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tv   [untitled]    April 21, 2011 5:00pm-5:30pm PDT

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square feet of new open space in one of the densest areas. and by doing this, we would be able to expands and improve and optimize the play areas and allow the new children's play area, which is over 3,000 square feet bigger than the existing children's play area to meet new safety, a.d.a. requirements, new features, such as game and picnic tables, provide additional landscaping and seating areas. those are seating areas, which is something that's definitely come up through the process and just plain old green space and i'd like to put another view of the model. i think this also kind of illustrates how now you can actually pass through the park by closing mason street to vehicular traffic, by creating a plaza between the two spaces. that's a little dark.
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but basically you would now be able to move from the library through the park through the new playground and have views of both tennis courts and the multiuse area used by basketball players, roller skating, soccer players, by softball on occasion, but many, many, many different sports and people, kids learning to ride their bikes, that's one of the things people talk about in the planning process as important. so i just wanted to mention those things that are really, really important to increasing open space at this park. the current -- and the last thing i wanted to mention is that the new two-story library design at 701 lombard street would accomplish collection and service functions in the community meeting room with after-hours access on the second
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floor. this is an important thing for all naineds across the city and this would allow for that in this design in a smart way. so we appreciate you taking the time to consider all the motions before you and we'll -- we're willing to answer any questions. >> thank you. i'd like to open it up for public comments. we have three speaker cords -- cards. joan woods, pat tura, allen edwards. >> yes, here i am again, joan wood, i live about a block away from the site we're talking about. it all looks very nice on the overhead.
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>> i need you to speak in the mic. pull it to you. >> thank you. i need a will the of help, don't i? they don't tell you this building is bulky and will look something like that. they also don't tell you rec and park doesn't have any money to revive the playground that's phase two of this project. it started out as a library in 1988 and we were told 24 libraries were going to be renovated. it's transformed itself into something entirely different in march of 2008, when rec and park saw an opportunity to do renovations on the playground but they don't have the money to do it.
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they did donate this lot and this is where i come in, i was part of a very fierce struggle in 2003 to take this lot away from developers and the reason we took it away from developers is that we didn't want three-story condos, period. it's as simple as that. the library would be very ugly if it were allowed to go forward. mr. betner produced a letter in 2003 and he accompanied it with some material from the general plan and part of that said that in the general plan, in the recreation and open space element, policy 4.4 was to acquire a development for open space and residentable neighborhoods, giving priorities to areas as an open space.
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i think everybody agrees that north beach is one such area. proside open space for neighborhood commercial districts. most times, when the city employees come up here, they start talking to you about a park. there isn't any park. there isn't any park in the plan, period. it's just a playground. it's not a park. this plan is not going to make it a park. >> good afternoon. my name is pat, i'm here to speak on behalf of the playground. there were a number of comments made earlier regarding the shrinking of the playground and the loss of joe dimaggio baseball area.
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currently, that space that is the baseball section of the programming now is smaller than regulation and it is not used for baseball. people go and practice hitting balls and with the current design, as you can see, that space still exists. people will be able to play just as they always have. so it's not like there was a resource of joe dimaggio baseball that is being lost. the programming was well vetted in the public process early on to see what the public wanted in that programming for that space and that has been maintained in addition to enhanced with the new children's playground. thank you. >> thank you.
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>> good afternoon, commissioners. my name is evelyn, i'm a longtime san francisco resident, a park user, park supporter and library user and library supporter, although as you can tell from the book i'm reading, i refer reading e.i.r. i very much support this master plan and i urge you to certify, approve, whatever the wording is these three things inside a, b, and c so the master plan can be implemented. thank you. >> howard long, friends of the library. i submitted a letter earlier, the last paragraph should be read into the record.
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the ordinance for changing the zoning should not specify use for the new north beach library that is not compatible with such zoning as inappropriate to specify in the zoning ordinance. also the construction on the city street we all recognize is contrary to the san francisco general plan and probably likely, if understood clearly by the average resident, wherever they are on any street, any district if they understood clearly that a neighbor adjacent to them would be constructing into the sidewalk or street, i think one would recognize most people would oppose it for various reasons and that needs to be clearly thought out in how that is communicated rather than having many models and
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renderings which tend not to show property lines. the alternatives available to mitigate these issues need to be evaluated. the general master plan is a very beautifully presented drawing. as an architect, i appreciate the high quality of workmanship in the model rendering, the drawings, the computer generated drawings. but i recognize there's a certain salesmanship in any type of drawing you present in evaluating the square footages of the master plan versus other plans, it turns out that because of the introduction of much circulation, that the master plan has much less square footage that's useful than other designs. in fact, the current, existing open design with a large joe dimaggio softball field, at which he did play, contrary to the e.i.r.'s attempt to separate
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joe dimaggio from actually having been at the playground as historically untrue he did play there almost every day. he learned to play softball there as many, many generations have. he play -- the playground can have much larger square footage of recreational space even without the mason street closure, which i am not advocating one way or the other, but if one were to look at the triangle and playground itself and how one could reorganize it, preserve the library, preserve open space at the strategic corner intersection of lombard and columbus that one could gain much more open space, not have any impact as far as environmental impact and i think that's the best solution. >> any additional public comments?
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>> thank you. the previous speaker talked about views and another previous speaker, perhaps carried away by a certain passion, talked about them as well. i observe a simulation of a walkaround of that library that the architect presented at a separate meeting and it was interesting because if you drew in a pie chart the walkaround in my opinion, and i was watching for this plarly because i had been alerted to the loss of views down mason street as pointed out by a previous speaker and by mr. bradley wide mimbings re, the circle was not complete but left out a slice of
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the pie. the slice of the pie of the full circle view was that view down mason street, which would be a view that would be obstructed as you've previously heard when the new library, looks like bigger than two stories, when that's installed. the drawing that had been provided to the public have not shown clearly how much that library impinges on what would otherwise be sidewalk space and street space. i think mr. widemire showed 19 1/2 feet out of 67 feet, so between a quarter and a third of the corridor is being obstructed by considerable mass that's pushing into that space. i think that that's just one
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example of the way in which the, you like, sales pitch has been going, so as to not make the public aware and anybody else who is trying to review this of the real impact of this proposed building. so i urge you to consider those matters particularly as i'm describing the view, the impingement on the view, and other material that has been presented to you by myself and others previously. thank you. >> is there any additional public comment? seeing none, public comment is closed. commissioner moore? commissioner moore: i'd like to express my preeshyigs for the view the architect gave us. as i said in other projects it's important to take ever aspect of the project, walk around the block, see how it influences
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design is the way the commission can understand what's intended here. while there are some bold moves which some people are not happy with, and i emphasize with people feeling that way, i do believe that what we get balances with what we give. i think it is a strong and convincing move to let the library participate and i personally have not, despite looking at it, have seen benefits of the old library and while the architect who designed this library is a good architect, we'll have a number of more outstanding examples of his work preserved in the city under the proper us a pises of historic preservation. this particular library doesn't -- perhaps i don't use it
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enough, it doesn't have the qualities of the other works being observed. i am in support. i would like to ask the architect a few questions, if i may. all land use for the latter spaces of the project, tennis court, softball, baseball, multipurpose, hard scape, are horsontal land uses but they are vertical sports. and in some of the park and recreation's vertical sports areas, inadvertently, there has to be an edge protection so that baseballs, tennis balls, whatever they all are, don't fly into the public who walks on the sidewalk. i am trying to ask you, how are you going to ensure that the
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neighborhood has maximum visibility of the sports and not get an opaque border along greenwich and haul street? >> i have a representative of the park with me. this is one case where the park as a site is very beneficial because of the grade changes, which you can see well in the physical model here. we can tip it up if that would help. because of the topography changes, the park is below the powell street sidewalk and along greenwich street, there's a buffer, and then there is maybe a fence, a transparent fence, around the property for security at the site, which would also help in keeping the balls out of
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the public way and in the final park plan that you see in this model, tennis courts are actually located, again, below the sidewalk level of greenwich. >> thank you for -- commissioner moore: thank you for explaining that. i thought rec and park used the open space on larkin and broadway and in that situation an open cliff which is fun to watch, because there's a lot of activity and it's a very colorful, animated corner. i appreciate your explaining that and i think that's what i was concerned about. >> commissioner antonini. commissioner avent nene: thank you -- commissioner antonini: thank you for a wonderful presentation. as you know, we preserved a number of appleton libraries, we reserve -- preserved a number of
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those in marina, and in my neighborhood, i think they were probably a little better suited to their -- the use as this one. number two, it's kind of appropriate that we are considering something for the joe dimaggio playground since this is the 70th anniversary of his 56-game hitting streak and there's a great book out now called "56" that talks about that, but it doesn't just talk about the streak, it paints a good picture of 1941 and what was going on in san francisco and new york and throughout the united states. in fact, some people commented that we should erect a statue of diimagine yow at the playground, i think that would be a great thing, i'm sure that would fit into the plan someplace, the giants have put up statues of some of their players, but
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diimagine yow never played for the giants. the other issue is the distribution of the hard scape playing area and i do notice that they left people from the softball diamond, cut about 141 feet shorter and then right field remains at, i'm guessing at 260 to 270. aisle not sure what that length is there. but in any case, you know, if there would be a way to preserve as much as you can, although this area will be used for many different sports, of course, and it would probably be softball or you know, really little guys hitting a tennis ball, up to maybe third or fourth grade where they can't hit it too far so it's a little too small even today for adults to be hitting a softball particularly to left field. so i mean, if there's a way to perhaps redistribute the tennis
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court so maybe there are only two there and one in the other direction or something and keep that hard scape. i think it's important to kids when they're growing up to be able to go out there and play ball and have a little room to do it. but that's, i think, a minor thing and i'm sure it would work within the present plan which is very nice -- a very nicely laid out plan. and i like the library, the design. i think as long as it's con tekt yule with the neighborhood, that's important but i think having a lot of light and open as you see it, as a beacon coming down columbus that will be really good. i like the two-floor option. obviously the more, while still be consistent with the height of the rest of the buildings in the area, the more height you can put in and of course you have issues with accessibility but the more you can pack into less space and leave more space for playground, for bocce ball
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courts, for tennis and all the every uses you want to put in there, i think it's well worked out. >> commissioner miguel? >> i have the pleasure -- commissioner miguel: i have the pleasure of chairing the recreation and open space committee 10 or 15 years ago when this was being discussed, actually. so it's good to see it come to fruition. on the other hand, i worked with the library on at least two of their historic renovations and went with the entire plan and this is the end of that plan. it sort of brings me full tilt on both counts. this is in my mind an excellent job of putting together two land use situations for two different city departments. that basically serve the same
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public. and bringing them together in a manner that hasn't always been done. many times, the libraries have dried to work on land use with school departments, some have been successful, not necessarily so, sometimes the cooperation between the city departments has not been what the citizens would really like to see, the collaborative effort here is greatly to be commended. and although i know rec and park does not have their full funding as yet, hopefully this will be an impetus. >> commissioner sugaya. >> commission -- commissioner sugaya: under the introductory language, it says that we'll be changing it from neighborhood commercial etc., and it goes on to say, for p.,
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public, and o.s., open space, for the new north beach public library. is it customary to mention a specific use? or would it be better to have it say, change to p. and o.s. for public use. rather than mentioning the library specifically? >> john mallman from the city attorney's office, that's actually just a finding for the support in the change in legislation so the actual zoning map doesn't say we're doing that, that this is done for the north beach library and in fact, the finding is clear it would be for a new public library or other public use. so it's sort of an expansive observation of what kinds of uses zoning can support on this
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site. >> following that argument, then, can we reword the resolution on -- if i can figure out what section we're in. vacation. it says for purpose of the north beach public library and joe dimaggio master plan, can we add other public use in there? >> john mallman from the city attorney's office. technically, the street vacation legislation is not before the planning commission. you play a role in that you are getting the general plan clearance to allow the vacation to go forward. i'm sure that we could work something out with the legislative sponsors so sort of expand that finding in the
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street vacation legislation so it's similar to defining it in the zoning legislation. >> that would be -- i would be more comfortable, if you could keep north beach public library in there, but following the argument for the zoning change where you have wording that says or other public use would seem appropriate to me. i'm just throwing it out there as a suggestion. we don't have a motion yet. >> i don't understand the reason that your question -- commissioner sugaya: because it's a specifically targetted use and i'm uncomfortable, if this zoning is to last forever what if the library gets demolished in 50 years like the prevent one. >> commissioner fong. >> wit, i'm not done. -- wait, i'm not done.
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on the interpretive display for mitigation monitoring, it says library, rec park shall approve a permanent interpret i have display at or near the site of the former north beach library. i suggest we change that wording and say, display should be in the new library. >> commissioner sugaya, do you have any more to add? commissioner sugaya: no, i'll offer those as amendments when it comes up. >> commissioner fong. commissioner fnchings ong: -- commissioner fong: i grew up in the area, still work in the area, i think that the pilot program that we endured was a great way to prove that folks still could get around to fisherman's wharf, business did
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not significantly drop off, if at all. i think this would all be a great public space, meeting space, and enhance traffic into the water front. i am in support of the project and also realize that while it serves the people who live in the telegraph hill area, it also serves chinatown and if you look at the people using this facility, it's very diverse. >> commissioner borden. commissioner borden: most everything has been said. i support the project and i'm moved to approve the seqa finding as well as the general plan consistency findings and the request for zoning amendment. >> i'll second but i'd like to separate the issues. >> ok, what would you like to separate out?
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>> i'd like to separate out the seqa findings. >> we have to do the seqa findings motion first. i move the seqa findings mokes and separate the others out for a second motion. >> second. >> did you want to speak to the seqa findings? >> i wanted a clarification, if i may, i'm not sure where it falls, that it's from the city attorney in response to collections about clarification of use in the long run, in the long, long run, 60 years, 100 years, beyond the life span until the new library becomes a historic building, i want to make sure that the view corridor which recognizes the former mason street alignment and gives those people who are coming down mason street and do see the bay,
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that that will not be kind of diminished by what commissioner sugaya is asking. it needs to be more clearly expressed that in that previous easement, there's no encroachment on what the library does because that corridor still is the view corridor which all people who live up on mason street coming from russian hill, that's their first view of the bay but also further reinforces the historicness of columbus and all other streets which come in there. >> all i was saying is just add open space in addition to the north beach