HANC Blog

In Memory of Konstantinos "Gus" Vardakastanis

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gus

The loss of one of the most stand up and rock solid contributors and members of our community saddens and angers the entire Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council membership. Our hearts and condolences go out to Georgia, Dimitri, Bobby and the whole Vardakastanis family.

Gus: Comrade. Compassionate. Driven. Tireless. Assertive. Peaceful. Scrapper. Intelligent. Political. Generous. The Haight Ashbury was his home base, his grounding. He made an investment not just for his livelihood but in this community and became an anchor for so many of us; a common glue that permeated the neighborhood. Every time you engaged him you felt his roots here.

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Community Police Advisory Board (CPAB)

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By Bruce Wolfe, HANC President

San Francisco enjoys its community participation in government and community services by creating a plethora of advisory bodies. Almost every commission has one and so do many programmatic services. In fact, many SF Police Department districts have community meetings to voice their neighborhood concerns to the stations. Here at Park Station they meet every third Monday of the month from 5:00-6:00pm.

Perhaps you have heard this acronym before, CPAB. What is it? Who is on it? What does it do? What do they discuss? Community Police Advisory Boards or CPAB in San Francisco were created by then SF Police Department Chief George Gascon modeled after others around the country as a way for the community to chime in directly with various sections of the department. Here in SF, they were designed to advise the captains of each of the ten districts.

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Why HANC Supports the Appeal of the One Oak Luxury Tower

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By Rupert Clayton, HANC Housing and Land Use Chair

1oakHANC is supporting an appeal against the approval of the One Oak high-rise luxury condo project. The City’s Planning Commission certified the environmental impact report (EIR) for the project on June 15, despite many objections from neighborhood organizations, environmental groups and San Francisco residents. Jason Henderson of Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association has appealed this approval to the Board of Supervisors, with a hearing on September 5 continued to September 12.

So, what’s HANC doing getting involved in a condo development near Civic Center? There are two basic reasons: defending city-wide planning principles and looking out for the impact on Haight Ashbury residents.

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Vacancies on Haight Street

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By Christin Evans, HANC Board

Are all the storefront vacancies you see on Haight Street part of the normal turnover or is there something else happening along the commercial corridor?  The answer, of course, is both.  

Currently the most visible vacant storefronts you can spot are on the 1600 block where both Haight Street Shoe Repair and Kids Only (kids clothing & toy shop) were located.  Both of those businesses saw retirements nearly 2 years ago but the building owner has failed to list either space for rent.  Why?  With two levels of housing above, the building is listed in the city’s Soft Story Retrofit database and requires a foundation upgrade by the city’s deadline for Tier 4 buildings: “STATUS: Permit Required by 9/15/18” reads its entry on the city’s program website.

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New Affordable Housing Policies

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By Tes Welborn, HANC Board

“San Francisco wound up with a sweeping new affordable housing policy . . . one that will encourage the demolition of some existing low-rise commercial buildings housing neighborhood businesses, increase density in many parts of town, and set affordability levels lower than what the voters approved last year but higher than what some supervisors wanted. It’s a compromise that is going to shape housing policy for the immediate future – and is aimed overall at encouraging somewhere around 30,000 new housing units without any discussion of how the city will pay for the infrastructure to support them,” said Tim Redmond.

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