Board of Supervisors Passes Supervisor Farrell’s Legislation To Turn Francisco Reservoir Into A New 4.5 Acre Citywide Park

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, by a unanimous vote, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed Supervisor Mark Farrell’s resolution to transfer the jurisdiction of the Francisco Reservoir from the SFPUC to the Recreation and Park Department, so that work can begin to turn the inoperable Francisco Reservoir into a brand-new citywide park.

“While the landscape of the San Francisco may change over time, with the advancement of this project the Francisco Reservoir site will remain open space for generations,” said Supervisor Mark Farrell. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create recreational space out of concrete, a park out of a dilapidated reservoir and improve the open space balance and quality of life for all San Franciscans.”

The Francisco Reservoir is a large concrete reservoir that sits on a larger piece of property over four acres in size bounded by Bay, Hyde, Chestnut and Larkin streets in the middle of Russian Hill. Originally a working reservoir owned and operated by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the Francisco Reservoir has been out of service for over 60 years and has remained unused ever since. 

After being elected Supervisor in 2010, Supervisor Mark Farrell began working closely with neighborhood open space and environmental groups in Russian Hill, North Beach, Aquatic Park and across San Francisco to develop a better use for Francisco Reservoir. The Open Space Acquisition Fund has been identified as the funding source for the Recreation and Park Department to purchase the property. The payment terms are structured over 12-years, which will allow the Recreation and Park Department the flexibility to acquire new open space and parks in every neighborhood of San Francisco. After the Francisco Reservoir project and two other identified acquisitions by the Department, over $38 million dollars will be remaining over the life of the Open Space Fund. 

The Francisco Park Project Working Group is a collaboration of the four largest neighborhood associations in the area. The group formed over three years ago with the sole purpose of turning the fenced-off property into a citywide park and has privately raised over $9 million in pledges of the $11 million necessary to renovate the park and permanently endow the park’s maintenance. The resulting park will be one of the largest pieces of open space in the area and will serve communities in both the surrounding neighborhoods and across our City. 

“As we continue to increase our City’s density, I believe we need to actively pursue opportunities in every neighborhood of San Francisco to acquire additional open space,” said Supervisor Mark Farrell. “This will be a citywide park for all San Franciscans and visitors to enjoy.”

After today’s jurisdictional transfer, the Recreation and Park Department, in partnership with the Francisco Park Project Working Group, will lead an inclusive citywide process to discuss and implement the design, and everything necessary to turn the Francisco Reservoir into a brand-new citywide park. Construction is expected to begin Spring 2015.

More information about the Francisco Park Project Working Group, information on how to stay up to date and involved in the design process can be found through their website at www.franciscoreservoir.org 

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