Please forward this to appropriate parties.

PAGODA THEATER, Central Subway Project:
Property Address:  1731 Powell Street, Block/ Lot:  0101/ 004
Demolition Permit No.:  201302190452, Filed 02/19/2013

Compared to Chinatown’s open permit process, the Pagoda’s attempted demolition without permits is symptomatic of the project’s flaw – namely, SFMTA acknowledges the project is not even necessary

-1 -2 -3 -4

NO PERMITS:  The Demolition contractor, MH Construction, has been jack-hammering, digging with backhoes, using electric saws and attempting to hide work behind opaque screens.  Each day, when asked for permits by neighbors, MH Construction makes different excuses.

NO POSTING:  There is no large poster on the building for a mandated time period, showing the granting of a demolition permit, permit application data, contact phone numbers and timelines for questions and appeals.

NO PUBLIC NOTIFICATION:  No mailing to properties within 300 feet of the site has occurred, showing the granting of a demolition permit, permit application data, contact phone numbers and timelines for questions and appeals.

NO REVIEW OF ENGINEERING PLANS:  Because of an independent geotechnical engineer’s warnings of unstable saturated soils, neighbors have been asking to review the Pagoda’s Engineering Plans.  But neighbors have had no such opportunity.  Moreover, there has been no follow-up to Neighborhood Meetings—at which a majority of neighbors asked that TBMs (Tunnel Boring Machines) be buried or extracted in Chinatown.

PAGODA THEATER, 1731 Powell St.,. Demolition Permit No.:201302190452,

If you witness illegal work without permits:
DBI Illegal Activities:  File a Complaint at (415)-558-6570.
DBI Permit Violations:  File a Complaint at (415)-558-5570.

Police Non-emergency Complaint:  SFPD doesn’t have jurisdiction but report any serious infractions.  Ask police to talk to contractors about obeying the law at (415)-553-0123Feel free to call your own contacts at DBI, Planning, City Attorneys, Board…..

 SFMTA ACKNOWLEDGES THAT PROJECT IS NOT NECESSARY:  The demolition is being rushed for political reasons.  Internal SFMTA documents show that demolition is not necessary for the Central Subway:  In SFMTA’s Risk Management Report No. 46, Risk Item 208 notes:  “March 2013:  2. If resolution of costs associated with the Pagoda option is not achieved, the TBMs will be buried to maintain budget requirements.” 

So, TBMs can be buried under Columbus Avenue, Stockton Street or Chinatown, eliminating the empty 2,000 foot tunnels from Chinatown to Washington Square and the Pagoda Project;  and saving up to $80 million – better used to quickly improve Muni throughout northern and western San Francisco.

BAD MUNI PRIORITIES:  For many years, SFMTA has continued Muni service cuts, route eliminations, shortened bus lines, deferred maintenance, switchbacks, increasing fares/ fees/ fines/ meters….  Muni has fewer riders now than it did a decade ago—the only major transit agency to lose customers among the nation’s top six transit districts.   Only 17 percent of all trips within the city are made by public transit; 21 percent are by biking-walking and 62 percent are by motorized vehicles.  Politicized management, not insufficient funding, is Muni’s roadblock for world-class public transit.   The agency has wasted funds on transit-poor projects, like the 1.7 mile Central Subway, while taking money from Muni. 

Howard Wong, AIA,  


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s