Central Waterfront: Neighborhood Workshop #2

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Workshop #2 Summary
Imagining a Better Neighborhood: What We Heard and Learned
August 24th, 2000

On August 24th, 2000, the Planning Department held the second of a series of neighborhood workshops that is laying the groundwork for the Central Waterfront Neighborhood Plan.

The Central Waterfront is one of three neighborhoods for which plans are being prepared as part of the Department's Better Neighborhoods 2002 citywide planning effort. The theme of this second workshop was "What We Heard and Learned." More than 40 neighbors came to the California College of Arts and Crafts for a 2-1/2 hour gathering.

The meeting had two basic purposes: to provide a forum for planning staff to report back and receive comments on "what we heard" from attendees at the first workshop in May, and to introduce and get feedback on the outline of issues to be included in the specific planning effort now underway.

The meeting began with a mill-about session. People were invited to write comments on the eight elements of a good neighborhood introduced during the first workshop (click here to read about the eight elements). These comments will be folded into the background information that will form the foundation and overall context for the plan.

The workshop began in earnest with two presentations by staff. The first summarized the feedback from the initial workshop and the bus and walking tours and introduced some of the key issues and concerns raised by and about the neighborhood.

One of the most important challenges will be to determine the role of the neighborhood. For instance, there is the need and desire to preserve the industrial nature of much of the Central Waterfront; at the same time, sensible housing development should be encouraged. Accommodating these two sometimes competing land uses will require careful planning.

The second presentation introduced what are termed the program elements. They are listed below (there is no order of importance or preference). These program elements will help to provide the framework around which the plan itself will evolve. These program elements were distilled from the various comments and concerns expressed by the neighborhood so far.

  • Strengthen connections between Potrero and Mission Bay.
  • Protect and preserve Dogpatch's existing character.
  • Respect public view corridors.
  • Improve linkages between residents and employees and the transit system.
  • Integrate Pier 70 into the neighborhood.
  • Encourage public access to and along the waterfront.
  • Emphasize the Bay Trail as a corridor for non-auto modes of travel.
  • Strengthen the connection between major east-west streets and the water.
  • Develop an open space program for the neighborhood, linking existing open spaces where possible.
  • Link the CalTrain Station to 3rd Street and Potrero Hill through streetscape and design features, including lighting, signs, and street-enlivening uses.
  • Connect Transit Center to Neighborhoods and CCSF.
  • Encourage development of residential above retail and commercial uses along 3rd Street, and most importantly at transit nodes.
  • Protect existing maritime and industrial uses.
  • Create a vital urban transit center linked to the neighborhood.
  • Configure Illinois Street as a buffer between residential and industrial uses.
  • Develop a transportation plan for the area.
  • Address the need to provide affordable housing

The remainder of the workshop was spent in break-out groups where participants discussed these program elements and the issues they raise. There were spirited discussions around about ten tables in which residents presented, discussed and debated their hopes, dreams and greatest concerns.

What became clear is that for most people, the most important issues are upgrading the appearance and function of the station area (making it a "place"), increasing pedestrian safety and helping revitalize Ocean Avenue. We continue to be thrilled by the positive response and thoughtful input that we're getting and we look forward to the next step.

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