Office of Supervisor Sophie Maxwell
San Francisco Planning Department
Urban Ecology

The next few years will bring big changes to Visitacion Valley, with the construction of a new light rail line on Bayshore Boulevard, a new Caltrain Station, and development at the former Schlage Lock factory. An earlier struggle to find alternatives to a Home Depot proposal for the 20 acre site led to a rezoning process, giving the community an opportunity to shape future development and develop goals for revitalizing the entire area.

Urban Ecology’s work in Visitacion Valley brought together a community previously fractured over proposals for development—and facilitated a process that achieved widespread consensus. The community is now armed with that consensus, the full support of their Supervisor, the planning resources of the city and a basic understanding of the issues related to development at the Schlage Lock site.

Over three hundred people from all corners of the neighborhood attended the workshops, which were held in English, Cantonese and Spanish. Participants represented merchants, longtime residents, tenants, homeowners, artists, teachers, activists, local community organizations, churches, city staff and elected officials.

The ideas are infused with a spirit that is unique to the Valley—one that takes a great pride in its diversity of races, cultures, ethnicities and languages, and sees this as its greatest asset. Community members want new development but also want it to be designed well, to bring people out onto sidewalks and public spaces, and to build on the historical and cultural elements of the neighborhood. They want new housing, but know that it must be balanced with new shops, parks and city services. And they agree that any new development must bring a grocery store desperately needed to serve the neighborhood, as well as housing that is affordable to the working families and seniors of the community.