Residents clash over Forest Knolls proposal 

click to enlarge Hillside: The development, which would include 34 housing units, isn’t a good fit for the neighborhood, some say. Others think it would be the perfect place for families. - COURTESY IMAGE
  • Courtesy Image
  • Hillside: The development, which would include 34 housing units, isn’t a good fit for the neighborhood, some say. Others think it would be the perfect place for families.

A proposed new residential development in Forest Knolls has riled some neighbors who say it’s unsuitable for the secluded neighborhood west of Mount Sutro.

The proposed San Francisco Overlook Development — a three-building, 34-unit project of duplexes and a townhouse, plus 68 parking spaces — would be perched on a steep hillside at the end of Crestmont Drive, offering sprawling views of The City but also standing out in a neighborhood of mainly single-family homes.

Sam Sobol of the Crestmont-Mt. Sutro Neighborhood Preservation Coalition, who has lived in his home up the hillside from the proposed development for about 25 years, said it just doesn’t fit.

“It’s really totally inappropriate for the neighborhood,” Sobol said. “There’s nothing else like it in Forest Knolls.” Sobol cited overcrowding, parking, fire safety and noise concerns, as well as worries about rockslides from the construction.

The development would provide two- and three-bedroom homes for families, as well as a pedestrian walking area, public space and improved vehicle access, according to Jessica Berg, a spokeswoman for the developer. She said that the project area had been zoned for up to 83 units.

“We really believe this is the right-sized development for this site,” Berg said.

The project is headed to the Planning Commission today for a hearing on a draft environmental impact report, but Sobol said neighbors will probably save their boisterous public opposition for a final hearing on the EIR, possibly this fall.

The development will also have to navigate a city review of hillside impacts and a possible appeal of the environmental report before the Board of Supervisors, Berg said.

aburack@sfexaminer.com

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Wednesday, Sep 28, 2016

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