Miraloma Life Online – December 2011

  • Reminder: MPIC Holiday Party and Pot-Luck Cook-Off on December 4!
  • The 2010 Census: What Changes Have You Seen in Miraloma Park?
  • From the MPIC Safety Committee
  • Summary of MPIC Board Meeting on November 3, 2011
  • From the Legal Files: Some Facts to Know About Renting Out Your San Francisco Home
  • Notice of Event
  • Winter Poem: Waiting for the Rain
  • Miraloma Park Residential Design Guidelines (MPRDG)

Reminder: MPIC Holiday Party and Pot-Luck Cook-Off on December 4!

This is one event you do not want to miss! All Miraloma Park residents and business owners are invited to the premiere event of the MPIC calendar.

Date: Sunday, December 4
Time: Eat, drink, make merry: 5 pm to 8 pm; Boswick the Clown appears from 6 to 7
Ambience: Music provided by Laura Lee Brown and Company will comprise a medley of Holiday favorites. Boswick the Clown will provide a zany interlude for the delight of kids and the amusement of their parents.

Admission is free for those who bring a pot-luck dish to feed at least six people, and all cooks will be in the running for prize gift certificates to local merchants. For details about what to bring, please check out the lead article in the November issue of the Miraloma Life. Misplaced your copy? No problem. Just go to miralomapark.org and select “Miraloma Life Online – November 2011.”  Join your neighbors and celebrate the holidays in style!

The 2010 Census: What Changes Have You Seen in Miraloma Park?

by Robert Gee

This article spotlights the changing demographics of Miraloma Park as shown in the 2010 Census compared to the 2000 Census. Most of Miraloma Park is part of Census Tract 307 in San Francisco County. As more data from the 2010 Census are released, the changes in Miraloma Park over the last 10 years will be explored in subsequent articles.

The table below shows that the total population in Miraloma Park remained steady from 2000 to 2010. The most notable change in population demographics, which will have been observed by any long time Miraloma Park resident, has been the marked increase in young children, especially children under 5 years old. It would appear that our neighborhood welcomes many young families that decide not to move out of San Francisco. There’s also been a marked increase in our population of 55-74 year olds. Perhaps Miraloma Park is a great place to retire?

Our neighborhood has also seen an increase in racial diversity. The number of owner-occupied homes has slightly decreased and renter-occupied houses have slightly increased.

2010 Census

Note 1 – “Family households” consist of a householder and one or more other people related to the household by birth, marriage or adoption. They do not include same-sex married couples even if the marriage was performed in a state issuing marriage certificates for same-sex couples. Same-sex couple households are included in the family households category if there is at least one additional person related to the householder by birth or adoption. Same-sex households with no relatives of the householder present are tabulated in non-family households. “Non-family households” consist of people living alone or households which do not have any members related to the householder.

From the MPIC Safety Committee

Doorbell-ringing. Consistently, police urge residents to call 553-0123 about suspicious individuals going door-to-door ringing doorbells, a typical prelude to burglary being first to determine whether or not the resident is at home. On October 25, a resident called police to report a neatly attired individual ringing doorbells on her block. Who should respond but Ingleside Station’s commanding officer Captain Daniel Mahoney. The Captain’s daily e-newsletter later reported that the Captain “observed an individual matching the description [forwarded by dispatch] and did a consensual encounter with him. The individual explained that he was selling magazine subscriptions from out of state.

The captain asked the male to provide identification and he said he did not have it in his possession. He provided the captain with his information and admitted to him that he had outstanding warrants…the warrants were confirmed by the warrant bureau and the individual was booked at Ingleside station.”

The MPIC thanks Captain Mahoney and the alert resident who took the time to report suspicious activity and in all likelihood prevented at least one burglary.

Portola Business Burglaries. On Monday, November 1, 2011 at approximately between midnight and 5 am, three 700 block of Portola Drive businesses were burglarized: Pop’s Sandwich Shop, the laundry, and Tower Burger. At the request of Ingleside Station, the MPIC posted flyers along the Portola commercial strip reporting the crimes and requesting anyone who might have witnessed suspicious activity possibly related to the crimes to contact Sergeant Alexa O’Brien at 404-4044. Please help the MPIC support our local merchants and keep Miraloma Park one of the safest neighborhoods in San Francisco by advising the SFPD at 911 of any suspicious late night/early morning activity on or
around the Portola shopping strip—or anywhere else in Miraloma Park.

Traffic concern. The collaborative partnership between the MPIC and the Miraloma Elementary community has resulted in major reductions in parking and traffic congestion near the school at drop-off and pick up time. The MPIC is grateful to Miraloma Principal Mr. Ron Machado for his support and cooperation. The MPIC has, however, received reports of occasional speeding in the vicinity of the school: speeding is especially hazardous on our narrow streets. The SFPD will provide occasional enforcement using lidar, a relatively new remote sensing tool. The MPIC has also requested an SF Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) traffic assessment of certain streets in the near vicinity of the
school to determine that all appropriate safety features are in place.

Rusted Backboards. The Sunday morning Miraloma Park basketball players advised the MPIC of severely corroded backboards at the Miraloma courts. They were not exaggerating! Our Park Section Supervisor has submitted a work order for replacement backboards.

Coyotes. Coyotes have been sighted on Teresita, Foerster, Myra, on Mt. Davidson, and in Glen Canyon: please protect dogs and cats by keeping cats indoors—as recommended by humane associations in any event—and dogs under close supervision.

The MPIC Safety Committee wishes you a happy, healthy, and safe Holiday Season and New Year!

Summary of MPIC Board Meeting on November 3, 2011

by Dan Liberthson and Kathy Rawlins

On-Line Vote: Oct. 10 motion to use $200 of MPIC money for native plants for the hillside at the west end of the Clubhouse land passed.

Guests: Jacquie Proctor discussed potential negative impacts of the Natural Areas Plan (NAP), for which a draft environmental impact report (DEIR) was recently released. Removal of 1200 or more trees from Mt. Davidson, as proposed in the DEIR, would, without guaranteed local replacement with fast-growing native CA trees, lead to loss of recreational opportunities and quality of life for current and future generations and loss of animal habitat. The MPIC voted unanimously to support the formation of a multi-neighborhood coalition with a name like “Save the Forest” focused on saving the SF urban forests and to host meetings of this organization at the MPIC Clubhouse if they do not conflict with paying rentals. Brian Stone, a Sequoia resident who has been working on the Safety Committee as a non-Board Member, was in attendance and was appointed to the Board by President Karen Breslin.

Treasurer’s Report (T Sauvain): The MPIC’s current net worth is $24,394 , a decrease of about $560 from September. Income and rental activity for October increased over September, and we received $400 in Miraloma Life advertising income. Over and above normal monthly expenses, we spent $43 for new clocks in the clubhouse (one in the main room and one in the kitchen), $72 on native plants for the hillside at the west end of the Clubhouse, and $241 on clubhouse supplies (keys, light bulbs, trash bags, etc.). I still recommend that we get the front steps repaired/replaced and do a reserve study.

Clubhouse rental activity returned in October, almost tripling our income from September ($1707 vs $660, respectively).  Rental activity looks robust through the busy months ahead, and rental agent Steve Davis has been successful in extending our Monday evening artist group into 2012 and getting some other multiple rentals. In addition, we are hopeful that rentals will further increase in response to our new music policy, which allows amplified music and voices inside the clubhouse before 10 pm as long as the noise cannot be heard outside the Clubhouse (i.e., neighbors cannot hear it).

Committees: Safety (K Wood)—Concern about safety of bus stop at O’Shaughnessy and Del Vale, which forces unsafe crossing of O’Shaughnessy by some Muni users. As a crosswalk would not solve the problem and a pedestrian bridge would be unlikely due to cost and unattractive, G Noguera will ask the Metropolitan Transit Association (MTA) to make an assessment of bus stop to have it removed and/or schedule more frequent 36 or 44 runs or take other steps to address the problem. Zoning and Planning (ZAP, C Mettling Davis)—Safeway on Monterey is applying for a permit to double its size with the parking lot only on the roof. They plan to take out part of the meridian to allow for deliveries by semi. Re CVS Pharmacy: After the Planning Commission approved the project but requested “modernization” of the art deco design developed by neighbors and Walgreens (the original permit applicant), the Department send around a revised plan that was basic “big box” and told ZAP that this would be the design. ZAP members contacted the Department, the Commission, CVS, and sundry officials to request that art deco design be restored as the more compatible with neighborhood architecture. D Liberthson made a presentation to the Planning Commission and Commissioner Antonini was interested in helping Antonini agreed to help; he contacted Rick Crawford, Planner, and CVS, and urged a meeting with Board representatives on the design issue. Membership—Somewhat down due to lagging renewals.

Events (S Chu)—Motion for $1500 budget for Holiday Party approved. Assignments and responsibilities discussed and finalized. Clubhouse Maintenance (C Mettling-Davis) —Two stage lights are out and the front stairs need repair and painting. K Rawlins will recruit someone to fix the former and C Mettling-Davis will get bids for the latter.

New Business: Bicycle Coalition requests time to address Board at next meeting. They will be invited to present for 15 minutes.

From the Legal Files: Some Facts to Know About Renting Out Your San Francisco Home

by Mary Catherine Wiederhold, Esq.

The San Francisco Rent Ordinance governs rental housing. While the Rent Ordinance affects mostly apartments buildings built before 1979, it also affects tenants in single family homes.

The Rent Ordinance mandates that a tenant’s rent can only be increased under the limit set by the Rent Board. Currently the increase allowed is 0.5% of the tenant’s current rent. However, state law exempts leases of single family homes after January 1, 1996 from local rent control. If a tenant moved in after that date, there is no limit on the amount of rent that can be charged. If the landlord seeks an increase of more than 10% of the tenant’s current rent, then notice of the rent increase must be given to the tenant 60 days before it goes into effect.

While a lease for a home signed after January 1, 1996, is not subject to rent limits, the tenant is still protected under the Rent Ordinance from being evicted without “just cause.” Just cause includes non-payment of rent; the owner’s moving into the home if certain conditions are met; extensive capital improvements or repairs that make the home unfit to live in for a temporary period; and permanently withdrawing the home from the rental market.

If the owner chooses to move into the rental home, the owner cannot own another home where he or she currently lives. The owner must move into the home within three months after the tenant moves out and must live there in good faith for at least 36 months. The Rent Ordinance mandates that owners pay the tenant a statutory fee when serving notice of an owner move-in. Currently, the fee is about $5,000 per tenant. More fees are owed if the tenant is disabled or a senior. If the owner move-in is done incorrectly, the landlord might be subject to a civil lawsuit.

The eviction process is highly technical. The rules under the Rent Ordinance are complex. A landlord should seek the advice of an experienced attorney before beginning an eviction process.

Thanks to realtor Doug Devine for suggesting this column’s topic. To suggest future columns, please send an e-mail to:

Notice of Event

Point Counterpoint: Photographs by Irene Poon and Charles Wong

Display, Book Signing, and Exhibit at Ebeneezer Lutheran / HerChurch across from Tower Market at
678 Portola Dr.,  SF (Free parking in Church lot)
12-3 pm, Sat, Dec 3, light refreshments
Contact: velvetlenscap.com, 681-5400

A Winter Poem: Waiting for the Rain

The air thickens to gray pudding and sounds
pool together, more durable but less incisive,
as if watercolored on thick rag with a soaked brush,
puddling the ear’s surface and slowly seeping in.

A lone gull screams seaward bearing hard
against the weighted air, already swimming
more than flying, arced with apprehension.
From the distance, confused chattering.

Pigeons squabbling over a sheltered ledge?
Children quickening their bickering before
retreat to whatever safety their homes might afford?
Or the rasp and tap of tree limbs on windows,

dried leaves on streets, as prefatory winds gust in?
A dog barks a question. Not a single creature knows
what will come: forty days and nights of rain or one.
Four thousand years ago they waited just the same.

The wind died away then as it does now.
The first globes of rain, heavy with themselves,
spattered down. Everything pulled to a pause.
Giant dark legs of rain appeared and strode near.

©2011 by Dan Liberthson (See liberthson.com for more.)

Miraloma Park Residential Design Guidelines (MPRDG)

To make Miraloma Park home-owners more aware of our MPRDG, we plan to reprint most of the document in the Miraloma Life as space permits. The complete MPRDG appear at www.miralomapark.org. They were adopted into the San Francisco Planning Code in 1999.

Section 2, Neighborhood Character, Continued

The following discussion is intended to help clarify the restrictions and opportunities presented by a particular neighborhood context and to understand the degree of design flexibility that exists.”

•    “Clearly Defined Visual Character”

“On some blockfaces, existing building patterns and architectural styles will strictly define the options for new development. A predominant visual character is clear in the strong repetition of forms and building types in the drawing below.

A small deviation in this neighborhood pattern would draw a great deal of attention to a new structureattention that is damaging to the existing street character, as shown below.”

The new structure shown below is more responsive to neighborhood character.

•    “Complex Situations”

“In other situations, building forms and structures are more varied, yet the row still ‘works’ and the buildings share a strong, unified sense of character. Patterns in building siting, form, proportion, texture, detail, and image are strong but more subtle than in the previous example.

Consider the following examples.

In the last example, there is considerably less unity among the images of the facades.”

“When existing patterns and rhythms are ignored, the visual character will be damaged. In each of the examples below, the new building is disruptive to the overall feeling of the streetscape when compared to the block faces on the previous page.