The Japantown “Better” Neighborhood Plan Organizing (nee Steering) Committee held a meeting last night to “share information on the status of the plan and to develop effective steps to incorporate community input into the process.” 68 somber souls showed up – people expressed their opinions but it was nothing like the Chernobyl that occurred in Golden Gate Park when they tried to charge admission at Strybing Arboretum to everybody not born in San Francisco, or something.
As it looked at the JCCCNC at 1840 Sutter Street:
Can you see some of the themes of the evening? Click to expand:
Here’s the takeaway – the Organizing Committee is aware of a little blowback over The Plan. In the words of one attendee, “There was a feeling that these issues weren’t fully explored.”
O.K. then, but realize that there’s no developer chomping at the bit to start digging, and there’s no Environmental Impact Report yet, and the Planning Department hasn’t assigned the 20-hour-per-week worker to get going on things, and the Board of Supervisors hasn’t voted yet, etc. So it’s all going to take a while. And The Plan will change.
Al right, what’s on the mind of The Community?
Well, parking for one thing. The Community Wants Parking during renovations and after. So, if you tear down the underground parking garage and lose 700 spaces, where is everyone going to park? What’s that you say, Transit First? Yeah, they’ve heard of that concept, but they don’t accept it. So, an inadequate parking situation will “kill the merchants of J-Town.” That’s what they’re saying.
(By the way, did you know that the Cathedral Hill Hotel (the former Jack Tar Hotel) on Van Ness is going to turn into a 550-bed hospital one of these days? Is there worry about the 2500 employees “on any given shift” stealing the parking spaces that belong to J-Town? You bet.)
And where would the merchants go during the renovation time? Would you want to shut down Webster Street and put in temporary structures complete with running water and electricity? Would that be following the post-Loma Prieta earthquake Santa Cruz Model when businesses set up in temporary buildings? Yes. Would the developer pay for that? Maybe yes, maybe no.
And There You Have It.
Look forward for another meeting before year’s end. After that, who knows?
Come and learn about the status of the Japantown BNP Draft Plan and how to get involved in making it responsive to community needs. The Japantown BNP Organizing (formerly Steering) Committee is hosting this community meeting to share information on the status of the plan and to develop effective steps to incorporate community input into the process.
The agenda for this meeting will include:
* Summarizing the Draft Plan.
* Reviewing the Planning Commission Resolution approved on June 25.
* An update on the Planning Department’s proposed workplan and funding for the next 12-months of the plan process.
* Getting the community involved in reviewing and improving the Draft Plan.
* General questions.