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City and County of San Francisco

Balboa Park Station

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Better Neighborhoods Program

Adopted Ordinances
Adopted Area Plan

Final EIR




Thank you to all who participated in the community planning process!

If you have any follow-up questions regarding the Plan, please contact Kate McGee at: or 415.558.6367

Balboa Park Station Area Plan adopted!

On Tuesday, April 7th, 2009, the Board of Supervisors adopted the Balboa Park Station Area Plan. On Friday, April 17th, Mayor Newsom signed the Plan's legislation which was enacted on May 18th.

Click here to download the final Ordinances, Area Plan and EIR.


The Planning Department would like to thank the Community (both individuals and organizations) for their time, effort, guidance, and patience over the years. The Plan provides a vision for the area: a vision to connect, restore, and enhance the areas disparate parts. We encourage you to participate in future community meetings for the individual projects that can help attain the Plan's vision for the area including:

The Balboa Park Bart Station Improvements:
The Ocean Avenue Pathway and Station Entrance Project
This project will provide an attractive, safe and accessible pathway for transit patrons from Ocean Avenue to a new BART entrance on the west side of the station. Near the new entrance, a new pathway would link patrons from the west side to the east side of the station where they can access the Muni Metro J / K accessible platform and general boarding area. This project would eliminate the need for BART and MUNI patrons to walk along the unsafe tracks and narrow pathway through the adjacent SF MUNI yard. Project construction is anticipated to begin in Summer 2009, and be completed within a year.

For a detailed description of the project please click here. Please contact Tim Chan, BART Planning for more information.


Balboa Park Bicycle and Pedestrian Connection Study
The Balboa Park Station Bicycle and Pedestrian Connection Study is intended to lead to improved safety for bicyclists and pedestrians in the vicinity of Balboa Park Station.

Study elements include:

  • Improving pedestrian and bicycle safety.
  • Reducing pedestrian and vehicular conflicts.
  • Increasing access to transit.
  • Streetscape improvements.

For more information please view MTA's webpage or email:


Balboa Park Improvement Plan
The Trust for Public Land is working with the Department of Recreation and Parks to provide the community with a vibrant and active community park.

For more information please view the Trust for Public Land web page or contact Jacob Gilchrist.

The Restoration of the Geneva Car Barn and Power House
For a description of the project please click here. If you have any questions regarding this project, please contact Nicole Avril.

The Reconfiguration of the Phelan Loop
The proposal to reconfigure the existing Phelan Loop around the fire station would improve a significant transit amenity, provide a new public open space, and allow for the development of an affordable housing project. For more information on this project, please contact John Katz at the SFMTA.

Phelan Avenue Bicycle Lanes, Judson Avenue to Ocean Avenue
This project would involve the installation of Class II bicycle lanes in both directions on Phelan Avenue between Judson Avenue and Ocean Avenue. This project would include installation of traffic signals at the intersections of Phelan Avenue and South Cloud Circle, Phelan Avenue and North Cloud Circle, and the new intersection of Phelan Avenue and Lee Avenue. This project also would include adding bulb-outs and raised crosswalks along Phelan Avenue. This project includes two design options:

Option 1
would remove a travel lane in each direction and install Class II bicycle lanes in both directions and build raised median islands with left-turn pockets at intersections from Ocean Avenue to Judson Avenue. This design option is consistent with the Balboa Park Station Area Plan Draft EIR, which was released in October 2007.

Option 2
would remove approximately 140 parking spaces and approximately 30 motorcycle parking spaces on Phelan Avenue to install Class II bicycle lanes in both directions. This option would not provide sidewalk bulb-outs at crosswalks. There would be no travel lane removal under Option 2.

For more information, please visit the MTA's webpage or contact: Damon Curtis at the SFMTA.

Adopted Ordinances
Ordinance No. 59-09 - Zoning Map Amendments
Ordinance No. 60-09 - General Plan Amendments
Ordinance No. 61-09 - Planning Code Amendments
Adopted Area Plan
Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR)
Click here to go to the Area Plan EIR
Please scroll down to the bottom of the page.


The Geneva Car Barn and Power House

Before and after images of City landmark property at the Geneva Car Barn and Power House



The Geneva Car Barn and Power House is located in San Francisco's District 11 at the juncture of the Excelsior and Ingleside neighborhoods. Designed by the Reid Brothers (who also designed the Fairmont Hotel and the Cliff House), the 1901 building served as a depot for the San Mateo Railroad, and then later for all San Francisco rail lines. The structure remains the last physical reminder of San Francisco's first electric railway.

In 1985, the Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse was declared a San Francisco city landmark. Heavily damaged in 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, it was left to deteriorate. In 1998 the Geneva Car Barn and Power House faced demolition, as th e San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni) had not used the deteriorated building for more than a decade. The proposed demolition galvanized the community, who convinced Mayor Willie Brown to save the building. Ownership was transferred to the Department of Recreation and Park in early 2004, as the department was interested in the buildings as a flagship site for a new youth job training program.


Youth Programming

District 11 has the highest percentage of youth in the city, yet the lowest percentage of youth services and virtually none in the arts. In response, the Geneva Car Barn and Power House will provide San Francisco's under-served youth with job skills in the culinary, media, literary, photographic, design and technical arts. Students will earn a paycheck while working, in the form of meaningful apprenticeships, with professional artists. In addition to specific arts-related job skills, programs will teach vital life skills such as time management, creative reasoning and teamwork.

The Geneva Car Barn and Power House's work with young people is motivated by the desire to empower under-served youth and to help span the growing employment participation gap amongst diverse communities. At the heart of our programming is the belief that when given the chance to express themselves creatively, and a beautiful building in which to do this, young people gain the confidence, skills and passion to imagine and pursue a positive future for themselves. And they become part of larger conversations where their voices are desperately missing, and needed.

Programming will begin off-site in Summer, 2010. The building is anticipated to open in mid-2012. To provide programming, the Geneva Car Barn and Powerhouse will partner with best-of-class arts organizations in the Bay Area with established track records and demonstrated excellence in serving under-served youth.


Community Programming

In the non-after school hours, the Geneva Car Barn and Power House will serve as an arts and culture center for District 11 residents – the only one of its kind. It will house a café run by culinary arts students, a flexible performance space, a gallery for local and student artists, a nonprofit incubator program, and an event space with catering kitchen, dance floor and stage.

In addition, art classes for adults and seniors will also be offered by our partner organizations, and meeting rooms will be made available for community members.

Earned income from revenue-generating activities at the Geneva Car Barn and Power House, including the café, event space rental, theater rental, gallery rental and adult art-education classes will fund operational expenses associated with the operation and maintenance of the building and the administration of the programming.


Community Investment

The Geneva Car Barn and Power House has sat empty at the geographic center of this lower-income, ethnically diverse district, across from one of the busiest transportation hubs in the City. It is a graceful historic building with enormous flexibility. It has the potential to energize the community, if successfully adapted for a new use.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation considers the adaptive reuse of vacant historic structures that were not built for housing, but no longer serve their intended purpose, as catalysts for attracting new investment in the neighborhoods that need it most. Accordingly, the Geneva Car Barn and Power House is a key component of the Balboa Park Station Area Plan, a transit-oriented development plan that was recently unanimously approved by the San Francisco Planning Commission. The plan is to be voted upon by the Board of Supervisors in late March 2009.


Sustainable Development

The Geneva Car Barn and Power House will strive to achieve a LEED Platinum rating. This initiative will serve as a superior example to the community of a city-owned building promoting resource conservation using an environmentally sensitive "green building standards" approach to development. Inherently sustainable, h istoric preservation is more environmentally friendly than new construction as it preserves embodied energy, reduces the need for new materials, reduces waste in landfills, and reduces pressure for development on the urban fringe.

District 11 is an area where creative solutions to open space, public amenity, and visual interest are of special need. The positive relationship between building sustainability, urban form, and the public realm will be emphasized. Instead of turning inwards and creating a distinct and disconnected internal environment, the Geneva Car Barn and Power House will look outward at its surrounds, through for instance, visible windows that allow natural light and air the building.

Most importantly, the building will the teach students who inhabit it about how to live more sustainably and prepare for the best possible future without exceeding ecological limits. The building will make its environmental impacts transparent and demonstrate solutions that reduce and recycle wastes, reward efficiency, and eliminate carbon emissions.

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Last updated: 3/4/2015 11:03:50 AM