Noe Valley Voice April 2013

Noe Courts: Déjà Vu All Over Again

By Heather World

Dog park? Playground? Tennis, anyone?

Neighbors are invited to weigh in on the re-design of Noe Courts park at a meeting to be held May 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Alvarado Elementary School cafeteria at St. Philip's parish hall.

If the invitation sounds familiar, it is. In 2011, neighbors publicly vetted a plan to improve landscaping and drainage and new seating at the park, located at the corner of Douglass and 24th streets. The residents group Friends of Noe Courts subsequently won a grant worth $210,712 from the Recreation and Park Department’s Community Opportunity Fund to do the work.

At the same time, the department had been planning to upgrade the park’s dilapidated bathrooms, using money from the 2008 parks bond set aside specifically for bathrooms.

Following a meeting between Friends of Noe Courts, District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener, and park department staff, the agency agreed to create a master plan for the whole park.

Laura Norman of Friends of Noe Courts says a master plan will focus all future improvements, including those from the grant.

“You’re not going to do something that gets ripped out in a few years,” she said.

The public can weigh in on specifics—what should be in the park and where—at the upcoming meeting, said Marvin Yee, a project manager for the Recreation and Park Department.

“The community is welcome to share ideas on these funded elements, and also on desired improvements not yet funded,” he said. There will be as many as three public meetings, Yee said.

 The construction budget set aside for replacing the restroom building is $400,000. The grant money will pay for seating, landscaping, and drainage. Unfunded park improvements may require additional fundraising, he said.

 The construction timeline will depend on how much work is planned, and has not yet been decided.

Yee said the May meeting would start with a description of the project’s background and a presentation of maps that show existing conditions. Then participants will break out into working groups, which will feed ideas back to the department.

Norman noted that there are two elementary schools and at least four preschools near the park. Two bus stops and a new café could mean even more visitors.

“Parents, dog owners, retirees: everybody who might ever want to play or sit on the grass or shoot hoops or enjoy flowers should go [to the meeting],” she said.

“The whole point behind this is to make sure everything that is done feeds into what the community as a whole wants in there.”

The Alvarado cafeteria is entered off 22nd Street between Douglass and Eureka streets. For more information about the meeting, contact Marvin Yee at 415-581-2541 or

St. Philip's hall is entered on Diamond Street between 24th and Elizabeth streets. For more information about the meeting, contact Marvin Yee at 415-581-2541 or