Community meetings to address draft Better Neighborhood Plan


The Japantown Organizing Committee will hold three large community meetings to educate the community and receive input on the draft Japantown Better Neighborhood Plan, which will outline the vision of San Francisco’s Japantown.

For the past year, the Japantown Organizing Committee has been conducting subcommittee meetings to review the draft Plan written in 2009.

The plan aims to create a comprehensive plan for the future of San Francisco’s Japantown, one of the three remaining Japantowns in the U.S.

The project was first proposed in 2007 by District Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi and then-Mayor Gavin Newsom. The first draft was finished in 2009 by the city Planning Commission, but was returned to the community for further input.

A group of Japantown community members have been meeting since 2010 to discuss any changes required for the plan in the second round of revisions.

During upcoming meetings, discussions will be held to address the recommended changes the subcommittees have developed for public feedback.

There will be three community meetings held over the summer months at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, 1840 Sutter St. in San Francisco’s Japantown:

• Wednesday, June 1 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. — Land Use

• Monday, June 27 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. — Public Realm, Transportation & Circulation

• Sunday, July 31 from 12:30 to 3 p.m. — Community Heritage/Community Economic Development

The feedback from these meetings will help to create a final set of changes to the San Francisco Planning Commission before the end of the 2011. The Organizing Committee has requested the public’s recommendations to ensure the Better Neighborhood Plan is a true community effort.

There will also be a fourth meeting on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 9:30 a.m. to noon to share final recommendations with the community.

The Japantown Organizing Committee, a coalition of local community members and leaders, holds subcommittee meetings at the following times:

• Community Heritage: All meetings are at JCCCNC, 1840 Sutter St. Meetings are on the following Tuesdays from 6 to 8 p.m.: May 24, June 14 and June 28

• Community Land Trust: All meetings to take place at the JCCCNC on the following Wednesdays from 2 to 5 p.m.: June 15

• Joint Committee Meetings: All meetings to take place at the Union Bank Community Room on the following Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m.: May 25, June 22, July 27 and Aug. 24


The Japantown Better Neighborhood Plan aims to be the vision and outline for the long-term sustainability and cultural preservation of Japantown.

For the latest information and a copy of the plan, visit the San Francisco’s Planning Department’s Website,, or purchase a print copy for $40 by contacting Maria Oropeza at the Planning Department at (415) 558-6307 or Bob Hamaguchi at the Japantown Task Force at (415) 346-1239. Free CDs are also available.

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