April 18, 2013

Noe Valley Town Square Clears Major Hurdle

The San Francisco Rec and Park Commission met today to consider (among other things) whether to endorse the purchase of the parking lot from the Noe Valley Ministry. Via Todd David:
I'm happy to report that the Rec and Park Commission unanimously voted today to recommend the purchase of the Noe Valley Town Square to the Board of Supervisors!!--(A HUGE SHOUT OUT TO THE APPROXIMATELY 20 NOE VALLEY RESIDENTS WHO SPOKE IN SUPPORT OF THE TOWN SQUARE.)

The recommendation from the Rec and Park Commission is for the Board of Supervisors to approve $4,242,500 from the Open Space Fund for the purchase and remediation of the Noe Valley Ministry Parking lot (Noe Valley Ministry would receive $3.9 million and the additional $342,500 would be used for remediation of the lot that used to be a gas station.)

Earlier in the week, Supervisor Wiener introduced legislation that will allow the Board of Supervisors to act upon the Rec and Park Commission's recommendation--namely purchase the Noe Valley Town Square!

Next on the calendar for the Town Square is the Board of Supervisor's Budget and Finance Subcommittee on Wed May 22nd. And then a final vote by the full Board of Supes on June 4th.

In other news, RNVTS submitted its concept proposal for a Prop 84 Urban Greening Grant from the State of California. The concept proposal requests $722,916.00 for development of the Town Square. Rec and Park staff took the lead on this concept proposal and did an amazing job!

That's all the news for now. If you or your friends have not donated to the Town Square, now is great time to do so: http://noevalleytownsquare.com/pledge/.
The SF Examiner caught up with the story just prior to the hearing and added a few more details:
“The site has already clearly demonstrated its positive benefits,” said Rec and Park general manager Phil Ginsburg. David’s group has raised nearly $500,000 in donations to pay for amenity improvements at the location, and the residents’ organization and Rec and Park have applied for an additional $720,000 state grant.

The residents hope to add two play areas, a stage for musical performances, additional trees and a more permeable surface to replace the asphalt, David said. The farmers market will remain a centerpiece of the space.

Rec and Park hopes to acquire the lot by July 1, and until the funding arrives, it will act as an unimproved public open space, Ginsburg said.

Supervisor Scott Wiener, whose district includes the site, introduced legislation Tuesday that would enable the purchase.

“This has been a truly bottom-up, grass-roots effort led by community members in Noe Valley,” Wiener said. “Their ongoing commitment proves how much this neighborhood needs this park.”
[NVSF: Town Square: A Giant Leap Forward]
[NVSF: Noe Valley Town Square: Concepts]


Anonymous said...

Are donations tax deductible?

Todd David said...

Residents For Noe Valley Town Square is a fiscally sponsored program of the San Francisco Parks Alliance (SFPA).

SFPA is a 501(c)(3) organization, which makes donations to the Town Square project tax deductible.

Of course, you should check with your accountant/tax expert to confirm that a donation to a 501 (c)(3) organization is tax deductible for you.

If you have any other specific questions, feel free to email me directly at todd@noevalleytownsquare.com

Todd David

Anonymous said...

I know I will probably get lots of flames for my comment, but here goes. I am VERY happy this new public space is about to happen.

But I hope it is designed and for use by ALL of the public. As a single person with no children, I hope this new plaza does not get overrun by stroller parking and tons of kids. It also should serve as a quiet, relaxing place to hang out,read, enjoy a coffee, talk to friends.

The Upper Noe Rec Center is a wonderful place for kids and the stroller brigade, but the kids play area is VERY noisy, as it should be. Let's not just turn this new plaza into another play area for kids only.

Todd David said...

Our goal is to make the Town Square a public space for everyone to enjoy. Creating quite spaces within the Town Square seems like a reasonable request.

If the acquisition receives final approval from the Board of Supervisors, we will hold community meetings to discuss how we can make the Town Square a space where all Noe Valley residents can recreate as they please.

Thank you for being willing to express your concerns in a constructive manner.


Anonymous said...

I do hope that Noe Valley continues to be a place inclusive of families. In my opinion, Noe is one of the few areas in the city that tries to accommodate families. I really appreciate the attention to the needs of all people in Noe, regardless of age. It's a nice contrast to SOMA where, for example, the waiter once looked over my children and asked me and my husband if we needed a "table for two" when there were clearly four "people" in front of him, brought water for just me and my husband and not our children, and then proceeded to bring a water bowl and treats to a couples' dog sitting next to us.

Given that San Francisco has the lowest percentage of children per capita compared with all other major cities in the country, I'm thankful that there is at least one place (Noe Valley) that cares about children and is happy to hear them play. Please remember that they do represent roughly 23.7% of the U.S. population - of course not in San Francisco (only 13.4%) where many families are driven off or scared off by the high cost of living and issues related to education and space for children to play.

So I do agree with Anonymous that the space should be thoughtful of all ages, and so I hope that this will not become a place where "quiet" is more important than inclusiveness.

Also, there are MANY, MANY places to have a quiet cup of coffee in the city. I'm thankful for the few places where it is not only ok to bring children, but welcome.

Anonymous said...

Why does EVERYTHING have to revolve people and their snotty, bratty, ill-behaved children in this neighborhood? There is a park and the rec center already.

The breeders really should get over themselves. They did not discover Noe Valley. Perhaps, they should spend some time teaching their children manners and how to behave before demand that the rest of us cater to them all of the damn time.

What about some off leash dog area here? If not, you will never see a dime from me.

Do you have EIR study? What about the impact on the surrounding neighbors when you remove more parking AGAIN?

Anonymous said...

I am the original Anonymous who commented about the new plaza being for ALL people. At the same time, I did say I hope it does not get overrun by JUST kids and the stroller brigade. And I did NOT say "quiet" should be more important than other things. But I do hope, as others would agree that this is basically a passive, peaceful bit of open space: let's not OVERDESIGN it with too many amenities: most important, I feel, are seating areas, lots of green and landscape, permeable paving for the market, and good lighting for night time use.

And to be fair, the Rec Center is the primary play area for kids and families. Let's keep it the main destination.

Carol said...

Amazing hard work, political capital and good luck have resulted in Noe Valley getting this opportunity. Thanks to all the people who worked to make this happen. I'm sure it will be a space that will be used by everyone all week long.

Anonymous said...

To all the commenters whining and whinging and moaning and groaning about kids in Noe Valley (or in San Francisco, or anywhere, really), get over yourselves or go move to the suburbs. I hear out in the 'burbs you can get a house with a yard so you can sit in happy, quiet, isolation. The rest of us, with kids and without, understand that living in a city means tolerating all types of people of all ages. This animosity towards "breeders" is downright ignorant let alone intolerant. Let's celebrate that the Town Square is becoming a reality and will be delightful for Noe Valley residents. All of them.