McCoppin Hub Plaza, the recently renovated public space on Valencia at McCoppin Street, is about to get a whole lot less welcoming. Mission Local reports that the plan to erect a giant fence and gate around the park — allowing it to be closed to the public whenever officials feel like it — is briskly moving forward with backing from Supervisor Jane Kim's office despite concerns that the move is anti-homeless.
City officials are expected to receive final contractor proposals this Friday, and the publication reports that the fence may take as little as three months to build. The design, now finalized, will leave the park completely enclosed with two vehicle gates and three pedestrian gates.
This fenced-off future for the park is far from its designers original intention. The plan was to have a public space that could host food trucks and events, but the trucks stopped coming shortly after the park reopened in 2014 and the events never really took off. Some vocal residents began complaining that homeless were making most use of the public space, and that's when Kim's office stepped in.
“Jane got funding secured this year for [the] fence and our office has been pushing hard to get it done,” Kim's legislative aide Ivy Lee is quoted by ML as explaining at a September public meeting last year.
Not everyone is in support of the fence, however, with one neighbor at the same public meeting expressing frustration at the idea. “I walk past McCoppin Hub every day and I have never once felt unsafe” said Jessi Reid. “These are humans. Where are they supposed to go? This is a utility for the public. They are part of the public.”
SFist reached out to Kim's office to determine if that support remains as strong today as it did last September, and how the Supervisor responds to charges the fence is anti-homeless, but has yet to receive a response.
Meanwhile, Kim continues to push a homelessness measure that would require the city give those living in tent encampments one week's notice before clearing their property.