April 19, 2013
Push For New Public Open Space About To Pay Off Over In Noe
The years long push to purchase the privately owned parking lot at 24th and Sanchez from the Noe Valley Ministry and turn the space into a permanent public open space with trees, play areas, and space for the fixture Saturday farmers market is about to pay off and out.
Aiming to close escrow by the end of June and unpave the parking lot to put up a little paradise, San Francisco's Recreation and Park Department is planning to spend $4.2 million of its open-space fund to acquire the parcel.
First Published: April 19, 2013 10:30 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
This is awesome.
No merchant heckling claiming how the removal of their precious parking space will make them bankrupt?
NV needs wider sidewalks, more places for people to gather.
Posted by: lol at April 19, 2013 11:25 AM
it's early days yet. it would be fairly astonishing if this thing sailed through without some sort of opposition to the loss of parking.
Posted by: david m at April 19, 2013 11:34 AM
I recall when the Noe Street Plaza was shouted out 3 years ago.
Posted by: lol at April 19, 2013 11:40 AM
Sounds great. Isn't this where they hold the weekly farmer's market?
Posted by: Michael at April 19, 2013 11:48 AM
The difference, of course, is that the Noe Street Plaza was a stupid idea used as a stalking horse for this plan, which is OK as far as it goes I guess. Honestly, I could never figure out whether it was ever OK to park in this lot.
Posted by: EH at April 19, 2013 12:35 PM
The property's 2012 assessed value is over $4.3M, yielding annual tax revenue to the city in excess of $50,000. And the city will spend $4.2M for the purchase, plus X amount of dollars for the conversion of the private parking lot, plus annual operations and maintenance. Does this really sound like a good idea?
Posted by: PatBurns at April 19, 2013 12:37 PM
The money is coming from Park and Rec's "open space fund" which they haven't tapped in ten years. Also, the community has come up with 500k of their own money, plus a state grant of 720k.
This is a great example of a community working together with government to make their neighborhood better.
Posted by: wc1 at April 19, 2013 1:05 PM
As a long time NV resident, there are only some areas that could use wider sidewalks, primarily the 24th St. shopping area, and more trees.
But other areas? Ever walked down Sanchez St? sidewalks there are 18' wide from front property line to curb. Huge swaths of barren concrete with far too fewer trees and curbside planting. One of the most treeless streets in our neighborhood.
It's changing and getting greener, but far too slowly in my mind.
The City should find the funds to plant and maintain trees in the public way.
Posted by: futurist at April 19, 2013 5:45 PM
It's funny that the sidewalks (18' mentioned above) are viewed as a public way. I understood to be the truth, until, the spran-can wielding city officials came clanking through my neighborhood marking X's on any piece of flat concrete that looked older than 5 years. Those sidewalks are residents' property and have to be maintained and paid for to maintain/upgrade to meet city standards. Very expensive. Very painful. and the city is on a tear. Has anybody else been on the receiving end of this responsibility.
Posted by: jeff schlarb at April 19, 2013 9:43 PM
@Jeff: It has nothing to do with the age of the sidewalk, it has to do with them being a trip hazard. So if your sidewalk is broken or displaced, yes, you need to fix it.
And it's not very expensive or very painful.. Couple hundred bucks.
Posted by: R at April 20, 2013 7:17 AM
@futurist: FUF will help you plant your trees for close to free. We put three outside our house on 15th St.
Posted by: Lawn Darter at April 20, 2013 11:20 AM
Jeff - My whole block got marked up a few years ago and like R said they were all because of trip hazards created by shifting slabs. Despite being "sidewalk friendly" species my street trees are slowly macerating the pavement. It is a small price to pay for the lovely canopy though.
Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at April 20, 2013 6:31 PM
There you go Polk Street Merchants, that is how win-win negotiating is done. I sincerely hope that you can be as successful.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at April 21, 2013 4:56 PM
@ Lawn Darter: yes, well aware of the FUF. they do an awesome job, and yes I worked with them on my property in Noe to put in 6 street trees. some of my neighbors still refused to put in one damn tree.
As to the concrete replacement of sidewalks, here's what is a BETTER solution. You do NOT need to replace all the concrete with concrete. Get a sidewalk planting permit and put in landscaping. The code only requires a concrete sidewalk to be 6' wide. the rest can ALL be landscape and trees.
I don't know why more prop owners realize this and not just replace the concrete in kind.
This is one reason why our city is very low on the "greening" compared to other large cities.
Posted by: futurist at April 21, 2013 7:22 PM
As Noe Valley becomes more and more suburban, increasing curb cuts for garages that are being installed in many neighborhood homes will continue to create a harder edge to streetscapes since driveway space prevents tree planting.
A greenspace such as the one featured here, as well as what people like futurist have accomplished with additional street trees will go a long way towards helping the neighborhood "greening".
(My defnition of "more suburban" was taken from an SFMTA report on southern neighborhoods that have seen an increase in car usage for commuting to jobs outside of the city proper. It would be interesting to see how many garages have been added in the neighborhood in the last 10 years)
Posted by: YesToPark at April 21, 2013 7:42 PM
I think one reason more people don't plant trees is that they are then saddled with the responsibility and cost of maintaining them. This is a crazy policy and will cause us actually to lose urban trees as owners ignore the requirements etc.
Posted by: Amen Corner at April 22, 2013 9:57 AM
Agree with futurist (and kudo's to him for planting). The cost of doing trees and/or landscaping is really not that bad!
I just wish there was an easy way to convince some of the owners of the large multi-unit rentals that occupy most corners in Noe. Those are the places that seem to have lots of concrete / sidewalk which could most use some trees or landscaping modifications. I know it'll cost $ and that comes directly out of their business (rents), but neighbors would probably even pitch in some $ to help.
Back on topic: big congrats/thanks to Friends of Noe Valley / Weiner / SF Rec and Park / NV Ministry!
Posted by: DanRH at April 22, 2013 11:29 AM