As proposed by Christian Church Homes, and much to the chagrin of neighbors, the Forest Hill Christian Church and adjacent school at 250 Laguna Honda Boulevard will be leveled and a five-story building will rise across the 1.6-acre site, with 149 units of senior housing, a 62-car garage and a new church/community center within its walls.
While the Planning Department’s preliminary review of the plans, which was just completed, “supports using this large site that is within 900 feet of underground and bus stops for senior housing,” it also supports saving the Forest Hill Christian Church, “an exceptional, rare, and intact example of Expressionist architecture in San Francisco and a local monument of mid-century modernism west of Twin Peaks.”
As such, Planning’s preliminary review suggests relocating the church building on-site, with enough space left around the church “to allow it to be seen and appreciated.”
In addition, the Department is recommending the proposed development be redesigned so that it doesn’t form a “street wall” near the road and incorporates the wooded setting into its design, “perhaps incorporating a massing strategy more akin to pavilions rather than a slab along the street frontage, more like a campus.”
Also noted, the site is currently only zoned for development up to 40 feet in height versus 49 feet as proposed, which would require a legislative amendment to change. And a Senior Housing Special Use District (SUD) would have to be approved as the site is currently only zoned for a single-family home.
In other words, it’s back to the drawing board for Kava Massih Architects and Christian Church Homes.