Upcoming Japantown Better Neighborhood Plan Meeting

If you’re concerned about the future of San Francisco’s Japantown, please join us next Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at a community meeting to discuss the Japantown Better Neighborhood Plan. The draft neighborhood development plan that was released to the public this past May and June was met by much criticism and concern from the community, and was ultimately rejected by the San Francisco Planning Commission. At this point the community meeting will go over the current status of the plan for the neighborhood and also discuss how the community can have a greater voice and involvement in the planning process. More information is below:

Japantown Better Neighborhood Plan
Community Meeting

Wednesday September 9, 2009
7:00 to 9:00 PM
Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California
1840 Sutter Street

Learn about the status of the Japantown Plan and how to get involved in making it responsive to community needs! The Japantown Better Neighborhood Plan Organizing Committee is hosting this community meeting to share information on the status of the plan and to develop effective steps to incorporate community input into the process.

The agenda for this meeting will include:

  • Summarizing the Draft Plan.
  • Reviewing the Planning Commission Resolution approved on June 25.
  • An update on the Planning Department’s proposed workplan and funding for the next 12-months of the plan process.
  • Getting the community involved in reviewing and improving the Draft Plan.
  • General questions.
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Below is also a message from Paul Osaki, Executive Director of the JCCCNC regarding the upcoming meeting:

Thanks to all of you who wrote letters, e-mails, made calls, voiced your concerns and testified at the San Francisco Planning Commission Hearings in May and June what was considered a foregone conclusion by political insiders, the San Francisco Planning Commission unanimously rejected any endorsement of the draft Japantown Better Neighborhoods Plan and instead only voted to acknowledge the work done to date. This was described by many as HUGE VICTORY for the community and that we would not accept a bad plan or simply go away. What was thought to be a small minority of unhappy community activists turned out to be a huge majority of concerned community members of all ages and from throughout the state. I also believe by the comments made by the Planning Commissioners at the final hearing that actually once they had the chance to read the plan, that they came to their own conclusion that the plan was really not ready to go to the next phase of an Environmental Impact Review (EIR).

By the resolution merely acknowledging the work completed to date means that the planning effort is NOT over. Thanks to Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi efforts, the San Francisco Planning Department has agreed to extend our planning timeline for another year and as well included a ½ staff to assist with revising, changing and or alternating the plan as the community sees fit. (Pending final approval by the Board of Supervisors in Sept, 2009)

This means that WE ALL have to STAY ACTIVE and become MORE involved than never before, if we want this plan to truly fulfill the goals of helping us preserve and revitalize our historic Japantown. (We will not get another chance) If the plans fail this time around, it’s because WE failed the community, the generations that came before us and the generations that will follow us. There is a community meeting scheduled to update the community and to get your input about the direction the planning effort should take and also about changing/improving the Japantown community steering committee. YOUR INPUT IS IMPORTANT!
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Please join Nakayoshi and other community members at this meeting. It is crucial that we stay informed of the issues directly affecting our community.

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