In April, I wrote about a proposed new development, San Francisco Overlook, and in early May we published a guest post from Sam Sobol, a neighborhood resident who is opposed to the development and a member of the Crestmont-Mr. Sutro-Forest Knolls Neighborhood Preservation Coalition. After that, a representative of SF Overlook contacted me to find out if we would publish a guest post from the developer addressing the neighborhood’s concerns that were raised in the guest post.
Of course! We’re all about getting all sides of the story here at JacksonFuller.com, so it seems fair to publish posts from both sides.
From SF Overlook:
I’m Gary Testa, the owner and project sponsor of San Francisco Overlook, a new development of thirty-four family homes on a new street at the end of Crestmont Drive in the Forest Knolls neighborhood. My team and I are very excited about our project, which we believe to be a great addition to a wonderful neighborhood.Â Â Â It’s important to us to be good neighbors, so on May 3rd and 4th at Clarendon Elementary School, I held community workshops to present our project and solicit feedback.Â I appreciated the time, thoughtful questions, and commitment to the neighborhood shown by all who attended.
I understand there are some in the community who have concerns, so I’d like to take this opportunity to respond to comments that have been recently posted on this forum in the hopes of correcting some of the misimpressions and misinformation about my project:
- Concern: Excessive number of units to be added.Fact: Our project site has been entitled for up to 83 units for several decades.Â My proposal is to build 34 family homes, mainly duplexes and one-family townhomes, in keeping with the density of the existing neighborhood.
- Concern: Safety hazards in case of emergencies: emergency vehicles totally block narrow Crestmont Drive, space limitations at cul-de-sac turnaround.
Fact:Â The San Francisco Fire Department has performed an emergency vehicle access test with their largest vehicles on Crestmont Drive, and concluded that there is adequate drive aisle width and ability to turn around per their standards.Â We have also designed an emergency vehicle turnaround at the end of a new street that has been reviewed and approved by the San Francisco Fire Department.
- Concern: Increased traffic on steep, winding, narrow hillside road.
Fact:Â While any new homes will generate a few more cars on the road, the city’s traffic analysis notes that San Francisco Overlook’s homes will result in an average of 2-3 cars per hour travelling along Crestmont Drive, a less-than-significant impact.
- Concern: Crestmont Drive serves as play area for children.
Fact: Â As a parent of small children, I too am concerned about access to green space.Â However, the San Francisco Overlook site is completely overgrown and there are lots of hidden ledges that make it an unsafe spot for kids. Fortunately, San Francisco Overlook is in a great location accessible to other great recreation spaces, including immediate trailhead access to the 61 acre Mt. Sutro Open Space Preserve as well as nearby Midtown Terrace Playground.
- Concern: Extremely poor access to any public transportation and therefore inadequate parking provisions for remote hillside location.
Fact: Â In consideration of the fact we are some distance from public transportation, San Francisco Overlook is providing the maximum number of parking spaces allowed under the San Francisco Planning Code, and I am actively looking into ways of providing even more through a special application process.
- Concern: Removal of existing natural green space with no provisions for recreational open space.
Fact:Â Our new homes will have decks and accessible green roofs for open space. Our project is built on private property and will result in no reduction of community recreational open space.Â Our neighborhood also has deeded open space between our homes and the existing neighborhood that will not be affected, plus there is the previously mentioned 61-acre Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve with a trailhead right off Crestmont drive.
- Concern: Concerns regarding hillside stability in region with previous landslides.
Fact: San Francisco Overlook has hired one of the region’s top geotechnical engineers to perform extensive studies to examine our hillside, and will follow all of their design directives to ensure a safe and responsible development.Â By following these measures, our project will improve the stability of our hillside from its current state.
I’d like to encourage everyone interested in more information and updates about my project to visit www.sfoverlook.com, or email me at email@example.com.
Gary D. Testa
San Francisco Overlook