Protect Noe's Charm

April 12, 2015

 

Honorable Mayor Edwin Lee

Supervisor Scott Wiener

Members of the Planning Commission

 
We, Protect Noe's Charm, are a network of citizens around Noe Valley concerned by the increasing trend of construction that degrades the architectural, historical, and cultural feel of out neighborhood. We object strongly to the proposed demolition of the historical building at 369 Valley Street.
 
This house, a rare surviving earthquake shack that is already recognized as a historical resource, represents exactly the sort of element that makes Noe Valley a unique and charming area. To allow its destruction under any circumstances would threaten that uniqueness and the overall feel of the community. In particular, allowing its demolition for the sake of new construction that is physically uncharacteristic of the neighborhood (in terms of both size and style) would create a significant disturbance to the architectural character of the area -- and would be a tragic mistake for the neighborhood as a whole.
 
We've previously communicated our objection to the Planning Department regarding the demolition of this historical asset of our neighborhood. We've further submitted a detailed report that refutes the points made by the preservation architect hired by the project sponsor and illuminates the glaring errors on his evaluation.
 
The earthquake shack at 369 Valley Street is no more greatly modified than the Landmark No. 171, another earthquake shack, which even according to the City records, was altered to have an added porch and bay windows. To deem this structure as "greatly modified" and not worthy of its current Historic Resource status is a convenient exaggeration that should be dismissed upon a simple comparison to the modifications done to the Landmark No 171.
 
The neighborhood is united in opposition and we urge you to lend your support to us. Please help to stop the demolition of a piece of our history and preserve the architectural integrity of our neighborhood.
 
Sincerely,
Ozzie Rohm,
Co-Founder, Protect Noe's Charm
 
cc.
John Rahaim, Director of Planning
Jeff Joslin, Director of Current Planning
Tim Frye, Preservation Coordinator
Tina Tam, Senior Preservation Planner
Justin Greving, Preservation Planner
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