S.F. making sure high-rise owners ID hidden public spaces

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S.F. making sure high-rise owners ID hidden public spaces
Photograph © Amy Osborne
S.F. making sure high-rise owners ID hidden public spaces
Photograph © Amy Osborne

As public spaces go, the lobby at 77 Van Ness Ave. isn’t much: polished stone floors, an innocuous sculpture, four tables with movable chairs.

But it exists to serve the public. And now, as a result of a recent city rule finally being put into action, it has the chance to do its job.

The snug space is one of at least a dozen “privately owned public open spaces” in or near San Francisco’s Financial District that in recent months have sprouted 16-by-20-inch signs along their perimeter or at the building entrance. More signs will go up as planners finish inspecting spaces and comparing what exists with what originally was approved.

“A key element of the city’s downtown plan is that we need publicly accessible spaces that are easy to find and that people can enjoy,” said Scott Sanchez, the City Planning Department’s zoning administrator. “If you don’t know they’re there, you won’t use them.” ….

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