Thursday, June 10, 2010

Some responses to your questions

The following Q&A was handed out at the June 8 meeting with neighbors regarding the Laguna Honda Reservoir area.
In April 2010 the SFPUC was asked to provide information about the planned use of an area at the Laguna Honda Reservoir

Provide documentation of all planned/anticipated and “emergency” activities of the SFPUC at the site:

• Frequency
• Duration
• # of staff on site at any given time
• Regularly scheduled activity outline/emergency activity described
• # and size of vehicles expected on site consistent with regular planned activity
• # and size of vehicles expected on site for “emergency” activities

• The activities will be limited to the hours of 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, with usually no more than one Dive Supervisor dealing with office work. The majority of the Divers are working at dive sites throughout the city. The Dive Team has three passenger trucks, so there will never be more than that number parking there at any given time. No trucks will be left there overnight.
• Once it has been placed on the site the trailer will provide office space for a couple of diver supervisors and a small workshop to repair and maintain items such as air stations, helmets, dry suits, ROVs, cameras, power and light units, and filling air cylinders.

What were/are the criteria used by the SFPUC in selecting the Lake Honda site for these facilities and activities?
When the dive shop left Treasure Island, the City Distribution Division researched other SFPUC land to house the dive shop. The criteria for a new site included:
• Central location to quickly service a majority of reservoirs (Sunset, Merced Manor, Sutro, Summit, Twin Peaks, Mount Davidson & Forest Hill tanks that are close to this location).
• Unobtrusive location; the actual site is below street level and below the driveway.
• Secure; behind locked gates (two gates).
• Location to water test gear, if necessary.The dive office may or may not be purchased and installed this year, it all depends on the available funding and the cost of the trailer. In the meantime, existing facilities will continue to be used. The generator will be removed once the transformer installation and connections are complete.

Can it be said that there will be no additional facilities, structures or activities at this site?
• After the trailer is placed in this location, other activities would be limited to placement of lattice screens/fences to obscure the structure from view and other plantings..

• The pad and green house covers SFPUC owned switchgear that would not produce any noticeable noise. The transformer is actually on the existing PG&E pole.

Can neighbors be assured that no one but authorized personnel will be accessing the site? Why were their reports of late night access to the site but no record of it by the Water Dept.?

• Aside from keys for beekeepers, only authorized Water Department personnel have access to this property. On the occasion referenced, a dept. staff person may have had to access this site but that is highly unusual and not a regular occurrence.

Community asked for copy of the WEISS natural areas study. It could be posted at areas.
We have scanned in the old report however since it is dated, the agency plans to have the study redone this fall or spring.

SFPUC staff will pursue the following landscaping and property upgrades at Lake Honda/Laguna Honda:
1. Obscure as much of the fencing as possible, both the fence along Clarendon and the interior fence with vines and other greenery. Place green fabric on interior fence gate as nothing can be planted near it. Also, since it is within the exterior fence, graffiti would not be a problem.

2. Extend the fence screen along the fire access road to obscure the bee boxes.

3. Coordinate with our Landscape Supervisor about planting more native plants for the area inside of the fences. Garden Project could be a resource here.

4. Staff is considering recommending that SFPUC Real Estate revoke the beekeeper’s permit in this area as they are extending beyond their restricted area.

4. Work together to minimize the impact of the sand and gravel mounds – we are proposing to relocate the gravel and sand to an area within the inner fence

5. Consider a screen for the gate on Clarendon, taking into consideration the potential for graffiti on any surface (could we get a gate with tighter weave?).

6. Notify SFPUC Communications of any change in the “regular operations” hours at the site so that the neighbors can be notified in advance.

Contact us at

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Laguna Honda Comments

Following a meeting at Clarendon School last night with neighbors, SFPUC was asked to research and post previous comments regarding this area that had not been published. Digging into Blogger, we found 5 comments that are now linked to the May 14 posting. Below is a new comment that we received today.

For response and further discussion, look for the SFPUC handout from the June 8 meeting. At the meeting, neighbors asked the SFPUC to verify the zoning for this property. While we do that, Kevin Barry, City Distribution Manager, promised that the SFPUC dive and operations staff will not pursue any further activities at the site.

Peter Cook and a fellow beekeeper also reported to the group. Peter is working to consolidate the bee hives within his allotted 125 sq. feet and will try to make the hives more asethetically pleasing.

New Comment:
My husband and I are not very happy with the construction site posted up (seemingly permanently) at the bottom of Clarendon Street at Laguna Honda Lake area. That is an area that we were told would turn back to it's natural green state. It is important for wildlife, dog walkers and the trails within the area should be restored for recreational purposes.

There was the hidden away water pump station which wasn't done very green and eliminated a lot of forest and now this. Please help our community by moving PUC to another area.

Brooke Spilberg

Monday, June 7, 2010

Celebration on Mt Davidson

Friends and neighbors gathered under bright sunshine on Saturday morning, June 5th on top of Mt Davidson to celebrate the completion of three large Water System Improvement Program (WSIP) projects and rededicate a new plaque to the woman who helped preserve Mt Davidson as a park back in 1926.

Supervisor Sean Elsbernd opened the ceremonies by recognizing people from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Rec & Park Natural Areas Program and the many organizations and volunteers who worked with the City to ensure the critical water construction projects took place in harmony with native plants and natural habitats on the mountain.

The Mt Davidson Tank & Pipeline, Mt Davidson Pump Station and the Stanford Heights Reservoir are now updated, renovated and will help ensure water delivery and fire protection in the event of a major earthquake or other disaster.

Jacquie Proctor, local author, historian and co-founder of the Friends of Mt Davidson Conservancy, shared her vast knowledge of Mt Davidson's unique history. She shared historic photos of Mrs. Edmund "Madie" Brown, a courageous woman who in 1926, organized to prevent Mt Davidson from development so it could be enjoyed by the public as a park.

The new plaque in honor of Madie Brown.