All posts by Steve Hall

Eureka! available online, Membership Meeting reminder, Wednesday, July 21, 7PM Chase Bank, May 19 Minutes

The current issue of Eureka! Is available online at:


Please be sure to join us Wednesday, July 21, for the Castro/Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association membership meeting. Don’t miss what promises to be a lively and informative discussion of Upper Market Planning, GLBT History Museum and Bike Lane changes on Market.

Castro/Eureka Valley
Neighborhood Association
Membership Meeting Agenda
WEDNESDAY, July 21, 7:00 TO 8:30 PM

1. Welcome and introductions
2. Approval of minutes
3. Motion to approve Mission Statement revision
4. Upper Market Planning issues
GLBT History Museum – Presentation by Executive Director, Paul Boneberg
Bike Lanes - SFMTA staff will be present on planned changes on Market and 17th streets
5. Officer reports
6. Committee reports
7. New business
8. Announcements

Motion to approve revised Mission Statement:

Castro/Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association (EVNA), formed in 1881 as the Eureka Valley Promotion Association (EVPA), provides a public forum for the people who live, work, and play in the greater Eureka Valley area to discuss common issues and concerns and help develop solutions to improve the neighborhood.

Goals of EVNA:
1. Protect and enhance the character of the neighborhood, its historic resources and significant topographic features and open space
2. Ensure that growth, development, and public access are compatible with and meet the needs of residents and the business community
3. Protect and improve public health and safety
4. Encourage friendly association among neighbors and businesses
5. Provide an educational forum and community outreach to community partners

Minutes from our May 19, 2010 are below.

See you Wednesday, July 21 at 7PM!


alan beach-nelson | president | Castro/Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association
The neighborhood association for the Castro, Upper Market and all of Eureka Valley since 1881
visit us at | | 415.244.5152

Minutes from the General Meeting
May 19, 2010, 7:05 p.m.

1) Welcome and Introductions

2) Approval of Minutes
Motion Carried

2) Upper Market Planning
Alan presented an historical overview of the Upper Market Neighborhood Commercial District (NCD).

In brief: The Upper Market NCD has historically extended up to and included the corners of Castro Street. When the Octavia/Market Plan (OMP) was discussed and vetted the plan was to include Market Street from Octavia through to Castro Street. OMP was to establish guidelines and conditions of use to create consistency along the Market Street corridor. EVNA and other neighborhood groups and organizations supported this plan. Projects being planned for the OMP are required to provide funding for neighborhood improvement. This last is a key element of the support from neighborhood organizations.

However, in the end, the OMP only extended to an arbitrary line at approximately Noe Street. The block between Noe Street and Castro Street was left effectively orphaned form the OMP.

The concerns that EVNA has is that projects being planned along the orphaned corridor will not be required to meet the agreed upon OMP building requirements. And so will not be required to provide funding for neighborhood improvements.

Discussion then focused on the project being planned at the corner of Noe & 16th Streets, 2299 Market. This property falls outside of the OMP corridor. Ed Duffy representing the projects sponsors was attending the meeting to field questions.

EVNA’s main concern is that if the 2299 Market project goes through as planned then it sets precedent for other projects being planned along the orphaned corridor between Noe and Castro.

Mr. Duffy and his group bought the 2299 property before the completion of the OMP and were not allowed to get permitting until after the OMP was finalized. He contends they bought the property knowing it was outside the OMP.

Points of discussion:
• Demian – the block was orphaned based on MUNI station locations
• Judy –the 2299 project is not being built in isolation. It will affect all other projects along the orphaned corridor
• Alan – EVNA does not want to be adversarial and would rather work with the project sponsors
• Peter – provided policy background and pointed out that the issue is consistency along the traditional Upper Market corridor
• Several people focused on the issue of parking allotments and height requirements
• Rob – the crux is the big picture: what happens at 2299 sets the precedent for the rest of the corridor
• Alan - after all the meetings and money spent for the OMP and Upper Market Planning why was the plan to include Noe-to-Market never codified. EVNA should press Planning and Bevan to codify the plan.

3) Officer Reports
Demian gave a brief balance sheet Treasures report.

4) Committee reports
Newsletter – distribution was late because the printing was late. Rob & Demian will look into other print vendors.
The hand delivered distribution appears to be bringing people into the meetings

Community Awareness Committee – met and is trying to schedule a meeting with CAD. Also working to get a meeting with SFPD regarding officer patrols in the neighborhood. Working on developing a clearing house for community events and activities.

Planning – Judy gave an overview of the Ord Street project

5) New Business
Demian spoke about the proposed LGBT Museum that is looking to find space in the heart of the Castro.

Meeting adjourned 8:29

Revised Mission Statment to be voted on at July 21, Castro/EVNA Membership meeting

President’s Column
Alan R. Beach-Nelson

Since assuming the presidency of EVNA, the Board has embarked on many issues to improve Castro/Eureka Valley. Please join us on Wednesday, July 21 for updates on many of these (see page 1).

The Board has also worked on revising our Mission Statement to better reflect the work that we do and to define our goals for EVNA. We will vote on this in July.

Draft Castro/Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association Mission:

Castro/Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association (EVNA), formed in 1881 as the Eureka Valley Promotion Association (EVPA), provides a public forum for the people who live, work, and play in the greater Eureka Valley area to discuss common issues and concerns and help develop solutions to improve the neighborhood.

Goals of EVNA:
1. Protect and enhance the character of the neighborhood, its historic resources and significant topographic features and open space
2. Ensure that growth, development, and public access are compatible with and meet the needs of residents and the business community
3. Protect and improve public health and safety
4. Encourage friendly association among neighbors and businesses
5. Provide an educational forum and community outreach to community partners

Minutes from the Executive Board Meeting April 14, 2010, 7:00 p.m.

Attending: Alan Beach-Nelson, Rob Cox, Tim Eicher, Steve Clark Hall, Judy Hoyem, Gary Weiss
1.) Meeting Minutes from the March General Meeting were not finalized. Approval deferred until next meeting.

2.) Budget: establishing 2010 Budget – deferred until May - Demain

3.) Mission Statement approval deferred until next meeting. Rob will work up new wording.

4.) A general rule was proposed and agreed upon that BlackBerrys and/or iPhones will be turned off and/or silenced for the duration of the meetings in order that members will direct their attention to the meeting and the items being discussed.

5.) Newsletter
• May Newsletter EVNA will re-run the article on “Noisy Neighbors.”
• Alan will set a Newsletter calendar to provide deadlines for submissions and press times and present to the Board at the May meeting.
• Copy for the May Newsletter should be to Rob by 5/3. Suggested articles include Harvey Milk Day events in the neighborhood & a Planning article (Judy) to coincide with our May Membership Meeting focus on Upper Market Planning.
• Alan to Email blast to members upon completion, 5/7 and mail delivery 5/14
• Format is still 8 X 14 flyer and still in color, also the distribution will remain the same until further notice, with Demian taking the lead.
• It was decided not to run an article about the EF Language School but to offer the opportunity to make a short presentation at a general meeting time permitting. Alan to direct the EF School to the Castro Courier and suggest buying an ad in the Eureka!

6.) Email Protocol: Alan, as Board President, will field emails to EVNA and delegate them to other Board members as appropriate
Steve will organize a spreadsheet of Board Member email addresses and evaluate/recommend a workable flow to clean up our current system of aliases, etc.
In all cases neighbors who are not members and email EVNA should be encouraged to be dues paying members, and actively participate.

7.) Follow up with Castro After Dark will happen once the EVNA Quality of Life Committee meets (scheduled for 4/20) (Rob)

8.) Planning:
136 Ord is on the agenda at the Planning Committee for 4/15.
The neighborhood coalition, CAPA, DTNA and EVNA met with Bevan Dufty and Planning Department re. Upper Market Planning and Land Use and with Project Sponsor of 2299 Market (Church Pit). Alan & Judy represented EVNA. EVNA would like to see the same Market Street Corridor controls on all projects as agreed to in the Upper Market Charette. Discussion surrounding , our position if we have to vote on a discretionary motion. RESOLUTION: EVNA will support DR if we have to go that route. Resolution passed 5 to 0 with one abstention.

9.) Technology Committee:
Much discussion surrounding our need for an Operations Manual for Technology. Currently all knowledge of our systems reside with Steve. Steve agreed to schedule a Technology Committee meeting by the end of June and to work on a Manual in the interim. Steve to post SoS filing link to update and update EVNA bylaws
Rob will file with SoS

10.) Meeting adjourned 8:30

Minutes from the General Meeting, March 24, 2010, 7:00 p.m.


1) Welcome and Introductions
Special guests, Castro After Dark; Bob Davis, SF Entertainment Commission; Kate Conner from Planning and Enforcement

2) Approval of Minutes
Minutes approved by Executive Board

3) Castro After Dark Greg Bronstein from Trigger, et al, presented a profile of Castro After Dark (CAD). The group has been meeting for 6-8 months.

CAD would like to help the community become safer for neighbors, businesses and visitors. They have had debate about patrol formats e.g., Patrol Special or 10B (off duty officer) from SFPD. They have met with Mission Station Captain. They are trying to come up with a patrol format on a monthly of event based schedule.
They want to reach out to and would like communication ideas from neighborhood groups like EVNA and are looking for input from the community. EVNA will forma committee to work with CAD (QOL committee).

It is felt that the current patrol situation is inadequate - this information needs verification: currently Patrol Special patrols TH-SU until 2 a.m. and MO-WE until 11:00PM with one officer that covers a multitude of businesses, CAD along with EVNA, via the QOL committee will work to develop a solution for dedicated patrols.

4) SF Entertainment Commission
Entertainment Commission, Executive Director, Bob Davis, presented an overview of his office. The San Francisco Entertainment Commission was established in 2003 with the mission to regulate, promote and enhance the field of entertainment in the city of San Francisco. The seven member commission has powers to accept, review and gather information to conduct hearings for entertainment-related permit applications. Additionally the Entertainment Commission plans and coordinates the provision of City services for major events for which there is no recognized organizer, promoter, or sponsor.

5)Planning and Enforcement
Kate Conner, Planning and Enforcement presented her department and talked about enforcing Conditions of Use (CU’s). She encouraged residents to be in touch with her if there were nuisance, or other issues with a particular business.

Alan gave an overview of EVNA and its committees and invited general membership participation.

Meeting adjourned 8:30

Agenda, EVNA Board meeting, February 10, 2010

Castro/EVNA Board Meeting
February 10, 2010; 7PM - 8:30
Who Time
• Budget: establishing 2010 Budget Demian 7:00

• Mission Statement review/discussion Gary/Alan/Judy 7:10

• Newsletter discussion/timeline Alan/Committee 7:20
o Size/scope
o Content
o Budget
o Castro Courier ad

• Report and discussion of groups EVNA belongs and reps All 7:40
o Upper Market Alliance, UMA Judy & Demian
o Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods, CSFN Demian
(Save Muni Summit 3/6, 9-1, Women’s Building, 3543 18th)
o San Francisco Housing Action Coalition
o Others?

• Committee Reports 7:50
o Planning (Judy, Alan, Brian, Gary, Jack, Steve) Judy
o Pink Triangle Foundation (Justin, Jack, Diane, EVNA EC) Alan

• Next steps on Priority Committees and Chairs Alan/All 8:00
o Visibility/Membership (Rob, Wendy, Demian, Judy)
o Technology (Steve, Tim, Dennis, Thanos)
o Quality of Life (Rob, Dennis, Tim, Judy, Alan, Aaron

• Update on action Items 8:15
o Bylaws update and posting of SoS filing link Steve
o Secretary of State filing Rob
o Name change with City/Planning filing Judy
o Joint Supervisor Candidate presentation 9/15/10 Dennis/Gary/Alan
o Posting Membership meeting calendar w/BAR Rob
o Bank account signature cards Alan/Rob/Jack

• Adjourn All 8:30

EVNA Membership Meeting Minutes Janaury 20, 2010

Minutes from the Membership Meeting
January 20, 2010, 7:30 p.m.

1) Welcome and Introductions
Introductions were made around the table at the first EVNA general Membership meeting of 2010 with new president Alan Beach-Nelson presiding. A special thanks to Chase Bank for making the new meeting space available.

2) Approval of Minutes

There were no minutes from the last meeting to approve.

Alan gave a brief overview of recent EVNA changes and activities.

• The bylaws were changed to increase the number of board members
• New officers were elected
• The name was changed from Eureka Valley Promotion Association (EVPA) to Castro/Eureka Valley Neighborhood Association (Castro/EVNA or EVNA). The legal name of the organization remains Eureka Valley Promotion Association (EVPA).

Richard M felt the name change was never vetted properly and question why the meetings were now at the Chase Bank and not the EVRC. Judy explained that EVRC is now charging for the use of the facility. Alan reviewed the name change process and that it was voted on by the members and was discussed and announced in the EVNA Newsletter.

2) Officer Reports

As of this date EVNA has a balance of $8,508.00

The PTPM Foundation has a balance of $1,493.00

Budgets are being developed for the Foundation.

Market/Dolores Neighborhood Assoc has had/is having input on the development for the corner of Dolores @ Market (S&C Ford bldg)

There is not yet any new information on the plans for a building on the corner of Noe & 16th

Golds Gym @ Market and Noe has proposed an expansion of the lot and wants to add additional stories. Expanding the building to five stories seems problematic and out of scale with the surrounding structures

There are plans under way for the space occupied by “Arco” station at Market & Castro

Trader Joe’s is still looking to occupy the former Tower Records space on Market Street

There are smaller, residential projects in the works, one at Market & Ord which has 7 lots, 4 have setbacks and one owner wants to build in the setback which would alter the character of the neighborhood

The Planning Committee meets on the first Wednesday of the month, 7PM @ Judy’s home

UMA (Upper Market Alliance)
Composed of nine civic groups, meets monthly to share information meets on the 4th Tuesday of the month at the Chase Bank space

Nothing to report

2) Priorities & Goals

EVNA wants to identify goals and mission for the upcoming year. A brainstorming discussion floated the following initiatives for EVNA committees to focus on this year. Some of these initiatives will require the work of two or more committees. The committees were assigned to work on the following initiatives

Committee members: Judy Hoyem, Steve Hall, Jack Keating, Alan Beach-Nelson, Gary Weiss, Brian Kendall
Support historic preservation of the Castro/Eureka Valley neighborhood

Committee Members: Rob, Wendy, Demian, Judy
Build attendance for the general membership meetings
Neighborhood Information Kiosk
Recruit volunteers for the Castro Street Fair

Committee Members: Steve, Tim, Dennis, Thanos
User’s guide/training for committee
Website updates
Neighborhood Information Kiosk
WiFi info site at the 17th Street Plaza

Quality of Life
Committee Members: Rob, Dennis, Tim, Judy, Alan, Aaron
Foster a better relationship with the neighbors and the late night establishments (Castro After Dark)
Ad Hoc issues

Committee Members:
Alan, editor; Rob, designer; Judy, copy editor; Demian, distribution. Wendy and Diane volunteered to assist with distribution.

Pink Triangle Foundation
Committee members: Jack Keating, Justin, Diane Nutting, EVNA Executive Committee

3) New Business

Gary needs a briefing re: the city survey of historic/cultural/architectural significance report to create a Context Statement. The mayor’s office currently has funding for mission statement proposals for a Castro area Context Statement. The Corbett Heights Neighborhood Association (CHNA) currently has a mission statement. CHNA meets 1/28 @ 7:30

A motion was passed to standardize all EVNA meeting times at 7:00 p.m.

Meeting adjourned 8:40

Minutes of EVNA Board Meeting, January 13, 2010

Minutes from the Executive Board Meeting
January 13, 2010

Attending: Alan Beach-Nelson, Rob Cox, Demian Quesnel, Tim Eicher, Steve Clark Hall, Judy Hoyem, Jack Keating, Dennis Richards, Gary Weiss

1) Introductions
Introductions were made around the table at the first EVNA meeting of 2010 with new president Alan Beach-Nelson presiding.

2) Discussion of EVNA Mission
We discussed what our mission is/should be and decided to take a fresh look at EVNA as an organization with the purpose of keeping our mission relevant.

Gary and Alan will craft a relevant mission statement that clarifies the organization’s purpose in keeping with the articles of incorporation for the February Board Meeting.

This will also help us to be clear about what issues EVNA should and should not get involved with in the neighborhood.

3) Protocol Systems
Alan will set up an email protocol to help manage the flow of email within the EVNA.

Judy will file the new name, EVNA, with city hall.

Spending guidelines were agreed on: Board President can spend $300 without approval not to exceed $1,000/month; any expenditure over $300 but below $500 needs approval by two additional Executive Committee members; Expenditures exceeding $500 need board approval.

Executive Board members who miss a meeting must bring themselves current by reading the minutes of that meeting so that the Board won’t have to spend time going over the same ground at the next meeting.

EVNA should standardize our answers for “taking positions” as a membership organization in keeping with our articles of incorporation.

4) Treasurers Report
As of this date EVNA has a balance of $8,508.00

The PTPM Foundation has a balance of $1,493.00

Alan is updating the account signature cards. Current authorized signers are Alan Beach-Nelson and Rob Cox.

Proposed: a separate meeting for the PTPM Foundation. Start with an organizational meeting (Demian to take lead?) Alan will assign.

5) Brainstorming
Alan sought ideas for EVNA to focus on in 2010. The following ideas were discussed.

• Fostering a better relationship between the residents and the late night establishments
• Quality of life issues, ie; neighborhood character, ad hoc issues as they arise
• WiFi info site
• Sponsor a neighborhood information kiosk, perhaps at the 17th street plaza
• Support historic preservation in the Castro/Eureka Valley; create a context statement in this regard.
• Build the visibility and awareness re: EVNA, build membership.
• Clarify and develop the relationship with MUMC
• Develop a “formula retail” statement

6) New Committees
Technology and web development: Tim, Steve, Demian.
Castro After Dark – Dennis Richards, Rob Cox, Tim Eicher, Judy Hoyem
Newsletter: Alan, editor; Rob, designer; Judy, copy editor; Demian, distribution. Recruit more help from membership, ie marketing, distribution, etc.

7) Operations
Alan to give Rob his get key to PO box and will check periodically
Demian or Rob update ownership names on PO Box
Steve will send Rob/Alan the link for the Secretary of State filing of leadership change in EVNA and add this information to the Operations section of the web site.
Alan to send Steve who then will update the changes to be made in the by laws

8) Report from Reps
UMA – review and strengthen relationships. Invite other organizations in to the general membership meetings to present and inform. Alan will invite LYRIC to the next general meeting.

Have input on and monitor projects such as the development of the 17th street plaza and Trader Joes coming into the Castro.

Evaluate our relationship with CSFN. Demian to attend next CSFN meeting.

9) New Business
March meeting the Board will vet its memberships with other organizations (MUMC; CSFN, etc)

Alan, Dennis and Gary to explore partnership between EVNA, DTNA, CHNA to begin to schedule Board of Supervisor candidates to speak, perhaps at our September 15, 2010 membership meeting @ EVRC.

Post membership meetings notices in the BAR calendar– Rob; Alan submitted already to Castro Courier.

Too Many Vacant Shops in the Castro?

One reason people mention that they are supportive of the Walgreen’s expansion into the Laundromat on 18th is because “there are too many vacant storefronts in the Castro.” The other reason, “Walgreen’s is a good neighbor,” was debunked, I think, in the last Eureka!

Being a curious type, I walked the streets, 17th to 19th and Noe to Diamond, counting shops to see if this was true. I counted ground floor spaces and when a shop occupied more than one, I counted the total storefronts, e.g., Walgreen’s on Castro occupies 3. Though not a professional statistical analysis, I intended to verify whether impression matches reality, and in my opinion, it does not.

Truth is that we have 90% occupancy and 10% vacancy rates – see chart below.

Out of a total of 149 street level storefronts only 15 are vacant. Further, the vacancies include Welcome Home, under construction for occupancy, Castro Video approved for Levi’s store, and rumor has it that Ritz Camera might be occupied soon. Allow for these and rates are 92% occupancy, 8% vacancy. Very good!

Analyzing the numbers even further, of the 12 remaining vacancies, 58% include spaces that are off the market due to the owners/lessor’s own intent, e.g. Les Natali who owns the five “Patio spaces” on Castro that have inexplicably been vacant for nearly 10 years, and the former Pendulum on 18th, or the Laundromat which Walgreen’s snapped up and then left vacant for over a year. If one takes these 7 storefronts out of the count, the occupancy rate shoots to 97% with ONLY 5 vacancies out of 149 storefronts. So, I’d say our occupancy is very, VERY good.

Of course, I understand that a few high visibility spaces do create a sense of blight. At long last things seem to be moving quickly with Les’ properties –THANK YOU! Levi’s plans to be open by Folsom Street Fair, and hopefully plans for Ritz will come to fruition. This combined activity is sure to make the Castro feel much more vibrant, something all of us want. Perhaps Walgreens will open up the Laundromat for an artist gallery while it contemplates next steps –it certainly would be better than an empty storefront!

Finally, I know that some will find all of this analyzing of the numbers as a demonstration that EVPA is anti-business. I for one most certainly am not anti business and in fact pro-business. As long as businesses reflect the community, work with, respect and support the whole neighborhood and don’t try to dominate the neighborhood or overtake the “village” charm that is what makes the Castro special, I am in support of them. I would be opposed to De La Sole, the Midnight Sun, Blue, Sumi, or any other single business if they wanted to occupy 5 storefronts in the Castro. I feel we need variety, not 5 storefronts occupied by one business like Walgreen’s wants.

Here’s my analysis for your perusal:

Castro storefronts (Ground floor shops only)
Street Total Vacant Occupancy
Castro between 17th-18th:
East side (Ritz) 21 1 95%
West side (Welcome Home) 18 1 94%
Sub-total Castro Street, 17th to 18th 39 2 95%

Castro between 18th-19th:
East side* (Castro Video, Patio spaces - 5, Title Co.) 19 7 63%
West side 26 0 100%
Sub-total Castro Street, 18th to 19th 45 7 84%

17th Street, South side only 5 0 100%
Sub-total 17th Street 5 0 100%

18th E of Castro (to Noe):
North side (Flux, space at Hartford) 8 2 75%
South side** (Card shop, Planet Weaver’s) 16 2 88%
Sub-total 18th East side 24 4 83%

18th W of Castro (to Diamond)
North side* (former Pendulum) 11 1 91%
South side (Laundromat) 15 1 93%
Sub-total 18th W of Castro 26 2 92%

19th Street
North side 2 0 100%
South side 8 0 100%
Sub-total 19th West side 10 0 100%

Grand total: 149 15 90%

Taking Ritz, Welcome Home, Levi, Natali and Walgreen’s spaces out vacancies, totals are: 149 5 97%

*Incl. Les Natali's vacant spots: Patio (5) & former Pendulum (1) and Walgreen's keeping their space vacant.
**Incl. Planet Weaver's temp location as vacant

Halloween Update

As of June 3, 2008, Laura Fraenza was hired by the City of San Francisco as our new Events Manager for the Entertainment Commission. Laura has a long career in events including Artist Manager with Bill Graham Presents; a Castro-based production company called Two Visions as part of a team for major events for Cisco and PeopleSoft; Cirque du Soleil as Production Office Director on the European tour of Quidam and for the past 8 years as a freelance entertainment producer on events for Cisco, Google, and PeopleSoft, among others.

I think we all can agree that it is great to have her on board working with Audrey Joseph on this year’s Halloween.

Laura and I, along with Dennis Richards will be meeting on July 16 to discuss EVPA and DTNA concerns about Halloween and the Castro. Additionally, Laura and Audrey Joseph, President of the Entertainment Commission will attend our next EVPA General Membership meeting on Thursday, July 17.

Currently, Laura is reviewing information gathered across the city in neighborhood meetings and city departments and is developing a plan of action. She expects to announce formal plans by the end of July.

As of now, she informs us that the plan for this year is not to shut down the Castro as it was last year, but to let the bars and other businesses stay open. They will be continuing with the message of last year "Don't come to the Castro to celebrate Halloween, there is no event in the Castro," and will provide a list of myriad other options of things to do in the City. We want to change the perception that Halloween is a Castro event and instead present a variety of options in every neighborhood, working with merchant groups City-wide. Halloween is a Friday night this year, so there would be the normal crowd that comes into the City looking for something to do as they do every weekend. We will provide listings of events in every neighborhood and reassert the message that the party is not in the Castro. We are currently exploring an option of an event to be held in another part of the City.

It is critical that we have a plan of action for this year, and I am sure that with Laura and Audrey at the helm, we will see improved results that positively impact the neighborhood. Stay tuned as more develops on this important topic.