May 2024

CHA Annual Meeting Highlights

Thank you for supporting CHA and attending our annual meeting last week. It was a great turnout and an opportunity to share important information with our members. A special thank you to our presenters and our sponsors for all their support and goodies: Citizens Private Bank, TAPD Insurance, The Butch Haze Group, Infinite Martial Arts, and Witter Coin.

For those who could not be with us, here are highlights of the meeting along with important follow-up content, starting with Upcoming Events:

  • June 5 -- District 7 Town Hall on Upzoning Impacts - register here
  • June 6 -- Planning Commission Hearing on Upzoning - info here

What Can We Do About Sacramento’s

Land-Use Power Grab?

by Michael Barnes

Michael's Advice: GET MAD and VOTE ACCORDINGLY

Economist Michael Barnes presented at the CHA annual meeting, exposing the false "housing crisis" narrative perpetuated by the state, YIMBYs, and their elected allies - see presentation and other materials. This misleading narrative is being used to justify the state's overreach into local zoning, particularly in Charter cities like San Francisco that are supposed to be independent of such state incursions.

Senator Wiener, YIMBY lobbyists, real estate developers, and the tech industry share a goal: to deregulate zoning and allow unrestricted development, believing this will reduce prices through a failed trickle down strategy. However, proposed upzoning plans won't solve affordable housing issues. Instead, they will encourage luxury condo construction that exceeds existing height limits, threatening light, air, and privacy while fueling speculation, gentrification, and displacing renters and small businesses.

The current administration aligns with the YIMBY agenda and has yielded to state demands. The state's unfunded mandate of 82,000 units by 2031 sets up San Francisco for failure, triggering the Builder's Remedy, which strips the city of zoning control and jeopardizes state funding for affordable housing and transit. The Builder's Remedy is not the penalty—it's the plan!

Residents must understand the positions and track records of mayoral candidates. Who will defend our neighborhoods and reject the misleading YIMBY narrative promoted by the state and embraced by the current administration? Consider who the YIMBYs attack most—that might indicate who will truly fight for our neighborhoods.

A Glimmer of Hope:

SB9 Ruled Unconstitutional

Please read Neighborhoods United SF's press release about State Bill 9 (Wiener) being ruled unconstitutional. Will Mayor Breed and City Attorney Chiu file an amicus brief supporting the ruling when the state likely appeals this decision? Will they protect San Francisco's independence as a Charter city?

The appeal may happen after the November election and there will be tremendous pressure from the YIMBY forces to ensure San Francisco stays quiet. It’s crucial to ask the candidates if they will stand strong against the YIMBY pressure and how far will they go to stop the state’s overreach and restore local control over zoning.

Other cities across the state are also pushing back as they, too, are being pressured into land use decisions that are not in the best interest of their communities. Organizations like Our Neighborhood Voices (ONV) are working toward a statewide initiative to push back against these mandates. Other cities know that as San Francisco goes, so goes the rest of the state. It's up to us to pay attention. This election is not just about homelessness, crime, and safety, which are all important—it's also about preserving what makes San Francisco the envy of the world with our unique, vibrant neighborhoods. We are not Manhattan, Miami or Paris, nor should we be. Let's heed Michael's advice - get mad and make a difference -- Support ONV!

Other Topics From Annual Meeting

Neighborhoods United SF

In response to the City’s excessive upzoning plan, CHA collaborated with other neighborhood associations to establish Neighborhoods United SF last November. In just a few months, this coalition mobilized over 60 neighborhood and merchant organizations across the City impacted by the proposed upzoning. Our primary goal has been to challenge the extreme state-mandated height increases and advocate for community-led planning that prioritizes residents and small businesses.

As a grassroots movement, NUSF organizes district Town Halls to educate residents on the impacts of these height increases, with events already held in the Richmond, North Beach, and the Sunset, with one coming up in the West Portal-Ingleside area, and more planned for Cow Hollow-Marina and the Castro areas. Sign up for the June 5th Town Hall.

We've also brought this issue to the forefront of the mayoral race, engaging in conversations with Farrell, Lurie, and Peskin, with plans to speak with Safai and Breed.

NUSF --> Learn more • Receive Updates • Get Involved

Local Zoning

Local zoning has been central to CHA's mission since its establishment in 1946, and it continues to occupy a significant portion of our efforts. We assist in reviewing remodeling projects and providing input as to their adherence to our Cow Hollow Neighborhood Design Guidelines. This ongoing work aims to foster cooperation and compromise among neighbors while also preserving the unique character of our neighborhood.

But now we face a problem that's bigger than any single project!

Lombard Street!

The new upzoning could allow projects on Lombard to reach 8-14 stories in height!

As stated earlier, we are facing state-mandated and city-imposed upzoning plans that threaten to significantly increase building heights throughout our neighborhood. Mayor Breed is proposing a 100% increase in height on Lombard Street, from 4 stories to as many as 8 to 14 stories, with potential for even more under additional state laws. The city is also proposing a 50% height increase to 6 stories on Chestnut, Fillmore, and Union Streets. These changes will irrevocably alter the neighborhood's consistent scale, openness, and iconic qualities, creating a towering wall along Lombard that creates a dark corridor and disrupts the continuity and flow between Cow Hollow and Marina neighborhoods.

Ranked Choice Voting (RCV)

San Francisco's use of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) can be confusing for many voters. To help clarify, here is a helpful RCV video published by Maine—it uses the same process we have here. Additionally, here is a recording from the CHA meeing how RCV works by board member Jan Diamond with help from fellow board members!


CHA works with our Supervisor and Police Department to address the crime in the neighborhood including package thefts, car break-ins, home burglaries and graffiti. One of the board members, Rich Goss, is a retired police officer and will be heading up our safety committee along with Jan Diamond.  We know this is an important concern to our community and we will share with you information and actions you can take to best protect yourself, your property, and your neighborhood. 

Community Clean-ups

The CHA clean-ups are in full swing and we owe a huge thanks to Cynthia Gissler and Jan Diamond for leading the charge!  We clean-up on the third Thursday of each month from 3:30-5:00 PM. You can sign up or even just show up at the corner of Union and Baker Streets. We provide garbage bags, pickers and all the equipment you will need. It’s a great way to beautify our neighborhood and get to know other neighbors in the process. In between clean-ups, you can use your 311 app to take a picture of trash and send it in for the City to pick up. 


Our area, like many parts of the city, has been impacted by street sleeping and association conditions. If you encounter a person in crisis, call 911. If it is non-urgent, call 311 or the non-emergency police station number. 

CHA Board of Directors

Anne Bertrand, Lori Brooke, 

Jan Diamond, Don Emmons, Rich Goss,

Barbara Heffernan, Noel Kivlin, Claire Mills, Veronica Taisch

CHA Advisory Board

David Bancroft, Cynthia Gissler, Don Kielsehorst, Elaine Larkin,

George Merijohn, Brooke Sampson, Geoff Wood

Please Support Your Neighborhood Association!
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