Ready for a puzzle?

As described in Neighbors Work Together to Oppose Outdoor Seating at La Urbana, La Urbana has put up a public notice declaring their application for a permit to put a 14-table, 36-seat late night customer seating area outdoors on the public sidewalk near private residences at Grove & Divisadero. The notice must be conspicuously visible for 10 days, to give the neighboring residents time to oppose the permit if they wish.

Of course, the best thing for La Urbana’s owners is if the neighbors never see the public notice. If neighbors don’t see the notice, they can’t oppose it. That’s why San Francisco Public Works Code sec. 176.3 says,

“Notice of Intent to Place Café Tables and Chairs shall be posted in a conspicuous location in a window or other readily visible location of the frontage of the applicant’s business establishment for 10 calendar days. The notice … shall be clearly visible from the public sidewalk, court, alley or street and not obstructed by awnings, landscaping or other impediments.”
(emphasis ours.)

So we have this law to make sure we know about the permit application, and have a fair chance to oppose it. It’s pretty important.

La Urbana put up their public Notice of Intent to Place Café Tables and Chairs on November 24.

Ok, are you ready for the brain-teaser? Let’s go!

The La Urbana “Find The Public Notice” Brain Teaser

These photographs show a wraparound view of La Urbana’s entire business frontage on Tuesday, November 28, while the public notice was posted.

The puzzle is this: look closely at all the photographs. Can you find the “clearly visible“, “not obstructed” location where they posted the notice to give the neighbors a chance to weigh in? (answer at bottom after photos.)

Did you find it? No? Let’s pull back, and see the view from the east side of Divisadero (where there are over 30 apartments with windows that face this sidewalk) and from strolling down the north side of Grove Street.

Did you find it now? You want to look once more before we show you the answer? The place where they posted it IS in these pictures!

When you’re ready, scroll down to see the answer.

2014-11-28 15.20.34 copy


That’s right! It’s inside the doorway, angled so it’s not visible outside the doorway unless you stand within a limited area of the sidewalk stretching a few feet to the west and then only if you’re facing into the doorway and looking down, low enough to the ground that parked cars block it from being seen from the street or opposite sidewalk, and completely hidden from any viewpoint to the east of the doorway, where most local foot traffic (Divisadero St.) and many overlooking apartments are.

Thanks for playing!

—Your reluctant neighborhood activist

About Author: GroveResidents.org
A community point of contact for issues & discussions related to the rights of tenants and homeowners on and around Grove Street in the Popeye's Gulch neighborhood of San Francisco, CA