New Details on Affordable Housing Project

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(This letter from GGTA President Bill Hannan was sent to all GGTA members with email on Tuesday, Nov. 25, but concerns the entire neighborhood.)

Dear GGTA board members –

At last night’s meeting of the affordable housing working group, Tom Radulovich of Livable City advised that Planning Code section 145.1 applies to Seawall Lot 322-1, the site of the proposed project at Broadway and Front.  As I understood Tom, this code section requires that any on-site parking be set back 25 feet from any street, with “active uses” facing the streets.

This should reassure those who are concerned that an on-site parking garage would result in “blank walls” along the sidewalks (like Washington Street between Battery and Davis) that would be bad for the neighborhood.  The Port’s preliminary papers indicate there will be no “blank walls” longer than 20 feet, but there has been continued concern because the Port insists on-site public parking will be needed to support retailers or other commercial ground floor users such as offices.

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Join GGTA, Help Preserve Rent Control and Quality of Life

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Dear GGTA members –

Today I received a notice of my Gateway rent increase for the coming year, based on my January anniversary date.  It is one per cent.  (Your increase may vary based on your anniversary date.)  Thanks to the blessings of San Francisco rent control, we are not subject to the drastic rent increases that are caused by market rates.

We at GGTA remain alert for any attempts to revoke rent control or trim it back.  We support the community watch program begun earlier this year by Bob Demchick and recently handed off to Sue Rokaw, who presided at a meeting in October addressed by SFPD Central Station’s Captain David Lazar.

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Gateway Community Watch Meeting Covers Emergency Preparedness

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Will you be ready in case a fire, earthquake or other disaster makes it necessary to evacuate your building?

Do you even know where to go?

A meeting of the Gateway Community Watch from 6 to 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11 at the Holding Company in 2 Embarcadero Center focused on emergency preparedness to answer these questions and more.

The meetings have been spearheaded by the Golden Gateway Tenants Association.

Irina Chatsova of of San Francisco SAFE and Gateway resident Sue Rokaw, who is the community watch point person, facilitated the meeting. About 20 people attended.

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Next Community Watch Meeting Nov. 10 Includes Emergency Preparedness

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Please join your neighbors for the next in a series of community watch meetings at the Gateway Apartments and Townhomes from 6 to 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 10, at the Holding Company on the third floor (plaza level) of 2 Embarcadero Center.

It will include information on personal emergency preparedness and a community watch emergency preparedness plan. Andrea Jorgenson, planner/San Francisco Fire Department/Department of Emergency Management Disaster Corps volunteer coordinator, will be the featured speaker.

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SFPD Gives Details on Recent Crimes Reported at Gateway

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Social media network Nextdoor’s Gateway news feed has been abuzz lately with posts about crimes at the Gateway Apartments and Townhomes.

After hearing about the incidents, Golden Gateway Tenants Association President Bill Hannan sent an email to members reading, “There have been reports of several recent burglaries at the Gateway. Please always keep your apartment door locked.

“Also, there is a security lock at the base of your sliding glass door, which will allow you to lock that door in one of two positions, either open a few inches or completely closed.

“You may want to consider buying renters insurance.  If you have an existing auto insurance policy, your insurer may give you a discount if you add renters insurance.  Gateway management recommends Resident Shield at http://www.residentshield.com/ and (800) 566-1186. I do not know what relationship if any Gateway may have with that company.

“If you can avoid letting strangers into our buildings without risk to your own safety, please think about keeping strangers at bay.

Be careful in here.”

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Gateway Residents, SFPD Discuss Safety at Community Watch Meeting

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More than 30 Gateway residents showed up for a community watch meeting in a meeting room off of the administrative offices at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, to discuss how to contribute to building a safer community. It was organized by the Golden Gateway Tenants Association.

Mason Lee of San Francisco SAFE facilitated the meeting, in which he reiterated that a community watch has nothing to do with patrols. Instead, he said, “It’s all about creating that safety culture.”

And, he added, “Besides problem-solving, we want you to have fun as well.”

Lee urged people to be friendly with their neighbors and hold socials (the GGTA does hold a social for residents on the first Tuesday of each month at The Holding Company), and to look out for anything amiss.

He told residents to not let anyone “tailgate” into buildings, either on foot or into the garage by car, in order to maintain security.

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Attend Community Watch Meeting Oct. 2

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The Golden Gateway Tenants Association has been working with San Francisco SAFE on organizing a community watch in the complex and has scheduled its next public meeting.

All Gateway residents are invited to attend from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, in the meeting room of the Gateway rental offices. Enter the room through 430 Davis Court.

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All New Leases at the Gateway are Smoke-Free

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The Gateway Apartments and Townhomes require all new tenants to sign a nonsmoking lease, according to Clarisse Tan, the Gateway’s director of property management.

“We’re trying to go completely smoke-free,” she said, but with 1,254 rent-stabilized units where people often stay put for decades, it might take a while.

Existing residents are grandfathered in and can smoke in their units as well as on balconies.

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UPDATE: Gateway Answers Questions on Water Bills

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(UPDATE: This letter from GGTA President Bill Hannan was sent to all GGTA members with email on Wednesday, Sept. 17 and is a follow-up to the letter below.)

Dear GGTA members in Vista West –

We have more information from Gateway management about the July 1 increase in water bills.  According to management, it raised water and sewer rates at different percentages for different buildings based of their different vacancy rates.  Management also advises that it pays 3% of the costs of common area water use, based on a review or audit.  it also confirms that the Bay Club is metered separately and pays SFPUC directly for the water it uses.

The bills we have received from tenants in Vista South and Vista East appear to show that tenants in Vista East received much steeper percentage increases in July than tenants in Vista South.  We have only one bill each from Vista West and Vista North, so we cannot draw any conclusions about those buildings.

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GGTA Seeking Answers on Water Rate Increases

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Gateway Apartments and Townhomes residents saw increases of roughly 20 to 40 percent in their Conservice water bills over the last couple of months, and the Golden Gateway Tenants Association is looking for answers as to why such hikes occurred and how they were calculated.

The water is provided by the SFPUC, which sets the rates and mails notices of increases to “account holders.” Gateway tenants did not receive advance notice of these increases, which happened at the same time that Conservice changed its account numbers.

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Community Watch Asks for Awareness, Not Patrols

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By Bob Demchick

GGTA Board member

As many residents know, there has been a good bit of discussion about neighborhood security in light of a number of burglaries that have occurred in recent months.  There was talk of a Town Watch program possibly including unarmed foot patrols around the property.  A meeting was held in July at which several residents discussed possible solutions to the problem and those in attendance agreed to investigate further action.

Recently, at a second meeting, the entire direction of the program was modified in that the patrols associated with Town Watches will be abandoned in favor of the community watch concept encouraged by the San Francisco Police Department.

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What is a Community Watch and What Is It Good For?

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What exactly is a community watch? And why should anyone have one?

“It is about knowing your neighbors and knowing who belongs on the block,” said Mason Lee, public safety coordinator for San Francisco SAFE, which stands for Safety Awareness for Everyone. “It’s about communicating with each other and also observing and reporting.”

SAFE organizes community watch groups in the city and county of San Francisco, registers bikes, helps with disaster preparedness and more. It’s a nonprofit and funded by the SFPD.

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Affordable Housing Working Group Meetings Have Started

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(This article was submitted by Golden Gateway Tenants Association President Bill Hannan, who attended a working group meeting on affordable housing planned for Broadway and Front streets.)

On Aug. 7, I attended a “working group” meeting hosted by theMayor’s Office of Housing (MOH) at the Broadway Family Apartments, an affordable housing project at 810 Battery Street.  Our hosts were Teresa Yanga and Joel Lipski of MOH.

Present were Bob Harrer and retired architect Solomon Pan and June Osterberg (BCNA), Lee Radner (FOGG), Jon Golinger and Stan Hays (Telegraph Hill Dwellers), Stephanie Greenburg (SoTel Neighbors), Jonee Levy (NEXT Village), and Gateway activist Ernestine Weiss.  The focus of the meeting was tenant income eligibility at the proposed affordable housing project at a half-block lot on Port property at Seawall Lot 322-1 at Front and Broadway, now used as a parking lot.

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