Greenhouse closure has big consequences

“City squeezing out plant nurseries,” The City, Nov. 29
Greenhouse closure has big consequences

I am dismayed at the potential closure of two huge resources for plants for the landscape trade due to their lease not being renewed. These are family run businesses, crucial to the trade. I have been using them since my business opened in 2003.

Not every business is fortunate enough to buy the land they lease, especially if they are not in the tech or biotech industry, and this rental situation is something that has been an ongoing issue for San Francisco. I welcome a good economy since my business depends on that but San Francisco is already pushing out independently owned, unique vendors to house their businesses and families in adjacent cities.

I have recently lost access to a metal shop that owned their family business since 1949 due to a developer. When will San Francisco embrace family and independently owned businesses that it has historically been based on. We cannot allow for unchecked growth and the tech business to run The City’s other attributes into the ground.

Please reconsider their lease and what you are taking away from The City.

Beth Mullins
San Francisco

S.F. deserves nurseries

The San Francsico green houses that provide indoor plants to all S.F. businesses are important to us. Here at Ground Cover Landscaping, we use their business daily. Nearly 50 percent of our plant purchases are provided to us by S.F. Foliage and Sunborne Nursery.

They are a tremendous resource to our community. All the landscapers, gardeners and plant stores will take a huge hit if they are forced to leave! The City needs to find a solution and assist in keeping these local businesses here.

Kasorn Piamsukon
San Francisco

Second opinion needed

As a nursery owner in San Francisco, I was keenly interested in Sunday’s article about the city-owned greenhouses in the Bayview neighborhood. I am also a customer of S.F. Foliage and Sunborne Nursery. I think it is a travesty that the SFPUC has decided to evict the three businesses and level the greenhouses. All three nursery businesses provide a necessary service to both the plant industry in San Francisco and also the Bayview community with their training and hiring of local residents. I have worked with S.F. Foliage’s Careers in Horticulture program, and it is an inspiring program designed to introduce and train inner city youth in the horticulture field. All of this will be lost if the greenhouses are demolished

I thought it was interesting that the SFPUC determined that the greenhouses were “fair to poor condition” after only 30 years of operation. I am sure that there are necessary repairs that need to be made, but I would love to know if there has been any regular maintenance of the greenhouses over the past 30 years. All greenhouses need regular ongoing maintenance to insure optimum growing and safe conditions for the workers. The polycarbonate panels on the roof have a lifespan of 15-20 years, but for the type of operation conducted by the three businesses, the panels are still adequate. I question the figures quoted for repairing and rebuilding the greenhouses. The repair costs of $12.9 million is more than enough to tear them down and rebuild new greenhouses at $113.75 per square foot. To spend $41 million dollars to to construct 113,400 square feet of greenhouses is ludicrous. $361.55 per square foot is what you might spend to build a very nice home, not a greenhouse.

I agree with Siri Datta Khalsa in that a second opinion is needed before deciding the fate of these businesses and the local community.

Tom Perlite
Owner, Golden Gate Orchids
San Francisco

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