tv [untitled] September 13, 2010 1:30pm-2:00pm PST
enumerated in the legislation, particularly around seismic strengthening, disability access, etc. we don't want owners to get some sort of lottery like windfall from being able to sell t.d.r.s, that they should make at least some initial investment for necessary work that happens and then after that, it's up to the owner to decide how to use those funds. supervisor maxwell: yeah, that is my concern that we are giving them a value. and for that value, we are simply asking that the property be maintained. and i think that that's only right since it is public money and the public is doing that. so thank you very much. all right, colleagues and supervisor chiu. president chiu: as a said at the beginning, i want to make the motion that the language in subparagraph two, in subparagraph 2 and 3, references to preservation and rehabilitation, that the reference to maintenance also be added and then in subsection
three, in the first line, if we could state the owner of the transfer lot. supervisor maxwell: all right. so the amend is so moved and the legislation has amended without objection, so moved. president chiu: madam chairwoman if i could be added as a sponsor for this legislation. supervisor maxwell: would you add my name as well, thank you. all right. madam clerk, next item, please. >> item number three, resolution authorizing the reincarceration and park department to accept a gift of 61,000 from the labor and construction and trains foundation to build two bocce courts on the lawn in justin herman plaza. supervisor maxwell: all right, let's play ball. supervisor chiu first please. president chiu: thank you, colleagues. this is a resolution they had introduced after being requested by a number of parties in my district and in the city and this is an accept and spend with regard to a gift
from the laboror easy local 261. i want to thank the laborors for not only making this gift, but also really setting up a wonderful training program for folks who are coming up through the ranks. i see some individuals that may be part of that i also want to thank other private sector neighbors that were part of this wonderful idea. when i was approached about this, i had asked about neighborhood outreach. substantial neighborhood outreach was actually done before the introduction of this resolution, particularly of neighborhood groups within my district, but it became apparent when thfs introduced that there were at least, there was at least one neighborhood outs of my district on rincon hill that had not been adequately outreached to and i understand in the time period between when this was introduced a number of weeks ago and today, there has been continued and significant outreach and impeach tiff of
the fact that a number of issues have been resolved. colleagues, i just want to let you know that i do have some amendments to this resolution i think to address these issues and i wanted to bring them up now so that the public is aware of that during the public comment. let me just state what these are. there have been concerns about whether this is a bocce ball court that is going to exist for the rest of time. i think the idea is for now that this bocce ball court, if we have approvals, that it maintain and i look forward to playing bocce ball there. if at some point and i will won't quote the language that i'm going to propose. in the future the city may decide to use this space that will require the removal of the courts and the donor agrees to remove the courts and restore the lawn to its original condition at its own expense if that should be the case. additional language states that the department of rec and parks
is authorized to accept the gifts on behalf of the city on condition that the donor will remove the courts and restore the lawn to its original condition at its own expense if in the future the city decides to use the space in a different manner. there have been a number of meetings between the rec and park department and a variety of neighborhood leaders to talk about the possibility of other uses. from my perspective, i certainly support this bocce ball area, but if it turns out in the future after a good planning process that there are other things that we ought to do, i and my colleagues are very open to that. so with that, i know we have a representative from rec and park to talk a little bit more broadly about that i just wanted to frame the conversation. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i'm lev kushner of the recreation park department. if we could just have the powerpoint on the screen. great. i just have a very quick powerpoint to make sure we're all on the same page.
the proposal is for two regulation sized bocce courts. the idea behind this is this will activate this plaza which is currently significantly underutilized. the use that bocce courts entail is exactly the things that the recreation and park department feels is in line for our goals for this site. it's important to note that the gift is in kind. it's actually a gift of construction and materials only. it's not actually a cash gift. as supervisor chiu just mentioned, if the city decides to use the plaza differently at any point in the future, the donor has very generously agreed to replace the bocce courts and replace them with turf. all land is to remain under city ownership. there is no land changing hands as part of this proposal. here is just an aerial site plan. you can see that the two red rectangles are the bocce courts.
that is the barkley on the top, stuart street is on the bottom. the bocce courts will occupy approximately 2/3 of the length of the lawn. just a few quick notes on the construction, which is significantly -- it's very minor. it's only excavation to one foot in depth. there is a timber edging with a redwood cap. there will be gravel and then sand to facilitate drainage with the top layer off aster shells can which is traditional use for bocce courts. there is no change to irrigation units under the lawn and no proposed structures for shade or anything like that this plan has already been through the regulatory approval process. it received a categorical exemption of ceqa. the design has been approved by the recreation and park division. the project actually began quite a few years ago. i have only been at rec-park
for under a year. there was some original outreach a number of years ago. we had the publicly notified rec park commission hearing on august 5. on august 24 in the evening, i presented to the rincon hill neighbors at infinity towers, i believe. on september 2, we actually invited some of the community members who were interested in having a playground to come meet with us at the mcclarifien lodge and we discussed with them what that would entail. we are currently in the process of reviewing uses. they are actually interested in the concrete plaza just to the south. that's just to the right of the lawn. they're interested in that space. we're in the process right now of reviewing any sort of uses that might go on on that site. we have also connected them to the neighborhood parks trust so they could perhaps get involved in fundraising and looking how to make this reality. we are definitely behind adding playgrounds. and then finally, last tuesday night, we held a public meeting
at peer one which was pretty well attended. finally, here is a list of all of the different groups and individuals who have come forward in support of this. i'm more than happy to answer any questions. supervisor maxwell: colleagues, supervisor chiu, thank you. why don't we open this up to public comment at this time. all right. kay griffin, benjamin tossi. jimmy whitaker. if you hear your name, please come on up if you hear your name. james haa is s >> i guess we weren't called in order. i wasn't expected to come first. i'm really upset about this because as an ongoing user of
this piece of parkland which i consider part of the commons. it's a downtown plaza. this is where we have a whole lot of cultural events. we have a whole lot of anti-war mars. we have saint stupids day. that's the term in this. the last piece of greenery down there we have already fenced off the other end for pinocchio and i was down there for a public event this saturday and i was really upset that i couldn't even cross the sidewalk, there were so many vendors. there was no path away to cross over to the ferry building. there was a horde of vendors. i don't think that parks and rec owns this i don't think they can just give away our public commons and claim that it's not being used. i think if they were so sure, they wouldn't have been so still think about this whole thing. i saw a notice -- somebody commented in the letters to the
editor is where i saw it and i walked around the place down there. there is no notice on the street. there are articles in the curved.com that i found who had been very enthusiastic for it who said, oops, there has been no neighborhood outreach. it needs to be more than a neighborhood. this is an essential tral city plaza. -- central city plaza. it's not just for the neighbors. it's for the whole city. it's mixed use. it's one of the very few places that i, as a senior, can sit down because i can no longer like sit down on the lawn for very long, but it's nice to have some lawn to be through, but there is a raised cement and stuff where i can perhaps wait for the bus for an hour or so which frequently is how long it takes the bus to get to there. it's behind the bus stops. if the bocce ball court goes in
there, it's really going to take over the whole space. it's not going to be useable. i will absolutely guarantee it will be fenced in no time. i think this is a very still think thing claiming that it's a gift that they're getting exclusive use to a public park for a very cheap price. that's a very valuable piece of land and i'm just furious. there has been so much privatization of our land, there is almost nothing left. thank you. supervisor maxwell: next speaker, please. >> good afternoon, my name is ben jay minute toesy. i'm the president of the club at the aquatic park. for the last six years as well as the united states bocce champion, i have represented the u.s.a. probably eight times
internationally all over the world and i definitely feel like i have my finger on the pulse on bocce in the united states and in san francisco. as far as our club goes, we used to have six courts there back when it was aquatic park was part of san francisco. later on when it got absorbed into the ggnra, four of our courts were ripped away and we were left with two courts, which they were also trying to take or get rid of until nancy pelosi stepped in and provided a protective canopy over those courts. now they're talking about our courts possibly being removed in the future because of the extension of a muni line that they want to run under the for the mason tunnel. there is a few different plans for which way the tracks are going to go, but all of the plans go right through our bocce ball courts. so we're not sure about the future of our courts. whenever i'm at our club, i
definitely, you know, see more and more people coming to the courts. we have to turn people away a lot because the courts that we have are being used and we are definitely in support of this idea to build these courts. it's a great location. there is more bocce being played all over the bay area. we have lots of kids camps at our bocce club every year. so i know that it's something that the kids do enjoy and have a great time with. and we also used to have a fence around our club, which was taken down and not having the fence has not been an issue as far as protecting our courts or keeping unwanted elements away. so i just wanted to voice my support as the u.s. bocce champion, as the president of the oldest bocce club in the nation right here in san francisco. we are 100% behind this idea and we think it would be great
for the city. thank you. >> chair, supervisors, i was chair of the committee that succeeded in getting the embarcadero freeway down, i was involved in the nine-year effort to build the roadway and the rest of the improvements near market street. i'm here today to give you some background on the area and then to kind of bring up some larger issues which were not addressed by the proposal that effect the area which, of course, is the front door to the city. the freeway, as you know, went in front of the ferry building. when it came down, the area where the bocce court is being proposed was subject to a great deal of discussion during that nine-year period and it was decided that the best use was to make it into another
performing arts, performance area. and so on the south end of it where there is a piece of concrete, that was to be the sage and the whole thing costing $3 million or $4 million was designed with the risers and others so that people could sit. then mayor brown supported the idea of putting the city's concert organ on the performance area which took three or four years to work itself out. we eventually found that the cost of doing that greatly exceeded our ability to raise money. that part was abandoned in 2004. what i have here is a rendering of the area and the performance space with the organ pavilion in the back. as you can see, this was to be -- even when the organ was enclosed, it would have a space big enough for dance groups,
theater groups and other sorts of things. after the plan was abandoned, neither rec and park which at that point in time took no interest or responsibility for plazas or squares, for the mayor's office followed up on it it sat there the way it is today. the larger issues i want to bring up are the fact that there are at least six city departments that have a responsibility in that area, plus private property owners. none of those people talk to each other or coordinate with each other and there are major issues -- that occur in that area is basically unmanaged. what really needs to be done before you deal with a tiny portion of it is that you address the larger issue of the fact that you have a plaza in the middle of the roadway which is unused. you have the issue of the street artists which the other
person mentioned which sometimes keeps things bunched up so tightly that it's hard to work through there. there is a serious issue of the homeless. i am told that the more difficult from the transbay terminal have moved there and they're trying to address them, but they're very hard to move. i can stop now or i can continue or you can ask me some questions? supervisor maxwell: do you have a point that you're trying to make? if you do, then i would like you to get right to that point. >> the area needs a community benefits district. there needs to be somebody in charge down there who can coordinate all of the parts and maintain and make sure that the maintenance is done adequately, that the homeless issue is addressed properly, that the entertainment and performing arts that are done is done in an organized and coordinated way. it's all done piecemeal now and
there is nobody in charge. and the plaza within the roadway is totally abandoned. supervisor maxwell: so your point is it needs to be managed, that space? >> the issue of the bocce ball is a small part of the larger problem that you have there. supervisor maxwell: thank you very much. >> good ivan. my name is jamie whitaker. i live in the rincon hill neighborhood. i just wanted to say first thank you to the board president, david chiu for sending this to committee. i do greatly appreciate that and thanks to phil ginsberg and recreation and parks for holding, not only coming to our neighborhood meeting at the infinity on the 24th of august but also having their own meeting, which i'm sure was a little bit more burden on a staff that has already been cut, they're not protected by setaside and having their own
meeting at the conference peer one bay, the bayside conference center. i'm indefinite to the bocce ball courts. my reason for hitting the alarm on somewhere around august 7, i believe, when i read the article in the "chronicle" which was my first awareness of this plan was the process and that has been rectified. i trust that the recreation and parks department will be more mindful of south of market residents and the needs of the residents in the future. in the building of the infinity where we met on august 24, there is 50 kids and a lot of the condo buildings, i mean, we get demonized, you're just billionaires. we only live there part-time. that's the stereotype, but the truth is most of my neighbors live there full-time. their kids need somewhere to develop their muscles. they're mostly young couples or
retired senior citizens and retired seniors have grandkids visiting them and of course young couples hit a point where they feel comfortable enough to have kids. so we have 50 kids at the infinity. in all, there is about 300, 400 kids in the neighborhood. that's called the residential towers. there is another 400 kids in daycare centers. those are located pretty close to this bocce ball court area. if you can flip to the overhead , is that the pink area is 4,800 square feet. it doesn't seem to be used for much right now. there is something called imagination playgrounds or playground in a box and other ideas that are being presented and i hope that, like i said, i'm indifferent to the bocce ball courts, but i'm glad that there have been public meetings and i'm hopeful that we can
have a playground and one that is representative of san francisco. isabel wade suggested maybe we can have tourist landmarks has playground equipment. they certainly love the spider when the spider was out at pier 14. it was a $6 million piece of art. kids were climbing all over that thing. they totally love it. i hope we're talking about a playground in the near future, thanks. supervisor maxwell: thanks. i kind of got lost with the cards, i think. so if there is anybody, james haas, earnest teen, you got a chance to speak already? teresa -- >> he hasn't spoken yet. supervisor maxwell: david osgood, chris grill, and then ms. earnest jeanne ine you'll be last. >> good afternoon, supervisors,
i'm david osgood with the rincon center tenants association. our building is the closest residential building to the site. and the city has still done no formal outreach to us. we only know about the project because of the articles in the paper and some informal networking which is not quite adequate. it's hard to give the city good marks for community outreach when the closest residents are excluded. by the way, one thing that hasn't been reported to you so far is at the meetings that have been held, support for these courts is, to say the least, underwhell -- underwhelming. the fact that they didn't mention that is rather glaring. a lot of opposition to these courts. we did a survey of our residents and found that most are fine with keeping the location green. they appreciate a bit of green on the acres of blacktop and concrete.
contrary to what you have been told, bocce ball courts will not solve any problem, nor does the area need to be activated. tens of thousands of people pass by this spot every day. now, we're not against bocce ball per se, but we think the courts need to be in a better location. courts in this location could actually make things worse. and you are really walking kind of a fine line here. on one hand, if the courts are underutilized which is what i suspect will be the case and the oyster shell material starts blowing away on the first windy afternoon, people and dogs and kids start running through it and only a few office workers use the courts a few days a week, then we'll have an eye sore that is worse than the lovely patch of green. on the other hand, if the courts become wildly
successful, this is completely predictable, you know the users will logically want the courts brought up to standard. they will want things ranging from fences to wind guards to a roof and a tool shed. all of these things that seem to exist at the aquatic park location. those are necessary for a regulation court, but totally inappropriate for ferry plaza. one thing that people haven't touched on is the covert plan to rid the area of homeless people, which i find rather cold and sneaky, but it would also fail. homeless people do not use the grassy area. i wonder, is this the mayor's latest plan for dealing with the homeless? it isn't cash. it isn't care. it's more like let them play bocce ball.
supervisor maxwell: thank you. next speakers, please. >> good afternoon, supervisors, my name is chris cruwell. i am so thankful for you taking the time to listen to a project that is being brought to you by the laborers union training foundation which i am a member. i want to thank park and rec who have been fantastic partners, particularly lev kushner who throughout the process has done a great job of working with us as we try to bring a nice amenity to a nice neighborhood that a lot of us spend every day. the main purpose, in my mind, of this project is the three students who are sitting behind me right now who are going through our training program. we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them, and it's trying to become members of the construction community that folks have been so generous in
donating their time and money to provide a great amenity for the neighborhood. what makes me feel most happy is these students will have a chance to go out and earn some money while they perfect their skills as they go through their training process. bocce ball courts are not here to save the world. they are not a solution for every problem we have. it's a nice amenity in an underutilized part of the plaza. the space is currently managed and maintained by boston properties in partnership with park and rec. they will be required to, under the existing m.o.u., to make sure those courts are kept in pristine conditions. they will store all of the materials, all of the tools, and provide all of the labor. benji tozy who i have learned it our great bocce ball ambassador and player has
agreed to help be our technical expert and he will make sure on a regular basis those courts are kept up to conditions that will allow folks to have a good time. it's an incredible accessible sport. kids as young as 4 and 5 and folks as old as 95, 100 can go out and play. they can have a good time together. that area has a daytime population, just counting the office buildings over 50,000 people. it's a very popular area on the weekends during the farmers markets. that one corner of the park continues to go underutilized. this is a great chance to activate that space. if it doesn't work, if they're not perfect, folks don't have a good time, we are on the hook to replace it to what it is now which is turf. thank you again for your consideration. supervisor maxwell: thank you. thank you for your efforts. >> hello, supervisors, thank
you for the opportunity to speak with you this afternoon. my name is teresa, i'm from the laborors local 261 and lcts. these are some of the students that will actually be working on the project. i'm here to ask you to please support this gift, not so much for bocce, but more for giving san francisco residents opportunity. with the economic times, these are folks that are like trying to make a career change and they need to get the skills and the training. so i'm just asking for your support to help our residents and to help give them some training. thank you. supervisor maxwell: why don't you come on up. thank you. >> good afternoon. my name is earnestine weiss.
i created the park. digging down 10 inches and filling this area with oyster shells will ruin the grassy area. bocce was played in another part of my park on the grass. it's favoritism of one group. it should be available for multiple groups. there is a crying need for soccer in the kids in the surrounding apartments where i represent thousands of people who live there and do not want this here for one special interest. the kids want to also play volleyball and the people who work in boston properties offices play volleyball after work over there. so if you do it for one person, that's discrimination. we can't allow that.