After three community workshops and at least three-time the number of committee and sub committee meetings, the first draft of the Dolores Park rehabilitation plan has been, for the most part, favorably received. Dolores Park will have two new restrooms, a new maintenance building, a new hard surface multi-use court, a new picnic area and two well posted off-leash dog areas. Though there was some critiques of the dog committee’s redrawing of the dog play areas, the new boundaries will probably be accepted.
The fate of the clubhouse is still undetermined, with the room well divided into removing the old structure entirely to converting it into park history museum. The extensive new path system (i.e. roads) also ran into some flack.
The road system remains essentially as sketched early on in the process. One spur connects the corner of 18th and Church with Dolores, hugging south side of the tennis courts. The main route picks up near the new maintenance building, in the north-west corner and cuts across almost the entire park to the new playground and picnic areas. The designers have narrowed much of the road from a proposed 14 feet to 12 and where it crosses the North Field, 10 feet. A spokesman for the Mayor’s Office of Disability explained that the city is obligated to provide universal access to most of the key elements of the park. Eric Andersen, park service manager for the Mission explained his maintenance people needed adequate access as well.
Some other once controversial issues that seem to be resolved. With a slight tweaking of the six tennis courts and the basketball court, the designers have been able to shoehorn in the Multi-use court for the bike polo players. Joel Winters, point man for the drive to get the bikers back into Dolores, assured us this new flex space would be much in demand, “Not just by Bike Polo, but any sport seeking an enclosed hard surface to play.” The community also took their first steps towards welcoming back Youth Soccer by approving a “Request for an Ongoing Maintenance Plan for the Multi-Use Field”. This is the second attempt by Rec and Park and the community to place a natural turf Youth Soccer facility in Dolores. The first field left Dolores scared and the grass soon turned to mud and dust. Andrew Solow, chief advocate for the revival of the Youth Soccer field stated, if we are going to go with a natural, unfenced grass field again it will need extra ordinary maintenance. Because of low funding, on going maintenance is something Rec and Park is seeking to lower. Solow, and now the community, is requesting an honest evaluation by a team of turf experts of the chances of this new field to succeed.
There will be two more community Workshops where we we will decide the fate of the clubhouse, a scheme for the Central Promenade and treatments for the entrances, September 29 and October 27.