South San Francisco, CA July 8, 2021 By Olga Jimenez-Perez, Comunidad Inmigrante de Pueblo Viejo
NO HIGH RISE BUILDINGS – Save Cypress Park & Pine Lots
We call on South San Francisco Council to prioritize the needs of Old Town residents over the interests of developers and biotech industry by renovating our only playground at Cypress, Pine lot for seniors and community use, and to preserve the historical charm and character of Old Town. We ask to invest in neighborhoods that have been underserved through the collection of impact fees and donations.
We urge ALL SSF residents to UNITE in preserving our playground and preventing future high rise complexes within the confines of historical Old Town.
Through our lived experiences and documented reports, there is absolutely NO doubt Old Town area children and youth have been underserved through parks, services and programs. Losing our only playground would be devastating to Old Town!!
Per 1990 Park, Rec & Open Space Master Plan, Downtown area is specifically mentioned in Needs & Deficiencies section, “many neighborhoods are not served by parks…residents must walk long distances or drive to other parks. This problem is especially acute in the Downtown area….. need of additional green space and lacks opportunities for children and teens….population with many families with children.” Per 2015 study, “Goals – Prioritize Downtown. Reduce barriers to park use. Renovate Playgrounds.”
At a recent Council meeting, city gave indication it is exploring options of moving park at the end of Linden. A neighborhood park is NOT safe nor ideal along a busy downtown street. Cypress/Pine playground sits on elevated ground, which is absolutely the reason it IS SAFE, as there is no fear of children running out to chase a ball. Any park along Linden would be smaller, contradicting and further delaying the documented need for more parks. Renovating Cypress is more cost effective, diverting funds for much needed programs and services elsewhere.
Old Town area has taken the brunt of biotech’s housing demands without consideration or efforts on neighboring Old Town, especially the most vulnerable, our youth and seniors. There is no need for reports to know the neglect and need has existed for decades. Our children’s lives continue to be at stake, especially in an area that has lived through unimaginable tragedy. Being raised and born myself and children in Old Town, we can attest to what life in Old Town is for a child and parent.
We urge our elected Council to place priorities in children and seniors and ask ALL of SSF to unite in efforts to place human lives over and above all.
With gratitude and respect,
Comunidad Inmigrante de Pueblo Viejo
City of SSF is planning to take away our only Old Town playground, Cypress Park, as well as open green areas and parking lots. SSF has received MILLIONS in developer impact fees, without benefit to community of Old Town (Downtown) that has been the most affected. Old Town area has been historically underserved and underrepresented and directly impacted without a say in the welcoming of biotech industry.
PLEASE ADVOCATE FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO PARKS THROUGH THE USE OF IMPACT FEES COLLECTED AND IN PREVENTING FURTHER HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS WITHIN OLD TOWN/DOWNTOWN AREAS THAT HAVE DESTROYED THE CHARACTER AND HISTORICAL CHARM OF OLD TOWN AREA.
OLD TOWN HAS TAKEN THE BRUNT OF HIGH RISE BUILDINGS FOR BENEFIT OF THE BIOTECH INDUSTRY GROWTH AND IT IS UNJUST FOR AREA TO TAKE ON ANY FURTHER DEVELOPMENT, WITHOUT CONSIDERATION OF ITS HISTORICAL VALUE AND CHARACTER, ITS DIRECT IMPACT ON SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENCES (HIGH RISE BUILDINGS INTRUDING ON PEACEFUL AND HEALTHY LIVING), AND OVER CROWDING (DENSITY). ADVOCATE IN REQUESTING YOUTH/SENIOR SERVICES AND PROMOTING CULTURAL AWARENESS PROGRAMS TO AREA.
Cypress Park is in need of appropriate and safe play structures for infants (i.e. infant swings), a full-size basketball court and trees.
Pine Green Lot (Pine & Linden) is SACRED GROUND for community. Community requests improvements to memorialize the tragic loss of life. Area has lacked YOUTH programs and resources for equitable opportunities for success in life for many years. SENIOR CITIZENS lack a safe place for socialization and in promoting outdoors for healthy living. Community of Old Town requests the installation of community gazebo, benches, trees, and cultural art sculptures for beautification and in promoting local artists.
NO MORE UNAFFORDABLE AND OVER BUILDING of high rise buildings in Old Town. SSF has built many high rises, without regard to long-time residents and local restaurants/businesses. High rise buildings have negatively affected our livelihood, privacy, peace of mind (safety), enjoyment of our properties, loss of natural sunlight, and have added to traffic congestion and air quality pollution, with no improvements to sidewalks in Old Town area.
The community is in need of a YOUTH PROGRAM/SERVICE CENTER AND A COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTER. Our only facility is the Boys & Girls Club that has been neglected and primarily used for after school use, not community wide. Our youth have been neglected and need services. There is a lack of outreach, resources and services for non-English speakers, as well as for struggling local businesses, many of which are family owned.
Old Town has been DISCRIMINATED with knowledge of being disadvantaged with known barriers and challenges, i.e. non-English speaking, computers/internet, resources, accessibility, transportation, etc., without being afforded proper outreach.
PLEASE HELP SUPPORT KEEPING CYPRESS PARK AND REQUEST FOR IMPROVEMENTS; ADDITION OF GAZEBO/IMPROVEMENTS AT PINE/LINDEN LOT FOR COMMUNITY USE; PREVENT OVERBUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION OF FURTHER UNAFFORDABLE HIGH RISE BUILDINGS; MAINTAIN PARKING LOTS FOR COMMUNITY USE, AND FACILITATE USE OF IRISH GREEN AND ARMOUR LOT FOR COMMUNITY USE