Letter to NBBA Members, re: Central Subway Project

Dear Members,

You may have been approached and told that the North Beach Business Association is not actively involved in fighting the proposed extraction of the Central Subway machinery scheduled to take place in the heart of North Beach.


When the MTA gave  the first North Beach merchant presentation to the NBBA in May, we were also the first to sound the alarm about the potential devastation that the project would cause in our neighborhood. We rushed to immediately schedule a general meeting, co-sponsored, with the Telegraph Hill Dwellers, so that all of you would have the opportunity to hear the details of the extraction project. Many of you attended this joint meeting which then led to additional meetings regarding the project.

Since then, NBBA board members have been in constant contact with Supervisor Chiu’s office, working with him to try and find a satisfactory alternative which would not destroy the economy of our neighborhood for a minimum of two years. We have also attended every neighborhood meeting regarding the situation.  We would like to thank Marc Bruno for his leadership in organizing meetings and doing extensive research on the subject of the Central Subway extraction project. His participation has been invaluable .

After much discussion and soul searching, the NBBA has concluded that it may very well be necessary for a lawsuit be filed to force the City to conduct a new Environmental Impact Review for the extraction process as the original one does not adequately address the potential impact this project will have on North Beach. To this end, we have decided to provide funds to retain the law firm of Susan Brandt-Hawley, a well-known lawyer who works exclusively on environmental cases such as ours. She has an amazing track record. If you are interested in researching her, her firm’s website is preservationlawyers.com.

We have been informed that, if we actually pursue a lawsuit, a minimum of $50,000 will be required to be paid to Ms. Brandt-Hawley. Your board has voted to contribute funds, along with the requirement that matching funds also be contributed, to retain Ms Brandt-Hawley and get the ball rolling. Our financial pledge and the matching funds have been made but much more funding will be needed as we move through the phases of this complicated process. More funds need to be raised and NBBA will be actively working to procure more donations to continue funding our case. We would like to thank Ms Brandt-Hawley who has already donated quite a bit of her time and expertise pro bono and feels we will have a good case moving forward.

We urge all of you to consider sending checks directly to the Brandt-Hawley Law Group, Chauvet House, PO Box 1659, 13760 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen, CA 95442. Be sure to note on your check that you are providing funds for the North Beach Central Subway extraction lawsuit. Any funds not used by the firm will be returned directly to the donors.

This is not a time for people to be divisive within our community. We are facing a huge crisis and we need to stand together as one voice to prevent the destruction of our neighborhood and merchant corridor. We hope you will join us in this fight. Please keep an eye out for more e-mails and updates as the situation moves forward.

Please feel free to contact anyone on the board via email or call us as well (415.989.2220).  We want to hear from you!!

Many thanks,

The Board of NBBA