Just when it didn’t seem possible, Noe Valley is about to get even more pleasant.
A plot of land reserved for the Saturday farmers market on 24th street may become a permanent park rather than a 6-day-per-week parking lot. While every café, corner and random bench in the area is ready-made for sun-drenched bliss-outs, the family-friendly neighborhood actually does not currently have any officially designated public park spaces.
Now, as part of a long-standing community effort, the SF Rec and Park Department is gearing up to purchase the plot of land – owned by Noe Valley Minsitry – that serves as a pop-up meeting space for neighborhood residents, turning it into a bona fide public open space.
Neighborhood community groups say that the large turnout for the farmers market every Saturday was a testament to the desire and need of the community for a central gathering place. Members of Residents For Noe Valley Town Square are optimistic that their actions to get the city to create a public park in the middle of their neighborhood could prove to be a catalyst for other cities to take up the idea.
Of course, like the gorgeous Victorians and Edwardians that proliferate the area, the plot of land is gonna cost some serious dough.
SF Rec and Park will have to cough up about $4.2 million from its open-space fund – the first time it’s been used for a decade – to deliver on the park promise. Additionally, the aforementioned neighborhood groups are chipping in, having raised nearly $500,000 in donations to cover improvement costs, and together with Rec and Park have applied for a $720,000 state grant.
The park has high ambitions, including two play areas, a performance stage and more trees. The farmers market will still be held every Saturday, serving as the central hub of the space.
If everything goes to plan, Noe Valley residents can look forward to having the lot as theirs by July 1.
Supervisor Scott Weiner, whose district includes Noe Valley, introduced legislation to enable the purchase, because, well, who can say no to a park?