8/19 General Meeting Notes + Esprit Park GBD Presentation

Toes and Paws General Meeting

Date: 8/19/17 10am-12pm

Attendance: Nicky Jacobson, Susan Fitch, Roger Donaldson, Keith Abey, Denis Maurer, Sasha Basso, Tracy Ravenscraft, Gaynor Strachan Chun, Irma Lewis.

Guest Speakers from GBD:


Jean Bogiages - Board President; Julie Christiansen - Director



  1. 30 min. Esprit Park Renovation Project status - (prep questions provided 8/4/17)

    1. What's already in place?

    2. What's the go forward plan?

    3. If more funding is needed, what's the status/plan for securing additional funding?

    4. How long will it take?

    5. When will the designated off leash dog play area be in place?

  2. 20 min. - Esprit Park work party - North side -

    1. Partnership with GBD and UCSF staff at 954 MN building

  3. 20 min. - Dog Day Afternoon - 11/5/17

    1. Goals, Owners, logistics

  4. 10 min. - Fiscal Sponsorship

    1. Next steps

  5. 5 min. - July activities debrief

    1. What worked well?  What could be better?



Meeting Notes:

Esprit Park Project Status GBD: 85 minutes

  1. GBD asked ‘What does Toes & Pass want’. Team members recapped the same survey results: :

    1. Discussed in detail during a T&P meeting attended by GBD on 10/8/16,

    2. Emailed to GBD on 10/16/16,  

    3. Discussed throughout the UCSF DCTF Cushioning process, which led to the $5 Million gift for Esprit.

  2. Project kickoff meeting 9/14/17.  Community advisory committee - GBD mentioned an active group of people to act as a community advisory committee to the Esprit project.  No specifics regarding membership criteria, nor outline of what role the group will have. Indicated wanting a group of subject matter experts that could do work.   The group size will be 8 to 12 people.

  3. Toes and Paws representation on committee - GBD unable to say how many representatives from any particular stakeholder organization.  GBD mentioned 3 members as perfect for the committee; Toes and Paws advised GBD that we had many skilled, experienced members, and will provide a list of those who have an interest in participating.

  4. Project Capacity, risk management - GBD vs. RPD for project management

    1. GBD is exploring taking over construction management of the park renovation.  They favor this option because GBD’s POV is that RPD has made some mistakes with other park projects. GBD used South Park as an example and cited list of mistakes attributed to paperwork errors.

    2. GBD ED’s experience with parks is as an advocate, not project management nor construction.  Said park will be hard project citing some inter-agency hand-offs, permits, and select other activities.

    3. T&P are supportive of GBD taking an advocacy oversight role for the project, and has concerns about GBD taking on the RPD project management role.  Members’ feedback is that while RPD has made mistakes in the past, it’s better to learn from their mistakes rather than starting from scratch on a $6 million project.  

    4. T&P shared a couple of insights from Toby S. Levy, FAIA, President at Levy Design Partners, Inc., whose firm provides architectural services including construction management.  Toby headed up the South Park Steering Committee, and advised that the partnership dynamics with RPD are different when a project is privately vs. publicly funded. She articulated how many of the snags suffered by South Park would be mitigated through the steps a private funder can request.  

    5. GBD disagrees with Toby.

    6. GBD believes the park project will get completed up to 12 months faster than if RPD manages the project.  Agrees there will be redundant costs in hiring a professional PM; adding up to 30% to the project cost.  Suggested that it would be worth the extra money to get the park we want.   

    7. GBD will ask UCSF to release funds for early stage activities, such as construction drawings.  Group members didn’t support requesting any funds from UCSF prior to a proper project plan and roles and responsibilities of the various stakeholders being in place.  

  5. Project will likely close the park for 18 months.

  6. GBD met with David Fletcher and asked him to incorporate raised planter beds into the park renovation design.  The change has been made.  

  7. Transparency and governance- Julie indicated she knows which experts to use if she’s running the project.  Would like the group to trust her selections.  RFP’s for everything will add months to the project.

    1. T&P requested transparency with the project, in everything from organization to how vendors are selected.  Members also asked many questions regarding project governance, or plans to put a governance framework in place.

    2. Toes & Paws reiterated support of using Fletcher Studios through construction drawings, and using bidding for the balance of the project.  Members discussed the pros/cons of using one contractor for the entire project, vs. breaking up the project into discrete deliverables/smaller projects.

    3. Team would like to see governance and transparency addressed in the contracts.

    4. T&P wants to make sure the decisions aren’t made behind closed doors whether it is run by Rec & Park or by GBD. They would like the community stakeholders to have input on RFP’s, and review submissions prior to vendor selection.  Members had no issue if the insertion of transparency and governance adds to the overall project timeline..

  8. Esprit Park Current State

    1. No status given re: establishing an off leash dog play area.  Team requested GBD to take action item to work with RPD to begin process of establishing an official off leash dog area; there’s no need to wait for the renovation to start.  Julie to advise: Pilot? Timeline?

    2. Team asked GBD follow up on RPD’s suggestion to take pressure off of Esprit by upgrading those dog runs/play areas in closer distance.  For example, upgrade security and ground cover in Progress Park, currently one of the lesser used open spaces based on survey responses (SF Planning and Toes and Paws); lobby developers for larger dog runs/support of larger open spaces for their homeowners and tenants.)

    3. The GBD has extra available dog waste stations and will ask RPD for permission to install some in Esprit Park