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399 Fremont Street – Planning Commission Hearing

Photo taken by Jamie Whitaker

If you own a property within 300 feet of 399 Fremont Street in Rincon Hill, you may have gotten a notice of hearing from the Planning Commission on Thursday, August 7, 2008 starting at 1:30 p.m. or later (call 558-6422 on or after Monday, August 4, 2008 for a recorded message giving a more precise hour that the hearing of this specific matter will begin), in City Hall, 1 Dr. Calton B. Goodlett Place Room 400.

One of our neighbors, John, suggested to me that “it would be great if they would (1) replace the horrible temporary fence with a nicer looking one that doesn’t provide spaces for people to throw trash into the site, and (2) cut the growing weeds and clear the trash along the property on a regular basis.”

I couldn’t agree more. I’m definitely plagiarizing John’s thoughts in a letter that I will send to Ben Fu at the planning department tomorrow regarding this matter (Case Nos. 2008.0711X). I’d suggest you also send a letter with these items plus whatever other thoughts you have about exempting the property from the current Rincon Hill Plan codes regarding off-street parking spaces allowed (currently a 1:1 ratio for approximately 432 dwelling units) and from separating the towers under Planning Code Sections 270(e) and 309.1(b)(1)(a).

I’m a little torn about whether or not any towers should be separated or not. I definitely do not want to have the wind tunnel experienced on Mission Street near Main Street or on Berry Street by 4th Street if we can avoid it, but I’m no engineer and am humble enough to not pretend that I am; I have no idea if a wind tunnel would be the outcome of allowing a 2/3 block long building as opposed to two towers separated by some minimum number of feet to allow winds an escape path.

Anyway, persons who are unable to attend the meeting on Thursday should submit written comments regarding this case (Case Nos. 2008.0711X) to:

Ben A. Fu
Planning Department
1650 Mission Street, 4th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

Letters received by 12:00 p.m. (noon) on the day of the hearing (August 7, 2008) will be made a part of the official record and will be brought to the attention of the Planning Commission.

You can call Ben at 415-558-6613 or email ben.fu @ sfgov.org to ask about Case No. 2008.0711X regarding questions about extending the current exemptions for another year (through June 15, 2009) for 399 Fremont Street.

Please don’t think I’m encouraging folks to stop progress in developing dirt and parking lots into usable housing and mixed use buildings in Rincon Hill. I make a point to use this blog to encourage my neighbors to get involved in civic activities as a matter of becoming more engaged with our City and County government and recognizing that we have a say in these matters.

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