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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hearing Tomorrow Determines Fate of Parklet at Inner Sunset Arizmendi

Posted By on Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 3:41 PM

click to enlarge As shown in this rendering, the proposed parklet would erase two meter spaces on Ninth Avenue directly in front of Arizmendi Bakery. - ARIZMENDI
  • Arizmendi
  • As shown in this rendering, the proposed parklet would erase two meter spaces on Ninth Avenue directly in front of Arizmendi Bakery.

Will the Inner Sunset Arizmendi gets its parklet on Ninth Avenue approved tomorrow? Not if a small group of opponents gets its way.

Advocates for the parklet ― a curbside mini plaza that would take up two street parking spaces directly in front of the bakery collective ― say similar parklets elsewhere in the city (in the Mission, on Divisadero, in Noe Valley) have been successes, bringing scarce public commons to S.F. neighborhoods. It would be purely public space, though Arizmendi worker-owner Andria Lessler says the bakery has agreed to be what she calls the parklet's "host."

Adam Greenfield, a videographer who's on the board of a community group called Inner Sunset Park Neighbors, has been a loud voice of support for the plan, which passed a technical review by the Planning Department. After plans were posted at Arizmendi last December, says Greenfield, there was one formal objection, making a public hearing for the parklet inevitable. That hearing takes place at 9 a.m. before the Department of Public Works tomorrow., Mar. 2, at City Hall. Since that objection was raised, Greenfield says Inner Sunset Park Neighbors has collected signatures on a petition in support of the parklet, though he says he has heard from two individuals and two businesses who've logged concerns.

"Overall we're very happy with the level of support," Greenfield says. "Considering we have almost a thousand signatures in support, and about 35 local businesses in the Inner Sunset supporting it, I would be stunned if the decision [tomorrow] was anything but yes."

But one of the businesses objecting to the plan is Arizmendi neighbor All Animals Emergency pet hospital, which has been operating in the neighborhood for some 30 years. "It seems as though taking parking spaces away form an emergency hospital can't be a good idea," says All Animals manager Joe Graff. Graff says he's spoken about the parklet with some worker-owners at Arizmendi, and says the bakery co-op has always been a good neighbor. "I want to stay on good terms with them, regardless of the outcome," Graff says.

Arizmendi's Andria Lessler suggests Graff's concerns might be addressed by making the parking space directly in front of All Animals as a pet hospital loading zone. As for concerns about increased jaywalking, or even that Ninth Avenue is a designated tsunami evacuation route, well: concerned neighbors might just have to see all the benefits the parklet could bring once it's built. "I think people will enjoy it once it gets approved," she says.

Tomorrow's hearing is in Room 400, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place. The other item on the agenda: a request by the Tenderloin's Little Bird Coffeehouse to install sidewalk tables.

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