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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Phelps St Greenhouses Face Uncertain Future

In 1986, the Southeast Greenhouses at 1150 Phelps were constructed as the result of an agreement with the Bayview community as a way to mitigate the expansion of the Southeast Wastewater Treatment plant in Bayview. For nearly thirty years they have employed hundreds of people and attracted new business to the neighborhood. Currently over 70 people work there, but despite the history and benefit to the community, the SFPUC wants to tear the greenhouses down.

A June, 2015 Environmental Impact Report from the San Francisco Planning Commission shows the site may serve as a staging lot for construction equipment during the upgrade of the Southeast Wastewater Treatment Plant. This decision to destroy a community facility was made without community input.

At the July 8, 2015 meeting of the Southeast Community Facility Commission, SFPUC General Manager Harlan Kelly announced a new plan to “revitalize” the Community Facility at 1800 Oakdale by relocating it to a smaller building at 1550 Evans. At no time during this announcement was an alternative plan for the greenhouses proposed or even if they would be rebuilt.

Then, at the October meeting of the Bayview CAC, when asked about the proposal to use Phelps St as a trucking route to facilitate the construction project, PUC spokesman was unsure. Fortunately, I had done some digging and found out from Shelby Campbell, Project Manager at SFPUC, that their "truck routing is Jerrold and Evans. Phelps is not conducive to construction traffic and all of our construction will take place west of the Plant and Quint Street." So, if this is the case, then what of the greenhouses? If the land on which they sit is no longer to be used as a staging area, then it would follow they they no longer need to be removed from the site.

The upgrade of the Southeast Wastewater Treatment Plant is needed but the greenhouses deserve a future, too. The community needs to come out to the next SECF Commission meeting to tell the SFPUC to offer alternatives for the greenhouses or let them stand! If the scale of the mitigation from 1986 is to be maintained, then moving the 1800 Oakdale tenants to 1550 Evans and eliminating the greenhouses does the opposite of that. It eliminates a significant job-creating portion of the mitigation, and it removes a community benefit.

Attend the upcoming meeting of the Southeast Community Facility Commission and tell the SFPUC not to break their promise to the Bayview.

Southeast Community Facility Commission
Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 6:30 PM
1800 Oakdale Ave. San Francisco, CA 94124

Alex Pitcher Room

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