Analysis and Opinion: Balboa Reservoir Development

The following is analysis and opinion by Jennifer Heggie, the current chair of SNA’s Balboa Reservoir Committee, and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association.


By Jennifer Heggie, Chair, SNA Balboa Reservoir Committee

The Draft Subsequent Environmental Impact Report identifies a number of areas in which the proposed development will create a significant adverse impact to the surroundings even after possible mitigation is implemented. These relate to Air Quality, Noise, and Transportation and Circulation. Neighborhood comments suggest that even with these identified harmful results, some of the tests used to draft the DSEIR were inadequate.

Transportation and Circulation 

There are three areas of significant impact to transportation and circulation due to the construction and/or operations of the Balboa Reservoir that would  result in Significant and Unavoidable adverse impacts with no feasible Mitigation or Significant and Unavoidable adverse impacts with Mitigation.  Continue reading “Analysis and Opinion: Balboa Reservoir Development”

Detroit Steps Project announces landscape design winner

Detroit Steps Project Selects Landscape Design Winner

Ideas on what to plant along Detroit Steps blossom!

Three final drawings from Thomas Wang’s Landscape Design class at City College of San Francisco were showcased at the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association Quarterly Meeting on February 3rd. It was a long time in the making to finalize the top three drawings.

In October, armed with pencils, smartphones, clipboards and creativity, Mr. Wang’s students visited the Detroit Steps to learn about the vacant and recently cleaned space located midway along the upper steps. They listened to Detroit Step Project (DSP) members’ hopes and each sketched designs proposing how to use the space. Ideas ranged from a “Mushroom Village” to “Sun & Moon,” with many clever and imaginative designs. Continue reading “Detroit Steps Project announces landscape design winner”

Nov 24: Detroit Steps Fundraiser: Rise and Run Step-a-Thon



Date and Location
Sunday, November 24, 10:00 AM – 12:00 noon. Meet at Lower Steps, Detroit Street at Hearst Avenue, San Francisco CA.

The Detroit Steps is an ambitious project to beautify the Upper and Lower portions of the Detroit Steps, via landscaping and art. In 2019, District 7 Participatory Budget funding was awarded to the project, to beautify the entrance to the Lower Steps. In addition since June, three major cleanup events have been geared at cleaning the overgrowth in the Upper Steps. Download the FLYER (PDF).

Proceeds from the Rise & Run Step-a-Thon fundraising event will directly pay for the purchase of California native plants to be planted along the Upper Steps. Participation in the event is open to all. Questions? Email:

How to register 

Continue reading “Nov 24: Detroit Steps Fundraiser: Rise and Run Step-a-Thon”

CCSF Horticulture Class Recent Visit to the Detroit Steps Project

On Friday October 18, 2019, the Landscape Design Class at City College of San Francisco visited the Detroit Steps Project (DSP), meeting with the project’s volunteers who have been working to develop the steps as a landscaped two-block flight of city stairs, with future plans for artwork. (Read more here.)

The Landscape Design class meets regularly every Friday morning on CCSF campus. The large group of about 20 students walked from CCSF to the Lower Steps where they met with DSP members: Monica Collins, Joy Durighello, and Rosaura Valle. After a short presentation on the project, everyone climbed all the steps up to the public site located midway in the Upper Steps. Reclaiming this slice of public land from severe overgrowth and neglect has been one focus of the project.

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This site had been much cleared thanks to the work of CCSF interns Brian Marabello and Cheyenne over the summer, as well as during two community cleanup events on September 7 and October 6. Continue reading “CCSF Horticulture Class Recent Visit to the Detroit Steps Project”

Balboa Reservoir Community Meeting on Monday Sept 30

The Balboa reservoir Community Advisory Committee meets on Monday Sept 30th, 6-8 PM, at City College Multi-Use Building, Room 140, 50 Frida Kahlo Way, San Francisco. Public comment is welcome at these meetings.

The meeting focus is on Transportation. The annual report of the committee will be discussed. View the agenda here:

Read more about the project at the SF Planning Dept:

Read more about the project on the SNA website: 

View the whole document from the June meeting here:
View the whole document from the June meeting here:

Balboa Reservoir Environmental Impact Report now available for public comment

Just published, the draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) for the Balboa Reservoir housing project. Public comment may be submitted until September 23. The SF Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the review on September 12 at 1:00 PM (Room 400, City Hall).

Draft SEIR is available here: There are 13 PDFs with all the appendices, but the second item on the list is the main report, 486 pages (46MB).

Hard copies and CDs may be obtained from the San Francisco Planning Dept Information Counter, 1660 Mission Street, First Floor, San Francisco.

Hard copies and CDs may also be obtained by contacting:
Jeanie Poling, Senior Environmental Planner, SF Planning Dept

Public comment may submitted:

  • By mail (address below)
  • By email to
  • In person (on paper) at the public hearing before the Planning Commission on Sept 12.
  • In person (by oral comments) at the Planning Commission hearing Sept 12. Check agenda of Commission meeting to see when item is being heard here (after Sept 6).

Address for mailed comments:
Jeanie Poling
Senior Planner, San Francisco Planning Department
1650 Mission Street, Suite 400
San Francisco CA 94103
(415) 575-9072

Following the public comment period, Planning Department staff will review the comments and prepare a responses to comments document. The draft SEIR and the responses to comments document will be the final SEIR. [Anticipated in Spring 2020.] 

To read more about the framework of what the EIR addresses regarding environmental effects, see this document

Or this slide presentation: