tv Special Joint Recreation and Park - Planning Commission 5516 SFGTV May 5, 2016 8:20pm-9:01pm PDT
commissioner levitt upon, here. >> for the planning commission, commissioner fong, here. commissioner richards, here. commissioner antonini, here. commissioner moore and with you. we do expect commissioner johnson and hillis to be absent. >> if you can turn off any sound-producing devices that could go off during the meeting. everyone will have 3 minutes to speak during public comment and neither the commission nor staff will respond during public comment in order to allow equal time for all, but once public comment is done the commission may ask staff to respond to comments or questions. and, with that, we have one item before the joint commissions today. it is item no. 2 on the recreation and park commission calendar and item no. 1 on the planning
commission calendar, which is case no. 2016004634cwp, it is the downtown park fund allocation, willie wu wu wong parken -- renovation. >> the item before you today is the allocation of $4 million from the downtown park fund for the renovation of the willie wu wu wong playground. dawn efficient is going to make the presentation. i want to make one correction. the staff report, under the environmental review, it is not structurally exempt, it is categorical exemption from ceqa guidelines under section 15301. we'll make that edit.
so attached and included in your report today is the staff report from the rec park department as well as for the planning commission, a resolution. so at the end we will ask you to vote on that resolution, commissioners, planning commissioners. >> right, just to clarify it's just the planning commission that has an attached resolution. okay. >> good morning, commissioners, dawn evans, director of planning capital management for the san francisco recreation and parks department, here today to provide you with a very brief presentation on overview of the willie wu wu wong playground renovation, which is use we are proposing for this $4 million of the downtown park fund. just to review, sorry this is a very old map but it was the one we could find just showing the c3 use district. the downtown park funds are eligible for any use that provides park use for the c3
zoning district downtown daytime population. so you can see willie wu wu wong is right on the edge of the physical district but definitely we feel like still serves the daytime population of those users as open spaces are generally hard to come by in these neighborhoods. just a little bit, a few photos of the existing conditions. willie wu wu wong playground is an extraordinarily dense part of chinatown, about 2 1/2 blocks walking distance from portsmith square at sacramento and stockton. you can see from a few of these photos that the facility is very outdated and it's actually only about 6/10 of an acre. it's a very small space that we try to squeeze as much use out of as possible so it's noted for having different types of courts, it has a playground, it has a clubhouse and it's all occurring in this very tight space. so what we've tried to do through the proposed renovation is think about ways that we can
still continue to have all those existing uses but in a way that feels more integrated at the site because it's very fragmented right now. the design which we have come up with in response preserves all those uses and it adds both ada access and also to improve the functionality of the site, a bridge that kind of would connect from the top of the clubhouse across the site to the courts on the other side that border the alley the thought here is that there would be a playground underneath that sprawls, they call it discovery play is the scene that would really incorporate a lot of sculptural elements, both our standard playground equipment plus some custom items that would create a strong identity for the space. this takes the bridge off so you can see what it would look like as you look
through the site. kind of active recreation sports on the top and the bottom being focused on use and top play areas. so you've been to the clubhouse, the clubhouse is a very awkward space. it's a tall nay row box without a lot of functionality inside and that's been one of the challenges of the space. in 2011 when we were scoping the project we only allocated $2 million to renovate the space. there's been push back from the community so we tried to take account of that feedback as we developed the bond. however, as we started the community process a few months ago, we heard the opposite
feedback from chinatown neighborhood residents and their community partners saying there was very strong support given the scarcity of community facilities in chinatown to continue the clubhouse and to really try and find a way to make a substantive renovation of that clubhouse to continue to serve seniors and youth in the area. we were talking about how to reconcile that with the fact we only had $6 million available for the renovation and if we were to use those funds it would mean you would barely do anything to the rest of the site. in brain storming with stake holders and commissioner cindy wu she recommended the park funds. this clubhouse concept again is much more integrated with the rest of the site, it takes away that bunker feeling that you have right now if you are inside because there's a very tall thin strip of windows at the top so it's quite dark inside. so this opens it up to
the street on waverly and lets more light in and still has a large space at the bottom but also has bleacher kind of seating on the interior to allow folks to have spectator seating for ping-pong and also allows a place to hang out. we find the bleachers are one of the most attractive uses at our sites. we also have a top level that can be partitioned so we're increasing the square footage inside the clubhouse while we do this. so our hope is, again, we have $6 million from the 2012 san francisco clean and safe neighborhood parks bond. we're asking for another $4 million, which is our most conservative estimates what it would take to deliver a clubhouse at this site. you would have a combined budget of $10 million. if you sdaid to allocate it we
would go back to our community meetings and start construction in november. >> ready for public comment? >> november 17. sorry, just wanted to add that. >> we have from supervisor peskin's office connie chan if she would come up and then we are open for public comment. >> and a distinguished former employee of the recreation and park commission. >> thank you, good morning, commissioners, my name is connie chan, aide to supervisor peskin. he is chairing the government audit commission therefore he could not be here in person but he wanted to make sure i brought this letter of support from him. >> dear commissioners, it is a pleasure to represent district 3 which includes one of the old
eftd largest chinatowns in the united states. willie wu wu park, formerly known as chinese children's playground, is located in the heart of chinatown and has been serving our chinese american families in san francisco for many generations. it is one of very few public space and recreational facilities in a neighborhood that has some of the highest density in our city. in 2012 san francisco voters allocated $6 million to upgrade willie wu wu wong park. while the community is delighted to have the frp needed repairs to a deteriorating park, we know this budget would not allow any improvements to the clubhouse which provides expensive free services to children, youth and seniors living in the area and many of them are low income families and sro residents. without additional funding for renovations, the clubhouse would continue to be neglected. therefore, with the support from our chinatown residents
and community advocates, and many you can see behind me, i support the allocation of $4 million of the downtown park funds for the renovation of the willie wu wu wong clubhouse. i thank you in advance for your time to listen to our community's concerns and for your consideration to meeting their needs by approving the allocation of these funds. >> >> pars3 thank you . >> anyone anyone else. >> good morning, commissioners, my name is mike newman and i'm the chief officer of wu yee children's services. with that said we represent not only children but the families who have other children and what we have here is an opportunity to polish a diamond which is in the rough.
so wu yee completely throws its support behind this and we hope you do as well. thank you for your time and consideration. >> next speaker. >> good morning, everyone, i'm henry. i want to share my thought about the park. i grew up in chinatown, i always hang out at willie wu wu wong, now sometimes i go down and do outreach. every time i went down there i saw a lot of senior and little kid using the play grupbd and a lot of little kids only using the area outside, they don't want to go inside the clubhouse because the club is too old and they don't have air conditioning and no heater and no sunlight. it's really difficult for kid to stay there for a couple hour for summer program and stuff like that. each day i believe there is light people drop by willie wu wu and chill with friends and
play basketball it's so important you remodel that. i understand a lot of different parks in chinatown people, easy to go there, but willie wu wu kind of in the middle of chinatown, it's easy for seniors and disability to go there. seniors can go up there but on stockton is really convenient for them to take the bus and everything to go there. thank you. >> thank you. >> next speaker, please. >> good morning, everyone. i'm a staff from cuic community youth center and i apologize for my poorly english skill. i just wanted to share my opinion about the park and hopefully to get the fund to renovate the whole park. i work there almost every day from 10:00 to 6:00 and i saw a lot of problem or issue that we
could help it. recently one of the ladies rooms, the toilet board is missing. someone took it home or whatever. so we only down to one toilet from the two and a lot of children using the clubhouse and i mean the park and a lot of people playing ping-pong in the clubhouse because the clubhouse is leaking if you can see from the picture and a lot of people requesting more space to use a lot of children playing there with the sand and, yeah, i hope you can pass this and we can get the money to renovate. thank you. >> thank you. >> next speaker.
>> hi, everyone, my name is linda leal and i am a staff from chinese affirmative action. we are in support of additional funding for the willie wu wu wong playground. there's high density, a lot of businesses and housing and specifically sro's and these sro's have a limited amount of space where families can do activities therefore they would bring their children and family members, seniors, to go to the playground to do activities. this park is a community resource for family members to gather to do activities and whether it's little kids, adults or seniors they would go there to do different activities and to mingle with one another. it's also important to make it
accessible, ada accessible, so please vote in favor of this additional $4 million dollars. thank you. >> thank you. >> very new breath, everyone. how's everybody feeling? >> good. >> are you appreciating your breathe that's sustaining your life? because i am. my name is eddie zane, former employee for cyc consulting for cyc baby, also with cyc as a commissioner, it's a privilege for me working with the staff for cyc in the past 9 years and willie wu wu is one of those places that a lot of young people hang out. especially in the upper deck of the basketball court, when i try to engage with police officers i
always point out to them if anything happen up there nobody can see it because that's a blind spot up there. you don't get this beautiful view standing on the upper deck, just breathtaking. that's why a lot of family and children and elderlies are there to enjoy the space. having open space and public space in the park and having maintenance for them is crucial for the nursery environment they need to find outside their homes, especially in chinatown. even the sand area in the back on the ground floor is also blind area that you can't see unless you are on the top. children love to run around and play games. it's not just for chinese, even though it's in chinatown. tourists, we saw many caucasians, african americans, latinos , they try to scale the
wall. one of the activities they do is try to scale higher. with the new design i feel it will not only improve the infrastructure but also help more family members to come in and become a safer community and that's how we're going to keep people from littering, keep people from not take ownership of the spaces we need to have in san francisco. so thank you very much for your consideration. a yes vote is a vote for you. >> thank you. >> is there anyone else who would like to speak? >> double? >> double the time. >> i also am translating. everyone, good morning, how are you? had us name is jing song ten. he lives in a chinatown sro he has two kids,
included. but with the $4 million then perhaps a renovation and a design will be much more ideal. thank you, that's all. >> >> pars3 thank you . >> is there anyone else who would like to make comment on this item? seeing none, public comment is closed. >> commissioner wu. >> i want to thank rec park and staff and all the public that came out. this is a great opportunity to improve this public asset. 40 percent of housing in chinatown is sro's, there are families living in sro's, i think it makes open space even more important, it's not just recreation but acts as living rooms for these families. willie wu wu is a very well used, well loved playground and deserves to have the best caliber of design and amenities for the community, so
very supportive. >> commissioner richards. >> thank you very much everybody from the public for coming out. it's great to hear from you. i think doing, not allocating this $4 million only gets us halfway there. we do the exterior, the playground, yet we have kind of a white elephant in terms of a clubhouse sitting on the site that really needs to be brought into the modern era and opened up and filled with light and filled with people who want to go in there. so absolutely very supportive of this. >> commissioner antonini. >> thank you. very supportive, wonderful project. just have a couple of brief questions. the first question is i know some clubhouses throughout the city have been farmed out during the week for other private uses and i would assume this is not going to happen at this clubhouse, it's going to be open to the public at all times. is that true or false? >> i think that in terms of our clubhouses, our clubhouses are not being used for private
uses right now. we have public uses in them in terms of community partnerships and i think the molds we would pursue here would be similar to that we just accomplished at bodecker park where we have partnerships with the ymca and the boys and girls club. they have programming at the site. it's yet to be determined precisely what combination of partnerships we would be using. >> thank you, commissioner. just so everybody understands, we have about 42 clubhouses which are distinguished from our larger recreation centers which are multi room, multi program where most of our recreation staff has consolidated because of the diversity of programming we can provide. we are programming a number of clubhouses in the city with afterschool enrichment programs. we also really worked with community partners who are in the community that are providing a specific certain. all our clubhouses are very much open
for public use. some uses are focused on teens, some are focused on tots, some are focused on seniors but they are important community assets and very much available. >> thank you, just a follow-up. i know one particular clubhouse you have to, in order it utilize the program, some kind of language thing, but you have to pay to get into that program and for other children or other people in the neighborhood it's closed during those hours for their use. >> yeah, there's a language immersion program in one of our clubhouses. they have a very robust scholarship program and they target a certain community but that clubhouse is also open for community use and special events on weekends and evenings. that program is extremely popular. >> no, i'm not saying it isn't, but the concern that i have heard is kids used to be able to go in there and they had directors and anybody could go, you didn't have to pay to
get into a program and it kind of focuses on only one group and one language thing that not everyone needs to take advantage of. >> again, like we do throughout all our recreation centers, all our programs have certain focuses and certain subject matter and certain competencies and target certain pop places. if you look at our entire system we are focused on program and services for all neighborhoods, all ages. this is one particular program that is a language immersion program for tots. it's one of our 42 clubhouses. >> my only concern with regards to this was to make sure that this particular facility is always open to all and would not be closed up for a particular use, not allowing other members of the community to get in there for certain hours. >> okay. >> and the second question i have is -- i should know this -- who was willie wu wu wong
and why has he got the wu wu in him? >> he's a basketball player. >> famous basketball player who played at usf >> usf >> i should know that, i'm kind of familiar with the usf history. >> he's more famous than the president of our commission. (laughter). >> ouch. >> actually on that --. >> some order in here. >> on that topic since we introduced the subject of basketball, i don't know if commissioners are aware of this, at willie wu wu playground on the basketball court was a, was filmed a very incredible basketball commercial featuring the one and only jeff curry very cool. >> commissioner low. >> all right, rodney, you could name the beach volleyball court somewhere. i just wanted to say that, you
know, since this is a high needs neighborhood with a great need for open space and recreation by youth, seniors and families. and since we've reopened the clubhouse it has been an amazing success. there are ping-pong players, kids, go visit the clubhouse on a wednesday morning. there's over 300 residents using the facility. it has been a tremendous success and i participated in 3 workshops and the designs have really evolved and this, the architects and the landscape architects have really taken into account the community needs and have come up with a design that really accommodates the needs and services for the community. so i think this $4 million dollars will go a long way to achieving a lot of the community's needs in this area and i believe that when the clubhouse is built
seniors, families and youth will come and use it and it will be a thriving hub for the community. i'm fully supporting this. >> commissioner moore. >> i am in full support of it, partially because i have walked by this playground for the last 40 plus years, at least twice a day, and i always wondered why it was so stark and minimal in expression. there is no green, there is no nothing but there is an enthusiastic and very, very large population using it. and particularly when you come to the intersection of sacramento and stockton waiting at the bus you watch people playing tennis and doing all the different things with the cycle of the day. it proves it being a viable spaus for many years, it lacks in maintenance and attention for the entire time. i believe now with chinatown ymca renovation, business long overdue bookend across the street because the two facilities where people are
in one and walk across to use the open space is basically, doesn't take an einstein to realize it's necessary, desirable, and requires full support, support i believe is long overdue. i long the idea to reaffirm and manifest the vibrant neighborhood and i am very strongly in support to see the alley, which is at the west end of the open space, bk a more active passage and transition between sacramento and clay and grand and the rest of chinatown. i do believe that stockton in that block is too busy but that tourists and locals would be very comfortable, really embracing the area alongside a more beautiful open space. so cunningham to all of this comprehensive effort and i am delighted to support it in every day. >> commissioner levitton. >> i just wanted to add a note of thanks to commissioner cindy wu for using the downtown park
fund for this purpose and this is a very appropriate use of those funds (applause) really that $4 million gets us over the finish line in this. we thank you and parks and rec. >> i just want to add obviously in support and i think what commissioner low is joking about, i actually spent a lot of time on this playground. this was my clubhouse. what folks know and some don't know is there's a very large international volley man competition called 9 man volleyball which rotates to different cities, toronto, because stun and san francisco so this was our home court when san francisco hosted these games and san francisco teams took great pride in hosting them. so for 15 or so years we used those tennis courts as volleyball court, the cage, we used to call it. commissioner moore the waverly alley may be the original green wall in san francisco with all the bok
choy, it's used by so many different piepl. when you are there you hear kids playing, if you close your eyes a second you hear kids playing, you hear mahjong tiles upstairs in the alley, i think it's great that stef curry used that as background, it's quintessential san francisco park and i'm proud to be in support of this. >> commissioner antonini. >> i'd like to move to support the allocation on support of planning. >> second. >> moved and seconded. is there a vote by --. >> separate. >> shall we move forward on that with all those in favor? aye. >> go ahead, sorry. >> we just do things slightly different. >> but on that motion then commissioners to allocate funding to the willie wu wu wong park, commissioner
antonini, aye. commissioner moore, aye. commissioner wu, aye. commissioner richards, aye. commissioner president fong, aye. that motion passes unanimously 5-0. now the rec and park commission will entertain a motion for approval. >> so moved. >> second. >> moved and seconded, all in favor, aye. thank you very much and cunningham to everybody involved. (applause). >> do we need to adjourn, margaret? >> we do. >> so moved. >> second. >> all those in favor, aye. (meeting adjourned).
difficulties. >> okay to start without them we're on hold all right. technical difficulties this afternoon all right. we're on board all right. the meeting will come to order this is the regular meeting of land use and transportation i'm supervisor cohen the chair and to my right is commissioner weiner the vice chair and to my left is commissioner peskin our clerk is andrea ashbury i'd like to take a moment and thank leo and jesse larson from sfgov for broadcasting this meeting clerk, any announcements? >> >> completed speaker cards and documents to be included should be submitted to the clerk. items acted upon today will appear on the