Neighbors Slam Master Plan
March 6, 2007 8:29 PM
Community members called for a re-evaluation of the SF State Master Plan Tuesday in Jack Adams Hall, citing future environmental impacts and rapid neighborhood change as a major concern.
Residents of the Villas at Parkmerced, environmentalists, faculty, staff and two students raised many questions at the 3 p.m. meeting, which were documented but not answered — frustrating some in attendance who were looking for immediate answers.
According to the review board, they were following the California law in reviewing the environmental impact report (EIR), informing attendees that the meeting was assembled to hear the public’s concerns, which would be presented and considered in the final EIR report.
James K. Stickley, director of Wallaca Roberts and Todd, Inc. (WRT) San Francisco, a planning and design company involved in the project, said the San Francisco State EIR report is taking further steps to develop the campus through the proposed master plan, into a more “vibrant campus community.”
The community expressed two major issues with future neighborhood changes: the availability of both housing and parking.
“This is urban sprawl,” said Aaron Goodman, professional architect and resident of the Villas at Parkmerced. Goodman told the EIR board that some of their ideas need to be re-examined and urged them to look carefully into their plans.
“There is nothing showing densification on campus,” Goodman said.
Four faculty members from the Humanities department, including CFA President Linda Ellis, brought up health concerns regarding the proposed construction of a new Clinical Sciences building.
The faculty was overwhelmingly concerned with the potential for toxic mold growth on the western side of the Humanities building, which has been a problem in the past according to Ellis.
“This is and OSHA issue,” Ellis said.
Placing a building in the proposed position would block the afternoon sun, which would only add to the toxic mold growth, she said.
Through this proposed plan, Stickley said, a new campus design is projected to help the university through the projected enrollment ceiling growth of 25,000 full-time students, allowing more space for classrooms, student housing, and stronger connections to the surrounding city.
Another sour point for many residents of the Villas at Parkmerced was how under advertised this meeting, regarding the EIR, was to the public. The SF State Master Plan board said that they informed the public through two campus memos on February 26th and March 5th.
Despite the university’s efforts to inform the community, junior environmental studies major, Cathrina Bjazevich said, “I wouldn’t have known if the teacher hadn’t told me.”
“New urbanism is something important to have,” Andrew Lesa, a senior environmental studies major said, commending the board on the proposed SF State plan. While the student representation at the meeting was minimal, Lesa said that students are excited to see a change integrated.
More information about the SF State Master Plan and EIR report is available at sfsumasterplan.org.
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