Update: A representative of SF Overlook’s developer contacted me to ask if he could submit a guest post responding to the neighborhood’s concerns. I have posted that response here on May 26.
A couple of weeks ago I posted information about a proposed new development on Mount Sutro called San Francisco Overlook. We heard from some members of theÂ Crestmont-Mt.Sutro-Forest Knolls Neighborhood Preservation Coalition about their opposition to the project. In the interest of giving a voice to a community group that has researched this issue, we invited Samuel Sobol, MD, a Crestmont Drive homeowner, to writeÂ a guest post to outline the neighborhood’s reasons for opposing the construction:
The San Francisco Overlook Development (formerly Crestmont Hills Development) proposed at the end of Crestmont Drive is now coming to the end of the EIR process.Â This large 34 condo development poses major adverse consequences to Forest Knolls and our neighborhood is mounting a major campaign to defeat the project as proposed and new posters â€” STOP SF OVERLOOK DEVELOPMENT â€” are posted throughout the neighborhood.
The initial 34 condo project seemed to have died when the developers fell out and remained embattled for several years in lawsuits and arbitration. However, the project, with some modifications, is now back, with a different name (San Francisco Overlook, LLC,) some cosmetic changes, but still far too large and hazardous as it will bring considerably increased traffic to Crestmont Drive, a winding, steep and narrow hillside street which is one of San Francisco’s longest cul-de-sacs.
With regard to our opposition to the project, virtually all of the previous objections which we specified when the initial project was proposed are still applicable:
- Excessive number of units to be added to the end of a long cul-de-sac, out of character with most of the neighborhood.
- Safety hazard in case of emergencies: emergency vehicles totally block narrow Crestmont Drive and residents beyond are trapped on hillside with no escape route.
- Increased traffic on steep, winding, narrow hillside road with blind curves which does not allow passage for two cars at once. This will increase safety risks for all residents, drivers and pedestrians who often use the street due to narrow, unsafe sidewalks.
- Crestmont Drive serves as play area for children since homes have no yards, further increasing safety concerns
- SFFD’s larger fire trucks cannot access the new development road due to space limitations at cul-de-sac turnaround. Smaller trucks have not tested access with turnaround encumbered by parked cars.
- Extremely poor access to any public transportation â€” almost Â½ mile walk up and down steep hills or 300+ step stairway to nearest bus stop (Muni #36 runs only every 45 minutes during the day and has reduced evening runs).
- Inadequate parking provisions for remote hillside location with no accessible public transportation and very limited parking on Crestmont Drive where parking is already difficult. Parking will be impossible for both current and new residents if the project is not redesigned with fewer units or more parking spaces or both.
- Removal of existing natural green space with no provisions for recreational open space.
- Concerns regarding hillside stability in region with previous landslides
If this complex were to be built as currently proposed, any prospective owners and tenants would have to be warned about these risks and deficiencies.
The Crestmont-Mt.Sutro-Forest Knolls Neighborhood Preservation Coalition was formed to challenge this project in its present form and fight for a more limited development in keeping with the character and limitations of the site and the neighborhood. For information and updates regarding the proposed development, please visitÂ www.CrestmontPreservation.org.
Samuel M. Sobol, M.D.
Crestmont Drive Homeowner