tv [untitled] April 29, 2011 5:00am-5:30am PDT
chairperson mar: good afternoon, everyone. the meeting will come to order. it looks like we have a wonderful audience, young and old, today. i am eric mar. to my right is malia cohen. to my right is scott weiner. we are also joined by president david chiu. >> please make sure to turn off all cellular phones and pagers.
items acted upon today it will appear on the may 3 board of supervisors agenda unless otherwise stated. chairperson mar: we have four items on the agenda today. >> item 1, resolution of intention to vacate a portion of mason st. for the library and joe dimaggio playground master plan. chairperson mar: this item is sponsored by the mayor and president chiu. >> item 2 is a resolution of intention to vacate a portion of mason street to improve the area. presidend ct chiu: i want to thank the members of the public who are here. the north beach library has
historically been one of the most overused libraries -- library branches in the entire city. it is one of the three top libraries used in the city. in many dimensions, the library has not been adequate to meet the needs of the community. it has not been accessible to a lot of folks, including our disabled communities. it has simply been an inefficient branch library. for almost a decade now, there have been planning meetings and community meetings to move forward with a new design. i think the design we have in front of us, which was approved by the planning commission last week by a vote of 7-0, is a wonderful design we need to move forward with as quickly as possible. north beach library is the last library to be renovated under the bond money that was authorized by our voters in 2000, and real authorized in 2007 -- and reauthorized in
2007. it was because of a robust community response that plants have been delayed as long as they have, but we are ready to go. i want to thank all the supporters from the north beach community for your advocacy of the years. i know we have a lot of young children here. if i can ask everyone who supports the plan in front of us -- if you could raise your hand or indicate your support. colleagues -- it would be great if sfgov tv could turn the camera around to indicate that. [applause] as you can see, a huge, huge part of our community represents not just our children, not just our families, but our seniors,
and many from our disabled community, who supports the current project. after the years of discussion, i think it is time for us to move forward. the items we have in front of us today are around the proposed vacating of one block of mason st., between lombard street and columbus avenue. the current plan will allow us to build a bigger library, a bigger park next to the library, and much more open space for some of the densest neighborhoods on the east coast -- certainly the densest neighborhoods in san francisco. this was developed with supporters and opponents of the project. in a meeting we had in 2009, there was a lot of discussion about whether we should close the street down. one thing that both supporters
and opponents agreed upon was that we should have a trial period to close the street down to see what the impact should be on surrounding neighborhoods. what we discovered was not only was there really minimal impact on traffic and transit in the area, but the streets section that was closed ended up -- we have a farmers market that has been located on that during the warmer months of the year that has been wonderfully successful and has helped to build community. i think this is a very important component of the overall project, to ensure we can build but the playground and a library that is far superior to what we have right now. so i would like to ask representatives of the library -- i want to thank luis herrera and the work he has done, and phil ginsburg, and the city
attorney's office. and i want to thank the community for believing in this vision, for moving it forward. i hope that after today there will still be a number of items we need to approve it as a board, but i believe the project is in a place where we can move it forward as quickly as we can. with that, i would like to ask for a first presentation from city staff. >> i am jill warren, a deputy city librarian. last time we were before this committee was to discuss historic issues. we are now discussing the whole project plan. before we start, we have a number of folks here to show their support for the project. we want to acknowledge especially the support from our young advocates from sherman elementary school, st. peter and paul, the neighborhood center, and those young folks are going to file out at this time so
there will not have to stay to the entire hearing. thank you. [applause] we're going to go to the overhead. as you have heard, the north beach library is one of 24 branches to be renovated or build new as part of our branch library improvement program. the branch built in 1959 is no longer effective in meeting the needs of the dense neighborhood service. the library needs to expand, to become updated, and to have seismic and ada safety standards implemented. the north beach library is on the joe dimaggio playground, a heavily used urban park. despite its heavy use, the part is constricted by numerous elements -- by buildings that
are on the site, by fencing throughout the site, but a very steep grade change, and by the streets the border it. this shows the park prior to the installation of the library. recognizing that both sets of amenities are essential to the north beach neighborhood, the library and recreation and parks department instituted a planning process to achieve a set of goals that would improve the community. the goals were to expand the library, providing adequate shelving for books and materials, separate spaces for children and adults, public computers and seating, a room for community use, and ergonomics staff workspaces. to ensure the key library service elements are on one floor so the building is cost- effective to operate. to ensure that both the library and parks are safe and accessible, meeting seismic safety and ada requirements, and
to provide a safe and welcoming playground and building, with visibility throughout both facilities. to improve the joe dimaggio north beach playground and increase open space and green space while retaining all currently-existing amenities, including bocce ball courts, tennis courts, a children's play area, and a swimming pool. and to enhance connectivity between the library and park and create an integrated community. finally, to minimize disruption of services to the community, library, and preparation. we appreciate that merely -- may or lee and president chiu introduced this legislation. this is necessary to increase the size and area of the library
and playground to ensure safe and efficient passage to the public, an increase recreational open space, preaching a unified and memorable place for the community. before i moved on, i want to acknowledge that the department had from the library, from recreation and park, and from public works -- they are all here. >> thank you. phil and i are doing a joint presentation to emphasize that this is a definite strength of the project, a collaboration between two departments. i want to echo what president chiu mentioned earlier about the need for this library. it is woefully inadequate right now. i talked at the planning commission about how this is also a matter of equity throughout the city, and
particularly the north beach community. all of you know that you have had neighborhoods built in your respective districts as part of the branch library improvement program. we had great success with the project. north beach represents the last of 24 projects. we want to emphasize how we are committed to completing the wishes of sentence siskins, because they committed to the entire capital improvement program to ensure every neighborhood got a library that serve the needs of generations to come. with that, i want to not only build a state of the art library in an area that serves over 30,000 -- a very diverse community. but it also represents amenities. rarely do we have an opportunity to have a city project that provides services from two different departments in an urban environment. >> thank-you.
i just want to echo what our city librarian has said. this has been a remarkable civic collaboration. in recreation and park, we talk about the need to partner. this has been a partnership within the government -- not just the library and recreation and park, but public works in the planning department collaborated well together. most importantly, it has been a partnership with the north beach community and north beach neighborhood. this is one of the densest projects in the -- densest urban environments in the entire country. there are 4.5 acres of open 1000 residents. that is 95% below the city average. this truly is a dense urban neighborhood. we do not have tremendous opportunities to create more open space or to add recreational amenities in this neighborhood. here is a project that will result in a 20% increase in open
space, 12,000 additional square feet of park and playground. and it has been designed in such a way that it makes the park more accessible for all -- for seniors, for people with disabilities, for parents with kids. it improve sightlines from the clubhouse and pool to the playground. it reflects the need for flexibility on the blacktop. the park is being designed to accommodate a number of different sports and activities, ranging from basketball to four square to roller hockey to soccer. it is a thoughtful design. it is a collaborative design. it is what the community has expressed loudly and clearly to us it needs. this is again a great civic collaboration. we fully support it. thank you. >> i want to reiterate that this morning both the library
commission and the recreation and park commission unanimously approved the master planning project. it bears repeating that this has come full circle now to have full endorsement from both commissions. thank you. >> thank you. this is the principal architect who was engaged by the department for the master planning effort. she is here today to review the master plan for you. i am pleased to report that the planning commission at its meeting on thursday april 25 -- thursday, april 21, certified the environmental impact report related to ceqa. it also adopted findings that the project does conform with the city general plan. >> thank you very much. i would like to give you a brief overview of the master plan.
as was mentioned, the process began in 2008. over the course of the master plan process, we had three public neighborhood meetings and to commission hearings, as well as numerous meetings with a range of stakeholders and organizations within the north beach neighborhood. there were multiple options investigated throughout the site area, and the final master plan looking to the new library building at the site of 701 lombard. the new library met the goals described for a new and enlarged library and also provides the opportunity to create a redesigned park with a children's playground located at the center of the site, at the heart of the site, and relocate the tennis courts. the new, improved joe dimaggio playground has been expanded to meet the needs of the neighborhood.
this slide diagram shows the existing conditions with the existing library and tennis courts and located at the center of the site, which is approximately 8 to 10 feet below the existing playground. there is a lot of topographic a variation in the joe dimaggio playground. this diagram shows phase one of the master plan, with the new library located that's the 701 lombard street site, with mason street closed, preventing it easy and safe access from the library to the expanded park come up with the tennis court still in its original position in phase one. this diagram shows face to come up with the new library already constructed and the future park improvements or relocating the new children's play area to the heart of the site and moving the
tennis courts along greenwich street. the site of 701 lombard provides a number of opportunities for the new library. it is located at the crossroads of north beach with incredible abuse. -- with incredible views. the site allows maximum opportunity for daylight inside of the new library. there is a potential connection to the park. the plan also allows for a clear organization on one level for the three major program components of a separate space for a children's library, teen area, and adult reading room, with a staff area at the center of the library. this is a more detailed drawing
of the library plan, with one block of main street clothes, again providing expanded open space and clear connection from the library to the park. as was mentioned by president chiu, in december 2009, one block of mason was temporarily closed as a pilot project to help study the actual effects of a street vacation. last summer, the street was closed for farmers markets on sundays. that will continue again this summer, starting may 1. based on these experiences, the city did not observe any adverse affects. it found the area was well used for picnics, barbecues, library programs, strolling, and general enjoyment of the area. another interesting aspect of the 701 lombard site is the
topography. there is approximately an 8 foot vertical height change from the top of the site to the lower section of the site. this topographic change, we were able to use in a way that provided a centralized access point and accessible entry along mason, as well as an entry along columbus avenue. again, this is a more detailed plan of the new library organization, indicating the central access points along mason and columbus avenue, the circulation desk located at the center for easy staff supervision, and the three separate program areas -- the children, the teen, and the adults, all on one level for easy access. you can see on the right hand side of the screen a community
room located on the upper level, which can be separated off after hours for community meetings. this diagram shows the new library at 8500 square feet, which is 59% bigger than the existing library. the footprint of the existing library is stashed in red on the library. it meets the goal for separate children, adults, and teen reading areas, a computer area, a reading room, expanded staff area, and expanded collection space by 10% to 15%. it also meets sustainability goals. it is designed to meet the leed silver rating and will create a building filled with natural daylight and help the materials. another important part of our
design was to create a context -- an important context relationship between the new library design and the surrounding neighborhood. we took great care to look at the rhythm, proportion, and scale of the surrounding neighborhood buildings, as well as the architecture of the north beach pool and clubhouse. our approach is to make a contemporary interpretation of the neighborhood context in the design of the new library. this is an elevation of the columbus avenue side of the library, with a central and to point. you concede the windows which rap at the top of the building underneath the roof, -- which wrap at the top of the
building underneath the roof. this is an interior view of the adult reading room, looking back toward the entry, with the community room located on the second level and the mezzanine. this is a view of the interior of the children's reading room. finally, this is a view from columbus and mason, looking at the new library, which becomes a pavilion and a new civic presence in the north beach community. with that, i would like to turn it over to karen to discuss the park. >> i am the deputy director for park planning with the recreation and parks department. the general manager has already spoken to the advantages of this plan. we also have a model for your viewing pleasure, where you can see some of the aspects of the
project up close and personal. i am going to quickly showed a picture of the overhead as well. the north -- the north beach neighborhood is a neighborhood with a serious high need for open space. both north beach and chinatown will probably continue to be high need neighborhoods even after this project. we focused on the current users and the desires expressed by the park users for new facilities. the people that were gathered behind as earlier in the meeting were talking about the poorly sited playground and a desire to keep the hard scape, because that is where children learn to use their bikes and where they play tennis. we came up with a plan that expands and optimizes the
playground, the tennis, and the visual connection between the facilities. since may of 2008, the library and recreation and parks department have had out representations' and discussions with community groups and other stakeholders throughout the neighborhood, including chinatown community development corporation, telegraph hill neighborhood center, and many others. the open space in this plan is increased by 20% and allowed to accommodate an expanded children's play area, to meet new ada and safety features, and to include expanded seating throughout the park. there is really no green space. there is really no where to sit down. that is something the new plan provides. the new mason street plaza will allow us to strengthen the
visual connections between the library and the park and to allow users to use both the park and the library freely, and be able to pass freely between both facilities, and provides a new passive seeking space in north beach, which currently does not have one. the two-story library design shall accommodate the increased collections and public service functions for the library, and a community meeting room and after our space on the second floor. these are all facilities the community have repeatedly asked for. we can provide them together. in terms of the street vacation, it will be conditional. it will not go into effect until the city is ready to build a new library. until that time, mason street will remain as a publicly dedicated street. in addition, at the time of
dedication, jurisdiction of the street will be transferred to the recreation and parks department. this will preserve the area for recreation and park purposes. we appreciate any questions you have. thank you. president chiu: i also want to take a moment to thank the department of public works for all the work you did in connection with the library. do you have anything else you would like to add to that? with that, unless there are any other presentations, -- are there any other presentations from the city? why don't we open it up to public comment? if there are folks that provided either the yellow comment cards -- please pass them up to our court. >> supervisors, my name is francisco dacosta. this is the city and county of
san francisco, which has many astute constituents. you know, supervisors, when it comes to our libraries or when it comes to our institutions, we need the public -- the public at home -- to know exactly what is happening. we have a library that is a landmark library, built by renowned architect. and not a word has been said. we bring our children, and our children listen to the adults. you could bring 5000 children and just have them put their hands up. they will. the other children. but we need to do is give our children the best. in all this talk and
presentation, have we seen any empirical data, indoor and outdoor decks let me start with outdoor data from the environmental justice center. in this area, this will generate particulates. do we have any empirical data? no. indoors, it is true that we have to accommodate to ada, americans with disabilities act. i have been a project manager and have worked at the presidio with qualified certification is in every department. that is fine. but please do not bring our children here