Market & Octavia Plan: Pre-Adoption Workshop Public Comments(2)

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Market & Octavia Plan: Pre-Adoption Workshop Summary

Community Public Comments - Group Discussion

  • Universal Design, ADA accessibility, for open space and residential uses?

  • Will there be a lot of demolition?

  • 2 questions - how can you say you don't anticipate demolition when you outline replacement rules? How do we know this won't lead to luxury condos and how can you make a plan without doing a historic and tree survey?

  • How does this (historic survey) contribute to the economy and revitalize the area? You think HP has historic value?

  • How do you define a neighborhood as transit rich? I don't think this neighborhood is transit rich, especially considering recent service cuts. How will you protect locally owned businesses?

  • I like the plan. Thanks for getting the survey done. What about pedestrian issues at Oak and Fell?

  • Are you using Census data?

  • What was the criteria to choose the plan boundaries - why wasn't lower height part of the plan area?

  • Haight Street feels left out.

  • I've been involved, this is a change in zoning - it doesn't say what's not going to happen, we need more good planning like this in the city.

  • Dolores Street resident - we aren't included and we don't want to be impacted by overflow parking in your area - we'd like to preserve our views of the 'militant' statue and the Mint.

  • Thanks AnMarie and John. I'd like to advocate for adoption of the plan.

  • I am from Mission Dolores Neighborhood Association and SafeCleanGreen. How willing is the Planning Department to be flexible with different neighborhoods? I think our neighborhood is a unique situation in our neighborhood, I think we need more parking than other parts of the plan area. No survey - designate districts - .

  • Will there be a re-zoning once the survey is done? Transit is currently under stress, and this plan is built on more transit - how is the interagency effort going to make this work?

  • New College - Planner - advocate that the current use of the UC Berkeley site remain - we have visions of community uses and a campus. There is already a lot of housing in the plan area. Green economy.

  • Disappointed that the parking numbers are raised (cheers). C-3 (recent parking legislation) was a compromise. Higher parking ratios are a gentrification tool. Stick with the community plan. Also I'm not sure about big ugly buildings that could produce more wind, I want assurances that the new development won't be ugly and create more wind.

  • What are the specifics of the new parking controls?

  • DTNA - we are 20% of the plan area - our neighborhood is working with John and AnMarie - they're listening to us - the survey is great, elated they're talking about funding and a monitoring process. We'll have more discussions with them. The devil is in the details.

  • What are the plans for pedestrian improvements on specific corners?

  • Are trees part of the historic survey? And what kind of development can we expect in the next three years?

  • Nothing endangers HP resources like lot sizes and height limits. What does it mean to fully integrate the results of the survey - specifically will heights be changed?

  • Timing of the survey, how does it work into the plan?

  • Historic Preservation thoughts - what are the impacts of a re-re-zoning to land owners and building owners - perhaps we shouldn't re-zone until the survey is complete. Or we can put a moratorium on any sales or destruction of building over 50 years old. The plan doesn't go far enough in getting transit improvements done.

  • Generally I'm a huge fan of the plan - I'm frustrated at how long it has taken to get to the pre-adoption - largely because of the traffic analysis - I'm concerned about delaying it for the Historic survey - the interim controls are quite effective. Also I'm concerned that the design guidelines will force a boring interpretation of Victorian architecture. Also I'm concerned about small businesses.

  • SPUR representative - Commend the department on a exceptional plan. Adopt the plan and implementing zoning. I'm an architect with interest and professional connections to historic preservation, the plan does what it can, there are not a lot of surveys, don't delay adoption. Transit - there is an ongoing MUNI planning effort. I think Van Ness and Market are a great place for heights and not one story donut shops.

  • Parking, concerned about a loss of community work. Concerned about democracy. C-3 (recent parking legislation) was downtown shenanigans. Transit - height buses can be improved through small improvements - I'd like to see explicit language. Happy to see impact fees and parking benefits districts.

  • Big developers paying for this big money. You want this plan. What about Noe valley - developers must do surveys. Big boys and their big toys. Small buildings are a valuable resource for this city.

  • Tourist love Victorians and small retail - that's their economic value. If you're just going to put up ugly buildings than I'd rather be able to see the city hall dome. Please don't force architects to struggle with the context of Victorian - allow for reinterpretation, contrast, emulation etc.

  • SoMa is neglected. Give more consideration to the southside.

  • This is great - you guys deserve a vacation!


Community Public Comments - Written


  • My major concern with plan is the reduced parking requirement, especially for larger residential projects. All of the available street parking shouldn't be absorbed by apartment dwellers to detriment of other uses. I live in the neighborhood, i use public transit but i also have a car (garaged in my building). I cannot work without a car. Don't make it impossible for people with cars to live in the new buildings. Other than this one concern i think the plan is terrific.

  • There is no justification for increasing parking maximums above the draft plan levels. The parking controls do not need to be the same as c-3 (m-o is a finer grain neighborhood). This applies both to non-residential and residential uses; and need stronger language on unbundling parking costs from housing costs.

  • The plan's "downtown" parking comprise instead of what community wants is problematic.

  • Parking requirements are not adequate in light of the fact that transit improvements will not be in place soon enough. Larger residential buildings should have min. Requirements for parking costs borne by developers. In-fill such as "central freeway parcels" in particular, presently supplies a major amount of public parking in Hayes St. Central area, which will be lost. New plan requires no parking and even discourages it.

  • More underground parking available! Neighborhood will be "land lock," if no parking!

  • The Safeway on Market & Church is the only grocery store for many neighborhoods. There is always a lot of traffic on Market St circling around the store on the weekends waiting for a parking spot. Can you build multiple-story parking structure for the Safeway and make sure the entrance to the parking lot is in a strategic location with clear signs? And since you plan infill the Safeway's parking lot area are you reducing the number of parking spaces?

Transportation & traffic

  • Major, mass-transit corridor along Van Ness should consider light rail system, although transit-only corridor in plan is great and may preserve this option.

  • Rescind the morning tow-away zone on the north side of oak. It allows for fast traffic. It is dangerous for pedestrians trying to walk down the narrow sidewalk. Stop putting car commuters and speed ahead of public safety.

  • Why does the city continue to ticket/tow cars parked on the north side of oak st between Octavia and baker every weekday morning? This results in cars speeding down Oak St since they are given 4 lanes. The same cars do fine in the afternoon with 3 lanes of traffic on Fell St. Removing parking adjacent to the narrow sidewalk results in residents parking on sidewalk. This makes it impossible to walk down the sidewalk without either 1) stepping out into an active lane of fast-moving traffic, or 2) climbing over the hoods of parked cars. The land use committee voted to rescind the morning tow on oak over 6 months ago, but the dangerous situation persists, why? Speeding traffic heading east on oak only to come to an abrupt stop at Buchanan is senseless and dangerous.

Historic preservation

  • Adopting the Market and Octavia plan without a comprehensive historic and cultural resource inventory to guide the zoning and height changes is incomplete planning. Without the survey, the plan's adoption should be an interim one, with a demolition moratorium for buildings over 50 years old or those, which are found to be culturally significant. This would incentivize the survey's adoption as part of the final plan.

  • Please contact Supervisor Dufty's office to insure that the PUC program for historic light fixtures (after utilities are under-grounded) is 1) on track and (2) properly reflected in the Market and Octavia Better Neighborhoods planning.

  • It's discouraging that any building over 50 years old is considered historic. There are plenty of buildings in this area that are ill-used and ugly, and the thought that they must be frozen in amber for eternity does not do justice to this vital and living city.

  • The meaning of "fully integrate results of historic survey into this plan" needs to be spelled out now. The plan needs to say now that clusters of historic buildings may have height limits lowered when survey is done.

  • The historic character and resources for the M&O neighborhood need to be preserved for the present & future.

  • Historic preservation is ok - a bit overkill. The plan should ban garages in historic buildings and districts?

  • This plan will do more for historic preservation if passed than if it waits for the survey to be finished. Current development pressures are more dangerous than the fear that interim historic study area provisions will not be adopted in the future. Adoption of the plan offers more protection to historic resources than existing laws.

  • It is unclear who is doing the historic survey.


  • Answers at the forum about what will be done about tall heights for buildings in windy van ness corridor were unclear.

  • UC has a long-term lease with AF Evans development to develop mixed income rental housing on the former UC extension campus at Laguna St. AF Evans is subleasing a portion of the property to open house a nonprofit that is building senior housing and services welcoming to LGBT older adults and their friends. It provides a great location to serve LGBT seniors and the broader senior community. The refinements in the Market and Octavia plan must be sensitive to the proposed height limits on this site-the Dec. '04 policy guide placed the height limit of '85 feet which will allow this height density 80 unit senior housing to work on this site. This would be in peril if it were down-zoned to '40 feet height limit.

Community facilities, parks & open space

  • I'd like to see Asian inspired park with fountains at Brady Park (bamboo, etc.).

  • Better, people-friendly uses for under freeway between Mission to Valencia, bordered by bamboo to hide freeway.

  • Encourage commercial, people-friendly strip along Otis and Gough (between Otis and Market).

Housing people

  • The forum was unclear about how gentrification will be addressed.

  • Residents & neighbors need to express their thoughts and feelings about the gentrification of this San Francisco downtown residential neighborhood district.

  • I support the UC extension site being prioritized for housing per the current development proposal. This plan provides a mix of market-rate and subsidized rental housing stock on a transit rich corridor. The proposed project is planned to be lead certified, green construction. A 20,000 sq. Ft. Park is included and proposed to be available to the general public at no cost to the city. It will even be maintained by the project. A community center is also in the plan. Historical restoration and retrofit on the significant buildings is included. A part of the project includes housing for LGBT seniors, an acutely under-served population. This is a wonderful example of thoughtful urban infill and good urban planning.

  • I find it unfair and unreasonable for the planning department to state "discourage the merger of units" without stating possible exceptions. I own/occupy a very tiny 2-unit cottage which was originally one unit. The divided units are so small that they barely qualify as a "habitable" unit based on the building code. Combined, the unit would still be sub-standard in size, but much safer from a fire egress perspective. I fear that your blanket statement may make it impossible to combine my units legally, even though no tenants are impacted. I raised this concern early on in the better neighborhoods planning process (both verbally and written), but to no avail. Why?

Public benefits / uncertainties

  • Lack of clarity about the benefits to people living in the plan area now.

General comments about process & support for plan

  • It's exciting to see a plan promoting a neighborhood-supported vision of the community. The democracy of the project was evident in your presentation. As a lower-Haight resident excluded from the area, we are envious and feeling forgotten by many city services. Interesting that Dolores neighbors support preserving low development levels that other poorer neighborhoods envy. Great work!

  • Applause should be given for the many years of planning and the process of implementing a framework that has been further developed and will outline a strategy and a series of implementing actions for necessary community developments.

  • Overall plan is still great with some exceptions.

  • Overall the conceptual elements of the plan are great w/some exceptions.

  • Visuals and presentation were good.

  • I like the new changes and additions, including historic survey. Get it passed!

  • I love the M&O neighborhood plan!

  • The economic impact of the Market & Octavia neighborhood re-vitalization needs to be considered.

  • This is a great forum for not only those people who are highly involved in community planning but also for those who are new to the subject and interested in learning more. I really enjoyed the information and plan to become more involved.

  • Presentation was very good. Very responsible workshop and forum. Might need more of these? Considering how resistant people are to change, this going very well! I am very pleased that a public agency is putting so much time and thought. Lets get the rest of county to follow suit!

  • Call the 'new' neighborhood South of Market-West? Around 9th is now called in planning documents 'Western SoMa', which I guess becomes WeSoMa - as a general description this works, but then mustn't we call our new neighborhood 'Far Western SoMa', or FaWSoMa? How far can we stretch this Manhattan recycling effort? For a new neighborhood, maybe use the old city name: The Hub, which also describes its place and function. Or make up something sexier like VanGough, after the two streets that cross the grid here? Or even call it Brady after the Brady Block? It needs a real name, it's own, one that belongs.

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