Activities & Achievements
Miraloma Park Improvement Club (MPIC)
Purposes and Summary of Club Activities and Achievements
The general purpose of the MPIC, founded in 1936, is, as defined by its Bylaws, to promote the individual and collective interests of all persons owning, leasing, renting, or in the process of purchasing homes in Miraloma Park, and to support the interests of other neighborhood groups and City entities when these interests are deemed to affect those of Miraloma Park residents. Specific purposes include conducting:
· Charitable activities that promote lessening the burdens of government; lessening neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law; and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency;
· Educational activities including public discussion groups, forums, panels, lectures, and similar programs.
In furtherance of the above general and specific purposes, the MPIC conducts activities in the areas listed below. These activities are conducted by formal or informal subcommittees of the Board of Directors, by individuals on the Board, and by MPIC member volunteers, as appropriate. The activities are supported by a general fund that is funded by rentals of our Clubhouse, dues and other contributions from members, interest and dividends on invested portions of the general fund, revenue from advertising in the MPIC newsletter, and, occasionally, small fees for participation in selected Club-sponsored events. The activities are conducted during the day and evenings; on weekdays or weekends; in the MPIC Clubhouse, in the homes of members of the Board of Directors; in the neighborhood at large; and at public hearings and meetings, as appropriate.
Zoning and Planning (Approximately 15% of Board of Directors activities)
The Zoning and Planning Subcommittee, in conjunction with the Board and the community at large, by attending City government hearings, submitting verbal and written testimony and documentation, has worked to, and plans to continue working to:
· Preserve Miraloma Park’s RH-1 (single-family occupancy) zoning by active liaison with relevant City departments, including City Planning and Building Inspection.
· Promote consistent, quality architectural design and materials in new and revised buildings. To preserve quality of life in and beautify the neighborhood, we wrote neighborhood-specific Design Guidelines which were adopted by the SF Planning Commission in 1998.
· Report to and interact with the City Building Inspection Department regarding violations of the Building Code, including illegal secondary housing units that violate our R1 zoning.
· Support historical and landmark preservation, playing a key role in preservation of the historic Mt. Davidson Cross (built in 1937), threatened with destruction by a lawsuit (1995-2005).
· Provide public input (consistent with preserving our zoning, neighborhood architectural character, and cohesiveness) in the process of developing City legislation, including the Housing Element of the Master Plan. Address and advocate with respect to proposed citywide residential zoning changes.
· Provide public input in the City’s process of revising its general Discretionary Review (DR) procedures for challenges to proposed residential and commercial projects; and provide assessment, input, and public testimony on specific requests for DR. Monitor applications for new construction and alterations. Work with City to shape development of pre-application process to promote neighbors’ awareness of and opportunity to comment on permit applications.
· Preserve Miraloma Park’s neighborhood commercial district zoning on Portola Drive (NC-1, for small and varied retail character emphasizing neighborhood-serving businesses) by organizing petition drives and testimony against oversized chain stores. Met with Walgreens architects and staff to ensure, for their proposed new store, a design consistent with other NC-1 zoning and commercial and residential architecture.
· Prevent blight to maintain the health of the community by monitoring, and reporting to the Public Health Department or Building Department, as appropriate, decrepit buildings or uncared for yards and public areas.
Neighborhood Beautification Via Preservation of Natural Areas (Approximately 13% of Board of Directors activities)
· Advocate for maintenance and staffing of playgrounds, parks, and public spaces by Recreation and Parks and other responsible City departments.
· Funded (via grant applications and the Club general fund) and facilitated (by volunteer labor of Directors and community volunteers) installation and maintenance on Club property of a native plant garden (established 1994).
· Support other volunteer-established and maintained neighborhood gardens with advice and advocacy.
· Coordinate with Friends of the Urban Forest to implement tree planting projects in the neighborhood.
· Work with the Recreation and Parks Department for natural area preservation in Mount Davidson Park (a 40-acre City park most of which is in Miraloma Park).
· Organize plant, flower, geological, historical, and wildlife tours of private and public neighborhood gardens and parklands in Mt. Davidson and Glen Park in order to promote community involvement in and preservation of these areas.
· Played a leading role in preserving O’Shaughnessy Hollow in Glen Park Canyon, an area adjacent to Miraloma Park, acquired as open space by the City of San Francisco in 1990, as a biologically significant natural area.
Safety (Approximately 20% of Board of Directors activities)
· Advocate for fire prevention in Mount Davidson Park (e.g.: police monitoring against fireworks on July 4) and abatement of all illegal encampments in the Park, which are fire hazards, foster criminal activity, and present health risks because of lack of sanitation and discarded syringes.
· Maintain a close relationship with Police Department: advocate for and promote community policing, participate in monthly police-community meetings and Police Commission hearings.
· Distribute and post flyers notifying the community of criminal activity and soliciting cooperation with police investigations.
· Promote Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) activities and training.
· Contact and work with City Attorney and the Police Department to abate drug houses (homes at which drugs are produced or sold).
· Advocate with City government for full staffing of police officers and optimal patrol coverage in the neighborhood.
· Follow up with Police Department on serious crimes and keep the neighborhood informed.
· Promote safety awareness among neighbors: how to avoid burglary, home invasion, robbery, assault, etc.
· Educate neighbors about personal safety: how to avoid household and everyday hazards.
· Insist on zero tolerance of graffiti and urban blight: Abate graffiti by organizing and training a team of neighborhood volunteers to remove graffiti and work with the Department of Public Works (DPW) and the Police Department on enforcement of anti-graffiti laws and prosecution of perpetrators. Counsel merchants and homeowners to remove graffiti from their buildings. Educate the neighborhood about graffiti and empower the community to remove and report them.
· Work with the Department of Parking and Traffic and the Police Department to improve pedestrian safety via installation of appropriate crosswalks, traffic signals, stop signs, and “traffic calming” devices (e.g., bulb-outs, bumps, islands, MPH signs and read-outs) to mitigate speeding and improve monitoring, compliance with, and enforcement of traffic safety laws. Educate the community on the importance of pedestrian-friendly driving. Advocate for targeted police enforcement with respect to traffic issues and violations.
· Advocate for traffic engineering improvements to promote community safety and organize community meetings with City officials to discuss proposed traffic calming solutions.
Transportation (Approximately 15% of Board of Directors activities)
· Preserved the bus route that serves the upper portion of the neighborhood, which was proposed for discontinuation in a recent transit-reform program, by organizing community resistance, petition drives, and letters of protest, and by lobbying relevant City departments not to curtail the route
(36-Teresita) in the interest of seniors and disabled persons who would be adversely affected.
· Advocate with the Municipal Transit Association (MTA) with respect to any public transportation issues impacting the neighborhood.
· Participate in and advocate with respect to the neighborhood-specific effects on traffic flow and safety of bicycle plan legislation with proposed traffic lane modifications, recently designed and reviewed and soon to be implemented in San Francisco. Provide input into the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process for this project.
Clubhouse (Approximately 15% of Board of Directors activities)
Preserve, maintain, and operate the MPIC Clubhouse (a rental hall with a capacity of 85 persons owned and operated by the MPIC) and its grounds for the benefit of the community and to fund other MPIC activities:
· Rent the Clubhouse to neighborhood residents, businesses, and others for both private and public events and events of a charitable and educational nature. Rental rates are reduced or waived for some nonprofit, charitable, or other events that directly benefit the community.
· To provide a center for promoting community spirit and hosting community service events, such as candidate forums to discuss local election issues; safety education and training (NERT, SAFE); kitchen and garden tours; holiday celebration events; etc.
Stanford Heights Reservoir Refurbishment (Approximately 2% of Board of Directors activities):
· Coordinated with a representative of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to mitigate potential harmful effects of this major retrofit (2-year construction period) of a facility in the neighborhood and immediately affecting residents of Rockddale Drive and Agua Way, including control of litter, noise and parking congestion due to construction.
· Ensured notification of impacted neighbors about construction plans.
· Ensured appropriate contractor procurement to prevent hiring of undesirable contractors.
· Advocated successfully for modification of the proposed design of the reservoir pump station to conform to the Miraloma Park Residential Design Guidelines with respect to architectural design and appearance.
Communication and Community Outreach (Approximately 20% of Board of Directors Activities):
· Publish a 12-page, free newsletter, Miraloma Life, delivered monthly, 10 months per year, to 2,200 homes and selected local businesses. The main purposes of the newsletter are to promote neighborhood identity and raise community awareness of relevant issues and activities; to make available articles about the City’s governmental and political processes and plans and promote individual participation in the development and implementation of these plans; to disseminate information about safety and community preservation and public resources; to provide information about local events; and to make available articles of general interest. Revenue from paid advertisements provides partial funding for newsletter production and helps promote local businesses.
· Maintain a website (miralomapark.org) on which the monthly newsletter is posted and a comment and discussion forum is hosted. In addition, the Miraloma Park Residential Design Guidelines (described above) are available on the website, as are a description of the Clubhouse and its availability for rentals, notices about important community-related events, and links to important community resources. The website thus not only serves all of the purposes of the Miraloma Life newsletter, but also facilitates rapid communication and exchange of information and comment with the community and, via its message board, provides a forum for issues that concern the community.
· Host and organize debates on propositions and between candidates for governmental office, in order to educate community on relevant issues.
· Facilitate involvement in City-wide issues that affect Miraloma Park by maintaining membership in and sending delegates to the relevant “umbrella” organizations of SF neighborhoods: the West of Twin Peaks Central Council and the Coalition of San Francisco Neighborhoods. Advocate via these umbrella groups and individual on citywide issues such as zoning, transportation, police, and the Housing Element (required 10-year plan for housing construction; part of the Master Plan). Testify at Board of Supervisor meetings, City commissions, and various hearings with respect to the many issues that impact our neighborhood and the City at large.
· The Membership Sub-Committee organizes mailings and reminders on the website and in the newsletter to encourage eligible individuals to join the MPIC or to renew their membership and pay their dues. Increased membership facilitates MPIC’s effectiveness as a community advocacy organization benefiting the the neighborhood in negotiations with the City government and other organizations whose actions may impact neighborhood well-being.