The Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council dates its official beginning as March 17, 1960, the day on which its by-laws were adopted. Its anniversary is usually celebrated in April, the month of its first official general membership meeting.
But the real beginnings of HANC must be placed a full year earlier, when 200 concerned residents met in the Dudley Stone School (now the DeAvila School) to consider what course to take to stop the city-backed State Highway Department's Expansion Program, which proposed to replace the Panhandle greenbelt and a portion of Golden Gate Park with a six-lane highway, threatening to displace many of the residents who had only recently been relocated from the Western Addition redevelopment area.
The Council's outstanding success in leading the battle to defeat the State's plan to link the Southern freeway with the Golden Gate Bridge demonstrated to other city neighborhoods and to the city politicians that meaningful action and long-term planing could be achieved on the neighborhood level. As an organization, HANC continues to turn its attention to the analysis and solution of problems facing the urban neighborhood: childcare, rehabilitation services, schools, heath care, homelessness, housing, services to the elderly, transportation, and other city policies.
Rezoned 48 square blocks in the Haight to prevent highrise construction, inhibit massive speculation, preserve existing housing and prevent resident displacement (1972)
Preserved Park Police Station and insured continuation of police services in the neighborhood (1972, 1993)
Opposed and limited UC Medical Center's proposed expansion (1972)
Saved 35 units of Baker Street housing from demolition by Harkness Hospital (1972)
Worked for district election of supervisors (ongoing since 1973)
Defeated St. Mary's Hospital plan to demolish existing housing on Stanyan and Fulton Streets for new medical offices (1974)
Organized the Jobs Coalition to ensure summer employment for community youngsters (1974)
Negotiated with McDonald's to minimize parking lot impact on Waller Street, to require litter clean-up and to secure jobs for neighborhood youth and unemployed residents (1974)
Stopped McDonald's from opening a drive-through (1993)
Organized one of the city's first recycling centers (1974) - Revenue from the Recycling Center provides grants for local non-profit organizations
Took court action against the RAP program to secure tenant protection and redress (1974)
Formed coalition of six neighborhood groups to develop a document (Mt. Sutro Community Master Plan) that would restrain further institutional expansion into the community and worked successfully for its adoption by the City Planning Department (1976)
Key participant in the Golden Gate Park Master Plan (ongoing since the 1970s)
Prevented conversion of Harkness Hospital into postal warehouse and secured City Planning Commission approval of senior housing use for the site (1976)
Successfully opposed and secured revocation of after-hours permits on Haight Street in three successive years (1978, 1979, 1980)
Conducted statistically valid survey of residents' views and preferences for neighborhood development and devised the Haight Street Master Plan (1979)
Secured City Planning Commission approval of Haight Street Master Plan and adoption of RC1 zoning for Haight Street (1980)
Worked with neighborhood coalitions resulting in the development of affordable housing called Parkview Commons, which is at the site of the former Polytechnic High School (1980s through early 1990s)
Successfully lobbied the Board of Supervisors for passage of legislation creating a moratorium on alcohol licenses in the Haight (1990s)