Editorial: Let the City Hear Your Voice about the Balboa Reservoir Project Review Process

[Rita Evans is a longtime Sunnyside resident and SNA member, having previously held the position of secretary and editor of the Sunnyside News for many years. She is currently a member of the SNA Balboa Reservoir Project committee. This editorial will be published in the upcoming Sunnyside News. ]

Editorial / Let the City Hear Your Voice

The city’s decision to hold just a single meeting for developers’ presentations in June when many neighbors are unable to attend is very problematic. The Balboa Reservoir project will have significant long-term ramifications on several neighborhoods and decisions must include adequate public input.

Although the Balboa Reservoir Community Advisory Committee (BRCAC) pushed hard for holding two meetings in August, Mayor Ed Lee’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) has insisted on scheduling just one meeting and having it on Saturday, June 10, right in the heart of graduation and wedding seasons.

It’s hard to see this scheduling decision as anything other than a calculated move by OEWD to intentionally limit public input.     

This is a particularly hard slap in the face of those of us who have been actively involved in the Balboa Reservoir project planning process for the past two years. We’ve devoted hundreds hours of our own time to reviewing documents, gathering information, soliciting input from neighbors, and drafting responses. We’ve spent dozens of evenings listening to presentations and providing feedback.

We’ve volunteered our time and energy because we care about our neighbor¬hoods. We know how critically important it is to get this project right. We know how much more important it is to get it right than it is to adhere to OEWD’s completely arbitrary timetable.

But now, at this critically important stage when neighbors finally can see what we may be living with for the rest of our lives, unelected city officials have decided that it’s way more important that we stick to their schedule than it is to allow for reasonable public input.

Let’s tell Ken Rich, OEWD’s Director of Development, that this is wrong. Tell him that at least two meetings should be held, and any developer selection decision should be deferred until September.

Email your comments to him at ken.rich@sfgov.org.

Rita Evans

Sunnyside Neighborhood Association Balboa Reservoir Committee



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