Market & Octavia Plan: Pre-Adoption Workshop Summary(1)
May 23, 2006 6 - 8:30 PM
The Planning Department was pleased to welcome about 250 community members to the Market and Octavia Pre-Adoption workshop on May 23. Community members were invited to engage staff in discussions about the vision of the plan and refinements to policies. During the first hour of the workshop, participants were able to review displays boards and ask questions of planners at nine issue stations. Key concepts and polices were illustrated on the following posters:
Introduction to the Plan
Streets and Open Space
Key Infill Sites
Plan Manager AnMarie Rogers lead a short presentation (Powerpoint presentation - 23 MB ) discussing the plan framework, plan history and proposed revisions to the draft plan.
Over 30 community members made public comment on the Market and Octavia Plan during a "town hall" question and answer session. Overall, the community expressed support of the plan. Community comments covered a full range of topics, including concerns about a few key topics. We've summarized the group discussion below. Staff will be reviewing these comments and deliberating on the points raised in our continuing refinement of the plan draft leading to adoption hearings anticipated in August. Final work on the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is underway. The Planning Department is completing the implementation program and making final revisions to the plan. Stay tuned and thanks to all those who attended the workshop.
Community Discussion Summary
Implications of the plan
Numerous community members asked clarifying questions about the implications of plan adoption: "Will there be a lot of demolition?" "Will the small businesses be displaced?"
This is a 20-year plan - the changes detailed in this plan will take place in gradual increments. Projected growth is expected to take place largely on vacant and very underutilized parcels that are not currently used for residential purposes. Our softsite analysis shows that vacant and underutilized parcels could absorb more development than we project in the next 20 years. The plan's policies reaffirm protection of existing housing stock, and strengthen demolition controls. This plan is NOT a redevelopment plan - it is not a clearance and re-build program. The plan is changing the rules of development to align more closely with the community's vision, building on the strength of its traditional character.
With the addition of new historic preservation policies, many community members wanted clarification on the power and implications of new policies. Community members expressed the sentiment that a historic survey should have been completed before plan adoption. "Who will conduct the historic preservation survey? When will the survey be complete? How will potential historic resources be protected in the interim? What will happen when the survey is complete?"
The historic preservation policies protect potential historic resources and support a complete historic survey of the plan area. While some of the plan area was surveyed in previous efforts, the Planning Department will survey the entire plan area. The Planning Department is presently in contract negotiations with Page & Turnbull of San Francisco, and anticipates completion of the survey in May of 2007.
The historic preservation policies call for more rigorous scrutiny of building activity in the area until the survey is completed. Survey results may trigger adjustments to controls on historic properties, findings may indicate changes in zoning or heights to protect historic resources, or other policy amendments.
The current proposed parking caps represent a balance of the various factors indicated in the comments and alignment with a similar issue recently vetted by the Board of Supervisors. As a result, residential and commercial uses could obtain somewhat higher parking ratios than those proposed earlier. Some community members were concerned about the loss of community process and community work, they felt that the parking controls published in the original draft plan were more appropriate and represented the community's vision. One community member suggested higher parking ratio's might be appropriate for the Mission Dolores neighborhood. Some residents of neighboring communities outside the plan area expressed concern about the impacts of lowered parking ratios on their areas.
Generally the goal of the residential parking policies is to maintain a parking supply approximate to the existing ratio. The monitoring program will include reporting of the on and off street parking supply in the plan area.
Community members are anxious to see the implementation of community improvements such as pedestrian improvements, open space and transportation improvements. Some community members expressed concern that transportation improvements would not keep pace with new development. One community member was pleased to see that impact fees and benefits districts were included in the implementation strategy.
Recent work has revealed that there is a balance between planned community improvements and projected revenues. The implementation framework relies on impact fees on new development, some public funding, and some private funding. Some public improvement issues are under review and require further research. A detailed implementation strategy will accompany the plan at the adoption hearings.