Report on FOAPP’s April 14, 2014, Meeting with Rec and Park

Report on FOAPP’s April 14, 2014, Meeting with Marvin Yee, Project Manager, San Francisco Recreation and Park Department; and Amanda Dougherty, Water Conservation Administrator, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

In addition to Mr. Yee and Ms. Dougherty, the following were present:

Abigail Maher, Sr. Administrative Analyst, SFRPD; Sahiti Karempudi, Manager, Park Partners Program, San Francisco Parks Alliance.  Friends of Alta Plaza Park representatives at the meeting were: Janet Gamble, Teri Goodman, Anita Denz, Judith Maxwell, and Harry Schoening.

Background to the Meeting

We are happy to report that Friends of Alta Plaza Park’s meeting with Marvin Yee and Amanda Dougherty on Monday, April 14, had some very positive outcomes.  This meeting was called following the Community Meeting on March 18, 2014, concerning the north side water conservation project.  At that Community Meeting, no consensus was reached among community members on the proposed landscape plan for the park that had been developed by Rec and Park.  Community members felt that there were too many issues that had priority in addition to water conservation and landscape improvements, and that an effort should be made to address those priorities, as well.

Integrating FOAPP’s Master Plan with the Water Conservation Project

At the April 14 meeting, FOAPP asked about the possibility of integrating the schedule for the water conservation project with the objectives of an FOAPP Master Plan that a landscape architect will develop over the next several months.  Amanda Dougherty, representing the Public Utilities Commission, was able to state the position of the PUC, which is involved in planning and overseeing the water conservation project.  Both Mr. Yee and Ms. Dougherty agreed that some re-scheduling would be possible.  FOAPP is greatly encouraged by this agreement, as it means there could be significant savings in cost and time for the work needed in the park.  In addition, it would reduce the extent and length of park closures necessary for repairs and renovation.

Another excellent result of the meeting is that Mr. Yee noted it would be possible to lay conduit for electrical wiring while the north side of the park is being excavated for replacement of the irrigation system.  Again, this will mean savings in cost and park closures.

Abigail Maher was extremely helpful in detailing the process through which a proposed Master Plan must be approved by various governmental agencies.  We are looking forward to her continued support and assistance with this process.

“Request for Proposal” to Go Out to Landscape Architects

We are also grateful to Mr. Yee for his invaluable assistance in the creation of a “Request for Proposal,” a document we are submitting to a number of landscape architects that asks them to describe the process, phases, and cost of a Master Plan for the park.   A critical requirement of the Master Plan is that it reflect input from the community gathered through surveys and community meetings.   In addition to surveys and three Community Meetings already held earlier this year (on February 1, March 1, and March 13), FOAPP will be scheduling several more community meetings.  The landscape architect whom FOAPP hires will be present at these meetings to ensure that the community has a number of opportunities to provide input and understands and agrees with the proposed improvements.

Other Matters

Harry Schoening, neighbor and supporter of Friends of Alta Plaza Park, mentioned that he had noticed some white lines recently painted on the park pathways at Clay and Scott Streets.  He asked whether those lines were intended to indicate where repairs to the pathways were to be made, and he noted that, in fact, the entire length of the pathway needed repair, not just the small section indicated by the lines.  Following the meeting, Mr. Yee investigated the matter and said that the repairs would be put on hold pending the outcome of the June city budget meetings, which would provide a better idea of the funds available for pathway repair/replacement. 

At the conclusion of the meeting, Mr. Yee proposed that FOAPP accept the proposed landscape plan as currently developed by RPD, stating that it could be amended to conform with the FOAPP Master Plan as needed.  He said that it would be more efficient to get the plan through the process now and amend it later, rather than to wait until the Master Plan has been approved.  FOAPP agreed to these conditions.