If you or someone you know of is interested in volunteering to fill a CAC vacancy please contact Robert Muehlbauer (firstname.lastname@example.org) He serves on both committees and will be happy to discuss with you personally the role of the CAC’s, the required commitment of time (two to three hours a month), and how you can help make a difference.
Some Background on the Balboa Park Station CAC and the Balboa Reservoir CAC
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors created two Citizens Advisory Committees as a means to guide development and transit improvements in the southern neighborhoods using the Board-adopted 2009 Balboa Park Station Area Plan as a planning model, and to increase local participation in the process. The Balboa Park Station Area CAC focuses on the geographic area directly around the Balboa Park BART Station; the Balboa Reservoir has as a focus proposed housing development for several hundred market and affordable residential units at the unused reservoirs adjacent to City College. Both nine-member CAC’s are comprised of local residents appointed by the Board of Supervisors. The Balboa Park Station CAC currently has three vacancies.
Balboa Park Station CAC
Balboa Park Station is the busiest San Francisco transit station outside of downtown. It serves BART, MUNI Metro and numerous bus lines. Part of the site is to be developed into 85-100 units of affordable housing and ground-level neighborhood commercial uses. Across the street the historic Geneva Car Barn awaits rehabilitation for re-use as a youth and community center. BART is slated to construct approximately $15 million in station improvement upgrades in the next two years and the San Francisco Metropolitan Agency (MTA) is already underway with sidewalk widening, bus stop and streetcar stop reconfiguring. Supervisor Avalos recently secured a $100,000 Neighborhood Improvement Planning Grant (NTIP) to create a Specific Plan for the Geneva and San Jose Avenue intersection as a means to better coordinate design and construction plans at “ground zero” among the myriad of public agencies (BART, SFMTA, Mayors Office of Housing, Recreation and Parks, Dept of Public Works) that will be responsible for implementing public improvements. The grant will include a neighborhood design exercise, or charette, to seek public participation and gain insights on the public’s preferences for various infrastructure improvements. In addition, the Board of Supevisors recently approved a supplemental budget appropriation of $2.5 million to begin rehabilitating the landmark Geneva Car Barn. Clearly, there now exists a perfect storm of events that will lead to significant change at our local transit station. The vacant CAC positions are intended to be filled by residents with areas of expertise or experience in three areas: housing, the interests of local students and faculty, and a regular user of BART.
Balboa Reservoir CAC
The Balboa Reservoir CAC is working with local neighborhood associations and the Mayors Office of Economic and Workforce Development to create development parameters for a pending Request for Proposal (RFP) setting out design principals for essentially a new residential neighborhood. The adopted Area Plan suggests approximately 500 units; City staff is recommending that new housing at the location be a mix of market and affordable units. The City College Board of Trustees is critically interested in how the design for the proposed development will co-exist with the Community College’s current and future needs. Adjacent neighborhoods are concerned with traffic, circulation and parking impacts in an area already congested to the point of gridlock at peak times. Hopeful new residents see the infusion of 500 plus units as providing some relief in the housing crisis.
Why the CAC’s Are Important
The Board of Supervisors created the CAC’s partially out of recognition that the southern neighborhoods have been chronically under-served for years when it comes to having a voice in local development matters. A pattern of broken promises, stalled improvement deadlines and poorly thought out proposals served as the impetus for increasing opportunities for better local resident participation. The committees are tasked with keeping the spotlight on the big picture and keeping public agencies accountable to the community. In return, we in the community must be engaged with what is being proposed and ready to make meaningful comment.