Category Archives: quality of life

Progress Report on the Food Park

Artist's rendering of the SoMa "Streat" Food Park

Got a note the other day from the architect for the project: “Despite everyday being another day in the Continuing Education of Bureaucracy, we are not going to be dissuaded form completing this project. We are months behind our original schedule, who would think parking trucks in a parking lot could require so much Municipal oversight?  Continue reading

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8 Reasons why an entertainment zone won’t help 11th Street

The Western SoMa Task Force worked long and hard on its Arts and Entertainment element and overall I think we produced some very positive changes for the entertainment industry. But some people are not satisfied with what we achieved and are arguing, once again, for the establishment of an entertainment zone (a so-called “special use district”) to be established along the 11th Street corridor.

There’s gonna be a little meeting to plot strategy on Wednesday night at the Beat Box, and guess what? The neighbors aren’t invited. How ironic. Gavin Newsom did the very same thing to us about fifteen years ago, for the very same reason, at the very same location.  Continue reading

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Revisiting entertainment: new nightclubs, okay … new housing, not?

At this afternoon’s Planning Commission presentation of the Western SoMa Community Plan, it was suggested during public comment that the light  industrial zoning south of Harrison Street be extended into the 11th Street area because, under that new zoning category, entertainment would become a permitted use. The Task Force liberalized the zoning because new housing in the SALI (Service, Arts and Light Industrial) district would not be allowed.

That would be an interesting switcheroo. Housing, currently as-of-right, would suddenly find itself a non-permitted use and entertainment, grandfathered in as a legal, nonconforming use, would become a fully permitted use. The Planning Commissioners, often sympathetic to fun sounding notions — particularly if they are not personally impacted — might very well consider making the swap. Continue reading

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Skate park under freeway undergoes environmental review

The long awaited skate park under the Central Freeway touch-down ramp is one step closer to reality. The Planning Department recently issued a “Notification of Project Receiving Environmental Review” for the proposal, which includes the skate park and a mini-park, with basketball courts, play areas, a dog run, lighting, plantings and a pedestrian walkway. The construction is being managed by the Department of Public Works (Frank Filice, 558-4011, is the project manager), with funding coming from the sale of parcels along Octavia Boulevard. South of Market is finally getting something positive out of all those years of demolition and freeway construction.

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Neighborhood notification required for “limited live performances”

You have the right to request notification of all applications for the new Limited Live Performance permit within your neighborhood. The stated purpose of the legislation is to allow principally permitted uses such as cafes and restaurants to supplement their current business model with accessory entertainment. Supervisor Mark Farrell amended the ordinance to require that the Entertainment Commission “provide a copy of all Limited Live Performance Permit applications and the corresponding public hearing notices within a specified geographic area to any Person who, in writing or by email, requests such and identifies the area. Continue reading

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Who tagged the Children’s mural?

One remnant of the Children’s Village at St. Joseph’s that’s been preserved is the mural on the side of the building facing Tenth Street. The mural was recently defaced with graffiti. Presidio Knolls Schools currently runs a Mardarin immersion program at the site. School officials have tried all the usual remedies to remove the tag but it’s a metallic paint which resists most solvents. Continue reading

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Office project proposed for St. Joseph’s church site

The beautiful St. Joseph’s church at 10th and Howard Streets has sat vacant since the Archdiocese abandoned it after the 1989 earthquake. The stained glass has been stripped from the windows and a population of pigeons numbering in the tens of thousands has called the place home for much of the time since then. Continue reading

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11th “StrEAT” gourmet food court proposal isn’t quite dead yet

The indefatigable San Francisco bureaucracy hasn’t beat Carlos Muela and his family yet. “We’ve hit quite a few hurdles but have decided to continue,” he said today. The latest rendering of the “SoMa StrEAT Food Park” shows a village-like cluster of eleven food truck vendor stalls on the U-Haul parking lot at 428 11th Street, Continue reading

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Alley improvements coming to Minna, Natoma and Ringold

Transportation Authority staff will be conducting a door-to-door survey of residents and business owners on Ringold Alley this week to help complete the Western SoMa Neighborhood Transportation Plan. They’ll also be posting storefront displays at seven locations around the neighborhood describing the Minna and Natoma and mid-block crossing improvements. Continue reading

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Planners seek input on public realm improvements for Rincon Hill

After the Rincon Hill Plan was adopted in 2005, the Planning Department drafted a streetscape plan to implement public improvements in the neighborhood. The MTA Board approved all of the street changes in 2006, but the Master Plan document itself was never finalized or adopted by the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. Continue reading

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