San Francisco Redevelopment Agency


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110-0409-002                                                                                         Meeting of March 3, 2009

 

 

INFORMATIONAL MEMORANDUM

 

TO:                 Agency Commissioners

 

FROM:           Fred Blackwell, Executive Director

 

SUBJECT:    Visitacion Valley Community Center; Visitacion Valley Redevelopment Survey Area. 

 

 

Summary

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors (“Board”) designated the Visitacion Valley Survey Area on June 7, 2005 (“Survey Area,” Resolution Numbers 425–05).  The 46-acre Survey Area boundary includes approximately 124 parcels zoned either Industrial (M-1, M-2) or Neighborhood Commercial (NC-1, NC-2, or NC-3).  The boundary of the Survey Area was intentionally created to not include any residentially zoned parcels.  This resulted in the Visitacion Valley Community Center being excluded from the Survey Area.  On February 3, 2009 the Commission voted to recommend to the Board of Supervisors the approval of the Visitacion Valley Redevelopment Plan (“Redevelopment Plan”), and thereby designating the Survey Area as the Visitation Valley Project Area (“Proposed Project Area”). 

The Visitacion Valley Community Center offers numerous resources, various programs and services to area residents of all ages. It is a very old facility in need of significant upgrades to better serve the community.  Community members and Commissioners have expressed an interest in utilizing the resources of the proposed Visitacion Valley Redevelopment Plan to assist with improvements to the Community Center.  Although the Community Center is not in the proposed Project Area, other mechanisms are available to the City of San Francisco (“City”) to provide funding support for the Community Center.  These include the potential combination of Community Development Block Grant funding, and the Visitacion Valley Developer Fee.

 

DISCUSSION

Project Area Designation

On June 7, 2005, the Board designated the Survey Area; a 46-acre area in the Visitacion Valley neighborhood, comprising of approximately 124 parcels.  The original Survey Area boundary was drawn by a team of Agency and city staff including representatives of the San Francisco Planning Department (“Planning Department”), The Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development (now “OEWD”), and Supervisor Sophie Maxwell’s office.

On February 3, 2009 the Commission voted to recommend to the Board of Supervisors the approval of the Visitacion Valley Redevelopment Plan (“Redevelopment Plan”), thereby designating the Survey Area as the Visitation Valley Project Area (“Proposed Project Area”).  The focal point of the Proposed Project Area is the former Schlage Lock manufacturing facility on Bayshore Boulevard and surrounding vacant properties. These properties, referred to collectively as the “Schlage Lock Site,” consist of approximately 20 acres of industrially zoned (M-1 and M-2) contaminated land that has remained underutilized since the closure of the Schlage facility.  The Proposed Project Area also includes four blocks of Leland Avenue, and five and a half blocks of properties on the west side of Bayshore Boulevard which are designated as commercial areas by the San Francisco Planning Code (NC-1, NC-2, and NC-3). 

The Redevelopment Plan will facilitate the redevelopment of the Schlage Lock Site, assist with the incremental revitalization of the Leland Avenue and Bayshore Boulevard commercial corridors and provide neighborhood amenities and community benefits for the broader Visitacion Valley community.  The Schlage Lock site will be transformed into a new mixed-use transit-oriented community of approximately 1,250 homes with new public streets and three new community parks.  The Redevelopment Plan also calls for a community facility to be created at the original Schlage Lock office building. 

The Survey Area boundaries were drawn to focus on the commercial properties and intentionally avoided any property falling within residential zoning.  The site of the Visitacion Valley Community Center (“Community Center”) sits along a residential block of Raymond Avenue.  The Community Center parcels are zoned Public (“P”), but are surrounded by residentially zoned parcels (“RH-1”).  The proposed Project Area cannot include any property not included in the Survey Area.  While the Survey Area boundaries could be revised by the Board of Supervisors, and included in an amended redevelopment project area, this would require repeating or revising much of the analysis undertaken as part of the Visitacion Valley plan adoption process, including revisiting the Environmental Impact Report and repeating most of the California Community Redevelopment Law (“CCRL”) studies required of survey areas, and would likely take a couple of years to complete.

 

Visitacion Valley Community Center

The Visitacion Valley Community Center at 50 and 66 Raymond Avenue is a facility owned by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department and operated by a non-profit entity by the same name: Visitacion Valley Community Center, (herein referred to as “VVCC” to distinguish the operator from the physical facility).  The original Community Center building was built in 1922 at 66 Raymond.  The Community Center was expanded in 1941 to include the structure at 50 Raymond.

The VVCC as an organization grew out of the War Camp Community Service Center in 1918, which was originally located in a small wooden building, which is still standing at 101 Raymond Ave.  VVCC has been consistently active in the Visitacion Valley for over 90 years. The VVCC currently works to improve family and neighborhood life within Visitacion Valley by offering resources, various programs and services to residents of the area. The services provided by VVCC are both located at the Community Center and at other locations in the community and include:

  • VVCC's Children's Programs provide childcare and early childhood education programs to children, ages 2 months to 13 years old. The Children's Programs are aimed at healthy childhood development, preparing children for school, and providing a positive environment for school-age children outside normal school hours.
  • The Family Resource Center provides a range of integrated family support services including an on-site social worker, individual and family counseling, and a family services coordinator.
  • After School Programs including tutoring, gardening in collaboration with the Greenway Project, leadership workshops, conflict management, arts and cultural programs and help with peer pressure and diversity issues.
  • Summer Employment & Training Programs are offered for youth ages 14 - 18. The programs include employment and training placements in public and non-profit agencies.
  • Visitacion Valley Senior Center offers case management, arts and crafts programs, films, consumer assistance, health screenings and information, day tours and overnight trips.

 

Representatives from VVCC are active on the Visitacion Valley Citizens Advisory Committee.  VVCC staff has assisted Agency staff with community outreach, especially to seniors and the Chinese speaking community members.  VVCC currently received public operational funding from numerous agencies in the City including MOCI, San Francisco Human Services Agency, and the Department of Children, Youth, and Families.

Agency and Planning Staff have utilized the Community Center facilities for numerous community meetings and planning workshops.  The facility is used heavily by community members and has extensive needs for upgrades.

 

Community Facilities Planning and Funding Opportunities

The Agency expects to leverage tax increment funds along with developer contributions to rehabilitate the Old Office Building on the Schlage Lock Site into a community service facility however, no functional programming, organizational structure or operational plan for such a facility has been determined.  As part of an upcoming effort to plan the future open space and community facilities on the Schlage Lock site, Agency staff has proposed to conduct a community asset data collection and mapping exercise on existing community services and potential facility needs.  Agency staff is engaging with San Francisco State University’s Urban Studies program, the Department of Public Health, and the Communities of Opportunities Program to collect existing information on social services, educational programs, existing facilities and past surveys of community needs.  This process will involve close coordination with the Mayor’s Office of Housing, the Planning Department, the Mayor’s Office of Community Investment (“MOCI”), OEWD, the Recreation and Parks Department, Universal Paragon Corporation, and the numerous community organizations in the area.  The goal of this effort is to identify programming opportunities for the Old Office Building and avoid duplicating or creating competing facilities in the neighborhood.  The creation of a community facility on the Schlage site should complement, rather than in any way displace, the existing Community Center on Raymond. 

Agency staff has researched existing and future funding resources that may be available to upgrade the current facility. 

The Community Development Block Grant (“CDBG”) program is a flexible public funding program of the Department of Housing and Urban Development that provides cities with financial resources to address community development needs.  The CDBG program provides annual grants on a formula basis to local government and in San Francisco those funds are currently administered by MOCI.  MOCI provides operational funds to the VVCC and have previously designated CDBG funds for capital improvements to the Community Center.  Agency staff have begun meeting with MOCI staff to discuss current and future funding opportunities for revitalizing the Community Center.

The Visitacion Valley Developer Fee and Fund Ordinance was imposed as an impact fee on development at Executive Park and in Visitacion Valley in 2005.  The impact fee levies $4.58 for every square foot of residential development.  As the developments at Executive Park and the former Travel Lodge motel site contribute to the fund, the Board of Supervisors may allocate the funds to build or enhance public facilities.  Currently the fee is slated to fund the Leland Avenue Streetscape Project and the new Visitacion Valley Public Library.  Agency staff has met with staff of the Planning Department, Supervisor Maxwell’s Office, and Department of Public Works requesting that the Community Center be considered as a priority for future fund allocations.

Agency staff will continue to explore funding options for the Community Center improvements and work to coordinate planning for future community facilities in and around the proposed Project Area.  As part of the community facility planning work described above, staff will work with the Recreation and Parks Department, who own the building, to inventory the physical needs of the Community Center and fully catalogue the funding opportunities for this valuable community resource.

 

 

(Originated by Tom Evans, Lead Planner)

 

 

 

 

Fred Blackwell

Executive Director

 

Attachments: 

  1. Annotated Visitacion Valley Survey Area Map 
  2. Visitacion Valley Zoning Map 
    Visitacion Valley Community Center