e 22nd Street Greenscape Connection is a $3.6 million infrastructure improvement project located between Pennsylvania Avenue and Illinois Street along 22nd street.

Features of the conceptual design, created by Fletcher Studios, include planting trees, improving bike lanes and pedestrian paths, 7,150 square feet of permeable paving (allowing for some storm water absorption), 7,150 square feet of drought tolerant plants, new pedestrian light fixtures at crosswalks, and “bulb-outs” that increase the size of street corners.

Although not technically part of the project, a proposed public stairway would also connect 22nd Street at Texas with 22nd Street at Missouri. The stairway would be adjacent to the 790 Pennsylvania/1395 22nd Street development.

“The goals of the project are greening and connectivity,” said Kelli Rudnick, Project Manager for San Francisco Public Works.

The project is a joint operation between the San Francisco Planning Department and San Francisco Public Works. The two departments have been working together since early 2015.

However, the 22nd Street Greenscape Connection Plan “has roots in the planning department all the way to 2008, if not before,” explained Robin Abad Ocubillo, Project Manager for the San Francisco Planning Department.

Roughly $600,000 of the $3.6 million project comes from Public Works, which had already been approved to repave that section of the City. $3 million will come solely from development impact fees.

Development impact fees are levied on new developments as a way to mitigate impacts that the development will have, and used by the City as a way to finance public projects. In San Francisco, fee rates are determined by gross square foot (GSF), or percentages of final construction cost. Fee rates vary widely between categories and neighborhoods.

The 22nd Greenscape Connection project would fall under the Streetscape and Pedestrian Infrastructure category, according to Rudnick. The Eastern Neighborhoods fee rate in 2013, for residential developments in that category, was 35 cents per GSF, 51 cents for commercial developments.

Although funds for the project have not yet been collected, Ocubillo says that the City is consistently collecting development fees, and does so based on completed developments, and what future projections indicate.

“What we do have is approval from the Eastern Neighborhoods Advisory Committee (ENCAC) to apply three million dollars in development impact fees to realize the community’s requests for extra greening, and pedestrian routes. The next step is for the City is to incorporate the ENCAC’s recommendation and program it into the City’s Capital Plan. The Capital Planning Committee makes their decisions before the end of the calendar year,” Ocubillo said.

Ocubillo went on to say that money for the stairway project will likely come from the developers of 790 Pennsylvania/1395 22nd Street, although proposals have been sent to ENCAC to use development impact fees.

“The project will be in design in 2016, and construction should begin in spring 2017,” said Rudnick. She went on to say that finalized designs will incorporate community feedback, and that construction of the project can only begin once Caltrain has completed installation of three new bridges over 22nd Street, 23rd Street, and Paul Avenue.

Ocubillo hopes that the Planning Department will continue to work with the Dogpatch Neighborhood Association, the Potrero Dogpatch Merchants Associations and the Potrero Boosters.

“Between February and May 2016, the Planning and Public Works Department team will be holding public workshops to gather additional feedback on the refined designs,” he said. 

Vanessa R. Aquino, Social Media Coordinator for the Dogpatch Neighborhood Association, said “The neighborhood is ready for more green space, given the more than 1,500 housing units planned within the next five years. The sooner it happens, the better.”

Originally Published January 2016: The Potrero View

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