tv [untitled] November 1, 2011 9:00am-9:30am PDT
and develop a coherent and unified vision for its future, we are considering a number of specific elements and you heard about this with the public and private design standards, for the heritage district. all of these need to be part of an articulated it -- they have to be understood and applied as part of a unifying vision of the long-term future. as the organizing committee, we have approached the planning process with that premise and we will continue to do so. and we hope to see this in the plan that will be developed by the planning department. >> and is there any additional public comment on this item? public comment is closed.
commissioners? >> for some reason, i should go first. i am encouraged that since the last draft that came before the commission, there has been a tremendous amount of work. and i had my fear is there for a while, -- fears there for a while, regarding the product. and when it came to implementing these mechanisms, that could be developed to address the cultural preservation base of the plan itself. and so i am encouraged and i think it was mr. lord who also was staffing this plan, working with the filipino community there, to develop two cultural
heritage or social heritage districts, for that part of san francisco. i think those examples were immensely helpful in keep in -- and helping the japanese community see that there was a way to address these issues that have been percolating since 2007, before the original planning effort. i just have to say, there are a lot of people here who will testify on these articles and one thing that may or may not come up is the question about surveys. the interesting thing to me about this planning process was the surveys were not just conducted of the buildings and
historic structures and what may have historic significance. this also includes cultural properties and institutions, dance and music and language in schools. and that took place with the filipino community, identifying those things that were institutional and culturally relevant. we're beginning to expand the concept originally started by the historic preservation community, into something that is broader ranging, with the cultural assets that the community needs to recognize and expand some kind of recognition. as far as the specifics, i do not think this is the exact time
to go into all of that. the direction that this is headed, and the fact that the community and department recognizes the need for policy base from which these mechanisms will come forward is an important step and it seems ambitious, but if we can do this by the end of next year, hopefully this is doable and i especially like the idea that there will be the continual exploration of the community land trust idea. i not have doubts, it is just a daunting thing to think about. but the community wants to put their back behind us.
and moving ahead with the design standards, and with consolidating the neighborhood commercial districts all seem like good ideas. a lot of work still needs to be done on how this is actually written, the moving ahead with this is something i will support. this is all for right now. >> i want to thank everyone who has been involved. it is fascinating look through -- looking through all the different surveys that have been done and this is a very exciting product and i am thrilled to support everything that i have seen. crating the neighborhood commercial district, a lot of these concepts -- all of these things, that you put in your plan are things that we need to have happened.
we can increase this down fillmore street. in terms of the community land trust, i asked you to look into market creek partners in san diego. this is a unique situation because they had a gentleman who bought the land and gave this back to the community, so this was a unique situation. but the first in the built here was 10 acres of commercial. they have several different communities in this part of san diego. what they were able to do was a similar process where people came to the table to decide what they wanted on the commercial aspect and part of this included a banquet hall facility that was a way to make money for the community and also multi-
purpose with different stores and retail that represent the cultural heritage of the neighborhood. they had an absolutely spectacular project, but what was phenomenal is that they created the first initial public offering for a community center. basically, you had to buy at least $10 each and at this allowed everyone in the community to have ownership in the project. i thought this was amazing. this is an incredible opportunity with the initial public offering we have people of all different and comes, who say, i own part of this because this starts at $10 per person.
this is a $100 investment. it has been extremely successful with that mix of culturally relevant retail as well as a grocery store and other things. they have done a great drop -- they have done a great job on the property, with the housing type, and this is the outdoor art exhibit or you can see housing that represents the different regions of the world where people come from in the community, and the amphitheater. this is an amazing project highlights what can happen. there was someone who bought this land and gave it back to the community. there may be a public offering that could leverage money. i want to congratulate you for
getting this far. this to be a very exciting and fascinating idea. they will do housing -- they are now bringing housing online, and this to be a great model for japan town. >> i would like to compliment those who have been involved in this, and the amount of work that they put into this. i have to absolutely agree with the statement that this is a better plan than the last one that we were looking at. this has come a long way and i know that this is going in the right direction, with the cultural and social heritage district, this is something that san francisco will end up being
the leader in this kind of process and this is an excellent space for this, and it will work here, and it is definitely needed here. the neighborhood commercial district, i think has to be expanded, and it has to be compatible with the fillmore, as well, but two sections of fillmore that are not always compatible with each other at the moment. this is a great worry for me because they have not solved the tunnel overpass problem, and this, combined with the wall that is a terrible design, and never should have been allowed
in the first place in my opinion but a lot of us were not involved at that time, this blocks off japan town and other than a stairway going down the backside, really. it has to be changed at some point in the future in order to open up the district to that part of the city. and to make everything much more compatible, much more comfortable entry the situation where people who are traveling, or they know that there is something there that exists. there was something in the material submitted to us about the possibility of the japanese consulate moving their.
this is a great idea because of the number of u.s. and japanese citizens and other citizens that would, for one reason or another, wished to visit this consulate. this would give a definite sense of japan town in san francisco and i think this be a great idea if it could come to fruition. i think this has a distinct possibility of working, and i compliment him on his time line i think this is optimistic and i hope that this can be done. this seemed to go on for ages. but so far, i think he has
proven you can put together a great deal of work with the number of intern's in order to gather to assist you -- this is extremely impressive and i know as much as they will have contributed to your work -- i am very impressed so far and i really look for to this time line coming to fruition. commissioner moore: i was prompted to sing my praise. this was an amazing presentation and i cannot be happier because the document that was given to us as it is only black-and- white was a very dry dock about the riches of the presentation fill in all the questions that were not addressed in the
document. the thoughts developed were very impressive, with a clear stance on not increasing high with the idea of the attendant attitudes about parking, i was very impressed with the idea of the potential of innovative ideas on a commercial structure, which is somewhat the centerpiece and it would distract from the subtle qualities with a clear stance on reconsidering webster, and we come back with some constructive ideas, open with interaction on transportation and considering, early on, the appropriate
engaging of japan town in this design, and this would be an idea that brings transportation more into a tangible discussion with this project. the idea of the community land trust is so exciting, with an example that would allow us to look at something that has been done. this is a wonderful improvement over what we have before. what was given to us was a very powerful summary, but the individual standing here and presenting a phenomenal body of work. and there are other issues but not want to get into them.
i am very impressed with this and i look forward to this particular plan finding every possible way of getting the additional lands to bring all aspects of this plan to the same extent, based on what has been presented today. i think this is remarkable, with the consensus of all the different aspects. where we normally see people fracturing into different groups and opinions. these are the major components that make a real plan. congratulations. you had just come out of the more contentious plan. so this is a wonderful way of rounding out that experience.
thank you. >> thank you for all the good work. i would like to think outside the box on this. even though what often happens is we look at the project and we don't consider some possibilities because of the constraints but given -- if we were able to obtain the funding, we have a very long range plan with covering part of 282, between ocean and geneva. what happened, unfortunately in the western admission was unfortunate, but we destroyed the street grid, and the present japan town was one of the outcroppings of that. but the result was this huge wall and the disconnect between japan town and the fillmore district and the destruction of
the street grid. one thing that could be considered is, i don't think you'll ever significantly change the boulevard. but if you could make the subway longer and began the cars as early as buchanan, going into the tunnel and coming out with a tunnel in fillmore, to cover and create the surface local light rail, and a connection of the streets to japan town, you would buy yourself a lot of land that would be recreated and the cars could still get off, to go into japan and down into the area to the north. as of one bridge going over,e gr fillmore in a narrow area, you
would have a couple of blocks in each direction to create a lot of thing there is. that is the concept that i would like you to consider. and then the other thing on that no jenin crease of height -- no general sp increase of heights and japantown in the 60's and was very high buildings or very low buildings. the grid in the past in san francisco was always two to sick floors and what we did in those days is created a lot of surface level single or double story and everything else was really high and i think you may be able to gain density by looking at the areas where there's rooms now and if it' possible to add a floor or two to those and gain more housing or more things there, but then stay away from where are high buildings where you can and still end up with the same density but make it more of a pedestrian level type of community that is relates better and casts fewer shadows.
that might be one possibility. and then the parking is realistic. yeah, it's going to have to be close to 1:1 in most instances because you have to provide for people coming to the area from all over the bay area and although transit will improve in the future, you have to have a place where residents will be able to park and people, particularly visitors, will be able to park. the final thing is the i.f.d. which was mentioned earlier. it could be a great tool that you might be able to use in the future because as the city and county of san francisco can use a lot higher ta ee eer tax incr is higher than any other place in california because we are a city and a county and that is an attractive investment tool that could be used to help with the process. president olague: commissioner sugaya? commissioner sugaya: a couple ras last things on my mine. doesn't 3d little tokyo also own
the hotel there? i think they just sold it. i think they just sold it. so there's maybe some movement on their part. yeah. i think that's been severed and is in the hands of someone else now. sort of following up commissioner antonini, one of my pet peeves has been those two surface parking lots in the middle of your community. you would think there would be a higher and better use for those things even though i know it is extremely political and the way they are managed and i won't go into it, but it is complicated the way they are managed and owned. and it would seem two surface parking lots in the middle of japantown, we could try to find something to do with them. and keep the parking at the same time. and so if that could be explored
a little bit more, that might bring about some additional space for either -- i am not thinking so much retail commercial but maybe just residential above or some kind of creative open space situation or community spaces or something. anyway, then in terms of the density of the situation and retention in heights with some small, incremental increases, i still think that it would behoove the department to take a look at the actual economics of that. i know there's been a study that they undertook of the properties and the existing heights of the buildings that are there now. and the existing zoning and what increment remains and that results in their saying that increment can provide for a lot
more housing than currently exists. my question about that is who would develop that anyway? given the lot sizes and my naive thinking is you'd have to aggregate a bunch of properties to get to the economics where you could either build on top or to the side or maybe demolish and build new. anyway, so maybe some kind of quick economic study or developer or could come and tell us or you guys what the economics of that might be. lastly, i would really like to recognize one of the partnerships formed really tarp around the planning process that took place and added a lot to the community meetings i attended and brought new people and faces and a new way of
thinking and the summary that they did wasn't the original plan, but it did go through point by point in a really good fashion for everybody to understand what the original plan was trying to say. and i am glad they have stuck together and have continued to be involved in this process. president olague: i want to thank staff, mr. lord, for all your work. and the encouraging to hear members of the community also really support your involvement. so want to thank you for that. and commissioner sugaya for continuing to be engaged in this. what i heard today i thought was some more authentic community vig vision for japantown that was not driven so much by certain financing pieces like increasing heights and sort of
having to base the plan on that but basing the plan on what the community wants to see develop there. and then sort of like this is our vig, vision, and then we'll figure out the financing rather than having the financing determine the vision, so it is kind of nice to see that today. i support a lot of those concerns that commissioner sugaya raised, though, around the housing and who would build it and that sort of thing. but hopefully it will come around. the commercial land trust is an interesting and the community land trust for commercial use. and i think commissioner borden raised an interesting example of that, but again, with hamaguchi mentioned that 3d says there's -- it's not for sale. so what do you do with that, right? there is all that that still has to be worked out. but hopefully it will be at
least soon. the cultural heritage we have long supported that. and also wanted to acknowledge neomachi roots and it is exciting in the past year we have raised the concern that youth also be involved with the next generation decision for japanto japantown. when you see so many shifts in the community, i think it's really critical that they have formed and are giving critical input. we look forward to reading your 18-page memo when that you have done. and finally i heard someone say that characterize the japanese community as passive and that's never been my experience in dealing with japanese folks starting with sugaya and ending with a member of the audience. so i don't know. i guess you are closer to the culture and you would know, but i have to say that is not how i
would characterize the japanese community. anyway, just good that everyone is continuing to engage and i am excited with the direction i see things going in because it just does feel more community driven finally. commissioner borden? commissioner borden: i wanted to say one final thing that i meant to say earlier. in terms of the issues around entrepreneurialism, i think it would be fun you were talking fabt you can't get local citizens or encourage businesses from japan, but you might want to look at how you can do some fun incubator and partner with organizations that go incubator stuff around small businesses. i think one of the challenges in the african-american community and often in the japanese-american community to get the next generation to want to do stuff but they don't necessarily want to run their parent's bakery or restaurant. if you can figure out fun, innovative ways to encourage businesses that might be a
little different but get the younger generation excited about having the businesses in japantown that means something to them to explore. and one of the challenges we are trying to figure out with all the different cultural communities within san francisco, how do you keep the next generation wanting to be part of that, of what's coming next. maybe the roots group can ponder about some of the issues around that. president olague: and one last thing was the existing open space. i spent a whole lot of time in jap japantown. i just like going there. i have often wondered ability the underutilization of the open spaces there. and outside of the roof conversation, it will be interesting to see what the community devises as far as that is concerned. commissioner sugaya? commissioner sugaya: i wanted to acknowledge the tremendous amount of work and support from paul wizaki to the effort and following what commissioner
borden, it is curious, i walk up and down kearney because my office is there, but there is a new shop selling japanese -- juko, is that correct, dresses in the style of, what do they call it? lolita gothic or whatever. there is one in japantown in the new people building but this is an independent store front. it's interesting that it's located where it is. it's the kind of thing that i think the community needs to get its head around because there's a shop in hayes valley, and stuff springing up all around the city that you would think, oh, it would be really great if it was in japantown. anyway. president olague: thank you. we're going to be taking item out of order. we'll be hear iing item num