Guy Place – New Mini Park

4-8 Guy Place


As part of a comprehensive program for the development of Rincon Hill as a dense residential neighborhood, the Rincon Hill Plan contains policies to acquire sites for open space. 4-8 Guy Place in particular was identified in the plan as a potential acquisition site for a “pocket park”, as it is one of the very few undeveloped pieces of property left in the district. It is a small size (4,000 SF), but is on a quiet, low traffic side street, surrounded by lower-scale residential and commercial buildings.

RPD purchased the lot in 2007 and began a concept design stage, in collaboration with the community. Construction documents will be advertised for bids in Summer 2017 and the park is expected to open to the public in late 2018 or early 2019.

For more information, contact Brett Desmarais, Project Manager at or 415-575-5601

Funding for this project comes from the Rincon Hill Community Improvements Fund, totaling $3,100,000

Public Workshop: South Downtown Design and Activation Plan

Please join us on August 2, 2017 for the kickoff workshop of the South Downtown Design Activation Plan!  Representatives from City of San Francisco agencies including SFMTA, Public Works, Recreation and Parks, and Planning, will be on hand to discuss current and upcoming projects in the South Downtown area, including … Continue reading

Guy Place Mini Park News!

The long-anticipated Guy Place Mini Park project is on the move again! The park design, which was approved in 2014, has been adjusted to replace eight of the park’s proposed vine columns with eight multi-trunk birch trees. These trees will provide canopy coverage with dappled shade over the park. The trees feature … Continue reading

Guy Place Mini Park Development – FAQ

In an effort to address concerns about the Guy Place Mini Park development, the Recreation and Park Department is pleased to share this FAQ on the process and planning of the design concept. For more information, please contact Marvin Yee, Project Manager, at (415) 581-2541, or at Please check … Continue reading

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Project FAQs

How many public meetings were held to determine a design concept?

Three community meetings on the park development were held in 2008, and community support for the design was received. The project was put on hold due to the recession until 2014 when development funds became available. The City then held another community meeting to revisit the 2008 park design, and again community support was received. Consequently the Recreation and Park Commission approved the park design with overwhelming community support.

How was outreach to the neighbors done?

Notifications for the community meetings were posted on the wood fence fronting the parcel, mailed by USPS to property owners within a 300’ radius, and publicized through community email blasts, the Rincon Hill e-newsletter, and HOA boards. The Arts Commission also posted design submissions for the future fence and gates of the new park.

New residents have moved into the area. Shouldn’t they provide input on the park design?

In the planning for the new mini park, participants at the community meetings considered the park in the greater neighborhood context of the 8.8 acres of planned, public open spaces identified in the Rincon Hill Streetscape and Open Space Plan and the Transit Center District Plan, as well as the demographics and needs of the future population on Rincon Hill.

Were the trees assessed? Why are the trees recommended for removal?

The decision to remove these trees was not taken lightly by either the City or the community. A City arborist assessed the trees to be poorly structured due to years of severe pruning away from overhead wires prior to the City’s purchase of the site. The newer shoots are weakly attached and particularly prone to breakage. In addition, fruit droppings attract rodents and damage parked cars.

Although meeting participants expressed interest in maintaining these trees, they understood the challenge in complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) at this steep site, and the limited opportunity for developing the site into a public park. After thoughtful consideration the meeting participants supported a design to fully utilize the site without the existing trees.

Can the decision to remove the trees be appealed?

The Recreation and Park Commission approved the community-supported park design. Consequently construction bids were received and a contract will be awarded shortly. At this stage, it would not be feasible or desirable to make a significant change to the design, and any delay would jeopardize the project. The need for the park is stronger than ever given the new residential development on Rincon Hill.

Will nesting birds be harmed?

A certified biologist will be obtained to provide a nesting inspection of the trees to verify that young birds have left the nest and that nesting has completed before construction occurs.

Will the new park include trees?

The community supported the park design for its openness to let light through at this shaded site. Since the ground plane for greening is very limited, the park design takes advantage of the vertical space with 20’-high green columns covered with vines and a backdrop of tall bamboos, creating a green oasis for the community and urban wildlife.

Will the park be secured at night?

The park will be locked at night, and include ambient up-lighting for security.

Who will maintain the park?

Recreation and Park Department is responsible for the park’s upkeep and maintenance. However, a new Community Benefit District was recently formed and is offering supplemental park maintenance.

Are the plants selected for the new park water-conserving?

The planting plan and palette complies with the San Francisco ordinance for water efficient irrigation.

Aren’t the berries of Boston ivy toxic to children and small animals?

The City will re-evaluate the selection of Boston ivy in the new park’s plant palette. Among other reasons, Boston ivy was selected for its seasonal changes and aesthetics.

Are the plants selected invasive?

The selected vine plantings will be controlled and limited to the green columns. The bamboo selected is a clumping variety and will be contained with a root barrier.

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