It seems like years ago that we started hearing about plans to upend and destroy the greatest gathering place of all time, Dolores Park — oh wait, it was years ago. Well, now the finalized plans are coming together, and there was another in an *endless* series of community meetings about the renovation plans last night, and we have some updated dates for you. First of all, and this will be of great sadness to the gays next spring and summer, the entire south side of the park will be closed from next February to next August. That includes the beloved Fruit Shelf/Gay Beach!

Does this mean the gays will have to co-mingle for half the year with the hipsters of Fixie Flats? Dear god. And don't even get us started if the renovated gay beach is significantly smaller than before, especially now that it's already been infringed upon by that oversize playground.

Then, and here's where shit will really fly, the next phase will begin in September 2013, and the entire north side of the park, including the grand Hipster Hill and Fixie Flats, will be closed for almost a year, reopening around July 2014. WHERE WILL EVERYONE GO?

This may be an improvement on the original proposal to just shut down the entire park for 18 months or more, but it's still going to leave a lot of people unhappy, we're guessing.

So, as promised earlier, there will now be two bathrooms at either end of the park, and the central clubhouse will be demolished to make way for a clear central promenade. And as one meeting attendee observes to Mission Local, "It’s pretty cool to see the level of detail that people are going into," like discussing the need for non-dense shrubbery around tennis courts to make the finding of lost balls easier. Ugh.

Oh, and the fucking bike polo court. Because at least one vocal jerk who plays bike polo made his voice heard time and time again at these meetings, one of the current basketball courts will become a multi-use court that can be used, yes, for bike polo. Which like five people play. But whatever. We have neither the aggressively persnickety and community-oriented personalities nor the stamina to have endured these meetings, so we do not have the right to argue for all of our specific wishes for the park, such as a swim-up bar and a zero-tolerance policy on children.

The plan still needs to go up for environmental review in August, at which point there will be a 20-day public comment period. Perhaps we'll get really vocal about the swim-up bar then.

[Mission Local]

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