62 Souls Attend this Morning’s Japantown “Better” Neighborhood Plan Meeting

Comes now The Govmint (federal, state, local, whatever), the very same one that assisted with rounding people up back in ’42 (we’ll never use your tax or census information for this purpose, unless of course we feel like it), the one that participated with the Redevelopment that began back in ’48 (“unsuccessful and regrettable“) and went on for a good loooong time. Government is back at it again with the Japantown Different Neighborhood Plan. (You can’t really call it “better” yet – as that remains to be seen, right? Just like every other Plan, this will end up being good for some people, bad for others. But let’s leave Orwellian language aside for now, moving on…)

Despite a delayed Environmental Impact Report (EIR), the San Francisco Planning Commission will take up this Plan as soon as June 2009.

Overarching Goals:

Spring 2009 Update.

Check it:

One possible Future:

The gritty nitty:

The Japantown Task Force and the San Francisco Planning Department will host a community meeting on the Japantown Better Neighborhood Plan on Saturday, April 25, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, 1840 Sutter St. in San Francisco Japantown.

The public will receive an update on the Better Neighborhood Plan schedule, which is almost done, and hear a presentation of the plan’s recommendations.

There will also be a presentation on Geary Bus Rapid Transit’s newest options for the Japantown/Fillmore area.

Attendees will have time to learn more about the recommendations at topic stations and then ask questions. Coffee and a light lunch will be served.

Over the last two years, the Planning Department and the Japantown BNP Steering Committee have worked with the community on deciding what physical improvements, community support preservation strategies, and zoning updates are needed to secure Japantown’s future.

A few highlights of the plan’s 20-year vision for Japantown include:

• Strategies for cultural and historic preservation
• Design guidelines and zoning controls for new development
• New open space along Webster Street
• A vision for the future of Japan Center
• Strategies to strengthen community organizations and businesses
• Safety improvements for pedestrians
• Improvements to and maintenance of existing open spaces and sidewalks
• Prioritization of community facilities in Japantown’s core

Since the last town hall meeting, Planning Department staff and the BNP Steering Committee have been meeting once or twice a month to develop the plan’s recommendations.

They are in the process of writing the draft plan and are seeking input.

For more information, call Bob Hamaguchi of the Japantown Task Force at (415) 346-1239 or Rosie Dudley of the Planning Department at (415) 575-9068, or visit http://japantown.sfplanning.org.

After 23(!) focus groups, things are winding down. This is your last chance to speak your piece, else you’ll be obliged to forever hold your peace…

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One Response to “62 Souls Attend this Morning’s Japantown “Better” Neighborhood Plan Meeting”

  1. KM says:

    Japantown needs a strong merchants association that can keep the restaurants and shops in line.

    There’s a lot of bad food in Japantown served in bad restaurants by people who couldn’t care less about the food and culture, all they’re interested in is making a buck. (And I’m just talking about the JAPANESE restaurants, not the Korean ones.) Even the bento food in Nijiya is made by people who don’t know real Japanese food (hint: they speak Spanish.) The people at Isobune are downright embarrassing when they say, “Shymasay”, instead of “Irrashaimase”. I want to just stop them and tell them to not even bother.

    I’d also like to see some cracking down on outside cultures in Japantown. Korean is the obvious one, but I’d also like to mention this creeping Hawaiian nonsense. Japanese = Hawaiian? Um, no.

    It’s difficult to address what’s wrong with Japantown without getting into the ethnic component. Many, if not most, of the Japanese restaurant owners are Chinese. These are the ones where the food is the worst. (Compare Sanppo or Kushi-Tsuru to Takara, for example.) How do you go after people not offering an authentic experience without looking like you’re racist? People have a right to ow and operate whatever business they want, but how do get these people to clean up their act?

    Oh, and Minny’s needs to be obliterated. Any place that sells pizza and french fries in the same combination is so far out there it shouldn’t be allowed to operate anywhere.