Civic Design Review Committee - December 20, 2021 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
December 20, 2021 - 2:00pm


Monday, December 20, 2021
2:00 p.m.

Remote Meeting via video and teleconferencing


Commissioner Stryker called the meeting to order at 2:02 p.m.

  1. Roll Call

Commissioners Present

Kimberlee Stryker, Chair
Yakuh Askew

Yiying Lu
Abby Schnair
Paul Woolford

Staff Present

Joanne Lee, Deputy Director of Programs
Alyssa Ventre, Commission Secretary
Paris Cotz, CDR Program Associate
Maysoun Wazwaz, Manager of Education and Public Programs

Commissioner Schnair joined at 2:03pm


  1. General Public Comment


There was no public comment.

  1. Golden Gate Park 9th and Lincoln Way Gateway Project – Single Phase Review

Alex Schuknecht, Project Manager, SF Recreation and Parks

Nicholas Ancel, Project Designer, SF Public Works
Winnie Chang, Landscape Architect, SF Public Works

The project went through concept approval at Rec and Park Commission in 2020. In keeping with Rec and Park Department’s strategic plan, the project goals are as follows--incorporating master plan recommendations, increase pedestrian safety, maintain an iconic entryway, orient visitors with signs and wayfinding, strengthen connection between the park and Inner Sunset neighborhood, and produce a durable and sustainable design. The team described the project site to be at the corner of Lincoln Way and 9th Avenue.

The project team described the history of the project and their community engagement process, where they learned of other functional issues such as lack of seating and overgrown vegetation.

The project team proposed to use natural materials, fine grading, and native plants. They explained the additions to the site, which included irrigation, new lighting, specimen trees, curb ramps, crosswalks and a new entryway marker. The plant palette will be all native plants with a focus on biodiversity as recommended by Rec and Park Garden staff. Flowering capability and grasses are of high importance when choosing the plants. There will be no formal seating, so the oval stone walls will act as informal seating. The project team will push the bus stop further west for more room at the entrance. There will be one park entrance sign. After hearing from the community, the project team will create more level space with minimal obstruction to allow visitors more direct access to the park. This new large space is for people to orient themselves, with stone stairs on either side.

Commissioners appreciated the low-key and elegant design solution offered and had questions about whether the team would be able to turn off the irrigation, and the team answered that the park system would have control of that. The commissioners followed up about whether the team had considered adding extra lighting into the walls and steps. The project team responded that inlay lighting in the park was discouraged by the park staff, as they have a difficult time maintaining it. The three extra pole lights will add additional lighting at the edge of the park for safety.

Commissioners also had questions about the trees, specifically if any existing trees would be affected by the new design. The project team explained they will be removing a large eucalyptus, which commissioners agreed was a good idea. The team will be planting Arbutus Marinus (strawberry tree) in the specimen ovals, which will develop a large canopy over time.

Commissioners also commented on the oval stacked walls and suggested that the team look at them as a canted sliced cone instead of tube. Commissioners expressed that this would bend it a little more toward modernity. The team added they are considering widening the so that it would be more generous as a seating surface at lower sections.

There was no public comment.

Commissioner Woolford, seconded by Commissioner Schnair, moved to approve the Single Phase Review of the Golden Gate Park 9th and Lincoln Way Gateway Project.

The motion unanimously carried by the following vote:
Ayes: Stryker, Askew, Lu, Schnair, Woolford


  1. Stern Grove Playground Renovation Project – Single Phase Review

Steven Tucker, Project Manager, SF Recreation and Parks

Leo Miller, Landscape Architect, Miller Company Landscape Architects
Jeffrey Miller, Landscape Architect, Miller Company Landscape Architects
Maya Nagasaka, Landscape Architect, Miller Company Landscape Architects

The team stated that they are currently in the community engagement phase of project development and have so far hosted an online survey and community meetings. The expected completion of the project is Winter 2023. 

The team stated that the project location is along Sloat Boulevard, two blocks away from the Stern Grove main entrance on 19th Avenue across 21st Avenue. The team explained that the playground has need for improvement, especially the rusted chain link fence and the overgrown planting. The play equipment and landscaping will be improved and more seating will be added.

The project team described their community engagement process and the responses from the community members. The community members wanted to see nature-inspired play towers that supported a variety of activities such as climbing, sliding, and swinging. The team set the following goals based on these responses: maintaining original location, ADA accessibility, and a challenging variety of play spaces for children.

The team explained their design for undular seating would be a space for caregivers to sit comfortably in the playground. Park users will enter on a wooden boardwalk, which will float over the historic stone wall. There will be a nature exploration area to the north of the site. The play towers will be made of black locust timber, which is very durable and strong, a rot-resistant wood, stained with pops of color. The play towers will be custom designed to have different levels of activity and ways of circulating. The playground will be covered in turf and there will be a native plant palette.

Commissioners applauded the design and use of community input and interaction. They had questions about the number of swings in relation to the size of the space. The project team responded that there will be a nest swing and two belt swings.

Commissioners also had questions about the fencing to which the team responded that the new fencing will be square welded wire mesh, and the boardwalk will have a rope and net guardrail. The commissioners expressed disappointment in the value engineering of the stacked stone seating and suggested that the project team use timbers instead

Commissioners asked about site landscaping to which the project team confirmed that the planned vegetation will be shade tolerant and durable.

There was no public comment.

Commissioner Stryker, seconded by Commissioner Woolford moved to approve the Single Phase Review of the Stern Grove Playground Renovation Project.

The motion unanimously carried by the following vote:
Ayes: Stryker, Askew, Lu, Schnair, Woolford

Commissioner Woolford left at 3:04pm.


  1. Visual Arts Committee Updates

Commissioner Schnair shared two projects--the first by Sarah Sze is the last piece to be installed at Moscone Center and the second by Michael Bartalos for the Ambulance Deployment Facility.

No public comment.


  1. Staff Report
    Joanne Lee, Deputy Director of Programs, SFAC

Deputy Director Lee shared an update on the Buchanan Mall Project that came to the CDR in September 2021. The project team received conditional approval and was requested to come back in three months to present more information on the memory walk and micro enterprise kiosk. The team reported to staff that funding for the memory walk was from Prop 68, and that the State is two months delayed in their announcement of grant awards. The team will come back to CDR in Spring 2022. Deputy Director Lee informed the committee that the kiosk is temporary--it will be up for less than two years--so it doesn’t require review by CDR.

There was no public comment.

  1. New Business and Announcements

There was no new business or announcements.

There was no public comment.

  1. Adjournment


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 3:58 p.m.


Posted 12/29/2021 at 3:00 p.m. pc

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