Park project moves ahead as others idle

Swift work is under way to transform a parking lot at 17th and Folsom streets into a park to provide open space for the neighborhood, but questions remain as to why other projects have been moved to the back burner.

City planners spent months mapping three elaborate designs, grand pictures of what the property could look like, eventually landing The City a $2.7 million state grant to move forward with development in the Mission district.

The 0.8-acre site — in an area identified as high need for open space — is currently owned by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and a key step to moving forward with the project is for the Recreation and Park Department to use about $2.3 million to purchase the land.

Rec and Park has about $8 million set aside — a percentage of a reserve that has been specifically saved for several years for this purpose — and park officials say it will likely pay for the land.

Doling out the funds for the Folsom Street site, however, will be scrutinized by a group of 23 open-space fund overseers appointed by the Board of Supervisors. At their next meeting, the watchdogs are going to evaluate a list of about a dozen pending open spaces — some more than a decade old — and question whether they deserve the same attention the 17th and Folsom streets project is being given.

Rec and Park officials, however, acknowledge that the agency has a laundry list of projects.

“We’re responding to a number of long-standing mandates,” said Dawn Kamalanathan, the department’s capital program manager. “The way that our current acquisition process works, it’s kind of reactive.”

For example, residents in the Bayview district requested that Rec and Park consider a 0.165-acre lot at Third and Hudson streets, which is privately owned and currently on the market for $750,000.

That land is under consideration for purchase by the department.

kkelkar@sfexaminer.com

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

San Francisco police investigated the scene of a police shooting near Varney Place and Third Street on May 7. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD shooting may prompt new body camera rules for plainclothes cops

Police chief says incident ‘should not have happened’

Governor Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference about a $12 billion package bolstering the state’s response to the homelessness crisis at the Kearney Vista Apartments on May 11, 2021 in San Diego, California. (K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)
Newsom promises sweeping change in California’s $267-billion budget

John Myers Los Angeles Times California would embark on the most ambitious… Continue reading

Despite the pandemic, San Francisco has ended the fiscal year with a budget surplus. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Better than expected tax revenues leave city with $157.3M surplus for this year

As the fiscal year nears an end and Mayor London Breed prepares… Continue reading

Passengers board a BART train bound for the San Francisco Airport at Powell Street station. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
BART bumps up service restoration to August 30, offers fare discounts

Rail agency breaks pandemic ridership records, prepares to welcome more passengers

Ashley and Michelle Monterrosa hold a photo of their brother Sean Monterrosa, who was killed by a Vallejo police officer early Tuesday morning, as they are comforted at a memorial rally at the 24th Street Mission BART plaza on Friday, June 5, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
State Department of Justice to investigate Sean Monterrosa shooting by Vallejo police

Attorney General Rob Bonta steps in after Solano County DA declines case

Most Read