tv [untitled] September 3, 2012 12:37am-1:07am PDT
in this position, and his boss -- why are they still employed here? commissioner buell: thank you. >> karen mccoy. >> good morning, commissioners. i am a former recreation director with the sentence is go recreation and park department, and i would like to speak to you on behalf of my neighbors and my community, friends and neighbors of merced heights community. i work for the sanford cisco recreation and park department
since march 24, 1981, and i started off in aquatics -- i worked for the san francisco recreation and park department. i got my first job speaking at a playground meeting in which they were going to close the playground clubhouse down for children who came there after school to do homework. anyway, as i came forward, i wanted to get involved with my playground. i have seen many playgrounds all over san francisco. i have worked for many playgrounds all over san francisco, and i started various groups, and i just would like to ask one question -- why is merced heights' playground being overlooked? it has been overlooked three times. we have had three meetings in our community, one of which was
when it was a latchkey site. the second one in which they asked for public and resident commons, and then i started a group called friends and neighbors of merced heights playground. so my one question to the commission is -- why is the playground being overlooked in district 11? it received a d grade with the park alliance, and then it went to an f. now it has a c-. commissioner buell: thank you. you do not need to do it now, but maybe we get asked staff to let us know the status of the playground.
-- maybe we could ask staff to let us know. >> the 2012 neighborhood parks bonn has a $15 million pot for playground innovation -- the 2012 neighborhood parks bond. the way the money will be disbursed is based on playgrounds of heights -- highest need, and we is the playground report card as the basis for that. there will be a transparent community process, and i do know that merced heights is on that list. >> may i ask one question of the general manager? how would i get a copy of that list? commissioner buell: he can communicate with you. thank you. >> is there any other public comment? seeing none, public comment is closed. we are on item 5, the consent calendar. commissioner buell: entertain a
motion. moved and seconded. all those in favor? hearing no opposition. >> item 6, the san francisco zoo. >> good morning. director of the san francisco zoo. i will start with august attendance. through tuesday august 14, we have had visitors of 49,930, slightly under budget of 50,500. the difference is 570 visitors. revenue edged missions were not impacted on our august free day -- revenue admissions. some good news -- it looks like folks are spending a little bit
more at the zoo. our per caps on average are $6.97, compared to last year of $6.59. we will take those pennies with us. i just wanted to show you some of the conservation programs, where we try to put this money, so folks now when we have surplus -- so folks know we have surplus and we try to put it back into conservation at the zoo. this is our first duckling born at the zoo. they are a species protected by the african eurasian migratory water bird act and are listed as vulnerable. as part of the conservation efforts, we got a pair of them in 2008 and have finally been able to breed them successfully,
and here is our first attempt. they are a very nervous, flighty bird. they do not actually interact well with each other. we have a new baby armadillo. he will be at the animal resource center, a part of our youth program. the nine-banded armadillo is not a rodent or marsupial, as once thought. they have a unique berthing pattern and give birth to identical quadruplets -- they have a unique birthing pattern. again, as part of our education outreach, armadillos should not be ignored or forgotten in the wild. i wanted to touch base on the western pond turtle project. this is a four-year project with the sonoma state university
and oakland zoo. the sonoma state university collected 38 eggs, and we have been taking care of them for the last year. this weekend, they were reintroduced to the sonoma area. we hope by keeping them in captivity for one year, they have a head start and will survive better in their native habitat. quickly, some exhibit improvements -- we replaced all of the old bars. the viewing areas. they are now all class. it is better for the animals. the chances of debris falling into the grill have not improved. we also made some changes. this is the wells fargo wildlife theater. we have new benches and pathways. this is where we have our summer programming. our volunteers and staff to get the program. lastly, we are using recycled wood, and i feel like it is a
piece of artwork there, but i thank horticulture staff for making those improvements as well. lastly, it is no outsand lan -- outside lands, but we did have 10,000 visitors for the fisher- price concert. visitors could take pictures with the little people, so we thank fisher-price for that. this was a silent disco where you put headset on, and you and your dance partner could choose the same channel or not, and you dance with headsets on. this is our first attempt to attract young professionals but in a way that does not disturb the animals. we also will have family hoedowns during the labor day
weekend. the week and will people of country music, line dancing, and bar-b-que for families -- the weekend will be full of country music, line dancing, and barbecue for families. and that concludes my report. >> is there any public comment on this item? seeing none, public comment is closed. we are on items seven -- item 7, grant acceptance, helen filter -- helen hilton raiser. >> good afternoon. i am here to ask for your acceptance of a grant of approximately $11,500 from helen hilton raiser to support free youth swimming lessons for
children in diverse and underrepresented communities who otherwise might not be able to afford them. this grant directly aligns with the department's mission of providing imaging, educational activities and help the department to expand our already robust aquatics program. helen has proposed to provide a grant to the department to pay for the staff to implement the swim lessons. we will be offering them to about 180 san francisco public elementary school students during the fall, 2012. lessons will begin in september and end in november. we are calling this program the swim club pilot program. like i mentioned, lessons will take place at garfield pull in the mission district, and students will walk from their school site to the pool -- lessons will take place at garfield schoo -- garfield
pool. the programs are designed for kids ages 6 and up, which is really when kids can master the stroke. we are targeting third graders, but we will accommodate fourth and fifth graders as well, and each child were participate one time poll -- will participate 1 time per week. i would like to say a few words -- i have worked on this program now for a few months, so i have had a wonderful pleasure of getting to know ms. raiser. she is an incredible person, and we are lucky to have her support. i have described her as a philanthropist in the past. i would like to use that word again. it oftentimes sounds so overused, but it is very true with helen. the origin of the word shows that it means the love of
humanity, and she deeply cares about san francisco and is committed to provide an opportunity for all children to realize their full potential. she sees this as a pilot program, and i wi her and our staff to roll this program out so we can offer it to additional students across san francisco moving forward. i would also like to share one other tidbit -- i know the olympics are over, and the excitement has sort of subsided, but there was one comment that i heard -- our fantastic united states olympian swimmer michael phelps said that he learned to swim because his mother wanted him to stay safe around the water. it is crucial that students are safer around the water and that they know not only how to swim but how to avoid accidents. i thought it was pretty amazing
that that was how michael phelps got started. week do not know if we will have any olympians, but at least we know we are doing our best to keep all of our children safe. thank you very much. commissioner buell: i might add editorially that there is a youth outreach program for the america's cup, and one of the ways to get kids into sailing -- they need to know how to swim first. janet the general manager ginsberg -- general manager ginsburg has proposed a float- to-boat program. >> i would like to call helen hilton raiser. >> you can tell how enthusiastic i feel about working with abigail. it has been such a pleasure.
so i am really pleased about this. i do want to say that with these swim classes, we are hoping that children will have a lifetime of a safety net that will save them, besides bring them great pleasure. i am just so pleased to be here before you. thank you so much. commissioner buell: thank you. >> good morning, commissioners. good morning, phil ginsburg. i have been helping represent helen on this project, and i just want to say that nine people drowned in the u.s. every day -- nine people drowne in the
u.s. every day. in ethnically diverse communities, the rate is two or three times higher. african american and latino american children are unable to swim at roughly two or three times the rate of their caucasian counterparts. i really believe that the wave of the future is all about partnerships and collaboration. this grant is about a partnership between a wonderful individual, helen hilton raiser, and rec and park. we are hoping very much this will be a pilot and that the program will continue on for the coming years. thank you. >> is there any public comment? be none, public comment is closed -- being none, public
comment is closed. commissioner buell: before i entertain a motion, i want to thank helen on behalf of the commission. we are grateful that you are helping the recreation and park department. thank you. moved and seconded. all those in favor? opposed? hearing none, it is unanimous. i will call the next item out of order. i understand the planning director is here and has an important meeting and this is an item we need his input on. with the indulgence of the commission, i would like to take item 10 next if that is all right. >> good morning, and thank you for accommodating our schedule. we are here today to give you an overview of the transit center district plan. the plan and its enabling legislation was passed by the
full board of supervisors on the 31st of last month. the eir was certified by the planning commission on may 24 of 2012. our staff has been working closely with city planning, the mayor's office, and the transbay joint powers authority. in particular, planning for health impact be is spent outside the area will be spent according to procedures of the operations and maintenance of the new open space in the plant area. -- planned area. today, our goal is to give you a general overview of the plan. the open space aspects, the goals, and the different elements. here to kick back off is the director of the planning department. thank you. >> thank you.
good morning, commissioners. thank you for taking the time this morning. this is obviously an important project for us. i do want to thank the rec and park staff for all their work on this. these plans forced us to ask you for a lot of your time, and i know that is not necessarily something you have program in your schedule, so i appreciate the time on this. i think it would be helpful to us to do a quick history. i will say a few words of introduction. scott from the transbay joint powers authority is here to give you a presentation on the terminal, and joshua from my staff will present you with the plan. there are a lot of details in this plan. obviously, there are a lot more details you will be interested in, but this is kind of an overview. i am very proud this was you not -- adopted unanimously by the board, and the only appeal was
withdrawn. that does not happen very often in our world, so i am very happy the plan has received unanimous support fyou may know the plan s initiated before i got here in 2004 by an entity called the interagency transbay working group. it was actually called for in the 1985 downtown plan to create a higher density development locations around the transbay terminal. this is really the culmination of a plan that is at this point almost 30 years old. the way i like to describe this plant is -- i will have joshua go over more of the details, but there are two major objectives of this plan and incredible benefits of this plan. one that -- one is that because
of the nature of the zoning we are proposing, it creates hundreds of millions of dollars that will go to not only pay for the plan and improvements, the parks, the open spaces, but also make a substantial contribution to the actual transit center facility and, more specifically, the tunnel that will connect the fourth and king station to the terminal. just as importantly, this plan does transform a part of town that is in need of that transformation and does provide a substantial new pool of office space for the city. san francisco is unusual in that we do not allow offices pretty much anywhere in the city, and we are reaching the point where we are reaching capacity of office space, the land availability. we think that depending on the market, which is heating up again, that the availability of land for new office development
under current zoning before the plan was adopted, could be implemented in 10 or 15 years. it is important for us to think about the future growth of jobs in the city and where those jobs would go. it makes a lot of sense to us to put those are around the region's most high-capacity transit facility. it is really about creating that space for new jobs, for new office space, and creating a serious funding source for the city's high-capacity train system. there are clearly other aspects of this that are important. i will mention briefly before turning it over, because of the concentration of jobs that are provided in this plan, it represents a very substantial percentage of the city's commitment to regional growth. as you know, the region is looking where to grow, how to grow, and is trying to focus that near transit in high- capacity areas. this will represent a huge percentage of the city's
commitment to that growth. i mentioned the office capacity that we think is needed. this plan has much more and this is -- and this is -- emphasis on office data on housing -- emphasis on office than on housing. we think it actually improves the skyline by adding taller buildings. important to you all, it creates 11 acres of new parks space in a part of town that has no open space today, and it also creates an entirely new streetscape environment, improved transit on the streets. really, the value of the density and height in this location is that it essentially pays for itself. the impact fees and voluntary
fees that come out of this development will actually pay for the street improvements, the open space improvements, the transit improvements, and so on, that are specified in the plan. the last thing i will mention is something that i know is near and dear to your heart, which is the park shadow issue. this plan looks cumulatively at all the potential shadow impacts as well as the project outside of the planned area that we know about. i think your report has some information on that, and we are happy to go over that with you in much more detail. i realize today's purpose is really just to do an overview of the plan, but it is important, i think, to note that in spite of some of the heights of some of these towers, we think the shadow impacts are quite modest. we have worked very hard with developers of the project,
though admittedly not all of them are designed yet -- we have worked very hard with them to make sure those shadows are minimized to the greatest extent possible. we're happy to hear from you about how best to go over those details. we will certainly be in touch with you on the details. with that, thank you for your time. i am happy to answer any questions. otherwise, i will turn it over to scott. commissioner buell: i think we will move to the rest of the presentation, and then if there's questions, we will proceed. >> thanks. >> good morning, commissioners. thank you for the opportunity to present this morning. we will start with a brief video. it runs about five minutes. it will give you an overview.
our project is divided into two phases. the first is we broke ground in august of 2010 and are on schedule to complete the project in the fall of 2017. there will be a 5.4 acre rooftop park which will more than double the amount of park space at open space available to in the south of market neighborhood. we are going to talk a little bit about the park later in the presentation, later is the 1.3 mile tunnel at fourth and came into the new trends a transit center. we will have transit systems from around the region, including high-speed and future rail. we are also designed to
accommodate amtrak if the decision were made to bring amtrak back into san francisco. just to give you a sense of how to import neck-and-neck to the is for the city and the region's economic vitality. just in the half mile radius are on the new transit center, there are over 180,000 jobs compared with the half mile radius are on the current terminus of about 19,000 jobs, about a tenfold difference. that's why it's important to bring cal train and high-speed rail into the heart of downtown. with that, we will turn to the video and then josh will give a presentation on the details and i will come back a little bit later to talk about the 5.4 acre roof top park.
♪ [inaudible] on the street level, buses will be incomplete the weather protected areas. primary entry to the transit center -- on the street level at the west and of the terminal, there is additional circulation as well as retail and other service functions. the mezzanine level will have more retail, office spaces and intercity bus operations. the bus back level provides an
area for passengers with a dedicated connection to the bay bridge. the station itself is about a million gross square feet, four city blocks long, and the capping of this is a new 5.4 acre park. the park, designed by peter walker and partners, will feature a children's playground as well as art, culture and educational activities. there is also a music amphitheater. the park will feature a water fountain and the vision is for the part to accommodate the people who live in the neighborhood and work in the area and come to san francisco as transit riders connecting to various parts of the bay area and eventually the entire state of california. today, the street is one of the most blighted areas of the trans bay area. yet in the not too distant future, it will be a true
destination for residents and visitors of san francisco alike. there'll be retail, coffeeshops, and other commercial activities similar to what we see at grand central terminal in new york city. mission plaza will be shared by the transit tower and the new station. the current design features redwood trees, california's: state tree, reaching upward toward the plaza's canopy above. an exciting feature proposed by the architect is a funicular as one of the ways to access the rooftop parking. the mission plaza leads into the grand hall on the ground level of the new transit center. it is a very light and open space which welcomes the public to the regional and state wide transit system. it features a floor designed by a san francisco artist and incorporates a comic images of california poppies.