As we outlined a couple years ago, plans for an 80-unit townhome development to rise on odd-shaped, 1.72-acre parcel on the hillside above the Laguna Honda Reservoir, between Clarendon Avenue and Warren Drive, were approved back in 1972 but building permits for the site were never requested and the entitlements for the development expired.

Six years ago, a meeting was held with Planning to discuss re-entitling the development of the parcel, a parcel which is technically only zoned for the development of one single-family home (RH-1) but could possibly be subdivided, up-zoned or developed by way of a Planned Unit Development if conditionally approved, but nothing new has been formally proposed, much less approved.

While the un-entitled parcel returned to the market with a $8.9 million price tag two years ago, touting “a unique opportunity to design and build” a multi-unit development on “one of the last undeveloped parcels” in Forest Knolls, the parcel never sold and the LLC that owned the parcel was foreclosed upon.

For those wondering how new developments could possibly start to pencil in San Francisco without a radical drop in the cost of construction and/or affordable housing requirements, here’s a little hint: the 1.72-acre parcel is now back on the market as “868 Clarendon Avenue” with a slightly reduced $3.5 million price tag. We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

14 thoughts on “Hillside Above Laguna Honda Reservoir Reduced 60 Percent”
  1. This is a rare time I’d prefer to see the less dense version, more for the entertainment than anything.

    Let’s see an actual estate property in SF, complete with an in-ground swimming pool and a hiking trail.

    This would be the largest SFH lot in the city, no? I’ve poked around and never found the largest lot, but admittedly I don’t have database tools like the editor does.

  2. Given its location and habitat value, this parcel is a great candidate for green belt or open space. The adjacent hillside to the west is one of the largest areas of native habitat in the city. Have always wondered when Laguna Honda might be restored as a natural lake and the area improved as a park. Better that housing density is focused on transit-accessible areas that are under developed, not in the precious natural areas that remain.

    1. Agree with you. I’m OK with a SFH (see comment above) but I wish many of these hills had been left untouched as green space, and density put further down. Imagine the entire Twin Peaks / Mount Sutro area as being one hikeable mountain park. It would have been amazing, Instead track-home like developments in “Midtown Terrace.”

    2. It’s 0.4 miles (10 min walk) to the Forest Hill Muni station. Is that too far or not? Maybe even shorter if there’s a trail cutting through Laguna Honda. Not far for younger people but maybe too much for certain seniors? I know in NYC, a 10 min walk to the subway would be considered okay. While a park would be nice, would density be that unreasonable?

    3. I laughed out loud at the “native habitat” line. You obviously don’t know the history of SF. That whole area was mostly (introduced) grasses with the occasional clump of windblown stunted bushes until the 1880’s when Adolf Sutro planted the whole area with trees. Nothing “native” or “natural” about that unstable hillside. That area before planning was a far less photogenic version of the grasslands you can find around the Pt Reyes Headlands area. The western side of GG Heights was sand and sand dunes all the way to the beach.

      All those trees on Mt Davidson and Parnassus Heights area are about as “natural” as the Marina. To call that hillside a “native habitat” is almost as silly as the arguments used to stop the felling of the huge fire hazard eucalyptus trees in that area. Nothing “native” about those either.

      1. This here. Ocean facing hills are bald but for random clusters of Cypress trees – for a reason. They are windswept round the year. Native Redwoods are however plenty on the eastern slopes of the same hills/mountains. Eucalyptus groves are indeed a fire hazard and also a pest/invasive species that deprives grass/bush lands essential for native fauna.

      2. From Sutro Stewards:

        “California is widely known as the home to some of the largest trees in the world. Among them is the native California redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and native giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), the latter species boasting the largest single living tree (by volume) in the world. Here in San Francisco, a unique microclimate, windy conditions, and sandy and serpentine soils have precluded the area from having an extensive native tree canopy, let alone producing the aforementioned “big trees” found in other parts of the state.”

        1. You can get a redwood grove going if the saplings are shielded for a few years/decade. Once they take deep roots they can survive the wind. Shielding behind homes (or Pine trees) is the main reason you’ll find some redwoods on the western slopes.

  3. This is a case where the City should buy the parcel. The City is broke but it’d be nice to see some deep pocketed SF residents step forward and purchase the site – keeping it as permanent open space.

  4. The problem with this parcel is the ROW is over 1662 feet away. That is a lot of road, curbs, sidewalk, street lights, water lines, sewer, electric etc to be constructed without a housing yield. The project at 402 Dellbrook makes a lot more sense.

  5. To the last paragraph; Yes that is a way to do it, land and lots and fixers costing a whole lot less. Would love to see this, it will take a while to come to fruition with low carry on those and “recent” comps to say a bigger dollar figure might come back.

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