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SFNBBA Wins Neighborhood Protections In Face Of Washington Square Park Closure

Procedural Victory Over Rec & Park Will Minimize Impact On North Beach

By Joe Bonadio

In a hopeful turn of events, the SFNBBA has won a significant victory in the battle over the impending closure and resurfacing of North Beach’s beloved Washington Square Park. After an epic round of lobbying on the part of Board President Dan Macchiarini and others, a struggle that included a legal appeal to the city, San Francisco Rec & Park has signed a letter of understanding that stipulates the agency’s commitments to curbing negative impacts to the neighborhood.

The document, signed by Toks Ajike, Rec & Park’s Interim Director of Capital & Planning, made very specific commitments, including plans for dust and noise mitigation, traffic and pedestrian safety, parking impacts, and archaeological oversight. The timing of the project has been cut from twelve to six months, with incentives in place for early completion and penalties for delays beyond six months.

This is no small concession, and its impact may not be limited to North Beach. The agreement creates a positive, proactive example for neighborhoods across the city who feel the need to challenge disruptive or ill-considered development. The fact that the SFNBBA and our allies managed to wrest this agreement from Rec & Park shows that with a little elbow grease, the agency can be held accountable. As San Franciscans, we can protect our neighborhoods from insensible and harmful construction.

So the park closure will go forward, and February of 2019 is the current start date. But we are looking at a much prettier picture than where we started: with a twelve month project term and zero mitigation plans. Now we’ve got a relatively firm six month duration, along with a realistic and comprehensive plan for minimizing the problems that inevitably result from this type of work.

A warm thank you to all of our allies in this fight. Here at the SFNBBA, we’ll continue to follow planning for this project every step of the way, making sure that the interests of North Beach’s citizens and merchants are protected. We’ll have updates here soon, so make sure to bookmark this page and come see us again.

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A Glimpse Of What SFNBBA Does For North Beach Businesses

In keeping with our history of support and leadership for the commercial district of our neighborhood, the North Beach Business Association has assembled a quick report detailing a few of our organizational accomplishments for 2018. This is a partial list, but it will give readers some idea of the breadth of our efforts for the neighborhood.

North Beach Commercial Vacancies Prompt Action: Enough Is Enough

On Wednesday afternoon, we will join Supervisor Aaron Peskin at 527 Columbus Avenue near Green Street, where commercial units have been kept off the rental market for nearly a decade. The press will be in attendance, and Supervisor Peskin and SFNBBA board members are expected to speak about the need for these commercial landlords to do their part to restore the commercial rental supply in our neighborhood–and the well-being of our commercial district. It’s not complicated: we are simply asking that property owners offer their vacant spaces for rent, and at a reasonable market rate.

Let's Keep It Local: Your North Beach Shopping Guide

A list of eleven of the coolest possible places to do your Christmas shopping–right here in North Beach.

Wintry Weather Brings Holiday Events And More To North Beach

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The Beach Never Sleeps: New Offerings Abound

Here in North Beach, it’s been a mighty strange couple of weeks. As much as we’ve tried to focus on our labors, the smoky, toxic air conditions brought by the tragic Camp Fire to our north has admittedly knocked our neighborhood a little bit out of whack. And that’s only natural, in a place where our residents are used to spending so much time outdoors. So we're here to give you a quick review of what's been afoot.

Business Owner Recognized For Heroism; Macchiarini Design Turns Seventy

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Washington Square Mitigation Plan Finally In Place; Meanwhile, Ten Trees Gone

If you’ve been reading the blog, you already know Washington Square Park faces temporary closure in the coming months for renovations. Here at the SFNBBA, we’ve been lobbying the city and S.F. Recreation & Park for months.

Empty Spaces: New Report Sheds Light On North Beach Vacancies

The vacancy crisis in North Beach is an ongoing concern, and this month we received some new data on the problem. According to a new report conducted by the San Francisco North Beach Business Association (SFNBBA) in cooperation with Telegraph Hill Dwellers and North Beach Neighbors, the numbers are jarring: over the past three years, the number of vacant ground-floor commercial spaces in the neighborhood has doubled.

It’s Always Sunny In North Beach: North Beach Festival Weekend Is Here

The very first street fair in America, The North Beach Festival has been the blueprint for neighborhood fairs and block parties for decades. And this weekend, we're celebrating the festival for the 64th time. In other news, is there trouble on the horizon for Washington Square Park?

On Eve Of North Beach Festival, Neighborhood Fights Washington Square Park Closure

There is always plenty afoot in North Beach, and this month is no exception: the annual North Beach Festival, due to hit our streets on Saturday and Sunday, June 16th and 17th, is always a monster event. We’re expecting a record turnout for our 64th year.
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Jan 23

Community Action: Resolve The Vacancy Crisis

Community Action: Resolve The Vacancy Crisis Wednesday, January 23rd @ 1:00 PM 527 Columbus Avenue, North Beach, SF (just north of Green St.)