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Legislation to Spruce Up Empty, Undeveloped Lots While Developments are Stalled

John King reports that Mayor Gavin Newsom’s administration is “drafting legislation to encourage San Francisco developers to occupy empty lots on a short-term basis with such initiatives as tree farms or public art.”


Many neighbors who came to the 333 Harrison Street Park Planning site visit this past Saturday hosted by open space advocates Isabel Wade and Corinne Woods asked me about that huge hole in the ground at Fremont and Harrison Streets, who owned it, and what was going to happen to it. Today’s article is encouraging … and would certainly help to build goodwill among Rincon Hill residents.

As Rincon Hill neighbors may recall, John King first brought up the topic of “what are we doing with these huge empty lots while development is stalled?” back on July 6, 2009 (the first edition of the San Francisco Chronicle printed on the new presses) with a follow-up article on July 7, 2009.

Neighbors had a chance to hear from John King when he spoke at the September 1, 2009 Rincon Hill Neighborhood Association meeting at The Infinity.

In a September 3, 2009 article, John King alluded to the Turnberry Lansing folks who own the lot at 45 Lansing Street were seriously considering the implementation of the Rebar Group’s idea from Mr. King’s early July articles on the topic to create a short-term art piece on the 45 Lansing Street lot until Turnberry Lansing could begin work on their development project. I walked down Harrison Street from Epicenter Cafe (on Harrison between 3rd and 4th Streets) on Sunday, and it looks like the 45 Lansing Street lot is still the same without improvements for the community. UPDATE: I just learned that the 45 Lansing Street temporary improvement IS in progress.

I’m going to try to get some guest speakers for the March 2, 2010 Rincon Hill Neighborhood Association meeting who can speak to Mayor Newsom’s proposed legislation and maybe we can discuss some ideas for temporary uses of the lots … or at least a way to discourage blight and graffiti while the lots are undeveloped.

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