A look at neighborhood issues

Last month we tried a new format for the monthly Marina Community Association (MCA) column; rather than delve deeply into a single neighborhood issue, we summarized the items that were addressed by the MCA board of directors. Not surprisingly, we ran into space constraints before we covered the complete agenda, but the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. So, we’ll continue with the format this month.

MCA General Meeting: The MCA it putting together plans to host a general meeting of all members and interested Marina residents. This will be an excellent opportunity to discuss the ongoing issues that affect our neighborhood, meet your neighbors, and learn more about the MCA. The plans are not finalized yet, but the event is tentatively planned for an evening near the end of April and will likely be held at Moscone Recreation Center on Chestnut Street. Be sure to watch the MCA website at for more details.

The Presidio Trust: The Presidio Trust completed the programmatic agreement (PA) for the Main Post near the end of 2010 and it was subsequently approved by the appropriate signatory agents. As a consulting party, the MCA had the option to sign on to the agreement to continue our participation in the development process, or withhold our signature and be dropped from further involvement. Neither option would have any direct impact on the content of the PA itself.

The PA, in its final form, represents a compromise of various interests. The Contemporary Art Museum was removed from the plan and the proposed lodge was scaled back from its original design to be more in keeping with the historical context of the Main Post. Nevertheless, some of our members would prefer to see the lodge completely eliminated, and other aspects of the PA are likely to raise additional concerns.

Ultimately, the MCA board of directors felt it was preferable to stay engaged in the process where we might still have some input on the development plan. We clarified our position with an appropriate cover letter, and signed on to the PA. That action allowed us the opportunity to review and comment on a draft of the proposed design guidelines for the Main Post that are currently under consideration.

Buses in the Marina: The MCA continues to receive input from residents in the Marina expressing concern about large tour buses operating on restricted streets in our neighborhood. The buses seem to fall into two categories, those that serve as corporate shuttles and frequent the neighborhood on weekday mornings and evenings, and tour buses that are more likely to be operating on weekend evenings.

The MCA is actively collecting detailed information on bus activity and is asking all residents to participate whenever possible. In particular, if you see a bus with a seating capacity of eight or more operating on restricted streets, please make a note of the time, date, location, and if possible, the license number and operator of the bus. Send the information to For more details on the bus-spotting project, please visit the MCA website.

America’s Cup: The America’s Cup sailboat race is coming to San Francisco in 2013. The event is likely to generate international attention and will draw numerous visitors from all over the world. As the home of both the Golden Gate Yacht Club (the 2010 winner) and the St. Francis Yacht Club, the Marina is going to be the center of attention for the event. That also means that Marina residents need be prepared for a lot of activity in our neighborhood. The MCA hopes to play a role in the planning process to ensure that the needs of our neighborhood are not overlooked.

King Edward II Inn: Plans to convert the King Edward II Inn to low-income housing for at-risk young adults continue to raise concerns among Marina residents. While the proposal is still undergoing environmental review in the Planning Department, the building itself has already been acquired by the Community Housing Partnership, the organization sponsoring the project. The most agrregious change proposed as part of this project is the intent to change the zoning restrictions for that specific parcel by declaring it a Special Use District. The change will require public comment and the MCA, along with other neighborhood groups, continues to monitor the status of the project. To date, no additional hearings have been scheduled, but please keep an eye on the MCA website for more information.

John Millar is the president of the Marina Community Association, which is dedicated to protecting and improving the distinctive residential quality of the Marina District. The all-volunteer organization actively participates with government and other civic agencies for the betterment of the community. Please feel free to contact the MCA at or visit