuss SB 827 & SB 828, two California Senate Bills proposed by Scott Wiener that would disproportionately impact San Francisco.


richardivanhoe@sbcglobal.net (Carlie Leduc) frontpage Fri, 06 Apr 2018 05:26:59 +0000
February Meeting Recap: Captain Bailey and Taking It To The Streets http://www.hanc-sf.org/meetings/february-meeting-recap-captain-bailey-and-taking-it-to-the-streets.html http://www.hanc-sf.org/meetings/february-meeting-recap-captain-bailey-and-taking-it-to-the-streets.html By Richard Ivanhoe, HANC Board Member

Despite a move from the Park Branch Library to the Bindery due to a mix-up with the library key, February’s HANC meeting was well attended.

Park Police Station Captain Una Bailey introduced herself. She grew up in Ireland, and has been with the San Francisco Police Department since 2001. She had been captain of the Special Victims Unit until she was assigned to be captain of Park Station this past October.

richardivanhoe@sbcglobal.net (Richard Ivanhoe) frontpage Mon, 05 Mar 2018 03:56:28 +0000
A "Save the Sand" Letter to the Rec and Park Commission http://www.hanc-sf.org/hanc-blog/a-qsave-the-sandq-letter-to-the-rec-and-park-commission.html http://www.hanc-sf.org/hanc-blog/a-qsave-the-sandq-letter-to-the-rec-and-park-commission.html By James Sword, HANC Board Member

We recently received notice that the new Panhandle Playground design would not only include a sand element, but also would have a reduced "sand buffer" so as to enlarge the proposed sand play area.

We all did a brief jump for joy while lamenting what it's taken to get here and what still needs to happen. Below (shortened to fit this newsletter) is an example of a letter written to the SFRPD Commission upon the publishing of the latest design.

richardivanhoe@sbcglobal.net (James Sword) frontpage Mon, 05 Mar 2018 02:57:50 +0000
Who Benefits from Green Benefit Districts? Part Two: From Petition to Immortality http://www.hanc-sf.org/general/who-benefits-from-green-benefit-districts-part-two-from-petition-to-immortality.html http://www.hanc-sf.org/general/who-benefits-from-green-benefit-districts-part-two-from-petition-to-immortality.html By Rupert Clayton, HANC Housing & Land Use Chair


With a few self-appointed local board members, a $100/hour consultant and a cheerleader from DPW, the green benefit district (GBD) formation committee is ready to roll. Their challenge is to find a way to get the owners of 30% of local property to sign a petition backing their plan (more on exactly what this means below). Other California cities have a 50% threshold, but not us. Thanks to changes during the Newsom administration, San Francisco has other unique GBD provisions, such as allowing residential property to be included (elsewhere in California, these districts apply only to commercial property) and allowing the eventual GBD to repay costs incurred by the formation committee.

Nevertheless, this 30% petition level is reportedly the biggest hurdle, and so GBD formation committees spend a lot of time (and that DPW seed money) surveying property owners to figure out where to draw the boundaries to maximize the petition response level. As an example, PlaceLab has apparently estimated startup costs for the Inner Sunset GBD at $500,000. Expect extensive efforts to woo the largest landlords in the putative district by talking up the effect on property values and tailoring the list of services to suit their particular preferences.


This is the point where the formation committee will also draw up a budget for the GBD and decide how to structure the levy that will pay for it. Taking the Inner Sunset GBD as a case in point, the proposed annual budget is running at a little more than $1 million, of which as much as $150,000 will be spent on salary for the GBD executive director, plus extra for benefits. (Recently, the Inner Sunset GBD formation committee has sought to hide the true salary figure by splitting it among various budget categories.) What’s left over after the ED’s salary will be split among services for residential and commercial property owners. The budget is funded by fees that are levied based on attributes of each property, such as lot size, building area or frontage length.

So what services do GBD property owners get for $1 million a year? In theory, GBDs are strictly prohibited from duplicating existing public services. The idea is that these are additional perks for special neighborhoods.

In reality, the things that GBD proponents tout most widely are street trees, public park renovations, “street furniture”, wayfinding signs, sidewalk cleaning, and “outreach services & crime prevention”. You may notice that many of these services are already available in our city. Friends of the Urban Forest has an excellent, long-running street-tree program. Rec and Parks has been the beneficiary of several huge bond measures in recent years, plus a budget set-aside with guaranteed annual increases. And good luck trying to persuade DPW to leave wayfinding signs or other “placemaking” staples out of its public realm projects. So, in essence, GBD services can be summarized as stuff we’re already paying the city for, other stuff we already get at lower cost, and street patrols to shift homeless people and steam clean the sidewalks.


Having drawn boundaries, selected services and created a budget, the next step is for the committee to gather signatures from local property owners to petition the Board of Supervisors to place the GBD formation on the ballot. San Francisco code requires this petition to be supported by property owners who will pay at least 30% of the planned assessments. By the way, this petition is just for property owners and their representatives. This does include absentee landlords, even non-resident non-citizens, but not renters or commercial tenants.

Don’t imagine that opposition to the GBD from many of your neighbors is enough to stop it going ahead. The fact that the voting is weighted by assessment value means the views of individual owners may count for little. As an example, the largest 27 parcels in the Dogpatch GBD make up 40% of the voting weight. By getting these properties on board, the formation committee was almost guaranteed a successful petition. More shockingly, four of those properties are owned by the city and two more by Caltrain, both of which voted “Yes”. So, city and regional administrators can vote to tax property owners to fund additional services.

The rules for how the petition drive is conducted are quite murky: there don’t seem to be any requirements for a neutral party to distribute, count or validate the petition; it’s unclear if there’s a time limit on gathering signatures; and there’s no provision for public scrutiny of the process. What we do know is that only “Yes” responses count. Even if owners representing 70% of the assessment are opposed, 30% in support is enough to request an election.


Once the Board of Supervisors gets a petition that exceeds the 30% threshold, they direct the department of elections to put the matter on the ballot. This is a mail-only election, with property owners having 45 days to return their ballots, and responses are weighted based on the fee that would levied. This stage is much less challenging for the GBD backers than the petition phase, because it only requires a majority of the properties that vote – ballots not returned are excluded.

In the case of the Dogpatch GBD, property owners representing only half of the assessed fees responded, and because the “Yes” votes (38% of the assessment) exceeded the “No” votes, the GBD was approved. In total, “Yes” votes for property owned by the city, UC and Caltrain accounted for more than a quarter of the votes in favor of the Dogpatch GBD.


Once the Board of Supervisors certifies the result, the formation committee is in charge until a private, non-profit corporation is formed to run the GBD, at which point property owners elect a board of directors (likely made up primarily of the original GBD boosters) and appoint someone to the lucrative executive director position.

You might imagine that if the GBD proves to be a mistake, you can just vote it out again. Well you can, under very limited circumstances. Typically, there’s a 30-day period once a year when property owners can submit a petition to disestablish the GBD. That requires support from owners representing 50% of all assessments. You may note that this is far higher than the 30% threshold for the initial petition or the 50% of votes cast in the formal GBD ballot. And this time you won’t get $500,000 of free money to fund your campaign. Even if you get 50% support to disestablish the GBD, all your petition does is require the Board of Supervisors to consider the matter. They’re under no obligation to terminate the GBD if it serves their interests.

But don’t we want clean streets and greenery?

Certainly, many of the services that GBDs provide could be a true benefit to our neighborhoods. Cast aside the $150,000 executive director job, the anti-homeless patrol and the wayfinding signs, and we can all get behind trees, planters, landscaping and street cleaning. But we really don’t need a two-tier public service system and more bloated layers of bureaucracy to accomplish this. Most of this stuff can and should be funded through regular city taxes and fees, and delivered as a uniform service across all the city’s neighborhoods, not just as a special privilege for the gentrified ones.

So, when the GBD fairy comes knocking with tales of sugar plums and sylvan glades, remember that there’s a dirty little undemocratic process at work here. Don’t sign the GBD petition. And if this gets as far as a ballot, vote “No” to oppose GBD formation.

richardivanhoe@sbcglobal.net (Rupert Clayton) frontpage Fri, 06 Apr 2018 05:14:41 +0000
February 8th at HANC: Taking It To The Streets, Meet Captain Bailey, and Your Issues http://www.hanc-sf.org/next-meeting/february-8th-at-hanc-taking-it-to-the-streets-meet-captain-bailey-and-your-issues.html http://www.hanc-sf.org/next-meeting/february-8th-at-hanc-taking-it-to-the-streets-meet-captain-bailey-and-your-issues.html HANC's monthly (except August) general membership meeting is usually held downstairs at the Park Branch Library, 1833 Page Street (between Cole and Shrader) on the second Thursday of the month, beginning at 7 pm.  Our meetinngs are open to the public and free to attend.

As you probably know, Taking It To the Streets provides housing and other services to transitional-age youth (ages 18 to 27) who are ready to get off the streets. In exchange, the youth help clean the neighborhood with trash pickup, street sweeping and graffiti abatement. You have probably seen them wearing vests and carrying orange trash bags.

richardivanhoe@sbcglobal.net (Richard Ivanhoe) frontpage Tue, 06 Feb 2018 06:19:10 +0000