Noe Valley Voice April 2012

Short Takes


Richard May of the neighborhood association Friends of Noe Valley sent us this update on the Noe Valley Garden Tour.


Garden Tour Set for May 19

Nine gardens have been selected to be on the 2012 Noe Valley Garden Tour Saturday, May 19, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The gardens range across Noe Valley from 23rd Street to 30th, Hoffman to Dolores. Six are owner designed and maintained, and three have been created by professional designers—Janet Moyer Landscaping, Michele Schaal, and Shape of the Earth.

Most of the gardens are well established, but one is brand new, showing you how to be realistic about where your new garden will start as well as what it can become. All nine will be on view for $18 general admission, $14 seniors (65+).

As always, net proceeds will go toward Noe Valley beautification projects. This year, the two selected are the garden at Alvarado Elementary School and tree-trimming at Upper Douglass Dog Park.

Tickets will go on sale Saturday, April 28, at local merchants and at tables set up outside the Noe Valley Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. Tickets will also be available online.

Volunteers can earn a free ticket by working a two-and-a-half-hour shift, which means greeting touristas at the garden entrances, checking tickets, and selling any new ones needed. To volunteer, email the Garden Tour project team at Shifts are 9:30 a.m. to noon, 11: 30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and 1:30 to 4 p.m. Let us know which shift you prefer; we’ll try to accommodate you.

Sponsors are also being solicited to support the costs of producing the tour. If you’d like sponsorship information, e­mail

Two neighborhood organizations have already offered to sponsor a shuttle van between the gardens for those who need a ride. Big thank yous to the Noe Valley Merchants and Professionals Association and to the Noe Valley Association, Noe’s community benefit district made up of property owners along 24th Street’s shopping corridor.

The Noe Valley Garden Tour is an annual project of Friends of Noe Valley. This is tour number seven! For more information on Friends, go to

—Richard May


Easy Breezy Pronounced Cool

You never know what tasty morsel you might find in the often starchy menu of the San Francisco Planning Commission.

An interesting one appeared last month in connection with case number 2011.1283C—an application for a special permit to open a frozen yogurt shop called Easy Breezy at 4028 24th St.

The request from Ariel and Durand Ford was to operate a self-serve business in a 616-square-foot space that has been vacant since Cosmic Wizard went poof last July.

What caught our eye was a planning department analysis that counted up the number of restaurants and bars in Downtown Noe Valley.

In a June 2010 survey, the city found 36 such establishments on 24th Street between Chattanooga and Diamond streets. That represented 22 percent of all the occupied commercial frontage along the strip.

When city planners revisited in February 2012, they reported that the numbers were exactly the same. So a green light for Easy Breezy would bring the total to 37, or 22.5 percent of the bars and cafes.

The latest survey also declared that 24th Street had a “slight over-concentration” of locations for eaters and drinkers.

Still, a small shop like Easy Breezy would have “negligible” impact, the February report said. “Furthermore,…Noe Valley is gaining a reputation for providing popular eateries, a defining characteristic, which contributes to the economic strength and vitality of this district.”

At the March 8 hearing on the subject, a dozen local businesses and residents testified in favor of the shop, which proposed to be open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Ronit and Zachary Bodner of Dolores Street asked the planning commission to fill what they said was a void along 24th Street.

“The only thing that is missing in this area is a dessert place,” they said.

The board agreed. At the end of the meeting, the commissioners unanimously approved Easy Breezy’s application. The Fords are hoping for a June opening.

—Corrie M. Anders