The past month has been a turning point for the neighborhood association in our
attempt to negotiate with the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development
Corporation (TNDC) on height and density of their proposed affordable housing
development at 2550 Irving Street. Even with a unanimous Board of Supervisors
amendment urging “TNDC to compromise [with the neighborhood] on height and
scale” TNDC would not meet with us to negotiate these issues. After eleven
months of imploring TNDC to work with us, we realized that without legal
pressure, there would be no compromise.
With the help of architects Michael Garavaglia and Tom Soper, we presented to
TNDC three different plans for a five story building with a partial sixth story, with
units for eighty families or individuals. On December 6, 2021, we requested, in
Superior Court, a preliminary injunction for cessation of all review and funding of
TNDC’s plans until a compromise is reached with the neighborhood. Our day in
court will be this coming Friday, January 7th . Stay tuned for the results.
As you may know, from previous meetings and information posted on this
website, tetrachloroethylene (PCE), a neurotoxin and carcinogen, has been found
in the soil and in the air on both sides of Irving St., between 26th and 27th Avenue.
PCE usually originates in dry cleaners. It has been outlawed, but it was commonly
used in dry cleaning until well into the 1990’s. The former Albrite Cleaners, at
2509 Irving and Miracle Cleaners, which was at 2550 Irving from around 1929-
1959, are, most likely, the original sources of PCE.
PCE starts as a liquid but after being absorbed in the ground may become a gas.
This gas can travel through the cracks in our home foundations and become part
of the ambient air we breathe. The Police Credit Union, under the guidance of
the Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) agreed to monitor levels of
PCE in six homes just north of 2550 Irving St., as well as under the sidewalks, in
front of these properties. We have waited for results of indoor testing for four
months and last week the results came to us from four of the six homes.
Unfortunately, all four have indoor PCE levels which exceed screening levels for
the State of California of what is potentially hazardous to human health. As a
result, our environmental experts, Lenny Siegel, and Don Moore, have crafted a
letter to relevant state and local agencies, including the State of California
Environmental Protective Agency and the Department of Toxic Substance Control,
requesting that the entire area around 2550 Irving, be listed on the Cortese List of
Hazardous Waste Sites so that a complete environmental review of the 2550
Irving St. project would be mandatory. Right now, it is not. It would also mandate
a swift and complete remediation of the toxin, PCE.
Thank you for taking the time to read this update. Feel free to contact us if you
have any comments, questions or ideas.